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Chicago rail yard (courtesy

The civilian disarmament industrial complex seeks to enact an endless series of laws designed to make it difficult for criminals to legally purchase guns. The antis would have you believe that “straw purchases” – guns bought by legal purchasers for criminals – are the primary source for “crime guns.” Considering the “facts” presented by the antis to justify their unconstitutional infringements, I know of only one reliable study on the subject of criminal sources for firearms. It was conducted in by the Department of Justice (no less) in 2002. The survey said . . .


In case you missed it, “In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 12% from a retail store or pawnshop, and 80% from family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source.”

Gun show loophole much? Statistically, you can round that danger down to zero. As for the “retail store” category, the only way a criminal can purchase a firearm at a gun store [currently] is if he or she doesn’t have a criminal record. Which means that they weren’t criminals, yet. Laws that make it difficult for Americans to legally purchase firearms come straight from the Department of Pre-Crime.

How great is that? Meanwhile note: it doesn’t matter. As we see in countries with complete gun bans, bad guys still get guns. Period. Well, add this: the abuse of a right by someone should have nothing to do with my right – any American’s right – to keep and bear arms without government regulation, as clearly stipulated by the United States Constitution.

Which brings us to the Chicago rail yard theft of 111 firearms. reports that cops recently collared the bad guys. The incident highlights the mechanics and prevalence of the black market for guns.

The train was carrying 318 firearms from the Ruger factory in New Hampshire to Spokane, Wash., and had stopped in Chicago for the night, according to the charges. About 7 a.m. that day, a railroad employee noticed that several locks and seals on the train had been cut open, and police later found bolt cutters and a Ruger magazine in the yard.

Federal agents who inspected the train when it arrived at its final destination discovered that a total of 111 guns were missing, according to the charges. Six of the guns have since been recovered “in unrelated incidents” throughout Chicago, the complaint alleged. The charges did not specify if the guns had been used to commit crimes.

I wonder why that is.

In a videotaped statement, Peebles admitted that he had committed the theft of the firearms with nine other individuals, who each kept 13 of the guns, according to the charges. Peebles said he kept one of the pistols for himself and sold the other 12 to a man he knew as “Chuck” for $2,200.

Do the math. “Chuck” bought the stolen guns for $183 a piece. (Wanna bet there were a few ARs in the batch?) Like any other non-governmental, non-philanthropic enterprise, crime is a for-profit business. Why would a criminal buy a box-fresh gun from a gun store at full retail – risking arrest – when he can purchase a stolen gun for a fraction of the price?

While we’re at it, ask these guys why they didn’t “straw purchase” firearms [story via].

Two Zion men are charged with stealing guns worth about $30,000 from a gun store, and investigators are looking into an allegation that they planned to retaliate against police for a controversial recent shooting by an officer, prosecutors said.

Lawrence Taylor and Clarence Williams, both 18, are charged with burglarizing a Zion gun store and stealing about 55 rifles, semi-automatic handguns and shotguns in two alleged break-ins the night of May 31 and early June 1, according to court records and Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews.

Again, the comparison between stolen guns – whether stolen from a train, gun store or a private residence – and firearms purchased legally for criminal purposes is so dramatic that it’s not worth making. Besides, with some 350 million guns in circulation in the United States, criminals will get guns. Even if all those guns disappeared (i.e., the government passed a complete gun ban followed by confiscation) criminals would make them. As they already do.

In short, gun control (a.k.a., “gun safety”) is a meaningless unconstitutional endeavor that puts innocent life at risk. In case you didn’t already know.  [h/t ripcord]

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  1. Common sense gun laws would have prevented these “gun nuts” from attaining mass murdering death machines….LOOK AT THIS BABY!

  2. I so F-ing hate Illinois. I lived there way too long. Thankfully, I now call a red state home. Free at last. Freee at last.

    • Illinois says “Thank God for NJ when it comes to being at the bottom in gun control.”

      • To be fair, Illinois as a whole is definitely middle of the pile. Their carry system is not perfect, but better than some. On top of that, there is no state wide ban on anything other than a few NFA items. (and we’re working on shortening that list)

        • Permission to acquire via a 10 year license/ID card that is shall issue. That’s the big affront to your dignity.

          Otherwise not too horribly bad, probably the best blue state now that CCW was mostly adopted (very expensive progressive version is anti-poor people).

        • If it weren’t for the FOID, I would agree with you. However, middle of the pack states don’t have FOID cards, and just the concept of them should require multiple tarring and featherings of elected officials and bureaucrats.

  3. So who in the rail yard tipped off the thieves to which car to rob? Working in a rail yard myself, we do not know the specific contents of rail cars. We may know generic content of some cars but manifests of train car contents are generally not available to everyone in the yard (At least not the rail yard I work in). So if this was a random smash and grab, they got lucky. Otherwise, it was an inside job.

      • More likely it was somebody closer to Ruger or the destination in the logistics chain.
        Railcars should all have identifying numbers on them in clear, easy-to-read fonts. Just get the railcar number and rail depot location and it wouldn’t take long to track it down.

