Weapons prosecutions on track for strongest year in more than a decade
By Christen Smith
The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of weapons prosecutions of this type recorded each fiscal year. Projected figures for the current fiscal year are shown. Each presidential administration is distinguished by the color of the bars. (Source: TRAC)
Federal data suggests 2018 could be the Department of Justice’s busiest year ever in more than a decade for weapons prosecutions.
Should authorities keep up at the current pace, total annual prosecutions will exceed more than 10,000 this year — a 22.5 percent increase over 2017 and up by nearly half over the last five years, according to the Transactional Records Clearing House.
Weapons prosecutions peaked at 11,000 in 2004 and dropped to less than 7,000 a decade later. Since 2014, however, TRAC data shows a gradual uptick in prosecutions, punctuated by a steep increase this year as the DOJ cracks down on gun-related crimes.
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of weapons matters filed in U.S. District Court during the first 10 months of FY 2018. (Source: TRAC)
The top prosecuted weapons charges include “firearms, unlawful acts; firearms, penalties; and drug-abuse prevention and control-prohibited acts,” according to TRAC. The Eastern District of Missouri, the Southern District of Alabama