Where do illegal guns come from?


The Janitor
November 5, 2008, 01:46 AM
By illegal guns, I mean guns owned by felony offenders and the likes not permitted to buy guns. Your local Meth Dealer, or Gangbanger Junior High kids for example. How is the underground market for guns sustained?

I've read news stories about people breaking into pawnshops and even police evidence rooms and making off with guns. Then there is always the occasional redneck who had their truck broken into and their window rack cleared off. So then the thieves take the guns wherever, where they are eventually introduced to the access of unsavory characters. Likely traded for an 8-ball at a crackhous or gang hangout. Do smaller crimes like these make up the better part of the illegal gun supply?

Could there be an even be a more conspiratorial reason, such as rich anti-gun supporters buying up guns in bulk from gun shows, and then re-distributing them down the line?

I'd be interested to read an informed explanation...Or possibly a pie-chart.

If you enjoyed reading about "Where do illegal guns come from?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
November 5, 2008, 01:52 AM
I would say that a large percentage of them come from burglaries and the like. I also know that private sales seem to be a big way to get your hands on them with no checks. People use to use Craigs list to buy and sell until they finally put a stop to it, but most local papers in my area still have guns in the want ads too.

November 5, 2008, 02:02 AM
In the UK, there are very few legal gun owners, and those only really have bolt action rifles and side by sides. Since there's thousands of pistols and even machine guns on the streets, that indicates an international illegal gun trade. Whether that's true of this side of the pond, I don't know.

November 5, 2008, 02:10 AM
Primarily stolen. Some from homes, some from vehicles, some taken from others.

As long as citizens are armed, a ready supply will be available to criminals. If regular citizens were not armed, criminals still would be, just fewer of them with guns. Some would still have guns, some would have superior physical strength, and many would use various blunt weapons, edged weapons etc

Females and the less physicaly capable would be much worse off. Some men possibly better off. And the few that still ran into those smaller number of criminals with guns simply screwed.

Criminal firearms tend to stay in circulation awhile.
A couple decades ago most criminals were using things like .25 autos and lorcins, jennings etc Some had cheap snubbies.
They were the cheapest thing they could purchase, often without taking from thier drug habit.
So they often had cheap firearms.

Now we have more violent crime, and yet the criminals are much better armed. They are better armed because they no longer purchase most of thier own firearms and must opt for the cheapest thing available. Now they steal whatever the next guy has, often much better quality reliable firearms. After all gun control saved us from those cheap firearms.

Criminals will always have whatever is available in society. Both from the black market and theft. If a law abiding citizen has thier firearms locked in a safe, and a criminal armed with a blunt weapon, a gun or something else invades thier home, kidnaps them outside etc and then forces them to open thier safe, they have all those firearms for themselves.
They can use threats or harm thier family members for leverage if needed. So even if everyone has thier firearms in some safe, they will be available for criminals.
If people are carrying them in vehicles, or have them readily available for use in the home, they can be stolen.

Even a CCW on someone does them little good if multiple thugs are in arm's reach and cover them with weapons before patting them down and searching them, taking both thier valuables and any gun they run across.

So firearms are great for protection, but as long as they are available for protection from criminals, a percentage will also become available to criminals.

Arguably we were much better off when the local thug could purchase a pot metal 25 that jammed every few shots from the local gun store.
Now they can only get quality self defense firearms on the black market stolen from other citizens.

That is just the thugs. Organized crime can get them either internationaly, or from police, military etc In some parts of the world they are quite good at making thier own firearms.
In fact when firearms are outlawed, the law no longer limits the type of firearms that end up in the black market. So full autos etc are more prevalent.

Deus Machina
November 5, 2008, 02:10 AM
I'm willing to bet most are from burglaries, and a smaller but significant chunk are straw sales.

If that's slow or ending, they would be smuggled in from Cuba or Mexico, and I have no doubt there are already sweatshops there making Jennings-type stuff.

