How do criminals obtain firearms?


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monotonous_iterancy
January 23, 2013, 11:35 PM
I'm in a debate, and I was told that most criminals get their guns from straw purchases, and if we made certain guns unavailable, criminals would lose a major source of weaponry.

I'm not sure this is true. I think criminals likely steal most of their firearms. Are there statistics to prove either side?

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Solo
January 23, 2013, 11:37 PM
From those liberals at PBS... (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html)

Seriously, though, most guns used in crime are handguns, and you can't make those illegal due to Heller.

SaxonPig
January 23, 2013, 11:38 PM
Most often the guns are stolen. Either by the criminal or he buys a stolen gun from another criminal.

Straw purchases to supply guns to criminals are actually rather uncommon. They do happen, but it's not a major source of guns for crooks.

Read the news stories. Most of the time the criminal's gun was stolen.

monotonous_iterancy
January 23, 2013, 11:42 PM
But are there statistics to back that up? That PBS article, biased as those folks may be, quoted a law enforcement officer with statistics of his own.

Solo
January 23, 2013, 11:44 PM
And those statistics don't hurt us, aside from calling to attention the lack of regulation of firearms dealers and prosecution of straw purchases, which I think we can all agree should be addressed to the fullest extend of the law.

ScrapMetalSlug
January 23, 2013, 11:44 PM
Fast and Furious helped a lot of criminals, mainly the drug cartels acquire weapons by government sanctioned straw purchases. If you count all the Fast and Furious guns, it might make the statistics lean toward straw purchases, but I am not sure anyone knows how many guns they let walk.

However, I would have to think a great deal of guns used in crime are STOLEN.

Possibly, a criminal has their girlfriend buy a gun if they have a clean record, which is a straw purchase. It is already illegal though, so how will passing another law stop it?

hogshead
January 23, 2013, 11:45 PM
PBS hum wonder where they get they're funding from? The same one who saved big bird and cut defense spending Id say. A bunch of liberal hacks.

rcmodel
January 23, 2013, 11:48 PM
Everyone knows criminals buy all their guns at full retail price through the gunshow "Loop Hole".

Or, they get one AK-47 free with every 10 Kilo's of marijuana they peddle on the street.

rc

lobo9er
January 23, 2013, 11:48 PM
http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/D-M-Shooting-Sports-guns-stolen-palmyra/sUoBbD043kOO4D3ZLzVCHg.cspx?fb_action_ids=4187290642953&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

heres how

lobo9er
January 23, 2013, 11:49 PM
funny they have to mention none were AW's, like that means we are safer?

Browning
January 23, 2013, 11:49 PM
This study will help you...
The Armed Criminal in America - (*Click*) (http://rkba.org/research/wright/armed-criminal.summary.html)

Just used the link myself in a discussion with the anti-freedom crowd on another forum.

Solo
January 23, 2013, 11:50 PM
Excellent source of factual information! Seems to indicate that most criminals get their guns via theft. Interesting.

heeler
January 24, 2013, 12:05 AM
Having had my own home burglarized three times in the past with firearms being stolen twice I am very sure that a large number of firearms end up on the black market in this manner.
Sure there is the ever now and again dirty ffl guy and the straw purchasers working in conjunction but to think all these guns are coming from ftf sales visa via the "gunshow loop hole...tm" is a bit of a stretch.

MErl
January 24, 2013, 12:09 AM
was a real nice segment on NPR a month or so back from a nice young lady in Oakland CA. Among the complaints about gang gun culture and guns in general she described straw purchases. An older sibling buys a gun for the younger as they come of age. The serial # is removed so as not to incriminate the buyer.

That was the gist of it as I recall. The segment upset me greatly as it was against guns and she continually described actions which are already very illegal.

danez71
January 24, 2013, 12:15 AM
Not to disparage the post a couple up...


Any one have any data more current that 27 yrs old?

Browning
January 24, 2013, 12:20 AM
I'm sure there is, try google.

