Winnipeg Police Hunt Black Market Gun Maker

The Law of Supply and Demand exists regardless of whatever kind of regulations you decide to put into place. Demand doesn’t go away simply because you ban something and if there’s enough of a demand, someone will step in to provide a supply. That’s true of anything from comic books to firearms.

In fact, it’s especially true of firearms.

Criminals are people who, by definition, break the law. They’re not interested in the legalities of a thing, just whether they can obtain what they want or not. If you cut off one avenue for them to access arms, someone else will provide another way. It’s what I call guns “finding the low spots.”

Now, Winnipeg police are on the hunt for one of those providing that access.

A certain type of homemade gun is showing up with increased frequency in Winnipeg, and police say they are zeroed in on finding the person, or people, crafting them.

“If you look at how this has been manufactured, this is not simply a bunch of bike parts or pieces from local hardware stores. There’s actually been some thought put into this,” Insp. Max Waddell, head of the police service’s guns and gangs unit, said Tuesday.

“We have seen more and more of this exact model, which tells me that someone in this city is actually manufacturing and selling these.”

The majority of improvised guns police see are rudimentary and not always reliably useful, Waddell said at a news conference, where police displayed some of the weapons and other items they seized in a series of recent busts.

But the model police are seeing lately is obviously made by a skilled machinist, he said, noting the person is cutting high-grade metal, boring out the barrels and embedding springs so the firing mechanism works like a real gun.

Yeah, they’re crude-looking guns, to be sure, though I think they’re underestimating the determination of a backyard gunsmith here. The truth is, backyard guns are nothing new. They should probably be thankful that these aren’t the Luty designed submachineguns.

Instead, they’re fairly crude handguns…but there’s no guarantee it’ll stay that way.

Yet keep in mind that Canada has a whole lot of gun control on the books, measures meant to keep the very people found with these firearms from getting them. In fact, it’s almost like those laws don’t really do much of anything.

In fact, it’s exactly like that.

You see, while these are crude guns right now, that’s not likely to continue. Instead, black market manufacturers will learn and refine their designs, building more and better guns until they’re easily a match for anything on the open market for law-abiding citizens. More than that, though, they’ll neatly sidestep regulations like semi-auto only or even tighter restrictions on the action type, limits on magazine capacity, barrel length requirements, the works.

The Law of Supply and Demand will not be ignored or circumvented. Legislators in either the U.S. or Canada ignore it at their peril. So long as there’s a demand for guns, there will be a supply.