November 5, 2008, 02:17 AM
Lets also not forget some are legally purchased, Crimals are made, not born.(generally)

Kind of Blued
November 5, 2008, 02:22 AM
So what you mean is "Where do illegally-owned guns come from?"

A 15-year-old Crip who has killed five people with a Lorcin pistol can sell that pistol to his neighbor who he has never met before. The neighbor does not own an "illegal gun".

Now somehow you get a hold of that pistol; not by foul play. That same gun, with that same serial number, having been used in five more murders, when sold from you to me, in an alleyway behind a strip club, is a "legal gun".

The short answer to your question is "gangs".

It's not really that simple, but gangs exist in order to collectively benefit financially from illegal behavior. They can DEFINITELY make gobs of money trafficking weapons, and they do every day.

These guns come from many sources. Stolen from homes, stolen from gun stores, bought legally by non-felon gang members, bought legally by the girlfriends of gang members, etc.

The underground gun market is sustained by supply and demand. A 21-year-old Sur 13 who has not been caught for any of his felonious actions is likely not going to go into a gun store in good faith and fill out paperwork. Why spend a half hour at a gun shop when he can avoid the interrogation and complexities and just buy a gun from another gang member?

Paying $100 more is no big deal. Paying $100+ for a box of FMJs on the street is not uncommon for a gang member, felon or not.

Golden Hound
November 5, 2008, 02:51 AM
Sort of related, where did all those gangsters in the 20s and 30s get their Tommy guns? Was there a huge surplus of them from the military that was somehow stolen? Or were they ordered right from the company?

November 5, 2008, 02:52 AM
According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -

a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%

They also estimate that 15% of new guns are used in a crime in less than two years after the initial sale.
In other words, people are legally buying guns, then they land in the hands of the criminal through family, private sale, or theft.

Ala Dan
November 5, 2008, 02:58 AM
If you listen to the BATFE (and believe in what they say)-

illegal guns from all sources filter out of southern states along the
east coast; working their way on to the streets of New York city.
From here, they are dispersed amongest some of this nations
worst criminals; and end up being swapped for dope, cash or
both. I say that is BS; but the federal boys have to have some
one to blame it on~! :uhoh: ;)

November 5, 2008, 03:05 AM
They also rob gun stores:

Let us also not forget how simple firearms are.
Any person could build a full auto SMG with basic hand tools in a single day. They are simplier than a semi auto.
With machine tools within an hour.
Take a look at how simple something like the "grease gun" or the Sten are. Basicly a couple pipes with some springs, bolt and a trigger and feeding mechanism.

A shotgun in about 10 min. All it has to do is be a tube strong enough to contain the blast, the cartridge, and with a simple mechanism that strikes the cartridge.
I have known many scuba divers that would build thier own bang guns for shark defense with little more than a pipe, spring and nail, and then build in a safety that just allowed a pin to be inserted in order to keep it from being able to discharge. (Technicaly they still need to follow legal federal law, so don't just build one of any size.)
I have seen those homemade types discharged a number of times and they work fine.

Even without any available ammunition it is easy to make a working firearm really quickly.
People can make powder, and various other suitable propellants easily. A metal tube sealed at one end, a little powder and viola a gun. You can have a mechanical trigger, electric ignition with a few batteries etc and make a single shot firearm as powerful as any 12 guage in 20 min.
An individual could then use that lethal firearm to aquire other firearms from other citizens, police, etc

I was quick to respond because often when people ask the question, they are looking for ways to reduce the flow to criminals. Inevitably that often leads to proposed restrictions on law abiding citizens, reduced rights, and criminals still in possession of and aquiring firearms.
Illegal firearms are here to stay.

November 5, 2008, 04:42 AM
Beside stolen guns, there are people who just legally buy them and then turn around and sell them to criminals for profit.

