Journal of Urban Health: Criminals Get Their Guns Shortly Before Committing Crimes

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The Journal of Urban Health brings us news of the obvious with their latest study on so-called “crime guns.” In short, criminals tend to get their guns illegally (surprise!). And that criminals use these ill-gotten guns shortly after getting them to – wait for it! – commit more crimes. Because criminals break the law and commit a lot of crimes. It’s what they do.

The study also suggested that better enforcement of existing laws “may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.” You think?

In other news, the sun tends to rise in the East and water is often wet.

Here is the full abstract of the study.

Guns that are used in crime and recovered by the police typically have changed hands often since first retail sale and are quite old. While there is an extensive literature on “time to crime” for guns, defined as the elapsed time from first retail sale to known use in a crime, there is little information available on the duration of the “last link”—the elapsed time from the transaction that actually provided the offender with the gun in question. In this article, we use data from the new Chicago Inmate Survey (CIS) to estimate the duration of the last link. The median is just 2 months. Many of the gun-involved respondents to the CIS (42%) did not have any gun 6 months prior to their arrest for the current crime. The CIS respondents were almost all barred from purchasing a gun from a gun store because of their prior criminal record—as a result, their guns were obtained by illegal transactions with friends, relatives, and the underground market. We conclude that more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.

From the Washington Free Beacon’s report . . .

The study said those interviewed were unable to obtain guns via legal purchases and got them from relatives or through underground contacts. Researchers found the median time between purchasing a firearm and using it in a crime was two months. Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents said they did not have a gun six months before their arrest.

“The CIS respondents were almost all barred from purchasing a gun from a gun store because of their prior criminal record—as a result, their guns were obtained by illegal transactions with friends, relatives, and the underground market,” the researchers wrote.

The discovery that criminals interviewed obtained firearms illegally through friends and family tracks with a previous study conducted by Pollack and Duke University professor Philip J. Cook. The researchers believe law enforcement should understand that criminals obtain guns in illegal transactions with people they know, often relatively soon before committing crimes. They also argue this knowledge would give law enforcement a better chance at preventing future gun crimes.

“If the task is finding every gun, that feels hopeless,” Pollack told the news site. “But if you focus on hindering or interfering with the transaction of guns, that doesn’t seem quite as hopeless.”

Researchers found the median time between purchasing a firearm and using it in a crime was two months. Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents said they did not have a gun six months before their arrest.

Once again, it turns out that criminals commit crimes. It’s what they do. Which is why enforcing existing laws rather than enacting new restrictions on gun ownership is the best way to further reduce violent crime in this country.

comments

  1. avatar WI Patriot says:

    So having had the guns I may or may not have, for yrs now means I won’t be comitting any crime soon, that is unless of course I decide to go out and buy another, and then there is a chance I may, or may not commit a crime…

    I wonder, just out of curiosity, what is the time differential between the time I acquire the weapon(gun) and whether I going to commit a crime or not…???

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      That time delay seems to be six months according to the article. So if you hit the seventh month, you can probably relax and stop worrying that you might suddenly rob a liquor store or something.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        So the criminally inclined aren’t long term planners? As investing in a 401K, building the inventory of their small business, or paying off their mortgage? Shocking, simply shocking. Perhaps in order to pay next semester tuition is a frequent motivation?

        Next you’re be wanting to lock up the diversity and offended crowd for committing crimes. Then you’re want to deny them their ganja. Your racist you.

  2. avatar James W Crawford says:

    These public health gurus are studying criminals in Chicago?
    May be these imbecile doctors should take notice of the fact that Chicago cops allow the vast majority of homicides to remain unsolved. The only murder cases that are likely to be solved are the cases where the perp promptly commits suicide and is found with their victim or kills a close family member or is literally caught red handed. Murderers are literally getting away with murder.
    May be these doctors should advocate for enhanced expertise by Chicago’s forensics experts so that may be they can solve crimes?
    May be these doctors should advocate for the “Community Organizers” (aka “Poverty Pimps”) of Chicago to urge their constituents to cooperate with the police to identify murders?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      It ain’t that simple. The majority of homicides are gang related, and thus are cases where there are no witnesses willing to talk. Gang members won’t rat out another gang for a slaying of one of their members, they will “take care of” the problem themselves. and hey all hate the cops anyway. This makes it incredibly difficult to solve crimes where, even assuming you find the gun, it has gone through so many hands in so many underground transactions, or were stolen at some point in time, that there is no way to prove who has possession last.

