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Study Shows 79% of Criminals Obtained Guns From Illegal Sources

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Chipperman, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Chipperman

    Chipperman Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Essex Co, MA

    Gun Violence: Justice Department Study Shows 79 Percent of Criminals Obtained Firearms From Illegal Sources
    By Jim Kouri, CPP
    Dec 1, 2004

    Ninety-five percent of US police commanders and sheriffs believe most criminals obtain their firearms from illegal sources, according to a survey released by the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Coincidentally, data released by the US Department of Justice appears to confirm this claim by our nation's police executives. The DOJ study refutes the conventional wisdom that guns used in criminal acts are purchased at retail stores or gun shows.

    About 18 percent of state prisoners and 15 percent of federal prisoners reported that they were armed when they committed the offense for which they were imprisoned, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    In the interviews, an estimated 9 percent of state prisoners and 2 percent of federal prisoners reported that they fired their weapon during the commission of the crime.

    The data were obtained from personal interviews with a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 state and federal prisoners, the largest survey of prison inmates sponsored by the federal government.

    Among those who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were sent to prison, about 8 percent of the state and federal prisoners carried a military-style, semiautomatic weapon. These firearms included the UZI, Tec-9, and MAC-10 handguns, the AR-15, and AK-47 rifles and the "StreetSweeper" shotguns. Possession of these models which meet certain criteria as contained in the Federal statute can be unlawful. The firearm most favored by the inmates was a handgun, which was carried by more than 80 percent of the armed inmates.

    Among inmates convicted of non-violent crimes, about 8 percent of state prisoners and almost 12 percent of federal prisoners were carrying a firearm at the time of the property, drug or public order offense that resulted in their imprisonment. Of those inmates who were incarcerated for a violent crime – murder, rape, sexual attack, robbery and assault – 30 percent of state prisoners and 35 percent of federal prisoners reported they used or possessed a gun when they committed the offense.

    Male offenders, younger offenders, offenders from racial and ethnic minority groups and offenders without prior convictions were the most likely to have been carrying a firearm at the time of the offense. About 15 percent of state offenders who had been on probation or parole prior to their admission to prison reported that they had been armed at the time of the offense that led to their incarceration.

    Twenty-seven percent of the state prisoners who victimized a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend were armed while committing the crime, and about 8 percent used a firearm against other relatives, such as children, siblings and other family members.

    About 40 percent of state inmates and 56 percent of federal inmates who carried a gun during the offense for which they were incarcerated were given sentence enhancements because of their firearm use. Those carrying firearms also received longer sentences than those without guns. Sentences for state inmates who had firearms averaged 18 years of incarceration, compared to 12 years for those without firearms.

    Inmates serving time in state prisons said they obtained their guns from the following sources in percentages:

    Purchased from a retail store 8.3%
    Purchased at a pawn shop 3.8%
    Purchased at a flea market 1.0%
    Purchased at a gun show 0.7% <*********** (emphasis from Chipperman)
    Obtained from friends or family 39.6%
    Obtained on the street/illegal source 39.2%

    The percentage of inmates who bought their guns from a retail store fell from 21 percent in 1991, when the last such survey was conducted to 14 percent. At the same time the percentage who obtained their firearms from family or friends rose from 34 percent in 1991 to 40 percent.

    Sources: US Department of Justice
    National Security Institute
    National Association of Chiefs of Police

    About the writer: Jim Kouri is a certified protection professional and 5th Vice President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's a frequent contributor to Chief of Police and Police Times magazines. He represented NACOP during the US Government Accounting Office's study on the impact on local law enforcement of the FBI reorganization plan. Jim is the author of Assume the Position which is available at Amazon.com, Booksamillion.com and Barnes & Noble (BN.com). He appears regularly on TV and radio news and talk shows including The O'Reilly Factor, Oprah, The McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, At Large with Geraldo Rivera and others.


    Do you think anyone will listen? :banghead:
  2. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I wonder what portion of the slightly over 12% that were purchased from an FFL (retail + pawn + maybe some of the gun show part) were done illegally, either by straw purchase or while under a disability that may not show up on NICS. In other words, is there really a problem with bad FFLs, as the Brady Bunch claims.
  3. wmenorr67

    wmenorr67 Member

    May 14, 2004
    Tulsa, OK--Formerly Kansas City, Kansas
    But we must close that darn gun show loop-hole. Can't have .7% of criminals getting their guns at one now can we.? :banghead:
  4. Kharn

    Kharn Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Tagged so I can find it again.

  5. ZeroX

    ZeroX Active Member

    May 30, 2004
    Bloomington, IN
    :eek: You mean gang members don't get their full-auto uzis and AKs from their local murdershops? I'M SHOCKED! SHOCKED!
  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Oh, gosh! Does this mean criminals break the laws?
  7. Mute

    Mute Active Member

    Jan 17, 2003
    Behind occupied territories. CA.
    Since criminals aren't allowed to legally obtain firearms wouldn't it be illegal 100% of the time a criminal obtained one? Isn't statistics fun? :rolleyes:
  8. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Mentor

    Jan 26, 2004
    Well, then we need to tighten up the laws. The goal is for 100% of criminals to obtain guns from illegal sources. :rolleyes:
  9. PMDW

    PMDW Active Member

    Aug 3, 2004
    If they were all criminals before they acquired said firearm, yes. However, if they had a clean record and purchased the firearm from a dearler, and then commited a crime, the firearm purhcase was still legal.
  10. jefnvk

    jefnvk Senior Member

    Jun 3, 2004
    The Copper Country, Michigan
    What? I thought ALL criminals got their guns at gunshows (wait, mistook criminals for terrorists)

    And I DO believe that some gunstores probably do not always follow proper channels in selling firearms. I would think the same of pawn shops, too. However, that is NOT representitive of ALL pawn or gun stores. I strongly believe that if there is an unusually large number of guns used in crimes traced back to one source, at very minimum that store should be checked out a little bit more.
  11. thefitzvh

    thefitzvh Active Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Captain obvious sez:

    No s**t, sherlock :)
  12. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Winter Haven, FL
    Unless the individual was purchasing the firearm with the intent of using it in a criminal act.
  13. hkOrion

    hkOrion New Member

    May 12, 2004
    5,008 ft high in the Rockies
    This is our tax dollars at work

    A Justice Department Study on common sense.
  14. armoredman

    armoredman Elder

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    I did my own informal survey of inmates in my prison. The results are about the same. They love gun control. One told me he'd have a gun in his hand before he was out of sight of Traffic Control. I believe him. And people wonder why I carry a gun..... Read the siggy line.
  15. Nightfall

    Nightfall Participating Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    Wow, that was totally unexpected! Criminals, not following gun purchase regulations. Amazing. :rolleyes:

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