For Release: Monday, July 17, 2000
Study Explores How Gun Industry Increases Sales Through Increased Lethality
Today, Monday, July 17, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) released Pocket Rockets: The Gun Industry’s Sale of Increased Killing Power. The 25-page study details how the gun industry has increased the lethality of its products by producing larger caliber, higher capacity and more readily concealable handguns in order to boost sales in a stagnant market.
Tom Diaz, VPC senior policy analyst and author of Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America was joined by U.S. Representative Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) to release the study at a news conference today in Chicago.
“Pocket rockets are a dangerous new ingredient in America’s firearms brew,” VPC Senior Policy Analyst Tom Diaz said today. “These deadly weapons are the latest example of the gun industry’s insatiable quest for a higher profit margin, regardless of the number of lives lost in their greedy and deadly venture.”
Reports by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and others show that handguns move relatively quickly from the legal trade in firearms into the hands of criminals and youths. Predictably, crime gun tracing data show that as manufacturers have heavily marketed pocket rockets, these tiny but deadly pistols are moving into criminal use at a dramatically increasing rate.
These handguns inflict incalculable human anguish and impose a substantial burden on the nation’s health care system. On average, the medical cost of each gunshot injury is about $17,000 and taxpayers end up paying for 49 percent of the lifetime costs of those injuries.