The allure of Americans to firearms is undeniable. US gun manufacturers have produced more than 139 million for the trade over the past 20 years, including 11.3 million for 2020, according to a report from the Department of Justice published Tuesday, May 17.
During the same period, 71 million firearms were imported, compared to just 7.5 million exported, in a sign of an influx of available guns in the country that has led to an upsurge in gun violence, murder and suicide, according to a government study.
The arms industry has already exploded: while in 2000 the country had only 2,222 arms manufacturing companies, in 2020, there were 16,963, according to the same source.
Annual production of firearms for commercial sale also jumped, from 3.9 million in 2000 to 11.3 million firearms in 2020, and peaked at 11.9 million in 2016.
Several weapons rise
The document shows that while the Americans preferred semi-automatic weapons used in many shootings, they mainly bought the 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which is cheap, accurate, easy to use and similar to the weapon used by the police.
Authorities are also facing an increase in so-called “ghost weapons,” a range of weapons that can be made at home for a few hundred dollars and some parts of which can be bought online or made with a 3D printer.
Unlike factory-produced rifles, they do not have a serial number, and because they are not considered weapons throughout the sale process, they do not require a license or gun license. Subject the buyer to a criminal and psychological background check. According to the report, in 2021 the police recovered the so-called “ghost weapon” 19,344, compared to 1,758 in 2016.
In April, US President Joe Biden tightened regulations on this type of gun, with dealers of these kits in particular obligating potential buyers to conduct background checks or include a serial number on component parts.
“We can only address the current increase in violence if we have the best available information and use the most effective tools and studies to fuel our efforts.”Lisa Monaco, the number two in the US Department of Justice, said in a press release.
Weekend of violence
The publication of this report comes after a weekend of intense violence in the United States with two shootings: one racist in Buffalo, New York, where ten African Americans were killed, and another in Los Angeles, California, where one person and five were killed. Others were injured.
The number of gun deaths in the United States has increased “Historical” In 2020, they are likely to be caused by the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic and poverty, according to a report by US health authorities published last week.
The state counted 19,350 homicides in 2020, an increase of nearly 35% compared to 2019, and 24,245 suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). The murder rate was 6.1 per 100,000 residents in 2020, the highest level in more than 25 years.