Suburban Sporting Goods in Melrose Park: Chicago Mayor Names and Shames “Bad Apple” Gun Dealers

Suburban Sporting Goods (courtesy Google maps)

“A sweeping gun trace report to be publicly released by the city on Sunday showed nearly one quarter of guns recovered at crime scenes over a recent four-year period came from just 10 Chicago-area businesses,” chicagotribune.com reports. “Suburban Sporting Goods has made a startling leap into the top 10 list, according to the report, a collaboration among the mayor’s office, Chicago Police Department and University of Chicago Crime Lab.” Just for the sake of argument let’s apply one of the antis’ favorite comparisons to this report . . .

Gun control advocates are always prattling on about how a society that regulates cars for public safety has a greater “right,” make that an obligation to regulate firearms. So imagine what would happen if the Mayor’s office, CPD and a bunch of government-financed eggheads got together to “name and shame” car dealers who sold vehicles to customers arrested for drunk driving (3,315 in Chicagoland last year) or used their car in a commission of a crime.

Chicago  drunk driving car accident (courtesy chicagotribune.com)

Nothing. In terms of public safety, nothing. In terms of lawsuits against the trashy troika for damaging the reputation of a legal business, plenty.

But guns are “special.” Not special as in protected from government infringement by the United States Constitution. Special as in “don’t blame our revolving door justice system and collusion with street gangs for the killing.” Blame guns.

Pity the poor bastards at Suburban Sporting Goods, trying to make a living selling a legal product legally with the Mayor’s office, the CPD and the media breathing down their necks. Here’s the owner’s rebuttal:

In an interview this week inside their store, owner Donald Beltrame and his son, Jim, defended their record, saying they’ve been trying as hard as they can to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens even as sales have exploded in recent years.

Gun case at Suburban Sporting Goods (courtesy yelp.com)

“With business increasing, you’re going to have an increase in everything, which is unfortunate,” said Jim Beltrame. “We’ve probably had a 1,000 percent increase in sales, so (the 300 percent spike in crime guns found) is relatively low.”

Records show that it’s not the first time Suburban Sporting Goods has been red-flagged. Two decades ago, Donald Beltrame was one of five gun shop owners hit with rare federal criminal charges for allegedly selling to straw purchasers, but a jury acquitted him of all counts after a five-day trial.

The store has also been sued by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office for allegedly selling illegal “Saturday Night Special” pistols — accusations that were later dismissed by a judge.

Saturday Night Specials? I haven’t heard that terms since the ’70’s. So was that four decades ago? As criminal charges against Suburban Sporting Goods were thrown out in every case, why bring them up here — except to smear the company? And check this out . . .

Source of "crime guns" recovered by Chicago police from 2013 - 2016 (courtesy chicagotribune.com)

Look! There’s Cabela’s in the number four spot, three places above Suburban Sporting Goods. I wonder why the Trib article focuses on the relatively small Melrose Park federal firearms licensee rather than the corporate behemoth that is Cabela’s. Advertising revenue perhaps?

It’s also worth noting that Suburban accounts for 1.4 percent of the guns CPD recovered at crime scenes in the three-year period. Folks, that’s deep into rounding error territory. And certainly doesn’t merit public vilification from politicians and police officers who are, at least technically speaking, employees of tax payers like the businessmen and women at Suburban Sporting Goods.

comments

  1. avatar Ironhead says:

    I will buy my next gun there just to piss off the little ballerina and the CPD.
    Hey Rahm….. go f*ck yourself. You want to fix the problem? Keep the criminals in jail. @sshole.
    The reason they go after small businesses is the same reason why PETA goes after women in fur coats and not bikers in leather vests. Easier to bully a small target. The city of Chiraq knows cabelas can financially take them on in a legal battle.

    1. avatar Shotgun Sam says:

      How many guns are we talking about?

      Seems hollow news without some numbers. If 10 of Chucks guns are the 6.7% then whooping ding ding. But if that 6.7% is 1200 guns then there grounds for serious concern.

