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DOJ Report Reveals A Whopping Percentage Of Criminals’ Firearms Obtained Through Underground Market

A new report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics that examines where criminals get their guns offers a disturbing statistic: Data showed that a whopping 43% of the prisoners surveyed had obtained it off the street or from the underground market, while 7% had found it at the scene of the crime and 6% had stolen it. Additionally, 25% had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift. The survey added, “Among prisoners who possessed a firearm during the offense for which they were imprisoned, 7% of state and 10% of federal prisoners serving a sentence in 2016 bought or traded for the firearm from a gun shop or gun store.”

Only 7% of state and 8% of federal prisoners who had a firearm during their crime bought their firearm under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer at a retail source; out of that number, the majority claimed there had been a background check.

The survey noted, “Among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source.” Only a miniscule 1.3% of prisoners obtained a gun from a retail source and used it during their offense.

The survey found that roughly 20% of state and federal prisoners who had a firearm during their offense had gotten it with the intent to use it during the crime. The survey stated, “Among state prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 27% killed someone with it.”

The survey stated that roughly “29% of state and 36% of federal prisoners serving a sentence for a violent offense in 2016 possessed a firearm during the crime. About a quarter of state (23%) and federal (25%) prisoners serving time for a violent offense used a firearm during the crime.”

According to the survey, the demographics of those who possessed a firearm during their offense broke down this way:

Male prisoners were more likely than female prisoners to have possessed a firearm during their crime. About a fifth of male state and federal prisoners serving a sentence in 2016 possessed a firearm during the crime. Males in state prisons in 2016 were about 2.5 times as likely (22%) as females in state prisons (9%) to have possessed a firearm during the crime for which they were imprisoned. In federal prisons, males (21%) were about three times as likely as females (7%) to have possessed a firearm during their crime. Almost 3 in 10 (29%) black prisoners serving a sentence in state prison in 2016 possessed a firearm during their crime. White (12%) and Hispanic (21%) state prisoners were less likely to have possessed a firearm during their crime. Similarly, white (17%) and Hispanic (13%) federal prisoners serving a sentence in 2016 were less likely to have possessed a firearm during the crime than black (29%) federal prisoners. State prisoners who served in the military were less likely to have possessed a firearm during their crime (16%) than state prisoners who had not served in the military (21%).

The survey explained that there were certain prisoners who were not interviewed because they might incriminate themselves, writing:

This report excludes prisoners who were awaiting trial (i.e., unconvicted) or a revocation hearing or who were held for other reasons. Unconvicted prisoners, such as those awaiting trial or being held for other reasons like safekeeping or a civil commitment, were excluded from this report because they were not asked questions about firearm possession to protect against self-incrimination.

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2 Comments
  • CG Pyta says:

    SO HOW IS GUN CONTROL (USED TO RESTRICT AND INFRINGE LAW ABIDING CITIZENRY) SUPPOSE TO DO ANYTHING WITH THIS UNCONTROLLED, ILLEGAL MARKETPLACE? FACT IS, IT DOESN’T.

    So STOP infringing upon the rights of law abiding citizens and go after CRIMINALS.

  • Robert Stahl says:

    This is a real “NO SHIT, SHERLOCK” story. I hope nobody was paid to do this research.

  • RWF
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