22-rimfire
January 24, 2013, 12:27 AM
I believe most of the guns are stolen. I don't think your typical criminal ditches his gun after a crime like you see on TV. Where are they stolen? From other "criminals", private homes, automobiles, and businesses.

This is why a gun safe makes a lot of sense. Not a perfect solution and certainly requires an investment. But it certainly is a preventative measure that could be taken.

Jenrick
January 24, 2013, 01:07 AM
However a key finding is that "the illegal market is the most likely source" for these people to obtain a gun. "In fact, more than half the arrestees say it is easy to obtain guns illegally," the report states. Responding to a question of how they obtained their most recent handgun, the arrestees answered as follows: 56% said they paid cash; 15% said it was a gift; 10% said they borrowed it; 8% said they traded for it; while 5% only said that they stole it.

Yes crooks don't normally commit a burglary to steal a gun to commit another crime right away, OH WAIT burglary IS a crime. Who knew?

In almost 7 years of patrol work, I never had a crook use a legal gun, ever. Every single gun was stolen. How did they get a hold of their guns? They largely traded other stolen goods for them. I also arrested a few folks who basically made a living committing burglaries with their best product being firearms. A 60" TV wouldn't fetch the same money as a small revolver. A felon can't walk into Rent-a-Center and walk out with a pistol, no matter how much money they have.

A case of the article slanting the way the information to support their "opinion."

-Jenrick

gbran
January 24, 2013, 01:19 AM
I believe most of the guns are stolen.

I'm sure there is a fair amount of straw purchasing going on, but for the most part, you are right. The straw purchaser generally pays market prices, then has to drive his merchandise at least a couple states away, then resell at a profit. I doubt common criminals want to pay this kind of price. Stolen guns are lots cheaper.

9MMare
January 24, 2013, 01:22 AM
So far it sounds like most are stolen. (With straw purchases right up there).

If stolen...does that put any particular responsibility on gun owners? Is it our fault when our homes or cars are broken into and our property is stolen? Should we be held responsible for other people's crimes?

I know that many antis are trying to say that we should be made responsible if our guns are stolen and then used later in crimes. (There is also another focus around keeping them out of the hands of children in the home...I see this as a different, altho related, issue).

Certaindeaf
January 24, 2013, 01:41 AM
They probably obtain them the way any other thing is obtained.

anchorman
January 24, 2013, 01:51 AM
PBS hum wonder where they get they're funding from? The same one who saved big bird and cut defense spending Id say. A bunch of liberal hacks.
Actually PBS and NPR get the vast majority of their funding from corporate sponsors (I'm sure they don't have any agenda at all…), charitable trusts/foundations, and from viewers/listeners during those horrid pledge drives.

tactikel
January 24, 2013, 01:54 AM
I know Chicago, the gang bangers get their guns from two sources: straw purchases from: KY, TN, VA, and from burglaries. The ratios depend on the connections the Gang has. IMHO if these two sources dried up they would purchase weapons from clandestine manufacturers. The neighborhoods on the west side of Chicago mandate that a Gang member be armed, if you cross into another gangs territory, and flash the wrong signs, you will be killed. Being armed means your life , how much is your life worth? This is why they pay $1500 for a .38 Taurus. When a gang can make $ 10,000 a DAY selling drugs on a certain street corner they will defend it to death.

BTW Chicago has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, on an average Saturday we have some 30 shooting victems:what: figure 2-3 times that shot at and missed( it's hard to shoot accurately with the sights at " 9 o'clock"). Over 500 murders last years. :( and our Governor want MORE gun laws.

Skribs
January 24, 2013, 02:04 AM
This is an uneducated guess, but I bet they get them a lot of ways...

1) Stolen directly.
2) Bought on the black market (likely stolen).
3) Sold to the drug cartels, smuggled back from Mexico.
4) Bought in FTF transactions, because he could not buy it legally.
5) Bought in a gun store, because the person has not been convicted before (whether or not he has committed a crime).
6) "Borrowed" from a family member who is a legitimate person.
7) Cheapo weapon that will last 10 rounds that was created by a crook with some machining skills.

