Last week, The Trace published an article that ranked the top 20 crime guns seized by the Chicago Police Department in 2014. The CPD regularly releases the number of illegal guns it recovers each year — in 2014, for instance, police seized 6,429 — but little is known about what kind of firearms, specifically, are favored by the city’s criminals. In an effort to learn more, The Trace filed a public information request with the CPD’s Research and Development division, asking for the make, model, and caliber of all the crime guns collected in Chicago in 2014.
The CPD provided the following spreadsheet, which itemizes each of the guns seized. The data includes the specific make, model, and caliber of each firearm, and the date it was recovered. In all, the CPD inventoried 4,505 guns in 2014 that were associated with criminal incidents. To foster further reporting on and discussion of the subject, we’re sharing the full raw data here:
Working off the CPD’s info, we narrowed the focus to groupings of guns by manufacturer and caliber. The totals combined models of the same caliber produced by the same gunmaker — for instance, in 2014, the CPD recovered more than 30 different models of Smith & Wesson 9MM handguns. So in all, 149 Smith & Wesson 9MM firearms were seized.
As part of last week’s article, we published a visual ranking of the city’s 20 most popular guns by make and caliber. Here’s the same hierarchy, presented in a simpler format:
The estimated retail prices for some of the firearms cited in the article were provided by a Chicago-area gun dealer. The experts we spoke with about the city’s underground gun market said that price plays a major role in which types of guns criminals acquire. According to Thomas Aherns, an ATF Senior Special Agent based in Chicago, gun traffickers regularly purchase firearms at gun shows and then sell them on the city’s streets at a mark-up of two to three times the market price.
[Illustration: Joel Arbaje]