Someone stopped by searching for “where do criminals get guns.”
If we are talking about the guns criminals use to commit crimes; there are a number of sources. Besides the ATF’s storefront and other “Operations,” most crime guns are stolen, traded for drugs, transported to another police jurisdiction, and sold through “street corner gun and drug dealers.”
While I have answered that questions many times, providing up to date information, here are some prisoners telling where thy got guns:
Of course, there are two sorts of guns. Before December, 1998 it was possible for a career criminal to buy a gun over the counter, wait three days for local law enforcement to look the purchase over, and walk out with a lawfully purchased gun.
The percentage of such sales has dropped from around four percent (o.04%) of guns “recovered by police” to less than five in one thousand, or 0.005 percent. Invariably, those guns are purchased for self defense – and the actual role they play in crime is very small.
Breaking down the numbers, the latest estimates are
6,310 criminal on criminal gun deaths, plus approximately 260,000 crimes in which a gun was used to expedite the crime. That makes a total of 270,000 gun related crimes, or 0.019405% of 13,914,040 crimes reported to the police.
The latest prison surveys tell us a career criminal will commit one “major” crime every 48 hours as long as he or she is on the street. The median number of major crimes committed by released felons is thought to be nine.
Dividing the 270,000 gun related crimes reported by the police by the number of crimes committed per capita tells us that of the 318,000,000 million Americans, only 30,000 gun toting career criminals will be on the street in any given year.
Now, that brings us back to the original question. Where do criminals get their (crime) guns. Criminals get their working tools either from law enforcement sources such as the ATF or corrupt local cops who sell confiscated guns – or by purchasing stolen guns from those in the drug trade.
The factors that cause that are simple enough. There is no paperwork to fill out on the street corner. The gun purchase cannot be traced to themselves. The investment is low enough that a street gun can be discarded without a qualm. And there is always a demand for “hot” guns, so a street gun can be easily resold.
Years ago, criminals get guns they did NOT intend to use in their profession from a variety of sources. Private sales are a minor source, and as word spreads about jail terms for those who provide guns for criminals spreads, friends and family have dried up. Leaving the source of most guns found in a criminal’s possession the street corner pharmacist.
Bu the criminals own testimony, 95% of gun related crimes are committed with stolen “street guns.”