No matter how much gun control we put in place...
#1 and 2 we literally can't stop. If bad people want guns, guns will be stolen.
#3 wasn't the citizen's fault (F&F). Although barring that, we can't regulate the drug cartels in Columbia.
#4 we can legally regulate, but practically there's no way to enforce the law.
#5 and #6 we can't do away with without affecting every law-abiding gun owner.
#7 there is no way to do away with, especially with 3D printers nowadays.

Basically, that's how BGs get guns, and why gun control won't stop them from getting them. At least in my logical opinion.

j.kramer
January 24, 2013, 02:13 AM
you forgot the always trusted soldier selling guns

http://southernnationalist.com/blog/2012/05/16/us-soldiers-selling-weapons-to-street-gangs/

medalguy
January 24, 2013, 03:30 AM
I just saw a story on the Albuquerque TV station tonight about a police officer from a small town near Albuquerque who was apparently staying at his second home here, and had a shotgun and "police model" AR stolen out of his home. Seems no one is immune to theft.:rolleyes:

joeschmoe
January 24, 2013, 04:57 AM
They can get slaves and drugs illegally but need a legal loophole to get guns?

ScrapMetalSlug
January 24, 2013, 11:42 PM
I guess they are assuming straw purchases are used to commit other crimes. If you buy a gun for your wife or as a gift for someone, isn't it technically a straw purchase?

O C
January 25, 2013, 12:42 AM
If your occupation is "criminal" and you need tools to do your daily business, you go to the "Criminal Supply Depot" and "get" a gun. Since you are a professional "criminal" the legal avenues are not open to you. The gun laws only apply to the Legal side of society, not the Criminal side. This isn't hard to figure out.

Loc n Load
January 25, 2013, 09:41 AM
The vast majority of guns that end up in criminals hands in the US are stolen....there are thousands of burglary's in this country daily.....I investigated a gun theft from a sporting goods store, where the crooks took three handguns from a display case when the store clerk was pulled away by a third crook on some pretense. The crooks knocked over a fire hydrant on the way out of the lot and that drew some citizen's attention who noted the license plate.....the guns were recovered six hours later, after they had gone through two other people's possession and then "muled" to Chicago.....270 miles away.....there is an "underground" trade for stolen guns....next to cash, guns are what burglars seek...

PRM
January 25, 2013, 09:59 AM
How do you think criminals get their guns.

1. They go to a brick and mortar LGS.

2. Truthfully fill out all required forms, submit their fingerprints

3. Pay their fees

4. Wait for their background check to came back.

5. Pay their money.


It's the only way gun control laws can be effective. All progressive gun-grabbing liberal politicians know that??? That's why they want to pass more laws. The bad guys always comply.

Zeke/PA
January 25, 2013, 10:06 AM
One of our local FFL's , a year or so ago, notified the Feds about some suspected "Straw Purchases" and was basically told to mind his own business.
Does the Drug Trade have EVERYONE on the pad??

Zeke/PA
January 25, 2013, 10:14 AM
I read a stat about the confiscation of 7500 guns in Chicago in 2012.
If only HALF that amount were in the hands of repeat offenders, why were not over 3500 Perps jailed?

mnrivrat
January 25, 2013, 11:54 AM
If all else fails they can call up Eric Holder (program director) and participate in the fast and furrious method of obtaining them.

miller.lyte
January 25, 2013, 12:23 PM
A large number of straw purchases in the South near the border are used for illegal drug trade by the gang bangers in Mexico. Other than that, I don't believe straw purchases are nearly as big a problem as many people think it is.

gym
January 25, 2013, 12:26 PM
They go to Gun trader and buy them, why is this even a question. They are available everyware.

HoosierQ
January 25, 2013, 03:36 PM
Have you ever been to one of those police "crime gun" auctions? I have. What a serious load of crap. Probably 80% are .22s first off. A lot more are rifles than you'd expect. There are probably not robery guns but guns that the gang bangers use to shot at one another out of vehicles etc. A lot of really loose, rusty old revolvers of questionable lineage...not many S&W, Colt. Quite a few Taurus and Rossi revolvers. Surprisingly few semi-automatics and those are mostly .22s and a few .25s. There will be a few Glocks. There was a mini-14 at the one I was at.