Golden Hound
November 5, 2008, 04:53 AM
I have a book called "Bully" (which was later turned into a movie) about some teenagers in Florida who killed one of their friends who tormented them, and about problems with youth culture and crime in general. You may have seen the movie; it starred Brad Renfro, who now unfortunately is dead. Anyway, in the BOOK, it says, "Fort Lauderdale police say that the average price of a handgun among middle school students in Broward County is about the same as a cocaine rock - about ten dollars." This cannot possibly be true, can it? The incident happened in 1996, I think. Is the book lying? Poorly researched? Did someone hijack a giant truck full of guns and sell them all for ten dollars apiece?

JT in VA
November 5, 2008, 05:04 AM
Burglaries, straw purchases, as trade for narcotics, etc.

November 5, 2008, 05:21 AM
Its amazing what these guys are carrying sometimes. Ive never seen a thug with anything spectacular. If its better than a High Point or a Lorcin its rare. Most usually wont have a full mag and many times will have different brands of ammo in the same mag. I rarely see hollowpoints. I once picked up an old .22 revolver from a scene that had a different brand of round in each cylinder. Come on guys, you cant even get 6 of the same .22 lr's??

I have personaly, in my one and a half years of being a cop, have seen at least a couple dozen firearms taken in burglaries. I have seen more than once the pistols stolen but the rifles and shotguns left.

Plus earlier this year, one of the gunstores here got burglarized and lost I believe upwards of 50 firearms.

Golden Hound
November 5, 2008, 05:34 AM
Well, criminals obviously don't read THR or else they would have better gear! Hollywood is largely responsible for the incredible public misconception that there are groups of super-criminals out there with incredible planning, tactics, and skill. Like that armored car robbery in HEAT where they have all these little tricks to beat the cops...and they're armed with M16s and FALs...criminals in real life tend to be hopelessly incompetent...particularly the ones that get caught, of course.

November 5, 2008, 07:23 AM
Forgive me if this has already been said, I didn't read all the posts. But most illegal guns come from us legal gun owners. Meaning that most of them were stolen from their rightful owner. Then there are probably some cases that a legal gun owner got mixed up in the wrong ways of life (i.e. drugs) and sold or traded the gun to someone that couldn't legally own it. Then there are probably some cases that a legal gun owner made a legal FTF sell to someone that they didn't read quite right. As much as we try not to, I'm sure that there are at least a few that get sold by us to the less desirable kind. It's just inevitable that it will happen a few times out of the thousands of private sales each year. This is why I sell almost no guns. In my gun collecting life I've sold one gun, to a close friend, for his son to use hunting. I know that I haven't put any guns into the wrong hands.

Where do illegal guns come from? They come from legal guns that are (in some way, either legal or illegal trade) acquired by someone that legally can not own guns. Upon their acquisition of the (legal) gun, it becomes an illegal gun, and destined to burn in the hell of a chop saw or cutting torch. Such a sad end to a perfectly legal gun.


Edited to add: Another place that illegal guns come from is the stroke of a politicians pen. Let's just pray that doesn't happen here.

Carl N. Brown
November 5, 2008, 07:39 AM
Bonnie and Clyde had BARs stolen from National Guard Armories.
John Dillinger had tommy guns stolen from Illinois police stations.
Ma Barker's gang had machineguns stolen from the US Army.

Al Capone had a standing offer of $3,000.00 each for tommy guns (at a time when the MSRP was $175.00 to $200.00) to greed was a major source.

Knoxville TN police told the newspaper that 80% of criminal guns came from illegal sources.

James Wright and Peter Rossi in the NIJ Felon Survey found that most criminals got guns from burglary or theft, second hand from friends, acquaintances or family members, and any legal purchases were straw purchases.

Then there was the infamous interdiction of 2,000 full auto AK47s smuggled into Oakland CA on board the Chinese freighter Empress Phoenix, and lesser incidents of international smuggling.

ATF claims that while gun shows account for 10% of the gun market, gun show purchases account for less than 2% of crime guns.

Antigun author Robert Sherrill pointed out that the crime gun represents 1 of every 400 guns.

