Study Shows Criminals Buy Guns on the Street to Avoid Gun Shows and Internet Sales

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By Dave Dolbee @ Shooter’s Log on Cheaper Than Dirt published on

Let me start by directing you to the disclaimer at the bottom. Although I most often refrain, some of this (in my personal opinion) may be worthy of a bit of “my personal opinion.” That way, you can feel free to agree or excoriate (criticize severely) me in the comments section as you see fit.

Most likely, this is only news to politicians and the gun control advocates. In truth, they already know and simply choose to ignore the fact that criminals are not running out in droves to “gun shows and the internet” as several prominent politicians, and gun control advocates claim.

“We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.” ~President Obama, remarks at memorial service in Dallas, July 12, 2016 for slain Dallas police officers killed by sniper fire on July 7

“There are neighborhoods where it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.” ~President Obama, March 2015

“The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.” ~Hillary Clinton, Private Event in New York, New York, September 2015

“I stand in support of this common-sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun. I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry.” ~Hillary Clinton, First Lady of the United States 2000

The effectiveness of gun control? Let’s ask the criminals!

new study out of Chicago (Chi-raq, murder capital) confirms, yet again, that most criminals who use guns do not buy them legally. Well, color me shocked! A bad actor with criminal intent that intentionally refuses to follow the law when buying a gun. If only there was a law against that…

It is as easy for me to claim the anti-gunners have an agenda as it is for them to claim I am biased. However, it is hard to refute the inmates of the Cook County jail in Chicago IL. Recently, the University of Chicago Crime Lab conducted a survey of the inmates. The purpose was to gain insight as to where the inmates obtained their guns. This survey participant only included inmates facing gun charges or those with criminal backgrounds involving gun crimes.

I was not surprised, and likely, you will not be at the results either. The survey showed the inmates overwhelmingly preferred to get their guns through connections on the streets as opposed to going through legal channels such as gun shows or the internet. Harold Pollack, the crime lab co director said:

“Some of the pathways [regarding guns] people are concerned about don’t seem so dominant. Very few inmates indicated using gun shows or the internet. Rather, they get the guns in undetectable ways on the street. The inmates know they run the risk of being caught by police but “were less concerned about getting caught by the cops than being put in the position of not having a gun to defend themselves and then getting shot.”

05 itshouldnotbecalled gun control

Hmmm… People who are less concerned with the ramifications of going through the legal system than being shot… Does, “I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by six.” ring any bells here? I would not defend the lawless, but at some point, many law abiding would be forced to come to that very same conclusion if the gun control crowd had its way.

Survey Takeaways

The majority of inmates in the study claimed they prefer handguns for both illegal activities and personal protection.

  • Most of the study participants said they preferred to get rid of their gun after about one year. The purpose was to minimize the chance of being associated with the gun and later being convicted of a crime that was committed using the illegally purchased weapon.
  • The guns are often circulated between criminals to be used in multiple crimes by different people. This is especially true within the gang culture.
  • What should be of interest to the anti-gun politicians were the inmates’ claims that they use personal connections, gang affiliations, and allegedly corrupt law enforcement to purchase guns. (Personally, I am a strong supporter of law enforcement and believe they are the scapegoat for far too many things. However, if this claim came up very often by criminals incarcerated for crimes involving a firearm, it should be taken seriously and investigated to identify and arrest the bad apples or exonerate the falsely accused.)

Study Conclusion

The primary conclusion of the study showed the majority of criminals seldom, if ever, purchase firearms through gun stores, gun shows, or via the internet. Most would not pass the background check. Even more likely, the rest would not pass the smell test. I’ve spent more than a few hours on both sides of the gun counter. I have gone to my boss and stopped the sale of more than one firearm. I’ve seen other shops refuse the sale or transfer to others.

When something does not feel right due to the customer’s actions, questions or statements, etc., the alarm bell often rings and appropriate action is taken. The effectiveness of actions such as these from firearm retailers and the current background check system (I hear the cries of those who believe this to be an unconstitutional act), demonstrates the laws we have on the books are not the problem and criminals are unaffected by current or future legislation that would seek to further infringe on the Second Amendment. More regulation at this point would only harm the law-abiding citizens seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights, something the criminal class seems to be able to do quite easily.

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