The antis from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are flinging the FUD. They’re promoting a new study (funded by our and Barack Obama’s good friends at the Joyce Foundation) claiming that three out of ten criminals jailed for gun crimes could have purchased a firearm legally. How many actually did so is left to our imagination. I’m thinking it wasn’t many. To quote the study’s authors, that may be especially important. Anyway, here’s the press release . . .

Newswise — Sixty percent of persons incarcerated for gun crimes in the thirteen U.S. states with the most lax standards for legal firearm ownership were not legally prohibited from possessing firearms when they committed the crime that led to their incarceration. According to the study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 31 percent of these gun offenders were old enough to possess a firearm and had no prior disqualifying record. But 29 percent had criminal records or would have been too young to legally possess a firearm in states with the strictest standards for gun ownership.

Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Census Bureau’s 2004 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities. The study appears in the online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Injury Prevention.

“Our findings indicate that more stringent restrictions on firearm possession in states with the lowest standards would have made firearm possession illegal for many individuals who went on to commit a crime with a gun,” said Katherine Vittes, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study, a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, and a research associate with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

“It may be especially important to focus on laws that raise the legal age of handgun possession to 21 because many gun offenders are between 18 and 20 years old. Such laws are currently in place in five states.”

The study also found that only 4 percent of offenders who were prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm under current law obtained their gun from a licensed dealer, compared with 20 percent of non-prohibited offenders. Almost all offenders who were legally prohibited from possessing a firearm acquired their gun from a supplier not required to do a criminal background check under federal or state law.

“That so many who committed gun crimes serious enough to lead to their incarceration in a state prison obtained their guns from sellers not required to keep records or verify the legal status of the buyer underscores the need to address loopholes in current gun policies,” said Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, co-author of the study, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, and a professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

“Legal status and source of offenders’ firearms in states with the least stringent criteria for gun ownership” was written by Katherine A. Vittes, Jon S. Vernick, and Daniel W. Webster.

The study was supported by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research is dedicated to reducing gun-related injuries and deaths through the application of strong research methods and public health principles.

Recommended For You

41 Responses to “Lax Gun Ownership Laws Could Impact Ability of High-Risk Individuals to Purchase Firearms”

  1. Did they find bad dealers? According to ATF, the legal limit for owning a handgun is 21:

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/licensees-conduct-of-business.html#age-requirements

    Sales of handguns and ammunition for handguns are limited to persons 21 years of age and older. Although some State and local ordinances have lower age requirements, dealers are bound by the minimum age requirements established by the GCA. If State law or local ordinances establish a higher minimum age, the dealer must observe the higher age requirement.

      • Military is excluded due to the use of firearms to protect the country itself and not individuals

        • my son returned from his first tour overseas in afghanistan at the age of 19. He’s was a 11B air assault, airborne, and CIB badged trigger puller that COULD NOT be handed a pistol in a gun store or purchase one because he was not 21 at the time.

          One guy behind the counter thought it was a good idea to lecture him about “until he turns 21”. I thought my boy was going to laugh himself to death.

        • The US military taught me to be proficient with a handgun and a machine gun at 17.

    • In most states, a handgun can be sold either privately or handed down to someone at the age of 18. Pretty sure you can even open carry in AZ at 18.

      • +1

        Same goes for Maine. 18th Birthday you can buy your neighbors handgun and OC it immediately… though nobody does up here. I filed for my CC permit when I was 18 though.

  2. In other news, 100% of automobile injuries and fatalities would be prevented if everyone rode horses. There would just be more injuries and fatalities.

    They are interested in reducing guns, not crime or violence.

    Leftists’ addressing of a problem is like peeling the stickers off a rubik’s cube to solve one color while ignoring what the rest of the thing looks like; make up stuff and ignore the rules with no concept or regard for unintended consequences.

  3. Just who are these “gun sellers” who are “not required to keep records or verify the legal status of the buyer”? Are they referring to “Joe’s Gun Shop” down the street, or are they referring to “The Crack Dealer Who Also Sells Guns” in the hood?

    • Good point. Anyone who sells a gun is required to have a license to do so and call in the NICS background check (with the exception of some states like PA who have their own state check system). So actually I think those crack dealers are indeed required to do all these things but they don’t. But how is that possible?…if there’s a law against it how could it happen?…

        • Man. Sweet. Pennsylvania has decent overall gun regs but when it comes to buying and selling guns, the PSP want every transaction on their gun seller database that doesn’t exist.

      • Uh dude, only licensed dealers are allowed access to the NICS per BATF rules and regulations and since 1986 when the Gun Owners Protection Act was passed, in part to stop the illegal persecution of firearms owners (mostly collectors) who sold more than 1 firearm per year prior to 1986 who DIDNT have a dealers license, then the subsequent 1994 BATF draconian rules changes making a paperwork error a felony, increasing fee’s 40 times, etc, etc, driving over 162,000 dealers away from renewing their license, one wonders where you established this belief of ANYONE needing a license to sell a firearm privately?

  4. I wonder what crimes were included in their statistics? Attempted suicides? What most of us might call legitimate defensive gun use in a jurisdiction prohibitting self defense? Misdemeanors? Felonies? I’m learning that these studies can pretty much get the results they want, just by playing with the numbers.

    • Had a professor fail me on one of my projects in college in which we had to do a survey of 100 students on campus about their views on Gun Control.

