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Political Editors / Jan. 17, 2019

90% of Guns Used in Crime Obtained Illegally

A DOJ report finds that the vast majority of guns used in criminal activity were obtained illegally.

The Justice Department recently released a report that once again confirms a long-running statistic regarding firearms and crime. The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that in 2016, some 287,400 individuals were imprisoned for committing crimes while in possession of a firearm and 90% of those firearms were obtained illegally. The report further notes, “More than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift.”

Significantly, Guns.com notes, “When it came to retail sources such as gun shows, flea markets, firearm stores, and pawn shops, only about 10 percent said they were able to obtain their weapons from such outlets through purchases or trades. Of those, the majority reported that a background check was conducted as part of the sale, although in many cases they did not purchase it under their own name.” And in fact “only about 1 percent of prisoners who used a firearm during their crime had obtained it through a retail sale.”

These latest statistics prove once again that the problem of preventing criminals from obtaining firearms is not solved via the creation of more laws that limit the ability of law-abiding Americans to purchase a firearm.

The statistics also reveal the foolish aim by leftist politicians such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein to go after “assault weapons,” which are most often defined on the bases of their aesthetically dangerous look and “mean-looking” attachments rather than on any evidence suggesting their use in criminal activity. In fact, as CNS News reports, “Handguns were, by far, the most commonly carried type of firearm among criminals. Of all prisoners, 20.8 percent possessed a firearm during their offense. Most of these firearms were handguns. In fact, 18.4 percent of all prisoners interviewed possessed a handgun during their offense, while only 1.5 percent possessed a rifle and only 1.6 percent possessed a shotgun.”

Once again, the gun-grabber politicians foment a false narrative to demand the implementation of their “commonsense” gun-control measures. How will these new laws stop criminals from illegally obtaining guns? The fact is legally purchased firearms — no matter their make, model, magazine size, action, or “mean” appearance — are not the problem.

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