Teens Are Getting Guns Illegally In Pittsburgh

(AP Photo/Colleen Long)

Gun ownership is limited here in the United States, though some like to pretend otherwise. One of those limits happens to be age. People under the age of 18 cannot buy anything, whereas those between the ages of 18 and 21 can buy a rifle or shotgun, but not a pistol.


In theory, these age restrictions should keep firearms out of the hands of young people. However, in theory, gun control keeps guns out of the hands of everyone who shouldn’t have them.

It’s a theory that simply hasn’t panned out in the real world.

In Pittsburgh, though, there seems to be a problem with young people getting guns.

More than two dozen teenagers have lost their lives to gun violence in Allegheny County this year. The reason? More and more young people are getting their hands on guns.

So far this year, 25 teenagers have been murdered in Allegheny County as gun seizures and juvenile arrests show more and more young people are in illegal possession of firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has formed a firearm trafficking unit with the city police to try to stem the flow of guns into the region.

The ATF says young people are getting their guns from three primary sources.

“The majority of the firearms that 17 year olds have seem to be coming out of the stolen gun bucket,” Weiers said, unsecured, unattended guns stolen from cars and homes.


Do you mean laws against stealing guns or selling them to juveniles aren’t enough to keep teenagers from getting guns? I’m shocked. Absolutely and completely shocked.

And, of course, we learn these guns are stolen. Yes, I think people need to stop leaving firearms unattended, but it doesn’t change the fact that the original gun owners were still the victims of a crime, only to have their guns later be used in additional crimes.

The fact that these are stolen guns isn’t surprising. We’ve been beating that particular drum for years.

The ATF also claims straw purchases and so-called ghost guns are also a factor.

Interestingly, though, these appear to be handguns that are the issue. I say it’s interesting because this is Pittsburgh, the city that banned assault weapons after a single–admittedly horrible–crime, and yet their biggest issues are actually coming from handguns. Funny how that shakes out, isn’t it?

See, that’s kind of representative of gun control in general. Handguns are used in most crimes and in most mass shootings, but the evil AR-15 is supposedly the real problem. How much of that is because Heller basically told lawmakers that banning handguns was a non-starter and to knock it off?


So, Pittsburgh decides to vilify a different category of gun, all while being unable to actually address the very real problem of underage people walking around with stolen or illegally purchased firearms.

That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Then again, it’s not like lawmakers in Pittsburgh have any real interest in addressing any actual problems. They’d rather do a little grandstanding and pretend they’re doing something than actually have to get their hands dirty.

As per usual, really.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member