Opinion / Politics

The Chicago Gun Myth

gunThe tragically incompetent mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend to deflect attention from the horror show unfolding in her city by blaming interlopers for its spiking murder rate: “We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, no background checks, no ban on assault weapons — that is hurting cities like Chicago.”

Although these accusations have leveled by Chicago politicians for decades now, they are a myth.

For one thing, there is no state in the nation with “virtually no gun control” or “no background checks.” Every time anyone in the United States purchases a gun from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) — a gun store, a gun show, it doesn’t matter — the seller runs a background check on the buyer through the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) database. In some cases, the FFL checks to see if the buyer has passed a background check via a state-issued concealed-carry permit. In states that allow individual private sales, it is illegal to knowingly sell to anyone who you believe is obtaining a firearm for criminal purposes.

Those who cross state lines to buy guns undergo the same background check, and the sale is processed by an FFL in the buyer’s home state. The exact same laws apply to all online sales.

The vast majority of Americans obtain their guns in this manner, and they rarely commit crimes. Around 7 percent of criminals in prison bought weapons using their real names. Fewer than 1 percent obtained them at gun shows. As the Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer points out, there have been around 18 million concealed-carry permit holders over the past 15 years, and they have committed 801 firearm-related homicides over that span, or somewhere around 0.7 percent of all firearm-related murders. Concealed-carry holders not only are more law-abiding than the general population as a group; they are more law-abiding than law enforcement.

Studies of those imprisoned on firearms charges show that most often they obtain their weapons by stealing them or buying them in black markets. A smaller percentage get them from family members or friends.

On top of all this, federal law requires every FFL license holder to report the purchase of two or more handguns by the same person with a week to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This is one of the reasons straw purchasers — people with a clean record who buy for criminals — spread their operations to other states. This is not unique to Illinois or Chicago. It has nothing to do with strict or lenient laws. It has mostly to do with cities and states failing to prosecute straw purchases.

Lightfoot claims that 60 percent of the guns used in Chicago murders are bought from out of state. I assume she is relying on 2017’s suspect “gun trace report,” which looked at guns confiscated in criminal acts from 2013 and 2016. Even if we trusted the city’s data, most guns used in Illinois crimes are bought in-state. If gun laws in Illinois — which earns a grade of “A-“ from the pro-gun-control Gifford Law Center, tied for second highest in the country after New Jersey — are more effective than gun laws in Missouri, Wisconsin, or Indiana, why is it that FFL dealers in suburban Cook County are the origin point for a third of the crime guns recovered in Chicago, and home to “seven of the top ten source dealers”? According to the trace study, 11.2 percent of all crime guns recovered in Chicago could be tracked to just two gun shops.

Reprinted with Permission from - National Review by - David Harsanyi

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5 months ago

The Lying Lefts are: the Radicals, the Progressives, BLM, Socialist, Fake Media and Democrats! America remember this at the “Voting Polls”.
It is about government control over your lives ….

Rahm Emanuel
5 months ago

Chicago, that toddling town. Bet you bottom dollar you’ll lose your life in Chicago.

David Loring Brown
5 months ago

I was reading David Harsanyi’s article but was confused with his geography….to wit, Mississippi is adjacent to Illinois and apparently so is Texas. I recommend looking at maps, proofreading (autocorrect can be capricious) and/or working with an editor.

5 months ago

You elect Buckwheat — then you get a Buckwheat reply to any problem.

5 months ago

The only myth about guns in Chicago is that any of their unconstitutional gun control laws work! Those laws have disarmed legal citizens and made them all potential victims! To say that these guns are being bought out of state and smuggled in, is a gross over statement. There’s plenty of armament floating around in Chicago to cause the reported shootings! Liberal leadership only enables these criminals!

5 months ago

Not use who is worst Lightfoot or the luny in Atlanta Abrams. Both love to pass on responsibility with no accountability.

