May 12, 2016 | Number of The Day
Percentage of guns recovered by NJ police bought out of state

New Jersey police recovered 2,112 guns while investigating crimes in New Jersey in 2012, according to data presented by ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news site from information supplied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Of those, almost 80 percent were purchased out of state. (It’s important to note that if a gun can’t be traced to its origin, the police credit New Jersey as the source.)

For the most part, these 2,112 guns were purchased in nearby states with more relaxed gun laws. For instance, 278 of them originated in Pennsylvania — by far the largest source for New Jerseyans. Only 56 were purchased in New York. Other big suppliers to New Jersey were North Carolina (199), Virginia (194), Georgia (152), South Carolina (134), and Florida (127). Tiny Delaware supplied 30 of the guns.

The farther these states were from New Jersey, regardless of gun laws, the fewer guns were traced to them. For example, police traced 38 firearms to Texas.

When it comes to traces from law enforcement agencies outside of New Jersey, only 196 were traced to New Jersey. Nationwide, 155,530 guns were traced by law enforcement and 29 percent were found to be purchased in another state.