Kinda makes onerous restrictions on legal purchase and legal ownership look like a waste of police resources to me.

November 5, 2008, 07:42 AM
Mostly they get guns by stealing them. To a lesser extent they get them from private sales and so called black markets.

November 5, 2008, 07:45 AM
About a week or so back, some marked cruisers were broken into while parked at the Cleveland Police station (I don't remember which precinct, off the top of my head).

Stolen items included body armor, uniforms, shotguns, and portable 2-way radios (walky-talky). Shotguns appeared to be the standard 'riot gun' Rem-870 type.

Miscreants apprently jumped the fence of the parking lot...no vid-cams, very poorly lighted. Did this 2 or 3 nights in a row. CPD either doesn't know, or won't admit how much police gear was stolen.

November 5, 2008, 09:42 AM
"Sort of related, where did all those gangsters in the 20s and 30s get their Tommy guns? Was there a huge surplus of them from the military that was somehow stolen? Or were they ordered right from the company?"

Before the National Firearms Act of 1934 they probably bought them in the local hardware or general store.

The boxes that Colt revolvers came in had a promotional "Finest pistols, revolvers, and machine guns available" or some such wording printed on the inside of the box. See it under the trigger guard of this nice PP?

November 5, 2008, 09:59 AM
Could there be an even be a more conspiratorial reason, such as rich anti-gun supporters buying up guns in bulk from gun shows, and then re-distributing them down the line?

Guns are not illegal. The possession of them by certain individuals is illegal. Mostly from straw purchases and robberies. Might want to loosen the tin foil a bit...

November 5, 2008, 10:00 AM
any street corner in the hood

November 5, 2008, 10:29 AM
never mind ... stats I was trying to remember are in an earlier post.

November 5, 2008, 11:20 AM
About a week or so back, some marked cruisers were broken into while parked at the Cleveland Police station (I don't remember which precinct, off the top of my head).

Stolen items included body armor, uniforms, shotguns, and portable 2-way radios (walky-talky). Shotguns appeared to be the standard 'riot gun' Rem-870 type.
About a year ago there was two seperate instances localy of full auto mp5 submachineguns stolen from LEO vehicles that made the news here in CA.

Often that type of thing is kept quiet as it is an embarrassment to the department.

A really significant incident happened in DC in 2007, when handguns were still illegal, it had the highest murder rate in the nation (which it probably still does), and law abiding citizens usualy didn't own firearms:
"The stolen items included two MP5 machine guns, an MP5 training weapon, two M4 rifles, a .45-caliber semiautomatic weapon, a Remington 870 shotgun, a police radio, bullet-resistant vests, body armor, and a camera and photo lens, according to the police report and the FBI."
Imagine that, 4 select fire weapons, and a couple others stolen from an FBI vehicle in a city the mere peasants couldn't even have a pistol.
It is my understanding the weapons were never recovered in any of the instances.

The same exact thing was reported in DC a couple years before that:
The stolen weapon is an MP5, which is a 9 millimeter submachine gun

If we stick to just DC you can find instances of it happening multiple times.
If you expand to most large cities you can also find instances of it happening on a regular basis.
Those are just the ones that make it to the news.
Many times they do not even make it to the mainstream media, because it is embarassing and they try to resolve it without the bad publicity if possible.
Its amazing what these guys are carrying sometimes. Ive never seen a thug with anything spectacular. Then you must live where they can still purchase thier own.
Criminals in much of the nation have whatever the people they steal from had. Not many people are stocking up on lorcins. .22 revolvers, and similar things anymore.
In theft the price tag does not matter. They only get crap when they (or the poor people in a bad area they steal from) are using thier own money to purchase the firearms.
In my state private party transfers are banned, we have an approved pistol list, and "junk guns" and other budget ones are not on the approved list. So most criminals have quality semi autos, which are usualy what is recovered from the criminals.
They ceased to primarily have junk guns within 5 years or so of them being banned in the state.