Frankly I can't imagine who'd own these crappy guns to steal. They were rusty, cracked, broken, bent, dented. It looked to me like a lot of the 22s were just very old and had probably bounced around the city for 50 years, traded here and there, sold over and over again, until they finally ended up in the hands of somebody who got arrested.

Based on what I saw, it looks like the nice guns that I know do get stolen must be sold for high dollar to somebody who manages to hang on to them. I mean where do all the stolen Colt Pythons actually end up? They are not at these auctions. Maybe the cops "launder" them (legally and above board I presume...if not publicly) and sell them to bone fide collectors/dealers for top dollar? Maybe the bad guys have people willing to pay real bucks for good guns? Presumably a lot of those that were stolen were returned to rightful owner? Thus leaving all the crap for the auction?

The thing about thieves is that the vast majority of them are, above all else, poor. You are not going to hang onto a Colt Python (if you know what you've got) when all you need to rob liquor stores is a rusty old .22 revolver with 4 bullets in it. You'd presumably turn that thing into money. Now if you found some old beater gun under your burglary victim's matress, that you'd sell to a buddy for what ever the underground market would dictate.

Maybe somebody has experiences different from mine.

RustyHammer
January 25, 2013, 07:06 PM
How? ... Just ask NY. Many of them are on the fast track as a result of the new gun laws! :(

gym
January 25, 2013, 07:29 PM
I cannot see anyone giving away money regaurdless what their convictions were. Unless they were extremely wealthy. You aren't going to see a kimber or a Les Baer show up at one of these hundred dollar givebacks, "unless someone just used it in a crime". In which case it might be a good way to dispose of eidence, "I am sure they considered that".
It's got to be a bunch of rusted non functioning metal, resembling what may have once been a gun.
But anyone who wants a gun, can go to a seedy part of town and hang out in a bar for an hour, and I am pretty sure someone will be able to point them in the right direction.
Or sometimes a friend of a friend, or a pennysaver like gun trader, or a gun show.
Some dealers don't ask questions, it's too bad, but I have seen it happen many times in the past.
When someone needs money and it's not illegal to sell a gun to someone, the formalitys may be skipped, especially if the guy is paying the asking price. Just because the majority of gun owners are honest hard working guys and gals, doesn't mean they are all angels.
Maybe now folks are watching their 6 a bit more because of the heat being turned up, but it is done occasionally.As long as the person has a drivers license and says they aren't prohibited from owning one in this state, you can sell it, but you are supposed to see FL, ID

Sol
January 25, 2013, 08:18 PM
Also, many "guns" used in crimes are in fact not guns. A toy, a concealed block of wood a finger in a pocket work almost as well as the real thing.

CmdrSlander
January 25, 2013, 08:27 PM
PBS hum wonder where they get they're funding from? The same one who saved big bird and cut defense spending Id say. A bunch of liberal hacks.
PBS is primarily funded by members. It is something like 70/30 (members/Gov't). That doesn't mean they are incapable of bias, but they are not a wholesale Government mouthpiece.

Big_John1961
January 26, 2013, 04:14 AM
How do you think criminals get their guns.

1. They go to a brick and mortar LGS.

2. Truthfully fill out all required forms, submit their fingerprints

3. Pay their fees

4. Wait for their background check to came back.

5. Pay their money.


It's the only way gun control laws can be effective. All progressive gun-grabbing liberal politicians know that??? That's why they want to pass more laws. The bad guys always comply.

They want to pass more laws, but not just to pass laws. They want to do it in order to take away our 2nd amendment rights.

BobTheTomato
January 26, 2013, 04:19 AM
Darn someone beat me to fast and furious

Carl N. Brown
January 26, 2013, 04:38 AM
The serial # is removed so as not to incriminate the buyer.

