The Report estimates that 173,000 gun owners become newly prohibited each year, including for felony and domestic violence convictions – almost 10 percent of them in Texas alone – and without programs to remove their illegal guns, the vast majority of those illegal guns remain in the possession of people who shouldn’t have them
The Report highlights successful illegal gun removal programs in California and Illinois, which have removed thousands of illegal guns in the past several years
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety released a new policy report showing the efficacy and necessity of strong programs designed to remove illegal guns from those who have become prohibited from having them. The report estimates that 173,000 gun owners across the country become newly prohibited each year, including for felony and domestic violence convictions – almost 10 percent of them in Texas alone – and without programs to remove these guns, the vast majority of those illegal guns remain in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
“When you commit a felony or abuse someone, you give up your right to own a gun — but in too many states, no one is following up and making sure the guns are gone,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This is truly a life-or-death issue, because when convicted abusers and felons are allowed to hold onto their guns, it all too often leads to tragedy.”
“Strong gun laws save lives and they must be strongly enforced,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Prohibiting domestic abusers and violent criminals from possessing firearms can only do so much to keep our families and communities safe without real mechanisms to enforce these laws – including by ensuring that gun owners who become prohibited actually turn their guns in.”
“As lawmakers prepare for the 2023 state legislative sessions, this report lays out a clear roadmap for keeping illegal guns out of our communities,” said Monisha Henley, Managing Director of State Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We can all agree – from both sides of the aisle – that we need to ensure that people who legally bought a gun but later became prohibited from having it cannot hold onto those guns, and we’ll be in the statehouses advocating for commonsense solutions to ensure that’s not the case.”
Key Findings from the Report:
- These programs are at the forefront of saving lives: California authorities have removed over 23,000 guns from prohibited people in the last eight years, and Illinois officials have confiscated or confirmed surrender of over 10,000 weapons in less than three years.
- We estimate that 173,000 gun owners become newly prohibited each year—almost 10 percent of them in Texas alone – and, without strong removal programs, the vast majority of those illegal guns remain in the possession of people who shouldn’t have them.
- Six states – California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York – have already set up statewide removal programs, building off of and maximizing the impact of other smart gun safety tools they already have in place – and beginning to build a gold-standard policy that interrupts dangerous gun access. Washington has a mandate in place that it has yet to implement.