Report Finds Most Guns Used In Chicago Crime Are Straw Buys

Chicago police officers line up outside the District 1 central headquarters at 17th and State streets, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Chicago, during a protest for 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was fatally shot and killed in October 2014. Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the killing. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Gun control advocates routinely claim that increasing the burdens to lawfully purchase a firearm will somehow reduce the use of firearms in criminal activities. Gun rights advocates buck such claims, noting that criminals aren’t the kind of people who are inclined to follow the law in the first place. Yet, gun grabbers persist in their claims that more gun laws will somehow stop crime.


With that in mind, it seems unlikely that a new report regarding gun crime in Chicago will dissuade them.

The report, a collaboration between Chicago police, the office of the mayor and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, found that 10 dealers sold almost a quarter of the guns that were recovered at crime scenes between 2013 and 2016. About 60% of guns used in city crimes were traced to dealers outside the state, with more than 20% from Indiana.

In 95% of cases where the Chicago police were able to identify the possessor of crime gun, that individual was “not the original, lawful purchaser of the firearm” based upon the federal record at the initial point of purchase, the report said. Crime guns include all firearms recovered by police that were used or suspected to have been used in a crime, as well as any gun that is illegal possessed.

The report highlights the problem of straw purchases, where someone buys a firearm on behalf of another person who cannot make the purchase because of a criminal record or is someone who doesn’t want to be linked to the purchase. Police in Chicago recovered almost 7,000 illegal guns last year, six times the per capita rate in New York and 1.5 times that in Los Angeles.


So, criminals are getting their guns through criminal means? After all, straw buys are illegal as it is.

In August, CBS found a number of Chicago gang members obtained firearms through black market means, and now we’re being told that most of the guns used in crime were purchased via straw buys? I’m absolutely stunned.

When you can’t trust criminals to obey the law…tsk, tsk, tsk.

I mean, it’s almost like breaking the law is part of a criminal’s job description.

To be fair, the issue of straw purchases is a difficult one to address. Most gun dealers will have stories of attempted straw purchasers where it’s clear the one trying to buy the gun isn’t the one who the gun is for. Yet it doesn’t take much of a brain to pull off a straw buy where the dealer is completely clueless that it’s anything but another lawful sale. How do you address that?

For gun grabbers, it’s simple. Restrict everyone’s rights because of the actions of a few, but there’s another alternative.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) is the entity responsible for the enforcement of federal gun laws. If that many guns can be traced to a handful of stores, then it’s time to catch the people responsible for it. If the gun stores in question aren’t complicit, they’ll most likely be eager to help law enforcement. No one wants guns in criminals’ hands, after all.


Catch those responsible, be they dealers or just individuals buying guns for other people. Catch them, prosecute them, and make them an example.

There are already laws on the books for things like this. Use them.

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