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Secret Service report finds large portion of mass shootings done with illegal gun

Secret Service report finds large portion of mass shootings done with illegal gun
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A substantial portion of people who committed mass shootings last year used guns they possessed illegally, according to a report released Thursday by the Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center. 

The report analyzed 34 mass attacks that took place in the U.S. last year. Of those, 24 were conducted via firearms, of which at least 10, or 42 percent, involved illegally owned guns, such as those possessed by minors or people with felony convictions or adverse mental health judgments.

Of the total 34, two-thirds of those who committed the attacks exhibited behavior that concerned others, and nearly half had a history of drug abuse, the analysis said.

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About half of the attackers also had a history of violence, and 13 of them had committed acts of domestic violence. However, only seven of those had faced charges for those acts. 

“Most of the attackers had exhibited behavior that elicited concern in family members, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and others, and in many cases, those individuals feared for the safety of themselves or others,” the report read.

The report pointed to the pattern of domestic abusers committing mass attacks, urging officials to identify warning signs and implement mitigation efforts. 

“Community professionals, with the proper training to recognize the warning signs, can intervene and redirect troubling behavior before violence occurs,” it said. 

The analysis found that attackers were often motivated by grievances, mental health symptoms and ideological or racial bias. In about a third of the incidents, attackers were retaliating for “perceived wrongs.”