Possession of a weapon with an altered serial number is supposed to be a federal felony offense. Betcher booty gunsmiths have been threatened with prosecution for obliterating serial numbers during installation of telecope mounts on receivers or overzealous polishing in refinishing abused guns. But failure to prosecute criminals who obliterate serial numbers deliberately with criminal intent is a sticking point with me. I or other gun hobbyists bear the threat of prosecution, but too many criminals are allowed to skate.

MachIVshooter
January 26, 2013, 04:39 AM
If you buy a gun for your wife or as a gift for someone, isn't it technically a straw purchase?

No. Gifting is perfectly lawful, so long as the recipient isn't a prohibited person.

When you buy a gift for someone, you are the actual buyer.

blarby
January 26, 2013, 04:43 AM
Usually through slide deals of stolen goods from robberies or other illegal activity.

In my home town of Detroit, I knew of at least 3 places by the time I was 17 that you could get a handgun of your choice ( well, choice of what was in the trunk..... ) and enough ammo to learn to use it for less than $200- and that was in the 90's.

Dont worry- they'll never be traced. Most of them have the SN's litterally ripped off with a rasp, and after a short period of time end up at the bottom of the Detroit river. There's an entire armory down there- thats for certain.

An "Acquaintance" of mine was in some trouble once, and got a saturday night special for $20 and a carton of newports. It happens.

Trades of metal for drugs are also fairly routine. Its still a crack town- although not as bad as it once was, and a few twenty packs of heroin on the right corner will get you pointed in the direction of anything you could ever possibly need.

If you want it in a big, crime filled city- you can get it.

In the 80's- you could get mac-10s for about $300 by the bushel. Would you want one of them ? Probably not long term...but they were very common.

Straw purchases aren't made for people looking to commit crimes with guns. The original purchaser gets hosed :/

umadcuzimstylin
January 26, 2013, 05:02 AM
I was raised in the barrio so I know the answer to this question. Sad that its not common knowledge. The way they get them is from robbing houses. The criminals who dont rob houses buy them from the ones that do. Handguns typically go for $100 dollars I know this cause gang bangers would roll up all the time saying you want a gun? They would raise it up and say $100; this was common.

blarby
January 26, 2013, 05:07 AM
^^^^^^^^

Nice to know I'm not the only one who grew up in the rough !

Carl N. Brown
January 26, 2013, 05:41 AM
James D. Wright, sociologist, was hired by the Carter Administration to study guns, crime and violence in America in 1977. Wright and co-author Peter D. Rossi produced a report for the government, and expanded it into the book "Under the Gun", Aldine, 1983.

Later they were chosen to write the report on the US NIJ Felon Survey of 1,874 felons convicted of armed crimes, interviewed in 18 prisons in 10 different states. This too was expanded and published as James D. Wright and Peter Rossi, "Armed and Considered Dangerous", (Aldine 1986, 2nd ed 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0202362427).

A summary was linked in a post above at http://rkba.org/research/wright/armed-criminal.summary.html

Any one have any data more current that 27 yrs old?
Well, there was a 2nd edition of the study in 2008.

Wright and Rossi found felons "obtain guns in hard-to-regulate ways from hard-to-regulate sources".

(No surptise to me. I grew up in a county that was "dry" til 1968 and I know prohibition does not work whether alcohol or guns. From knowing both cops and crooks as friends, relatives, neighbors, schoolmates, I had practical experience that the hoods in my neighborhood in the 1960s were getting their guns from other-than-legal sources.)

Wriight and Rossi found that handgun-using felons expected to be able to get handguns from "unregulated channels" within a week of release from prison*: friends (mostly fellow criminals), from "the street" (used guns from strangers), from fences or the blackmarket or drug dealers (who often run guns along with drugs).

Of gun using felons,
50% expected to unlawfully purchase a gun through "unregulated channels" above;
25% expected to be able to borrow a gun from a fellow criminal,
12% expected to steal a gun.
7% cited licensed gun dealers and 6% cited pawnshops (usually through a surrogate buyer: friend, relative or lover).

40% of the felons surveyed reported stealing firearms, mostly for trade or resale. Sources stolen from included:
37% from stores,
15% from police,
16% from truck shipments,
8% from manufacturers,
21% from individuals.

