Licensed gun makers manufactured 11.3 million firearms in 2020, an 18 percent increase over the number they made in 2000, the Wall Street Journal reports. A new federal report details significant growth in U.S. gun manufacturing. The report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the government's first comprehensive assessment of gun trafficking in more than two decades. It is part of the Biden administration's effort to crack down on illegal guns and rising violence. Gun homicides in 2020 surged to their highest levels in 26 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report said that an increasing number of ghost guns - weapons manufactured with parts bought online or made on 3D printers - are being used in crimes. Police say such weapons appeal to criminals because they can't be traced in criminal investigations and can be purchased without a background check. The majority of guns used in crimes originate with manufacturers and are often obtained by criminals through theft. Aside from the increase on gun manufacturing, gun thefts from cars and homes have surged in the past two years. The White House has called on Congress to pass new gun-control measures and has proposed new restrictions on ghost guns, which are set to go into effect later this year. Republicans and gun-rights advocates largely oppose such efforts.