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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Donna Hildebrandt
1 month ago

Lightfoot, just like every other Leftist politician, will NEVER take responsibility for their failings – it’s just not in their character. Everything the Left touches, it destroys!

1 month ago

Liberals have to lie and continue to hope that people are stupid enough to believe it. It is their only defense.   One thing this woman said is partially true. ‘“We are being inundated…” Yes, inundated by incredible incompetence at the highest levels of local government. But, admittedly, Soros and the democrat party are not looking for competence. They simply need a figurehead to rubber stamp and implement whatever Anti-American program they wish to force upon the poor citizens living under their rule.   I offer Joe Biden as another case-in-point as the democrats attempt to bring this level of… Read more »

1 month ago

Lightfoot is a fool and a lliar. But then she is a Democrat and they never let the truth get in the way of an anti gun rant.

Patriot Will
1 month ago

Lightfoot often blames others for her weakness and incompetence. She also has a tendency to react very negatively to those who are speaking the truth about Chicago’s increasing violence and chaos. Lightfoot is very quick to deny that she is not in control of her city. She needs to listen to her critics and accept all the help she can get. She also needs to admit that Chicago needs more police, not less. If Lightfoot were honestly contrite, she could form alliances which could drastically improve the conditions in The Windy City.

John L.
1 month ago

I’d like tp see AMAC partner up with Gun Owners of America (GOA) more for articles, firearms insurance and to counter the Bloomberg/Giffords lobby.

1 month ago

Lightfoot lost any credibility she MIGHT have had when she went on national TV and tried to justify why SHE was allowed to get her hair done but nobody else was: That she is the “face of Chicago” and it was “necessary”. If THAT is the “face of Chitcago”, I truly feel sorry for Chicagoans!

June L
1 month ago

Lightfoot, stop blaming everyone else for your lack of control in your city. Stand up to the criminals and stop blaming everyone else for your incompetence. Stop the terrorists (NOT PROTESTERS) who live and destroy their own city, burn their own businesses and kill their own people!! Put on your big girl panties and do what you were elected to do…protect the law-biding citizens of Chicago!!!

1 month ago

Just read article that I94->Dan Ryan is one route guns are getting into city. Why not put checkpoints on that route for guns? Chicago is supposed to be gun free. Also, why doesn’t Lightfoot support her police instead of using Dem talking points. Ask people on south side. They want more policing and police in schools.Ask who’s killing babies in Chicago. They are collateral damage to gang bangers in the neighborhoods. Walk the streets, Lightfoot. Chicago is a mess you inherited. Don’t point fingers. Clean it up. You can do better for Chicago.

1 month ago

Yep, those guns are just walking in there from neighboring states and shooting up the place! No human (or should I say ‘subhuman’?) element involved!

1 month ago

Mayor Lightfoot embodies incompetence, almost to the same level as Mayor Durkan (Seattle) and DeBlasio (NYC). Defunding police in the midst of a crime wave is like trying to put out a fire with buckets of gasoline. But lest we forget, these mayors did not elect themselves…the voters of these cities did. And if those voters are content with incompetence, then let them have it. Gradually, responsible people will leave as will profitable tax-paying businesses until you have a majority of incompetents being governed by incompetence.

1 month ago

So what she’s saying is that she has left her citizenry defenseless and it’s not her fault.

1 month ago

Typical democrat, she’s such a liar. She has NO ability to run a city. Typical narcissistic blame everything on somebody else!

Ed J
1 month ago

Lightfoot … just another Poster Child for Culpable Stupidity. Seems this is a recurring theme with the libtard Demshevik establishment throughout our nation. Unfortunately for these demented individuals, their mindsets are so ingrained that they will probably never change – they are just too wired into their ignorance and incapacity for reasoned or rational thought. Their collective theme song seems to be Here Come the Clowns!

1 month ago

I grew up near Chicago. It was always blaming other states for its problems. It has gotten worse as bought guns from the people. Ask Obama about the gun laws made in Illinois while he was a state senator. Ask people where were guns distributed after being turned in. How do you know buying guns from citizens of the state was the real answer with all the gangs on the streets.? There has always been more questions than answers.

1 month ago

Looks like Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in a job that is a level or two above her capabilities. It is time for her go back to whatever she did before the people of Chicago trusted her, voted for her to become the Mayer of Chicago.

1 month ago

Gory Lori belongs in jail and then prison! She is complicit in many murders, and arson, and looting! She is the leader. I suspect if she
were to face all the charges she will be in prison the rest of her unfortunate life~ WE DEMAND JUSTICE!

1 month ago

The mayor is a joke! Strictest gun laws in the country, least safe place to be. And anytime I hear anyone say “assault weapon” I realize they are a libot, have Zero firearms knowledge/weapons experience. And I why do these same idiots constantly get on a news channel and talk about automatic machine guns? She really in all honestly should be happy they can’t shoot. 93 shot 24 dead tells me someone can’t shot. If they ever figure out hold a weapon, upright not sideways you know “the way it come in the box” get the rate skyrockets! Sad but… Read more »

Phil Hammersley
1 month ago

Liberals (socialists, Marxists:all the same) run ALL the failing cities and have for over 50 years! If they are SO bright, why can’t they solve the “systemic” problems?

Frank Martin
1 month ago

This is the kind of information that should be widely disseminated to all Media outlets. I am under no illusions that the news outlets would use it, but the dissemination of this information to them and their ignoring of it should be newsworthy in and of itself.

Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Gun Myth active since 1930s with Capone days to date, right??

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