Press Release

Senator Gillibrand Releases First-Of-Its-Kind Report On Arrests And Illegal Guns Seized Under Anti-Gun Trafficking Law In Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

Dec 5, 2023

Gillibrand’s Legislation Formed the Centerpiece of BSCA’s Anti-Gun Trafficking Provision;

Analysis Shows More Than 1,300 Illegal Guns Seized And More Than 200 Defendants Charged

Report Also Analyzes Distribution Of Mental and Behavioral Health Funding

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a video press conference to unveil her original report analyzing initial successes from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA)’s anti-gun trafficking section and mental health funding distribution. Gillibrand’s first-of-its-kind report found that more than 1,300 illegal guns have been seized by law enforcement and more than 200 defendants have been charged under BSCA’s new gun trafficking statute. The analysis shows that at least 190 of the seized guns were AR-15s or AR-style weapons and authorities also seized at least 151 ghost guns. The data also revealed that over $750 million has been distributed to finance mental and behavioral health services nationwide, which will also support the hiring of over 14,000 new mental health professionals in schools.  

Senator Gillibrand’s Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act formed the centerpiece of BSCA’s anti-gun trafficking provision. Gillibrand first introduced the bill in 2009 after meeting with the family of Nyasia Pryear-Yard, who tragically lost her life at 17 years old when she was shot by a perpetrator using an illegally trafficked gun. Gillibrand worked with Nyasia’s mother, Jennifer Pryear, to pass the bill into law and they attended the bill signing together last year.

“After more than a decade of sustained advocacy, the centerpiece of my anti-gun trafficking bill was included in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and this original report shows that the law is already taking guns off the streets and putting criminals behind bars,” said Senator Gillibrand. “After less than a year and half with the new anti-gun trafficking statute, more than 1,300 illegal guns have been seized and more than 200 defendants have been charged. Additionally, more than $750 million has been distributed to support mental health services, which will also support the hiring of over 14,000 new mental health professionals in schools. Making gun trafficking a federal crimes was long overdue— BSCA is proof that Democrats are working hard to keep our communities safe, and that when Congress works together, we can make a difference on gun violence.”

Key findings from Senator Gillibrand’s original report, “Firearms Trafficking & Mental Health in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act: A Review of Implementation and Successes”:

1.    As of October 31, 2023, 207 defendants across at least 20 states have been charged under BSCA’s new gun trafficking statute.

2.    Law enforcement has seized over 1,300 guns from suspected gun traffickers and their co-defendants, including over 120 in New York State. Considering the existence of sealed or otherwise inaccessible case filings that could not be analyzed in the report, the true number of recovered firearms is likely even higher.

3.    At least 190 of the guns seized by law enforcement were AR-15s or AR-style weapons – the same type of firearm used to commit some of America’s deadliest mass shootings.

4.    In the course of their gun trafficking investigations, authorities have also seized at least 151 ghost guns and at least 176 confirmed or suspected machine gun conversion devices – dangerous weapons that enable criminals to circumvent firearm regulations.

5.    Through the end of FY2023, the federal government awarded over $750 million in BSCA funding for mental and behavioral health services and programming, including nearly $100 million for New York State and New York-based organizations.

6.    Thanks to BSCA grant funding, an estimated 14,000 new mental health professionals will be hired in schools across the country, including 395 in New York State.

For the full report, please click here.