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Shocker: Perps aren't getting their guns at gun shows

Posted on September 4, 2015 by Ben Bullard

Would it surprise you to learn that people who get locked up for shooting other people almost never use a gun they obtained legally?

If you're on this site, probably not. But that's the conclusion researchers reached after crunching the numbers behind Chicago's violent inmate population.

Academics from Duke University and the University of Chicago arrived at that not-so-shocking conclusion in a forthcoming study to be published in next month's Preventive Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical journal. The Washington Free Beacon got a preview of the report, and this is what it learned:

The study found that due to fears of encountering undercover police officers attempting sting operations, a large majority of the criminals surveyed would only make illegal gun purchases from people they knew. "In discussing the underground gun market in their neighborhoods, most respondents emphasized the importance of connections - prior relationships that could create sufficient trust to reassure the seller that the transaction would not create an unacceptable legal risk," the survey says. "A majority of the primary guns (40 of the 48 for which we have detailed information on the source) were obtained from family, fellow gang members, or other social connections; the fraction is still higher for secondary guns."

"Only 2 of the 70 primary guns (3%) and no secondary guns were reported as purchased directly from a gun store."

By exclusion, almost none of the inmates in the study were found to have purchased their weapons - the vast majority of which are handguns - from a gun show, so legislating the so-called "gun show loophole" out of existence won't be of much help in cleaning up the Windy City's mean streets.

"In a survey of almost 100 detainees in the Cook County Jail, few said they get firearms at gun shows or through the Internet, said Harold Pollack, co-director of the crime lab. They also said they don't normally steal guns or buy them at a licensed store," The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"Some of the pathways people are concerned about don't seem so dominant," Pollack explained.

"Criminals don't obey laws," Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told the Beacon. "That's why we call them criminals."

What a revolutionary concept.