Myth of Organized Gun Trafficking

Criminologist Gary Kleck has an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal:

High-volume trafficking, with or without the involvement of corrupt or negligent dealers, probably supplies less than 1% of the guns in criminal hands. Illicit gun sellers are instead more likely to be burglars who sell a few guns (typically fewer than a half dozen a year) along with all the other saleable property that they steal.

The view that extensive, organized trafficking is important in arming American criminals is based on isolated anecdotes about the occasional large-scale trafficking effort uncovered by law enforcement authorities and on interpretations of highly ambiguous ATF gun “trace” data.

Read the whole thing.


5 thoughts on “Myth of Organized Gun Trafficking”

  1. “..therefore, it’s only reasonable and common sense to require gun owners to keep their guns locked up in safes at all times in order to cut off the supply of crime guns.”

  2. : FAIL

    The majority does not believe in the ideology of collective guilt or collective responsibility. The majority believes that the tiny minority who won’t behave as responsible, peaceable citizens need to be removed from the environs of our otherwise peaceable society, so that the rest of us can live our lives with minimized anxiety over those others’ depredations.

    We don’t believe in punishing millions with a diminution of their liberty for the criminal behavior of tens.

    We charge our government with the task of apprehending and prosecuting those who would initiate fraud, violence or coersion against others, and removing those offenders from our midst.

    One of the most offensive failures of 20th century collective liberalism is the scheme of punishing millions of innocents for the crimes of the few, because “it’s society’s fault and we’re all in this together.” Nope.

  3. Safe storage laws are off the table, as of Heller. As Bitter pointed out here earlier, “safe” storage that would be effective against burglary would preclude firearms ownership by almost all renters and many homeowners, due to the structural requirements of a safe that cannot be removed in a reasonable timeframe.

  4. Not exactly, Ian. Our “Safe Storage” laws are still on the books here in Mass, and actually I haven’t heard of any states rolling back their laws post McDonald.

    Doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

  5. Nobody’s laws (but DC’s) have been rolled back, true. But the DC safe storage law was explicitly struck down as unconditional in Heller . We still need lawsuits, or rational lawmakers…

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