Here is a good article listing just some of the gear stolen from LEO that made headlines dated Thursday, 13 March 2008 Unfortunately they do not cite the types of weapons stolen, which are often select fire and not even legal for the average joe :

Some break-ins - even of FBI vehicles - were organized and well-planned. That concerns authorities

Sometime on March 5, an assault rifle, ammunition, and two Dallas police raid jackets were stolen from a Dallas police officer’s parked pickup.

According to The Dallas Morning News of March 6th, “the [officer's] pickup was parked near Dillard’s” at North Park Center “while the officer observed training for police recruits, police said.”

“Someone removed the pickup’s door handle and pried open the door to get inside," the News reported.

Dallas police were quoted saying the officer followed procedure by locking his pickup and concealing his weapon from sight.

On Feb. 12, a semiautomatic handgun was stolen from a purse inside another Dallas police officer’s car while in a church parking lot.

These seemingly random break-ins of police officers' vehicles are part of a worrisome new nationwide trend, according to law enforcement authorities. A trend that was highlighted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its threat assessment for Super Bowl XLII, which was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium Feb. 3.

As HSToday.us first reported, the threat assessment expressed serious concern about the growing thefts of official law enforcement credentials, uniforms, weapons, and other equipment that could be used to “infiltrate” “high-profile” events to carry out attacks.

Prepared Jan. 14 by DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis in conjunction with the FBI and Intelligence Community, the assessment described thefts of official equipment that “raised concern.”

"The list of stolen equipment includes access cards; ammunition; body armor; firearms; Kevlar helmets; marked and unmarked emergency services, fire, and police vehicles; official badges and credentials; radios; raid shirts and jackets; rifles; uniforms; and weapons," the assessment stated, adding, "numerous thefts of government and law enforcement property that could be used to facilitate unauthorized entry have been reported."

In Arizona alone "since October 2004 the Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center has received more than 300 reports of thefts from fire, first responder, military, and police personnel," the assessment stated.

Disturbingly, the risk assessment noted that “such thefts … are common in large metropolitan areas,” and that they “increase the risk that unauthorized individuals may use insignia, official equipment, and uniforms to gain access to sensitive areas,” especially during high profile events.

Indeed. There have been numerous thefts of guns, credentials, and other law enforcement equipment from both marked and unmarked federal, state, and local police vehicles in recent years.

Experts warn that the theft of guns, especially assault rifles, from police cars has become a serious national law enforcement problem. One that poses a unique homeland security threat, especially “if any of these break-ins are in any way related to organized terror groups, be they foreign-directed or homegrown,” said a federal counterterror authority HSToday.us frequently talks to on background.

He pointed out that in a significant number of break-ins of unmarked law enforcement vehicles across the country, it is evident that the thieves knew the vehicle they targeted belonged to a law enforcement officer.

“And that indicates surveillance of officers getting into unmarked police vehicles,” the counterterror expert said. And “that’s truly alarming,” he added.

This certainly seems to have been the tactic in the theft of the handgun and equipment from the Dallas police officer’s pickup.

In 2007, in Palm Beach County, Florida, at least six police cars were broken into and handguns and shotguns stolen, police officials there said.
There were six to eight incidents in which sheriff’s deputies' cruisers were broken into and their guns stolen.

According to authorities, in one case thieves staked out detectives doing surveillance work, drove behind them until they left the car, and then broke into it and took the detectives' weapons.

"One or two incidents were enough for us to start looking at this," Maj. James Stormes of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was quoted saying.

In Jan. 2007, guns, ammunition, and "other FBI technical equipment" were stolen from the car of a member of an FBI special response team in Washington, DC.

That same month, the FBI reported that one of their vehicles was stolen in Northwest Washington. Inside the car was a government-issued bulletproof vest and an MP5, a 9mm submachine gun made by Heckler & Koch especially for American law enforcement.

Another MP5 was stolen this past February from a vehicle driven by a member of the Jefferson County, Colorado SWAT team. Also stolen was ammunition, bulletproof vests, and other tactical gear used by the SWAT team.