      Hiding the actual gun numbers is suspicious…on both sides.

      1. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

        The article indicates ‘Of the approximately 15,000 guns that could be traced back to a point of purchase’.

        From that, they conclude Chuck’s Gun Shop is responsible for almost 1000 guns. 1.4% is approximately 200 firearms.

        However, since these represent initial point-of-sale identifications, how many were
        (a) stolen
        (b) resold
        (c) straw purchases

        As Robert correctly points out though… As long as the FFL followed proper, ATF approved procedures, then it’s irrelevant where the guns were sold. It does suggest, however, that the ATF should at least investigate to ensure that the FFLs are complying with the law.

        Or, maybe this is just ‘Fast and Furious North’, handgun style…

      2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        No, the number is not relevant. How is the gun store responsible for what people do with the things they purchase? How is the gun store responsible for the fact that criminals steal guns?

        We’ve been saying it for years… That doesn’t happen with matches, gasoline, knives or screwdrivers… There are a great many factors working in places like Chicago to create crime, not just guns and the people who buy them. But guns are an easy target for people who want everyone but THEM to be helpless.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          And something totally glossed over in the report – there are NO GUN SHOPS in Chicago, as far as I know. Where is anyone, criminal or not, going to buy a gun? The nearest gun shop outside of Chicago, in most cases.

          So if they went to a relatively close to Chicago gun store, passed the (unconstitutional) NICS check, had already jumped through the FOID and other obstructions in place in Illinois, how is the criminal use of the gun once it leaves the shop the fault of the gun shop?

          Unless there is some evidence that the shop is somehow advertising to criminals that they are willing to ignore MS-13 tats or other obvious signs you might be up to criminal mischief, this is really a non-issue.

          And besides all that, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” These bad guys would have gotten a firearm SOMEWHERE, whether or not it was from one of these ten stores. All of this hand-wringing is just statist stupidity.

          The correct solution to a criminal engaged in the criminal use of a firearm is ten armed non-criminals suggesting he reconsider his life choices.

      3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Sam, you’re close, and Blackoutfan gets you part of the way closer.

        The numbers needed to provide proper context are:

        1. How many crime guns are traced back to a given FFL? Blackout furnishes that by applying each store’s percentage of total traced crime guns to the total number of crime guns.

        2. How many guns total did the FFL sell on the same period?

        Now you can take the store’s crime guns as a percentage of the store’s total gun sales. (The specific statistical technique for this is the Chi-squared hypothesis test. There are easy online calculators for this.)

        What this test would tell us is whether the distribution of crime guns across sellers is basically proportional to each FFL’s sales volume and are to be expected given that volume. Beyond that, it quantifies how likely it is that deviations from expected quantities are the result of just random chance, as opposed to something else, like illegal sales. As MamaLiberty rightly points out, that “something else” could be anything, not necessarily lawbreaking FFLs.

    2. avatar m11nine says:

      Good idea to give them a little business the next time you’re even a little bit “in the neighborhood”.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Suburban could try to solve the problem by refusing to sell guns to particular demographics.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Didn’t work at all well for a certain bakery, doubt it would fly for long at a gun shop. First time you refused a blackfican-American or a Muslim or a lesbian you would be in a whole lot deeper legal bullshit than even the BATFE and Rahm could muster.

    2. avatar DJ Saul Teanuts says:

      Or stop inadvertently selling guns to future victims of burglary.

      1. avatar Excedrine says:

        Which would require a Department of Pre-Crime.

        Minority Report is NOT an instruction manual.

  3. avatar GunzGunzGunz says:

    I’m all riled up. You gone done did it.

  4. avatar A O says:

    What percentage of these recovered firearms were recovered in which neighborhoods? Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale, Englewood…please wake up before 11am and take a bow!

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i was out late.

  5. avatar Skinnedknuckles says:

    Off topic, but I want to tell you how much I hate your new “ads driven by Spoutable” trashing the screens. I know you are trying to “monetize” your efforts, but this latest may be what finally drives me away.

