Yesterday, President Obama vented to the BBC that the "biggest frustration" of his presidency has been the lack of progress to reform U.S. gun laws, "even in the face of repeated mass killings."
Hours after he made those comments, yet another mass shooting happened, this time in a Lafayette, La. movie theater. At least three people were killed, and nine injured in that attack.
“If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands,” Obama said in the interview.
Separately, a commerce report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shows that gun manufacturing more than doubled during the first five years of Obama's presidency, which began in early 2009.
Firearms produced for military purposes are not tracked in the report. All the firearms represented in the data are produced for either civilian or law enforcement purposes.
During 2013, the U.S. produced more firearms than any other year the ATF has recorded—amounting to 10.9 million guns manufactured.
In that year, there were 4.4 million pistols produced, along with 3.9 million rifles, 1.2 million shotguns, about 725,000 revolvers, and 495,000 miscellaneous firearms.
The biggest jumps in gun manufacturing have been in the production of handguns and miscellaneous firearms, which includes individual gun parts. Those parts should have serial numbers in theory, but at times they have been used to produce "ghost guns," which are virtually untraceable by regulators.
Increasingly, these guns, some of which are homemade, are turning up in crime scenes. Last year, a Fusion/ Univision joint investigation found several cases where these illegally manufactured guns have turned up in crime scenes and murders in California and Texas. Some were even being shipped across the border to supply drug cartels in Mexico:
This week's ATF gun report also found that U.S. firearm exports more than doubled between 2009 and 2013. According to a Washington Post report from 2012, the bulk of international firearm purchases go to law enforcement agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Firearm exports had previously reached a peak in 2006.
In 2013, the highest year for exports during Obama's presidency, a total of 393,121 were exported.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.