      1. avatar B7 says:

        The majority of homicides are not gang related. We need to stop saying things that are contradicted by every serious study and data set be it federal or local.
        The point to make is that most homicides, on the order of 85% are “criminal on criminal.” That is a fact. that they are gang related is not a fact.
        A drug user getting killed trying to robbing drug dealer of drugs or money is not gang crime, it is criminal on criminal. On pimp killing another over a prostitute or a territory is usually not gang, but it is criminal on criminal.

        1. avatar Someone says:

          Majority of murders are not gang related? How do you know? In above mentioned Chicago the homicide clearance rate is 8.6%, which leaves vast majority of homicides unsolved and vast majority of murderers unpunished. Do you have some inside information about their gang affiliations or lack of them?
          How many drug deals (that may go bad) happens between freelance criminals in a city completely controlled by gangs anyway?

  3. avatar strych9 says:

    Reminds me of a Mallard Fillmore cartoon my dad sent me a few years back.

    It shows a masked criminal reading a newspaper talking about how he was planning on committing armed robbery. In the second panel he says “But not if I have to use a STOLEN gun!”.

    Nothing here is surprising but it will only fuel the antis spin machine to push for safe storage laws to cur into the black market and more gun control in general under the premise that “law abiding guns owners are law abiding right up until” they give/sell a gun to their felon family member.

    1. avatar Tom T says:

      I honestly believe one goal of a national registry would be to hold the original (legal) gun owner liable for a stolen gun used in a crime. If a gun changes hands several times over a decade, democrats want to be able to charge the last registered owner.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        The progs aren’t TOTALLY opposed to locking up someone when a crime is committed. It just can’t be a diversity voter. Its ok if it is a white guy.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Nah, they can be a “diversity voter”. Progs are down to lock up anyone who disagrees with progressive orthodoxy. They’ll name call them too. No surer way to get a bunch of white liberals calling a black person an “Uncle Tom” than for said black person to espouse non-progressive ideas.

      2. avatar Someone says:

        Maybe, but that’s just a sideshow. Main reason for every gun registry is later gun confiscation.

  4. avatar bigskydoc says:

    Median time from obtaining a gun to using it in a crime is 2 months.

    And yet, we are asked to believe that a 24/48/72/** hour waiting period will reduce the rate of crimes committed with guns?

    Hmmm.

    1. avatar bigskydoc says:

      I would really like to see the distribution, and figure out what percent of guns, used in committing a crime, are acquired less than one week before hand, but I’m not $39 curious.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      And during the 2 months the gun’s aura of evil influences the holder to commit crimes. See! Is IS the gun’s fault!

      Your benevolent Democrat dictators are trying to protect you from these talismans of evil!

  5. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “We conclude that more effective enforcement of the laws governing gun transactions may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.”

    Based upon what? Certainly not your research.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      They are suggesting making a serious effort to go after straw purchasers for guns purchased through a shop. Theoretically, if the perp rolled over on his supplier, you could go after the unlawful seller as well, but how often does that happen for guns bought out of the trunk of a car?

      1. avatar Ranger Rick R says:

        Rarely and only with limited success when they do.

      2. avatar B7 says:

        Are they? I don’t see that explicitly. And larges type of straw purchase violations are girlfriend, spouse or relative of the prohibited person, with an extremely high proportion being minority women. The average time served for this is trivial but I don’t see them recommending that this be prosecuted more robustly at all.

  6. avatar Higgs says:

    Doctors get their scalpels just before surgery. Therefore scalpels cause surgeries.

    OR

    People make sure to have the tools they need for the task they are performing, whether its a crime or a surgery.

  7. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    “The study also suggested that better enforcement of existing laws “may have a quick and pervasive effect on gun use in crime.” You think?”

