ATF finds nearly half of guns traced last year in Maryland were bought locally

Thousands of guns recovered in Maryland last year traced back to 49 states, but the largest portion of firearms was bought locally.

But the data also show that most of the guns recovered in Maryland are increasingly coming from out of state.


Police in Maryland asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace more than 8,600 firearms last year.

ATF agents were able to determine where nearly 5,900 of the firearms were sold, according to a new analysis by the ATF, which publishes the findings of its gun traces each year.

Some 47 percent were bought in Maryland, the ATF found. Virginia ranked second and supplied about 15 percent of the guns. Pennsylvania came third with nearly 7 percent.

In 2014, more than 7,700 guns were recovered in Maryland, and among those that could be traced, 56 percent were purchased in Maryland. That percentage has steadily declined. In 2015, more than 8,100 guns were recovered in the state, and 52 percent were purchased here. In 2016, more than 8,660 were recovered in Maryland, and 49 percent were bought here.

Some firearms were bought as far away as Texas (101 guns) and California (46 guns).

The ATF found an average age of 38 for those in possession of the firearms. And the firearms were bought an average of 12 years before the crime or reason for the trace.

The ATF conducted nearly half a million traces last year for police departments around the country.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.