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Monday, August 6, 2012 - 1:30am

Ga. Big Source Of Crime-Linked Guns

A new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives analysis tracing the origins of guns used in crimes finds many come from Georgia.

Georgia guns have turned up as far away as Washington state and Maine. And the state is among the top originators of guns involved in crimes in 39 states.

For some states, it’s just a few firearms traced to Georgia. But in nearby states like Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee, it amounts to hundreds of weapons. Georgia is also among the top sales state for crime guns in New York and California.

Experts and law enforcement point to stricter laws in the northeast that force criminals to find other places to get firearms.

“States in the northeast have much stronger gun laws,” said Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s very hard for criminals to get guns there, so they look to Georgia as the source of crime guns.”

Law enforcement agencies also point to Interstate 95, which offers a direct route for guns into the northeast.

More than 400 firearms involved in Florida crimes came from Georgia. The number was more than 300 in New York, and around 200 in Tennessee and North Carolina.