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Study: Law-Abiding Firearm Owners Really Don’t Commit Gun Crimes

Well, what do you know? It looks like what we’ve been say­ing about gun crimes being com­mit­ted most­ly by peo­ple who shouldn’t have them turns out not to be NRA-backed pro­pa­gan­da, but…the facts. For what seems like mil­len­nia, the pro-Sec­ond Amend­ment crowd has said ad nau­se­um that the vast major­i­ty of gun own­ers are law-abid­ing, and that the vast major­i­ty of gun crimes are com­mit­ted by peo­ple who shouldn’t firearms to begin with. It’s not a rad­i­cal con­cept, nor is the notion that more gun con­trol laws would only harm the hon­est gun own­ers, while hav­ing zero impact on the crim­i­nal ele­ment in this coun­try.

In a new study by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh, it was dis­cov­ered that law-abid­ing gun own­ers were respon­si­ble for less than a fifth of all gun crimes (via WaPo):

In the study, led by epi­demi­ol­o­gist Antho­ny Fabio of Pittsburgh’s Grad­u­ate School of Pub­lic Health, researchers part­nered with the Pitts­burgh Bureau of Police to trace the ori­gins of all 893 firearms that police recov­ered from crime scenes in the year 2008.They found that in approx­i­mate­ly 8 out of 10 cas­es, the per­pe­tra­tor was not a law­ful gun own­er but rather in ille­gal pos­ses­sion of a weapon that belonged to some­one else. The researchers were pri­mar­i­ly inter­est­ed in how these guns made their way from a legal pur­chase — at a firearm deal­er or via a pri­vate sale — to the scene of the crime.

All guns start out as legal guns,” Fabio said in an inter­view. But a “huge num­ber of them” move into ille­gal hands. “As a pub­lic-health per­son, I’d like to be able to fig­ure out that path,” he added.

More than 30 per­cent of the guns that end­ed up at crime scenes had been stolen, accord­ing to Fabio’s research. But more than 40 per­cent of those stolen guns weren’t report­ed by the own­ers as stolen until after police con­tact­ed them when the gun was used in a crime.

One of the more con­cern­ing find­ings in the study was that for the major­i­ty of guns recov­ered (62 per­cent), “the place where the own­er lost pos­ses­sion of the firearm was unknown.”

Christo­pher Ingra­ham, who wrote the arti­cle, added that straw pur­chas­es are also a major fac­tor in guns get­ting into the wrong hands. As evi­dence to that fact, he men­tioned that 44 per­cent of gun own­ers iden­ti­fied in the 2008 study did not return calls from law enforce­ment. Yet, the rate and lack of ini­tia­tive on behalf of gun own­ers report­ing their firearms stolen, or approach­ing law enforce­ment, is a bit dis­con­cert­ing. Maybe here the fed­er­al and state gov­ern­ment could lend a hand in incen­tiviz­ing mak­ing sure more peo­ple safe­ly store their firearms. I’m not say­ing that gun own­ers are irre­spon­si­ble, but maybe here is where fed­er­al and state gov­ern­ments could pass laws that incen­tivize more secure stor­age: allow gun own­ers to write gun safes off their tax­es.


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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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