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      AdBlock Plus and done.

      You’re welcome.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        It really sucks that we have to do that. TTAG is literally the only website I’d gladly help with ad revenue, but the site is virtually unusable without adblock.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          + infinity

        2. avatar Jim Bullock says:

          I tossed them some $, and will again if it remains an option. There was a tip jar link at one time.

        3. avatar Excedrine says:

          I run AdBlock Plus just in general. I will not allow any website to give my computer e-AIDS, period. If TTAG wants any money from me, they can add a donation button. Actually, I think they have a Patreon that I probably already donate to. If not, they should.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    Golly I’ve bought guns n ammo from 4 of the “offenders”. But Sporting Arms in Posen? Tiny selection of guns. Mainly a shooting range. I used to belong to the Bally’s in Melrose Park. Mafiaville😆

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i’m joining the next bally’s i find that has a range.

  7. avatar doesky2 says:

    Still waiting for Rahm to start talking about the 75+% single parent rate in the Chicago hood.

    Still waiting for the FIRST jornalist to ask Rahm in a press conference if he had to choose what would help Chicago more….

    A) More gun control
    or
    B) More fathers

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Oh, there are plenty of “fathers” – some of them down into the teens. Just a distinct lack of male “parents.”

  8. avatar strych9 says:

    What percentage of the guns were purchased legally and then subsequently stolen before becoming “crime guns”?

  9. avatar Defens says:

    The other unmentioned part of this study is that those sporting goods stores were basically where the paper trail ended. It’s likely that very few of those were actually sold to whoever dumped them at crime scenes. Straw purchases? Sure – perhaps a few. Stolen guns? Correlate the recovered list against the guns reported stolen in that time. Police throw-downs? Stolen or misplaced from previous police evidence?

    1. avatar Icabod says:

      As they were able to track a gun back to the gun shop, why couldn’t they seek out the person that bought the gun? The ATF 4473 is on file at the LGS, and that has the buyer’s name and address. Why pick on the LGS when they can further track the gun?
      Am I missing something?

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Only the ATF can do the trace without a subpoena. Or maybe that additional fact would not support the narrative…

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      Also worth mentioning is fact that ‘guns recovered at crime scenes’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘guns used to commit crimes’.
      It brings a mind picture of revolver dropped after assassination found in pool of blood. But it may be gun taken from household of marijuana possessor.
      Cops tend to search any crime scene and take all guns found for ‘safe keeping’. Sometimes even crime victim’s guns. It pads the statistics and it can’t hurt to run all the serial numbers, just in case, right?

  10. avatar MyName says:

    I thought all of the gun crime in Chicago was because of guns from Indiana – now I’m confused.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      They’re still pushing that meme too.
      Who cares if they’re pushing two opposite memes at once, if they’re both anti-gun?

      https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-gun-trace-report-2017-454016983.html

  11. avatar Excedrine says:

    Slander, libel, and vilification are stock-in-trade for The Chicago Machine. Crooked and criminal from top to bottom. It has rightly earned every bit of disdain it receives and, instead of changing to improve it image (not to mention the lives of its subjects — not citizens), it basks in and doubles-down on its shame and evil.

    Truly a hive of scum and villainy rarely matched outside of Capitol Hill in the District of Criminals.

  12. avatar FedUp says:

    What’s that you say?
    These ten stores sold a lot of guns in the Chicago area?
    And isn’t that the goal of retailing, to sell stuff?

    Next up: shaming the ten car dealers who sold the most cars involved in traffic fatalities…

    1. avatar Darkman says:

      Seems I read an article not that long ago blaming Indiana and surrounding states for all the guns in Chiraq. That excuse must not have passed the smell test either.