Also in February, a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, three magazines full of ammunition, and an investigator's wallet containing his personal identification and $240 was stolen from an unmarked Las Cruces, New Mexico sheriff’s vehicle parked at the investigator’s home.

Also taken was a bulletproof raid vest emblazoned with "Police" on the front.

A similar raid vest was stolen Jan. 18 from another Las Cruces officer's vehicle parked outside his home. That vest had "Sheriff" sown onto the back.

In Jan., a Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic handgun and badge belonging to a Lone Tree, Colorado police officer was stolen from the officer’s car.

A criminal in possession of a police badge poses a unique threat, Lone Tree police Sgt. Ron Pinson was quoted saying, adding, "somebody could always try to impersonate a police officer with it."

Elsewhere in Colorado, a semiautomatic rifle, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, and a SWAT uniform were stolen from an Adams County deputy's personal vehicle.

In December, Seattle, Washington Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol was stolen from his Ford Crown Victoria while the car was parked downtown.

The gun was not in plain view and there was no sign that anything else had been taken.

Last May, a .223-caliber automatic assault rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun were stolen from the trunk of an unmarked police car in Frederick, Maryland.

These are just a few examples of the scores of reported break-ins of law enforcement vehicles in which weapons, credentials, and other highly specialized police equipment have been stolen.

It’s no wonder then that one of the three “key findings” of DHS’s nine-page threat assessment on Super Bowl XLII was that “the threats of greatest concern” during events like this “include individuals impersonating law enforcement and other security personnel and insiders to facilitate attacks.”

“High-profile events such as the Super Bowl often have designated secure areas – for celebrities, players, VIPs, and others – that unauthorized personnel could attempt to breach,” the assessment said, adding that even “counterfeit law enforcement badges and credentials purchased online” and “hard to differentiate from legitimate credentials and often of high quality" can be used to "facilitate unauthorized entry.”

“It is important to remember that terrorists are trained to blend in and assimilate to their surroundings,” the Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center said in a Jan. 8 “terrorism awareness” bulletin.

Consequently, "illicit use of such credentials to gain access to the grounds of the Super Bowl or to associated events may be difficult to detect,” the assessment said, noting that during a NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama in May 2005, “an individual using a hat and jacket bearing the FBI insignia impersonated an FBI special agent to gain access to areas of the track. He was not questioned by security personnel or staff and was able to move freely within restricted areas.”

So far, there's no intelligence to indicate that organized terrorist groups, domestic or otherwise, have been directly tied to any law enforcement vehicle break-ins, but there is evidence that organized urban gangs, drug traffickers, and other assorted organized criminal enterprises are intimately involved.

Given that some of these groups, like the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, are suspected to have links to terrorist groups known to have operational infrastructures in Central and South America, federal and local law enforcement do have reason to be concerned.

MS-13 not only is heavily involved in weapons smuggling, illegal gun sales, and burglary to steal firearms, but many of its members are proficient in using assault and powerful semiautomatic weaponry. The FBI has been investigating the far-flung criminal organization to determine whether any members are receiving formal training in weapons and military tactics before they enter the US - often as illegals.

Clearly for any organized criminal the ability to aquire anything the police travel around with is not too difficult.

November 5, 2008, 12:26 PM
They can come from police chief's who don't follow proper firearm security practices:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/206401_tl104.html (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/206401_tl104.html)

I wonder where that gun is right now.

November 5, 2008, 12:28 PM
Imagine that, 4 select fire weapons, and a couple others stolen from an FBI vehicle in a city the mere peasants couldn't even have a pistol.
Probably a lot easier to just leave 'em in the car when you didn't pay a dime for them and will get another if the first one they handed you is stolen. Ain't like they had to pay $18k each for a MP5, $14k for a M4 anyway.