      Some of my questions:

      Your girlfriend or sister is being voilently raped, the perpatrator is much larger and more athletic than you, would you use a firearm to stop the assailant? (Yes – Against Gun Control, No – For Gun Control)

      You live in a rough part of town. There is a power outage for over a week. People begin pillaging stores and homes. Would you be willing to take up arms to protect your family? (Yes – Against Gun Control, No – For Gun Control)

      He apparently did not like the questions I asked in my survey, saying they were “staged”. I believe he didnt like them because they showed 89 of 100 students against gun control. I explained to them all surveys are staged. Everyone has an agenda unless of course you are trying to determine how to sell a product.

      • Pointing out hypocrisy, bias, and intellectual fraud to a college professor…always a bad move. They care about academic integrity the same way politicians care about constitutional integrity.

        • I’m one of those college professors who cares about academic integrity. I can’t speak to the example given, but in my classes, I promote clear thinking and writing. It’s astonishing how much nonsense gets swept away by those requirements.

  5. “Lax standards for legal firearm ownership” being defined as any standards less restrictive than New York City’s.

    C’mon, Bloomberg School jackoffs. We know what you mean. Just have the balls to say it. You won’t lose your Joyce Foundation grant.

  6. three out of ten criminals jailed for gun crimes could have purchased a firearm legally.

    So, umm, 70% were previously prohibited from possessing a firearm and that prohibition didn’t stop them, so umm, let’s make MORE laws. Dummies.

    ..or would have been too young to legally possess a firearm in states with the strictest standards for gun ownership.

    Oh, I see, so just ONE MORE LAW would have stopped these perpetrators of criminal activity from, well, perpetrating their crime. Yeah, Dumbasses.

    would have made firearm possession illegal for many individuals who went on to commit a crime with a gun

    It was already a violation of the law to commit the crimes that were committed, so we need MORE LAWS to make it….illegaler? Rat Bastards

    I’m thinking these people would have committed their crimes whether they could legally purchase a firearm or not.

    “That so many who committed gun crimes serious enough to lead to their incarceration in a state prison obtained their guns from sellers not required to keep records or verify the legal status of the buyer underscores the need to address loopholes in current gun policies,” said Daniel Webster

    So, what will compel the black market illegal gun dealer to do background checks on potential weapons buyers? Nothing. If there was something that would make criminals follow the law, well, we wouldn’t have criminals anymore.

  7. basic premise of gun control advocates appears to be; at some time in the future you might commit a crime or misuse a gun; therefore you cannot be allowed to have a gun. and if someone in chicago commits a crime you are also suspect and you therefore cannot be allowed to own a gun. apply these standards to any other activity or inanimate object and you will incur the wrath of the aclu and the libtards.

    • I was thinking the same thing–shades of Minority Report. The theory that if we take away the ability to commit crime, crime will not happen. Hmmm. Don’t think so.

  8. Probably 85% of drivers who cause fatal wrecks through negligent actions while behind the wheel are fully licensed and “qualified” under the law to operate a motor vehicle within their state of residence. So what was the point of the study again? Oh yeah, they want our guns!

  9. little trivia note about firearms and the military. a lot of use could not legally purchase sidearms on our own because of our age. when we were issued sidearms it was with the caveat that we could not conceal them. in a holster on our belts was the rule. i was 17 when i enlisted.

  10. “In a non-scientific study conducted by the ST Pro Constitution Foundation, bad guys who couldn’t legally buy guns in cities like Chicago and New York sent in their baby mommas to lie on the form for them.”

  11. If so many out of so many of these eighteen to twenty year olds “were not legally prohibited from possessing firearms when they committed the crime that led to their incarceration,” then why would it matter if they “acquired their gun from a supplier not required to do a criminal background check”?

  12. Uh huh. Just like making drugs illegal has stopped everyone from obtaining and using drugs. Come on, get a clue.

  13. Here is an example of the Gov. throwing away good money on stupid studies that don’t mean a thing. It could have been put to better use. No wonder were going broke.

  14. 30%?
    That is a puny amount. People gamble on worse odds than that. If someone said you had a 30% chance of failure at something, you would almost certainly try to do whatever it was.
    Seriously, FUD nailed it. If people actually understood those numbers, they would be laughing.

  15. What the study apparently fails to mention that someone who is old enough to own a firearm and does not have a disqualifying record is innocent until proven guilty and presumed to be a good citizen. Legal gun owners are old enough and have a clean enough record–all of us. This study is designed to encourage the thinking that we’re all pre-guilty.

  16. Y’know, I kinda miss Mikey when threads like this pop up, since “pre-crime” is more or less his stock in trade.

    Much like that old saw about men not having platonic women friends, only women you haven’t slept with yet, this study (and Mike’s ideas that I’m referring to) seem to think that there are no non-criminal gun owners, only gun owners who haven’t broken the law yet.

  17. yes. in america we’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof is on the state. in the minds of gun controllers we’re guilty and there’s nothing we can do to prove otherwise. the aclu should be rushing to our defense. strangely quiet from their direction.

  18. It seems this research suggests that crack dealers using street guns as currency should apply for FFL licenses to make it all OK?

  19. These numbers are out of context. What is the overall crime rate in states with “weak” gunlaws versus “strong” gun laws? I am sure Virginia made the list and we have a very low crime rate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *