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RELEASE: New Analysis Shows Removal of Missouri’s Permit-to-Purchase Law Is Linked to Increased Gun Theft

RELEASE: New Analysis Shows Removal of Missouri’s Permit-to-Purchase Law Is Linked to Increased Gun Theft

Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from the Center for American Progress shows that the repeal of Missouri’s permit-to-purchase (PTP) law in 2007 is associated with an uptick in the annual number of stolen firearms. Drawing from FBI data on stolen and recovered property from 1994 to 2019—12 years before and after the removal of the PTP law, respectively—CAP found that the real annual average value of stolen firearms in Missouri increased from $3.1 million from 1994–2007 to $4.3 million from 2008–2019, a 38 percent increase. The original analysis adds to a growing body of evidence showing that the PTP repeal has led to increased gun homicides, gun suicides, and gun trafficking in Missouri.

“To address this alarming trend, Missouri lawmakers should not only reinstate the permit-to-purchase law but also implement complementary measures such as requiring a license to carry open or concealed firearms and training on safe storage practices,” said Eugenio Weigend Vargas, director for Gun Violence Prevention at the Center for American Progress and author of the report. “Law enforcement agencies should also strengthen data collection around stolen firearms to allow for more robust analyses on the effects of this and other laws.”

“The findings from this report are consistent with prior research in Missouri identifying harmful effects associated with the repeal of Missouri’s PTP law. PTP requirements may increase gun owner accountability; removing these requirements may influence behaviors and increase theft,” said Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy.

Read the report: “Stolen Firearms in Missouri Are Linked to the Repeal of Its Permit-to-Purchase Law” by Eugenio Weigend Vargas

For more information or to speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org.