A new report released by the Violence Policy Center shows a sharp decrease in the number of gun dealers across the nation. Based on data the Center collected, 189,051 gun dealers have closed up shop in the USA since 1994.
The data was collected by studying Type 1 Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs), the basic federal license required for stores to sell guns in America. 245,628 FFLs were registered in 1994, but that number has dropped to 56,577.
California ranks pretty high in terms of a gun dealer reduction, with an 89 percent drop in 22 years. Massachusetts wins however, with a 90 percent decrease, going from 3,851 gun dealerships in 1994 to 386 in 2016.
The states with the most gun dealers per 100,000 residents are Wyoming (95 Type 1 FFLs per 100,000 residents); Montana (91 per 100,000 residents) and Alaska (81 per 100,000 residents).
“The sharp drop in gun dealers is one of the most important—and little noticed—victories in the effort to reduce firearms violence in America,” states Senior Policy Analyst and report author Marty Langley. “Fewer gun dealers reduces the potential number of sources for high-volume illegal gun trafficking while aiding the inspection and enforcement activities of federal, state, and local authorities.”
A report that the Violence Policy Center did in 1992 showed that there were more gun dealerships than gas stations in the USA. Gun sellers outnumbered gas stations by 245,000 to 210,000. Now only five states have that honor: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming.