Cities wield important power over the gun industry. In the aggregate, municipal governments are some of the largest purchasers of guns nationally due to their need to outfit local law enforcement departments. Firearms manufacturers and distributors understand the importance of this critical market segment and give it substantial attention. This gives cities considerable buyer power in their dealings with the gun industry.
Cities have a unique opportunity to curb the violence caused by gun trafficking. A city purchasing firearms for its law enforcement department can use its “buyer power” to create incentives for firearm manufacturers to employ “countermarketing” strategies to ensure that their retailers are using all available procedures to prevent illegal firearms diversion. Manufacturers would be obliged to listen and change their policies to compete for this valuable market share. In this way, gun manufacturers and cities could begin to work together in a collaborative, positive fashion.