How guns get into Chicago
by Josh K - 1/4/13 6:55 AM
In Reply to: 506 homicides Chicago 2012 by TONI H
A few excerpts:
Altogether, there are 441 federally licensed dealers in suburban Cook County and the five collar counties, according to the latest ATF data. Most of these suburban shops, officials say, are law-abiding businesses that operate responsibly. But a small percentage—fewer than 1 percent, the city says—are responsible for nearly half of all the firearms used in crimes in Chicago.
In 1992, Don Terry looked into the city's illegal gun market and found that obtaining a gun on the street was also easy:
The gangs and other criminals also get weapons through barter, or "trade-ins." The gangs trade narcotics for the guns of drug-addicted burglars, who will sell a $500 pistol for less than $100.
"We get half our guns through trade-ins with dope fiends," said a gang member on the South Side. "If you wanted a gun right now, we could put in an order and you'd have it. It's like going through the drive-through window. 'Give me some fries, a Coke and a 9-millimeter.' "
Terry spoke to one gang leader who got his first gun from a drug addict, had just bought 27 guns an addict stole from a retired police officer's house, and regularly went to gun shows to buy and then resell at a substantial profit on the black market—a combination of the many ways guns are exchanged in the city.
The article goes on to say that an unusually high percentage of gun homicides in Chicago are gang-related, which means a smaller number of guns are committing a larger number of murders.
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