    For the love of God STOP ASKING FOR MORE ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING LAWS! Criminals may not be very bright. But they are generally bright enough to know that they are prohibited. Pennsylvania is running this experiment since 2014. The people caught up by more enforcement of those existing laws are people with minor legal or mental health issues, frequently long ago, who have no clue they are prohibited, and who should not be prohibited.

    FFS, we are our own worst enemy.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I’m glad you noticed it too.

      John Boch has outed himself as a supporter of gun control. I wonder how many more writers for TTAG are in support of the King’s edicts.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “FFS, we are our own worst enemy.”

      Some POTG are the enemy. Anyone who supports tyranny is my enemy. Tyranny cannot flourish without gun control. Anyone who supports gun control, supports tyranny.

  8. avatar possum"they can take your badzooka,I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

    Them studies are reinforcing the Smart Gunm technology. Wow 2 months, only two months? Maybe, it’s been my experience two days. And ” get my gunm from family or relatives” , that’s the Red Flag law wanting in. , it’s been my experience that most criminals gunms are stolen. I would assume( through experience) that the family and relatives are outlaws too. What I’m seeing with their research is lies to bolster.Smart Gunms , Red Flag laws, and any other restrictions for legal gunm owners.have.

  9. avatar John in Ohio says:

    “Which is why enforcing existing laws rather than enacting new restrictions on gun ownership is the best way to further reduce violent crime in this country.”

    WTF!!!

    No it isn’t the best way… Shall not be infringed is the best way.

    So, you support gun control as “the best way to further reduce violent crime in this country.” That means YOU support gun control. Now we know.

    Here’s your goat.

  10. avatar Kendahl says:

    Bad guys in prison no longer have access to victims except for each other and, unfortunately, prison staff.

  11. avatar Philip Twiss says:

    Hmmm…”Guns that are used in crime and recovered by the police typically have changed hands often since first retail sale and are quite old. ” old crap guns that may but most likely don’t work… defiantly not an expensive assault rifle or anything a CCW would carry “42 percent of respondents said they did not have a gun six months before their arrest.” MAYBE BECAUSE THEY WERE IN JAIL?

  12. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    THE REAL FACTS ALL BULLSHITTING ASIDE.

    The Chicago study finds criminals guns were at least 11 years old and bought second hand face to face and all were not stolen but merely second hand guns that have gone through many hands. The bullshitting article above masks the fact that it does not matter how “LONG” the criminal had possession of the gun but what “DOES” matter is how he got the gun.

    QUOTE FROM THE ARTICLE WHICH SHOWS IT SHOT ITSELF IN THE FOOT, PUN INTENDED:

    Quote——————-“The study said those interviewed were unable to obtain guns via legal purchases and got them from relatives or through underground contacts.”——————–
    Quote

    Fact 1.This is exactly why we need vetting of all gun purchases with severe penalties for people who sell their guns without going through a licensed dealer that conducts the background check. Think of how many crooks and crazies would be prevented from getting guns that should not have them.

    Fact 2. This also proves why safe storage laws would also prevent thousands of guns from being stolen and ending up in criminals and nut cases hands.

    Fact.3. No law is fool proof but to do nothing is really the height in absolute insanity considering the mass murder and rivers of blood that flow in the streets of the U.S. on a daily basis. The general non owning gun public has become so terrorized and so fed up with gun violence and the Republicans failing to do anything that it has become a hot political issue and like all things gone completely mad and totally out of control that when the other side wins politically their solutions will no longer be lenient or gun friendly or even pay lip service to the Second Amendment. And no court, even a Conservative one never met a gun ban law they did not love.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      2020 is going to be a heart breaker for you, vlad the imposter. TDS is close to driving you over the edge. I wonder what weapon you will use when you attack an elementary school in your rage? Machete? Gasoline? Ax?

      Hopefully you will be red flagged before then and taken into custody. Maybe your mother will do what’s right and overcome her fear of you and make that 911 call. Or ideally an armed citizen will be there to put you down.

    2. avatar Kendahl says:

      Fact 1. This is exactly why we need to prohibit sales of all recreational drugs with severe penalties for people who sell them. Think of how many people, especially children, would be prevented from getting drugs.

      By the way, how is the War on Drugs going?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Drugs won. Like 20 years ago.

