About the re­port­ing

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION -

TheWash­ing­ton Post anal­y­sis was con­ducted us­ing a lit­tle-known data­base main­tained by Vir­ginia State Po­lice called the Crim­i­nal Firearms Clear­ing­house that tracks guns re­cov­ered by lo­cal law en­force­ment of­fi­cers across the state. The Post ob­tained the data­base last year to cir­cum­vent a con­gres­sional ban on the re­lease of fed­eral data about guns re­cov­ered by law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

The Clear­ing­house con­tains in­for­ma­tion about more than 100,000 guns re­cov­ered in Vir­ginia since 1993 by more than 200 agen­cies. Lo­cal po­lice are re­quired by law to re­port “all firearms seized, for­feited, found . . . which are be­lieved to have been used in the com­mis­sion of a crime.” Re­ports in­clude the cir­cum­stances of the gun’s re­cov­ery and a phys­i­cal de­scrip­tion of the weapon, in­clud­ing its mag­a­zine ca­pac­ity or cylin­der size.

The data­base is not a com­plete list­ing of all guns re­cov­ered by lo­cal po­lice in Vir­ginia be­cause some agen­cies fail to re­port. Re­searchers said they knew of no other ju­ris­dic­tion with such an ex­ten­sive data­base of re­cov­ered guns that also tracks mag­a­zine ca­pac­ity. The data­base was last up­dated in Au­gust, and re­port­ing for 2010 was in­com­plete.

To iden­tify pat­terns, The Post looked at changes in the per­cent­age of re­cov­ered firearms that had high­ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines. Guns listed with ca­pac­i­ties of more than 10 bul­lets were as­sumed to have been equipped with high-ca­pac­ity mag­a­zines. A small per­cent­age of those firearms may be .22-cal­iber guns with higher-ca­pac­ity tubu­lar mag­a­zines that were ex­empted from the now-de­funct as­sault weapons ban.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.