5 months ago

I could at least give “Mayor” Lightfoot marks for originality but she’s parroting what Rahm Rahm Emanuel said back in 2017, “Oh those nasty guns came from Indiana”. I live in Indiana and love it (and am FROM Illinois – nice to say that), our gun laws are logical and Indiana has just passed the “free” concealed carry permit. The sad thing is that Illinois is not Chicago, there are a lot of great people who are suffering because 40% of the state’s population lives in Crook, er Cook, county where both the living and dead can vote and corruption is king and, evidently, Lori is queen.

Dr Scott
5 months ago

I heard the police chief or the top cop in Chicago last weekend say they have already confiscated like 5900 illegal weapons so far this year.
It’s the number of people harmed or murdered in the area of Chicago, and other large cities, that’s disturbing to most people.
As American Citizens, we all have inalienable rights that government can not be messed with. They’ve done it, and they keep doing it. Frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of it happening to us.
Example, the word “Infringe.” What does this mean for you?
Does it make it so that Nothing can slow, stop, block, hinder, or change the ability of whatever?
Just curious what other Americans think about this.??

Nancy Lipkins
5 months ago

Yes it is not only Lightfoots fault it is the Mayor before her and any of the mayors before those two. the problem is that they don’t want to ENFORCE the Laws that they pass……on to the criminals and put them in jail and throw away the key on them and the idiots who let criminals go because of the fake COVID-19 who need to get this so called FLU and die while their in jail just like the STUPID gov and mayor of NY who put people in the nursing homes who had the FLU so that the old people would die.

Brenda Blunt
5 months ago

Typical! Blame someone else for your ineptness!!

5 months ago

How many died in auto accidents in Illinois during the same time period? How many from drug overdose? How many has Covid-19 claimed? Are they going to outlaw these or create drug registrations? How many of the gun deaths were drug or gang related? How many were justified shootings, self defense? It’s easy to spout numbers but give all the information.

Sally Duncan
5 months ago

Interesting. Twitter won’t let me tweet this info, but FB does let me post it.

Nero Wolfe
5 months ago

I’ve seen the future, and it dosen’t work. Where did thay get this fool for a mayor?

John A. Fallon
5 months ago

The biggest problem with these out of control big cities is that people living there getting fed up and leaving, they move somewhere else but they bring thier politics with them and eventually make thier new “home” just like the one they left and cause the systemic problems to keep growing.

5 months ago

One only needs to study Russian history 1917 to 1923 to relize that history is repeating itself right here in the USA. By the way ! How much longer are we going to be able to use the term Black Market. Can’t wait to see who going to make that into a racist term like they did with ” people ” and other.

Jane CA
5 months ago

How can these folks show their faces in public? It is the unbelievable these folks got elected in the first place. They should step down before the idiot trials begin after Trump is elected !

5 months ago

Is there just ONE Democrat in America who will take responsibility for their actions? If there is, he/she is not in evidence. They are all liars and blame shifters like their leaders — Pitiful Pelosi, Crying Chuck and Shifty Schiff, Mad Maxine and the Sorrowful Squad. Guess Soros is paying an exorbitant amount of money to destroy our GREAT NATION. Vote in November and get rid of these leaches and the other cowardly communist democrats ruining our Congress.

5 months ago

I have a box of rocks that has a higher IQ than Lightfoot. She’s definitely lightheaded. Like NYC, having “strict” gun laws protects no one. Do you think there might be another cause?

5 months ago

I thought Chicago was one of the major cities that had gun control and yet all the murders and crime. Lightfoot is something else perhaps light on brains. Out getting her hair done-sure looks good right, while everyone else had to stay home-and still the crime is up. She is incapable of making any decision just passing the blame. Not supporting the police. I guess as long as she is protected she don’t really care about the rest of us-like so many of the liberal mayors and governors. Those of us with a backbone need to take back our country and put these incompetent liberal democratic governmental officials in prison or kick them the heck out of our Great Country. As a Vet, I have seen enough of our great American flag burning, innocent people being hurt -how about you? Time for action!

Bill Brown
5 months ago

The Democrats are Communists!!  The RINO’s are also Communists!!  The Republican Party as a whole is useless!!  We need a new Political Party – The Freedom Party founded from FreedomWorks.org!!  Stand-up for America!!  Make the TRUMP Movement grow – Freedom NOW!!!!!

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