The Evidence is In: Gun Owners Aren’t the Ones Committing Gun Crimes

The Evidence is In: Gun Owners Aren’t the Ones Committing Gun Crimes

“Criminals don’t obey gun control laws” is a phrase we use so much when arguing with anti-Second Amendment people, it is almost a cliché. But a new study released this week by the University of Pittsburgh will breathe new life into this argument. They found that lawful gun owners commit less than a fifth of all gun crimes.

Epidemiologist Anthony Fabio of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health teamed up with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to trace the origins of the 893 firearms that police recovered from crime scenes in the year 2008.

Their findings? In about 8 out of every 10 cases the culprit was carrying or linked to a firearm belonging to someone else.

The primary goal of the study was to look at the path of a stolen gun: how it makes its way from the hands of a legal owner to those of a criminal.

“All guns start out as legal guns,” Fabio said. 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.

The problem, Fabio argues, is the under-reporting of stolen guns.

“We have a lot of people with a lot of guns,” Fabio said. “And some of them aren’t keeping track of them for different reasons — maybe because they have a lot of them and they don’t use them that often.”

The study points out that of the 893 firearms recovered by police in 2008, “169 (18.9%) were reported stolen prior to recovery, and 123 (13.7%) were reported stolen after recovery.” Twenty-two percent were not stolen, and around forty-four percent the police were unable to determine if the firearms were stolen or not.

They speculate the reason for the unreported “lost” or “stolen” guns is because of straw purchasing, a practice which is already illegal under federal law. The evidence of this practice, they say, is that forty-four percent of the gun owners who were identified in 2008 did not respond to police attempts to contact them.

One proposed solution is more laws like those in Illinois, the District of Columbia and nine other states where there is mandatory loss and theft reporting. This is a favorite idea of gun control advocates, and seems to fly in the face of this study’s findings: Criminals won’t obey the law, and law abiding gun owners will pay the price.

What do you think of the findings? Should there be more mandatory loss/theft reporting laws on the books? Let us know below.

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  • YourTruth

    These left-wing loons couldn’t care less about the facts ~ They have no need for them when the endgame is confiscation PERIOD

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  • nicholsda

    Truth, we don’t need no stinkin truth. We’ve got Hillary. :<)

  • Will Bowens

    I am a red-blooded, concealed carrying, tyranny opposing, gun owning American. I am an NRA member and have given to the NRA-ILA. I don’t believe in restricting capacity or outlawing modern rifles/handguns. However, this one about reporting a firearm stolen… well maybe it makes sense. Given this fact in the article, “123 (13.7%) were reported stolen after recovery” why wouldn’t it make sense to make it illegal to not report the firearm stolen? To me, that means, potentially 13.7% of those guns could have been used in a crime before they were recovered and reported stolen. Maybe if they were reported stolen, some of them might not have been used in a crime… unlikely but possible. Considering there is that possibility of reducing crime and that this isn’t really much of an incovenience to us as gun owners, I don’t get what the big deal is on this one.

  • Bdpenn

    What are the numbers used in determining your conclusion of “They found that lawful gun owners commit less than a fifth (20%) of all gun crimes?” You do realize they lare not included in the text or we have a greater problem computing in statistics.
    I’ll leave it at that. Have another look.

  • David Smith

    There could be other factors. I know someone who has a .22 cal that he packed up in a box while moving. He says he doesn’t know where the gun is right now, but he says he believes it’s in storage. However, if someone broke in and stole the gun, he wouldn’t know it. So, sometimes, reporting a gun stolen wouldn’t be possible because the owner doesn’t know it’s stolen. It’s just something to consider regarding mandatory reporting.

  • John F Nice Jr

    I have long studied history. I have learned quite a bit from it. Our Federal Government and several of the individual state governments have an end goal of disarming the law abiding citizens. The fact that they do not commit the largest percentage of shooting crimes is not the point. Their point is an unarmed citizen is no longer a free citizen but is a slave to the governing power. Friends, we are in a civil war right now. It just happens to be a non-shooting war in which the powers on the left are fighting with warped reasoning, barbed words, legislative bait and switch, executive orders and pandering to the fears and ignorance of the unlearned.

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