There are many reasons why the federal government agencies track firearms. Most, if not all, are attempts to assist law enforcement agencies. However, the raw numbers of exactly how many firearms in Missouri that are traced each year by the feds is truly staggering.

For what it's worth, I'm not going to draw any conclusions about this data. I'll share the raw numbers and you can decide how you feel about it. By the way, I have not happened upon any secret or classified information. This is publicly available from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives. They explained why a firearms trace in Missouri is done saying it's "designed to assist law enforcement authorities in conducting investigations by tracking the sale and possession of specific firearms".

Here are the raw numbers for firearm traces in Missouri in just one calendar year:

Total firearms traced and recovered - 10,213

  • Pistols - 8,097
  • Rifles - 812
  • Revolvers - 686
  • Shotguns - 435
  • Machine guns - 47
  • Receivers - 65
  • Others - 71

The most common caliber traced is 9mm with a total of 4,361 traced in just one year.

Why were these Missouri guns traced? Here's what the ATF said about that:

Infographic, ATF
Infographic, ATF

Here are the top recovery cities of firearms in Missouri:

  • St. Louis - 3,378
  • Kansas City - 2,422
  • Florissant - 491
  • Independence - 477
  • Osage Beach - 348
  • Springfield - 176
  • St. Charles - 173
  • Cape Girardeau - 161
  • St. Joseph - 133
  • Maryland Heights - 128

All of this information about Missouri firearms is available due to the Freedom of Information Act. You can view them yourselves to see how and why Missouri firearms are kept track of.

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Gallery Credit: EarthquakeSim via YouTube

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