Contrary to what many gun control advocates claim, criminals tend to get their guns through criminal means. They either steal them, buy them on the black market, or use a straw buyer. A gang in Louisville, KY used that last one to get their hands on some firepower, and now five people who are alleged to have helped have been arrested.

Authorities have arrested and charged five people with buying firearms to fuel a gang in Louisville.

Those suspects, alleged members or associates of the Victory Party Crips gang, used a third party without felony convictions to legally purchase 41 guns, officials say. Police recovered 10 weapons when the suspects were arrested; they say the remaining weapons have been identified but not yet recovered.

Weapons purchased for the Victory Party Crips gang are often used for narcotics trafficking, intimidating other gangs and earning reputation, according to police.

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad said the arrests could have “a chilling effect” on gang activity which continues to trouble the city.

The investigation started in April on an unrelated indictment, which led police to recover a weapon. Tracing that weapon back, police found a third party purchased all but four guns within normal procedures from River City Firearms, a gun shop in Louisville.

Police traced dozens of guns in this particular investigation but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has traced hundreds of thousands of guns in other crimes.

Now, understand that people are innocent until proven guilty and all of that, but if these folks are guilty? Throw the book at them.

These are people who are alleged to have willfully broken the law in an effort to arm people they had every reason to believe would use those guns to commit violent acts against other people. There’s literally no defending this. None.

People may well have been murdered because of these people’s actions, and they should be punished because of it.

While we can argue until we’re blue in the face about gun laws in this country, whether we support any laws or just some laws or demand new ones, but regardless, we should at least follow the ones that are on the books. However, this isn’t someone trying to make a political point or trying to set themselves up as a test case for a Supreme Court challenge. These are people who bought guns for violent criminals just because.

Granted, it’s not like making it too expensive to play the straw buyer game will actually have much of an impact on gangs and their ability to get guns. They’ll just get them some other way, probably by buying stolen weapons from the thieves.

Trying to disarm gangs is one of those things that the police will continue to try and do because it’s their job, but they all know that the best they can do is making just a bit more difficult on them. They’re still going to get guns, and they’ll still be doing it illegally.

But in this case, they have the people they believe are responsible, and if they actually are, lower the boom on them.