November 5, 2008, 12:38 PM
From my experience with the LEO's and ATF, if you have guns stolen, they are gone as these governmental agencies don't work all that hard at recovering them. My son had an expensive Anschutz target rifle and Unertl scope stolen and he was told by the police that they knew where they went but ATF would not attempt to recover. The best they would do is list on their stolen gun list. The gun went across several state lines and the ATF told me that even after the perp that initially took the rifle was captured they would not charge with interstate transfer as it was to time consuming and they had enough on him anyway. My thinking was interstate transfer would be a federal crime and would mean federal prison and that time would raise the discomfort level for the perp. No deal said ATF. One wonders who's side they are on.

November 5, 2008, 12:41 PM
Probably a lot easier to just leave 'em in the car when you didn't pay a dime for them and will get another if the first one they handed you is stolen. Ain't like they had to pay $18k each for a MP5, $14k for a M4 anyway.
Well to give them a little credit, moving 7 weapons, ammo etc back and forth to the vehicle two times a day, along with extra armor, and other gear in addition to thier duty weapons would probably get old. Especialy if they need to jump in their vehicle and get somewhere fast and will only have available to them what was already present.

Yes a private citizen that paid small fortunes for weapons sold to government agencies far cheaper takes much better care of them. They also do not use them for "truck guns". A close to $20k weapon is a range toy for a civilian, not a self defense item or a beater rifle they store in a vehicle.
The LEO agencies get those same weapons for around $1,000-$1,500 per weapon.
That of course is just tax payer money.
The military purchases M4s and M16s cheaper than most civilians can get an AR-15.
Some of those eventualy go to LEO.

Phil DeGraves
November 5, 2008, 01:26 PM
Don't forget all the guns the BATF lost.

November 5, 2008, 01:52 PM
I did a research paper on this very topic last year, for a "juvenile justice" class, with an emphasis on how youth street gangs obtain guns.

Most are stolen... and unfortunately the thief is usually known to the victim, as in family member or friend. A very good reason to be very careful about the friends you keep.

Koos Custodiet
November 5, 2008, 02:03 PM
IMO, illegal guns come from the imaginations of the antis.

They manufactured this myth of "illegal guns" to make it sound as if some guns can be bad.

Which of course means that all guns can be bad.

It's the guns, you see, not the criminals (or the good guys) using the guns.

And the replies to the original question shows me that a large percentage of the supposedly educated people on THR buy this concept, that a gun can somehow be illegal, and as such bad, and in need of being destroyed.

Carlos Cabeza
November 5, 2008, 02:32 PM
Agreed. Guns are not illegal, it is the person who is prohibited from owning one that is breaking the law.

It should be common knowledge.

Have a gun in your posession while in the commission of a felony you should get a MINIMUM of five years. I think it should be more like ten to fifteen.

November 5, 2008, 03:18 PM
The LEO agencies get those same weapons for around $1,000-$1,500 per weapon.
That of course is just tax payer money.
The military purchases M4s and M16s cheaper than most civilians can get an AR-15.
Some of those eventualy go to LEO.
Heck there was a police dept. armorer on ARFcom that said his dept got about a dozen surplus Nat'l Guard M16A1s for $20 each or something ridiculous.
Guns are not illegal, it is the person who is prohibited from owning one that is breaking the law.
Although guns that are stolen, missing serial numbers, etc. are illegal/contraband (to posess anyway).
However I'm in favor of amnesty for illegal guns. Especially the young full auto ones made after 1986. They are hard workers, just doing the jobs that no other guns want to do, and I'd be happy to open my home to them and keep them well fed, clean, and proud :)

Carlos Cabeza
November 5, 2008, 03:31 PM

In OK. it is legal to do a FTF purchase as long as buyer/ Seller have a reasonable idea that neither is prohibited from owning the weapon.

I do understand about the altered serial numbers and would not purchase on that reason but lets say that I bought a handgun that turned out to be stolen. Other than losing the money I have invested, would there be any cause for me to assume I have broken any laws ?

If you enjoyed reading about "Where do illegal guns come from?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!