    3. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” safe storage laws would also prevent thousands of guns from being stolen ”

      The safest place to keep a gun is on your hip in a holster. So you are a supporter of constitutional carry.

      ” gun violence … has become a hot political issue ”

      Total bullshit. Every poll I’ve seen about voter issues puts guns down about 15th on the priorities list.

      Tell me, Vlad, in your world… what color is the sky?

  13. avatar LUVITORLEEVIT says:

    The real facts all bull shitting aside you are a dumb fuck, Just wait until the day some pervert decides to assault you and you family, hopefully no one gets hurt, or raped. maybe you can cook dinner for them and resolve the situation!!!! FUCK YOU VLAD TEPES.

  14. avatar David D says:

    “The researchers believe law enforcement should understand that criminals obtain guns in illegal transactions with people they know, often relatively soon before committing crimes. They also argue this knowledge would give law enforcement a better chance at preventing future gun crimes.”

    Really? Do the researchers actually believe that police do not know this already?

  15. avatar Mack Gerbin says:

    Instead of passing laws that affect the good guys, they should pass laws that affect the bad guys–the ones who are doing bad things. I think the laws regarding a felon possessing a gun should be tightened up considerably, something like felon caught with gun first possession 5 years, second arrest with firearm, 10 years, third arrest 25 years. No paroles. This would get some guns and bad guys off the streets.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      As far as law makers are concerned, there are criminals and suspected criminals.

      And the view of the police is there are three categories: other cops, friends and family of cops, and lowlife scum. Because of frequent interactions criminals are in category 2, and “civilians” are in category 3.

      1. avatar Bruce Clark says:

        No, that’s a wrong and unfair assessment of cops. They trust no one except other cops, and everyone in their estimation is either a criminal or a would be criminal. To become a cop that strand of DNA must be part of your genetic make-up. They are basically a legally sanctioned street gang employed by the city where they work. Sent into the biggest cesspools on a daily basis to do their dirty work and match violence with violence. As long as there are criminals in the city everything goes along fine. As long as they have vermin to exterminate. I think someone did a psychological study years ago that showed that cops and criminals psychological make up is very similar, and if cops were not cops they’d be criminals and vice versa.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “I think the laws regarding a felon possessing a gun should be tightened up considerably, something like felon caught with gun first possession 5 years, second arrest with firearm, 10 years, third arrest 25 years. No paroles. This would get some guns and bad guys off the streets.”

      Don’t like the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms, huh? You should start by repealing the Second Amendment. It won’t erase the right to keep and bear arms but it would give you a leg to stand on as you ask your overlords to infringe even more.

      It’s unfortunate that you support gun control.

      1. avatar Bruce Clark says:

        John in Ohio. That is already a law in most places. In Florida there is a 10-20-30 law that addresses that issue. But in my opinion it doesn’t go far enough. I believe if a violent repeat offender is caught committing a crime involving a gun he or she should get a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole. The same should apply to a child molester. If you get caught actually molesting a child you should never see the light of day and freedom again.

    3. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I know a few criminals. Actually, more than a few. No amount of sentence will deter them from being armed in these bad neighborhoods.

      Would you, Mack Gerbin, want to live in the real hood with nothing to protect yourself or your family? If your answer is, “Yes, I would prefer to be unarmed” then you are naive and/or foolish. If your answer is, “No, I would prefer to be armed” then you understand why your suggestions will not disarm people. I would not disarm in my neighborhood, felony or not. It would be damned foolish to do so.

  16. avatar Kyle says:

    lol

    wow, really.

    Here’s another fact,

    Police begin arresting criminals shortly after getting their badge.

    So clearly, Badges are responsible for criminals arrests.

    So equally clearly, we need not have cops, just badges.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      Badges?

      We ain’t got no badges.

      We don’t need no badges.

      I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!

  17. avatar Bruce Clark says:

    Is it just me or could this article have been one paragraph or less? The author just repeated the same information four times! It’s almost as if he’s trying to program us instead of inform us. Hmm…

  18. avatar Lynn says:

    I’ve had guns for 60 years, never even thought about using them to commit crime. Maybe relatives of criminals should be on a “hot” list?
    Since that seems to be where they obtain them.

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