  4. Time to put railroad police on trains instead of relying on locks. Spot checks don’t cut it. They have interstate jurisdiction. Transporting firearms with mere locks is stupid. Then letting them sit in yard unattended.

  5. “Chuck” bought the stolen guns for $183 a piece. (Wanna bet there were a few ARs in the batch?) So we need to get to Chuck’s Gun Shop and get an AR for $200? What a deal!

    • There is a “Chuck’s Gun Shop” in suburban Chicago that gets picketed periodically by the antis. I doubt their prices are that low.

      • Picketed JUST last week…by Jesse J. and Fadder Pflegm…the NRA and Illinois Rifle Assoc. returned the “favor” by showing up at a Catholic Church in Tinley Park-just saw it on the local news. The marxist “priest” can’t even be transferred as the church is afraid of him. Anyhoo…I’ve had several guys (all but one black) at the local gym tell me their guns were stolen-loose lips sink…BUT there ARE plenty of straw purchases…legal buying for criminals.

        • I’d like to see a more useful breakdown of the data than the published tables. What does:
          – friends and family mean? Are these straw-buys? A thug who is given grandpa’s old .38? Christmas gifts? Are these friends and family knowingly transferring guns to people they know or have reason to believe are criminals?
          – street/illegal-source mean? How did the street or illegal-source get the gun? Straw-buy? Trafficking? Stolen? From consumer or FFL?
          Are criminals buying guns at FFLs before they have a NICS record? Are non-criminal straw-buyers buying on a one-off basis for boyfriends? Or, are they traffickers who go on a shopping spree? Whatever the actual nature of the diversion will indicate radically different public / private responses. One-off straw-buying will require that society determine to jail single mothers to create an effective deterrent. If society refuses to do that, then this diversion source will remain wide-open. If shopping-sprees by traffickers are the source then we have to think of some means of effective surveillance.
          The entire “gun-show loophole” discussion presupposes a quasi-legitimate member of the “gun-culture” indiscriminately selling to strangers. Let’s grant that this must be happening at least once per year. Yet, if this source represents only a small part of the flow then UBC will prove entirely ineffective.

  6. If we allow criminals to obtain and possess guns, it’s not like they’ll make us pay tax money so that they can take ours, and we have an even percentage of bodily harm than by those who do. Less maybe, if they don’t make us get an abortion.

  7. I believe Ruger’s AR15 rifles are now coming out of the North Carolina plant. The New Hampshire plant is turning out Mini-14s and I think all of the revolvers now.

  8. I would assume that a lot of the folks providing the “friends and family” plan could also be called “straw buyers”. Not really sure how you stop that.

  9. Pawn shops that buy and sell guns are usually FFLs so in theory those purchases are BG checked similar to a retail store.

  10. “Lets rest in Chicago with a train full of guns, this will be a great idea”. Great idea! Now who is the crooked tipster?

  11. Kind of puts to lie the old myth of the enormously expensive stolen gun.
    I Joe Thug steals an $800 dollar pistol and sells it for $250; he just made more than the FFL did when he sold it legally.

    • Good insight.
      In any case, I wonder about the segment of the criminal gun supply that is made-up of stolen guns.

      This rail-yard theft strikes me as an extremely exceptional case. Moreover, the inference being drawn here is that many such guns were long-guns rather than hand-guns. OK, so, a stolen-gun is a stolen-gun. It doesn’t much matter whether it was stolen from a common-carrier, gun store or home. That said, now: So what? How many long guns are used in crimes? If Bob steals Adam’s rifle/shotgun and sells it to Charlie, a peaceful recipient of stolen-goods, we admittedly have a crime. Is it a crime of violence? Or, a property crime? We can take at face value the ATF statistics on guns reported stolen each year but these statistics – without a hand-gun/long-gun breakdown – don’t tell us much about the extent to which stolen guns are being used to perpetuate violent crime.

      What is the distribution of the ages of the serial-numbers on guns reported stolen; particularly hand-guns? What are the owners’ zip codes and the corresponding demographics? What are the patterns of owners reporting thefts?

      If some rural resident – OFWG reports that his house was broken into and he lost his whole collection of 4 handguns, 5 rifles and 6 shotguns we can surmise one thing. Now, is this the first and only theft this victim reported? Or, has he suffered a pattern of prior losses?

      If a twenty-something female in an inner-city precinct reported that her apartment was broken into and she lost her self-defense Glock we might surmise another thing. Now, is this the first and only theft this victim reported? Or, has she suffered a pattern of prior losses?

      How about the crime guns that are recovered? How many were reported stolen? How many from legitimate owners like the OFWG or the twenty-something female? How many from OFWGs who reported but a single incident in a lifetime vs. how many twenty-something females whose gun loss reports reoccur?

      The more I think about the paucity of data available concerning crime guns the less I feel I understand about the phenomena. In my professional life I occasionally have to dig into a pile of data; my usual experience is that the facts underlying the data are far messier and far different from my preconceived expectations.

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