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Penalties and prosecution light as illegal gun market thrives in Minnesota
Over the last decade, federal prosecutors pursued only eight domestic gun-trafficking cases in Minnesota, according to court records examined by the Star Tribune. Federal law enforcement officials say their limited presence in the state and significant constraints in federal law present serious obstacles to cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, whom President Obama has nominated to lead the ATF, said the agency has gone “a long time without the resources it needs to really be healthier.” The ATF’s Minnesota office has among the fewest inspectors in the nation to watch over the state’s 2,600 licensed gun dealers — about one inspector for every 330 dealers —even though its records show that illegal trafficking among licensed dealers is a top source of weapons found in crimes.