One argument we’ve seen ad nauseum is that Chicago has extraordinarily high violence due to its gun control laws. It’s true that Chicago’s homicide rate is higher than some other cities (Chicago has 6.4 homicides per 100,000 people, whereas New York has 4.5). There are so many variables affecting violence that we’re not sure how anybody could say conclusively how Chicago’s crime rates are affected by its gun control laws–especially since the city and the state have porous borders through which people can easily bring guns from neighboring jurisdictions. But what we CAN say conclusively is that Chicago is NOT EVEN CLOSE to having the worst violence in the U.S.
In January, President Obama issued an executive order instructing the Department of Justice to analyze data on lost and stolen guns, and to publish a report on their findings. On Monday, the Justice Department released their report for 2012. It indicates that 190,342 guns were lost or stolen nationwide, with Texas leading the states with 18,874 lost or stolen guns. Nationwide, licensed firearms dealers reported 10,915 as “lost,” meaning those guns were in their inventory, and have just vanished.