The age-old trope used by conservatives may be true after all. For years, gun rights activists would counter gun control attempts by claiming criminals don’t care about gun laws; they’ll find black market ways to acquire weapons. People who favor more gun control claim ‘gun show loopholes’ make it too easy for criminals to buy firearms without a background check.
However, a new study vindicated gun control activists. Older reports have found only 18% of criminals had bought their firearms legally, but this study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics goes in deeper.
The study found only 10% of criminals who used a firearm in the crime they’ve been imprisoned for bought their gun from a licensed retailer. Because 1 in 5 inmates had used a firearm in their crime, only 1.3% of criminals “obtained a gun from a retail store and used it during their offense.” The study also found that only 0.8% of criminals who used a firearm in their crime actually purchased it at a gun show. Many Democrats had made public statements regarding a supposed ‘gun show loophole’ which allows anyone to simply walk into a gun show and buy a firearm without a background check. A remarkably small percent of prisoners had actually used this method.
Homicide was the crime with the highest percentage of prisoners who had used a firearm, however, only 1/3 of them had actually used one.
When it comes to which firearm was used in the crime, 88.5% were handguns. 7.7% were shotguns, and 7.2% were rifles. Criminals show a clear preference for handguns over long guns.
6.4% of used guns were stolen, 43.2% were acquired off the black market, and 25% were bought off another individual which is illegal in most cases. Another 7% were taken from a crime scene. Criminals have a plethora of means to find weapons that don’t involve legal purchases.
Categories: U.S. News