Firearm Recovery 2014: By the Numbers

As part of our 2014 Year in Review series, we analyze a list of firearms recovered in homicide cases from 2009 to December 15, 2014, obtained from a Freedom of Information request filed with the Department of Forensic Sciences. Check out our Year in Review story for more information on firearm recovery and D.C. homicides.

In the last six years, 350 guns were recovered from homicide cases:

  • 2009: 75
  • 2010: 37
  • 2011: 58
  • 2012: 34
  • 2013: 58
  • 2014: 88

The Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol is linked to more homicides than any other gun, making it D.C.’s deadliest firearm.

Sixty percent of shooting homicides were committed with a handgun. The ratio of semi-automatics to revolvers is four-to-one.

In all, 169 homicides were committed with a semi-automatic pistol between 2009 and 2014. Of those, 24 were linked to a Glock 17.

Three assault rifles, 20 BB/pellet guns and one toy revolver are also linked to homicides.

Over the last six years, 87 guns were recovered in District 6 since 2009 — more than any other police district. Eighty-three were recovered in District 7.

In 2014, 37 guns were recovered in District 7, 17 were recovered from District 6 and 15 were recovered from District 5.

Since 2009, however, the 6th District has recovered the highest cumulative, 87 firearms. The 7th District is a close second at 83. Thirty-seven of the firearms in the data did not specify a district—23 of these were from 2013.

Thirty-seven firearms did not specify a district — 23 of these were from 2013. Eighty-one firearms did not specify the type of gun recovered — 68 of these were from 2014.

The firearms recovered in D.C. are usually purchased in other states, according to a 2012 dataset obtained analyzed by ProPublica. None of the 865 guns recovered in or traced back to D.C. that year were purchased in the District. Virginia and Maryland supplied the majority of firearms, accounting for 31 percent and 25.4 percent, respectively. The findings suggest that most or all guns linked to D.C. crimes come from out of state.

There are several caveats in the data DFS provided. In addition to the missing address information, the data for 2014 only provided the type of gun for 20 of the 88 guns recovered. Therefore, the most-used gun of 2014 cannot be known at this time.

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