A few years back, two officers interviewed in Knoxville about a proposed gun law told the newspaper that one in five of criminals they encountered owned a gun, and of the criminals who owned guns 80% got them from illegal sources, so I suspect things have not changed much since the 1980s of the Wright & Rossi study or my experience in the 1960s.

(yeah, I am not a citable, notable or reliable source by academic standards, but Wright and Rossi, professed liberal academics turned gun control skeptics, are.)

-------------------------------------
*Surprise, surprise, surpise. A UK study after the infamous 1997 handgun ban revealed that UK gun using felons interviewed in prison expected to be able to get guns within a week or two of release if they wanted one, up to and including submamchine guns. Gun sources: from smugglers, drug dealers, underground "armourers" who specialized in fencing guns stolen, converted blank guns, military surplus smuggled in, and the drug-smuggler/gun-runner overlap was also mentioned as a UK source of guns.

Home Office Research Study 298, Gun crime: the market in and use of
illegal firearms, December 2006, details the "emerging criminal gun culture" in Great Britain.

ccsniper
January 26, 2013, 06:06 AM
I used to do jail ministry for a county in OK, I once asked the guys where they got guns cause most of em have pretty long sheets. Most of they guys said they got girlfriends or people they knew to buy them for them. A couple admitted the guns they had were stolen, but they "didn't know" they were stolen. I would actually be willing to bet quite a few were in fact straw purchases, but this just goes to show that the criminals will get guns, one way or another.

On a side note, I asked one guy about other types of guns and he said as long as you got money, you could have anything you wanted, from handguns to full automatics its out there you just have to know the right people and have the right money.

Carl N. Brown
January 26, 2013, 07:58 AM
Something how most of the links mentioning thefts and crimes on this thread I never heard on the national news.

3% of gun acquistions are at gunshows.

2% of crime guns are rifles.

Most gun show vendors are FFLs federal firearms license holding gundealers who do background checks. The minority are private individuals buying, selling, trading private collections.

Sooo, the media claim the big crime crisis in America is assault rifles sold at gunshows by private "dealers" bypassing the background check.

From what I observed in the 1960s build up to the 1968 Gun Control Act, the national news media engage in advocacy journalism to promote more gun control as an unquestionable social good through moral panic, must-act-now hysteria, the truth be shouted down as Piers Morgan does today. The national news media has its agenda; we have ours.



FWIW, the majority of gunsellers at every gun show I have attended have been FFLs, but a few private owners selling or trading for personal collections. Most of my gunshow acquisitions (Baikal 12ga double barrel shotgun, CZ52 pistol and Taurus .22 mag pump rifle) were with FFLs with 4473 record with NICS check; the minority (.22 mag single shot Savage, .30-30/12ga Savage combo gun) were private trades.

coondogger
January 26, 2013, 08:00 AM
Well, if you're a deranged jihadi living in Libya, you can easily obtain the arms from our state department. Or if you're a bona fide member of a drug cartel, you can obtain them from the BATF and the US Justice department. In either case there is no waiting period, no background check, and no paperwork.

9MMare
January 26, 2013, 12:58 PM
I was raised in the barrio so I know the answer to this question. Sad that its not common knowledge. The way they get them is from robbing houses. The criminals who dont rob houses buy them from the ones that do. Handguns typically go for $100 dollars I know this cause gang bangers would roll up all the time saying you want a gun? They would raise it up and say $100; this was common.

That's pretty much what I believe too.

heeler
January 26, 2013, 01:04 PM
Me too.
Home burglaries in the last five years here in Houston have been down right epidemic in nature.
In fact in 2012 just in the first six months there were over 13,000 home burglaries alone.
And a lot of people own hand guns.
They then get sold or bartered for dope.

texasgun
January 26, 2013, 05:43 PM
well... It might be time to invest in a gun safe. Even the "standard" and more affordable safes in the $600-$800 range are too complex for the average smash&grab burglar.... I do NOT understand folks who get burglarized several times and every time a firearm gets stolen....

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