  13. avatar Darkman says:

    If we are to make the assumption that sporting goods/firearms store are the cause of gun violence due to the sales of their products. Then it’s an equally justified assumption the grocery stores/fast food stores are the cause of obesity heart attacks,allergic reactions and the subsequent deaths caused by the sale of their products. None of these arguments hold any water. They are just excuses to justify an anti responsibility lifestyle promoted by the liberal left. Blame someone or something else for your failure. It can’t be the fault of the thugs. Or the failure of the leadership to deal with the problem. This exactly why I live with the choices I make. No Excuses No Apologies. Life is and will always be about quality for me. Do what you enjoy until you die. Have no regrets at the end. Live Hard Play Hard and Leave on Your Own Terms.

  14. avatar tmm says:

    So, they bitch when the guns come from out of state, and they bitch about the guns that are locally sourced. Uh huh.

  15. avatar Timmer says:

    The real reason that you can’t shame car dealers like gun dealers is because car dealers are a prime source of sales tax revenues for state and local governments. Gun dealers, not so much. It’s all about money.

  16. avatar Porkchop says:

    And there would be a federal civil rights lawsuit, which they would probably lose.

  17. avatar Ing says:

    They’re still rabbiting about “Saturday night specials”? Regressive authoritarians, living in the past. That term was old and creaky 40 years ago.

  18. avatar Not mine says:

    So what laws have these gun stores broke?

  19. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    With no gun shops in Chicago wtf do they expect the guns they do seize to come from??
    Besides naming names they are a bunch of buttheads. The dealers are Id imagine doing legal sales or they wouldn’t be in business. Open a few legal gun shops in the Greater Chicago area. The numbers would change.

  20. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    So, Tiny Dancer has decided to “name and shame” the gun dealer that sells to beleaguered innocents in the midst of a free-fire zone he & his administration can’t (or won’t) address? We know they only sell to peaceful, responsible people because they have tons of common sense gun laws. (Just ask them.) So guns used for bad things must have been first sold to good people.

    If they were serious, they’d be affinity grouping every other damn thing that’s around when somebody dies.

    Then, if they were serious, they’d learn about factor analysis and unintended consequences. People looking for solutions *start with* affinity grouping. Then you ask “Why is that?” to figure out what is going on. Like some sellers might sell “more” guns that end up being used for bad things because they are selling to the good people in a bad guy free-fire zone, for example. This is why Toyota’s famous process is asking “5 why’s.”

    If you want to be sure of a smaller number, take off and nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      “So guns used for bad things must have been first sold to good people.”

      They know this. That’s why gun control always goes after the good people instead of the bad ones: if they can take guns away from the good people, the bad people won’t have any, either (so the reasoning goes). Plus, good people are far easier to locate and control, what with their willingness to jump through legal hoops and fill out paperwork.

  21. avatar FelixD says:

    Tiny Dancer misses yet again. Mr 9.5 keeps telling us the “bad” guns come from Indiana and now the story changes. The “bad” guns now come from within. But, with only about 12 fairly large dealers around the suburban area of Chicago one can easily see how 10 of them made the list.

  22. avatar IN Dave says:

    I thought all of the guns came from Indiana because of their “lax” gun laws. 3/10 is much different than “all”. On top of that, if you add the percentage of all 3 Indiana stores (one of which is big box store cabelas) they still wouldn’t come close to taking first spot. I always found the whole Indiana guns things laughable. Indiana borders more that IL and there isn’t the same problem. And at the same time IN has the same gun laws as other states that border IL and they aren’t the problem. I love it when there own research shoots them in the foot.

  23. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    So go further…find out the initial buyers…see if some of THEM are multiple purchasers…maybe victims of multiple “thefts/losses”?
    Bet you also see some purchasers are family members or friends of suspects in shootings.
    There are multiple ways to proceed here.

  24. avatar GS650G says:

    What about the other 78% of guns?
    Wait, they only find about 13% of suspects and convict a tinier percentage at them. The few who actually go to jail cry racism and appeal their cases.
    This what a lawless society looks like.

  25. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    I like the new format.

  26. avatar Pyratemime says:

    What is the time to crime on those guns? If I read the article correctly the store has been in business for decades.

    If guns being traced back were sold 10, 15, 20 years ago if there was any moral culpability (and there is not/should not) certainly even the densist anti-self defense advocate has to admit (which they will not) this is not the stores fault (which it never was anyway).

  27. avatar Joe R. says:

    As owning / running a gun-store in SChitcago sounds as pleasant as a protological exam, I was amazed to hear they had 10 gun-stores.

    I was pleased that this news piece sh_t all over queen-douche Rahm’s (and other POS (D)s) assertions that their gun problem was mostly ‘imported’ from less regulated states.

    Other news organizations are pitching this as a ‘straw purchase’ problem too, and I just want to remind everyone that a straw purchase IS WHOLLY UNDETECTABLE UNTIL AFTER THE FACT.

    AGAIN, A “NICS” CHECK 4473 IS ON THE ‘HONOR SYSTEM’. YOUR STUPID GOVERNMENT IS NOT PROTECTING YOU FROM ANYONE WHO DOESN’T HONOR-IT, AND EVERYBODY ELSE WAS NOT A PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    THEY ARE NOT PROTECTING YOU FROM OTHERS. THEY ARE PROTECTING THEMSELVES
    FROM
    YOU.

    P.S. – IT’S ON ! ! !

    Indict Hillary, Mueller, Comey, Podesta . . .

  28. avatar Tom in PA says:

    I’m sure they didn’t call out Cabelas simply because they have plenty of money to spend on attorneys to make their life a living hell.

  29. avatar will owen says:

    So what donyku suggest we do about criminals and gun violence? We can’t ban guns or ammo cause that’s a rights violation. You morons bring up Chicago all the time and here is proof that a large portion comes from just a few dealers most are out of state purchased illegally. Can’t prevent the mentally ill from owning guns. It’s almost like you prefer the gun violence as long as it doesn’t affect you?

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Well, we could throw out in its entirety the revolving door “just-us” system that is turning these animals back onto the streets after half an hour in booking, and actually solve more than 13% of the murders in CHIRAQ, for example. You morons bring up places outside CHIRAQ all the time claiming, with no evidence mind you, that most of the guns come either from out-of-state or from local gun dealers. The actual fact of the matter is that at least half of all crime guns collected in CHIRAQ originate from within The People’s RepubliKKK of Sillynoise, and most of them are actually acquired by theft, from family members, or other criminals. It’s almost like you prefer to punish innocent people instead of criminals, which is exactly the only thing ever accomplished by gun control laws in the first place, and thus yourself prefer so-called “gun violence” as long as it doesn’t affect you.

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      What to do about violent criminals? Lock them up until they are not violent and dangerous anymore or until they die whichever comes first.

      Now for ‘gun violence’ – that’s made up term that doesn’t even make sense. Guns don’t commit violence. People do. Why should we care about crimes committed with guns more than about crimes committed with knives, tire irons or bare hands and boots?
      Pointy stick violence.
      Paving brick violence.
      Baseball bat violence.
      Pickup truck violence.
      Does it sound like a real thing?

      Are you any less dead if criminal runs you over with a truck than if he shoots you? Would anyone care which dealer sold the truck originally?

      Don’t blame the tool.

  30. avatar FrogHill says:

    Someone should point out to these elite “Think Tankers” that the gun didn’t walk to the crime scene on its own and remind these brilliant politicians, and their personal agitprop machine “The Trib” about straw purchasers and people stealing things, especially guns

    The people that buy these guns for criminals never get prosecuted, well unless the gun was used in a tragedy deemed to big to go to waste, or the arrest of a “Straw jerk” is as rare as a good idea coming from Obamao, and/or his cohorts in crime

  31. avatar The problem says:

    More data is avalible at the link below, actually contains the full 2017 gun trace report at the end of the article. You can also google 2017 Chicago gun trace report.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20171029/bronzeville/gun-trace-report-2017-police-department

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