Where do criminals really get their guns?


When I talked to my state Senator about upcoming gun control laws last fall, he was extremely adamant about two points.

One, was reinstating the “one gun per month” law. He said that there was a river of firearms flowing from Virginia into NY because we didn’t have a limit so a straw purchaser could buy 10, 20, 30 firearms at one gun store, then drive to another one and buy another 10, 20, 30 and so on. Then drive up to NY and sell them all for profit. I don’t know how accurate that is, but at the time I didn’t have enough data to argue the point. If that is the case, I don’t know how you solve that problem.

The other was he was angry that something like 200 firearms were stolen from people’s cars the year before. To me, the fix there is education and encourage the proper storage of firearms wherever you may leave them. And of course, removal of gun-free zones because sometimes people have to leave a firearm in the car because they can’t bring it into wherever they’re going.


"Europe represents the largest market for arms trade on the dark web, gathering revenues five times higher than the U.S.”

Thought this was a very interesting point. Maybe our anti gun groups should look at this before they tout Europe as some bastion of Civilization.


The key word here is “could”. We all could do a lot of things, some good, some not. Seriously, when have you ever seen anyone buying 20 or 30 guns at a gun store? You might ask said Congress Critter how a gun violates a law. The problem is criminals, who don’t by definition obey laws anyway…

Oh, and ask said Congress Critter why Virginia does not have massively higher crime than NY? Water takes the easy path, so a short river would be very noticeable if guns were the problem.


Good article, thanks for posting. :grinning:

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Yeah, I’ve never seen it either, but he was pretty adamant about it. I have a TON of data and studies and references on almost all gun topics, but that was a new one and I didn’t have anything handy to refute it. Like do 10 firearms a year make it to NY via Virginia? Or are we talking hundreds or thousands? And was this the appropriate response to hinder legal purchases rather than some other means of policing this issue?


Ask Congress Critter if drugs ever get into prisons… You know, there are lots of laws there.

Congress Critter’s argument is not logical. Virginia should be waist deep in blood and crime if citizens buying guns is the problem. Are people fleeing Virginia to go to NY because of the reduced crime rate?

The simple fact that you can’t find the numbers might indicate that guns coming from Virginia is a ‘feeling’ not a fact. Hard to argue facts with a feeling. I suspect said Congress Critter loves to argue with feelings, and not facts.


I think his point is that NY people will drive down to VA, buy guns, then drive back to NY for sale. OR… VA people will buy guns, drive to NY for sale, then drive back home with a trunk full of cash.

I’m sure that cross-state trafficking of firearms is a real thing. It’s like any other goods, they flow from where they are to where they are wanted. There are studies and reports I’m sure I just haven’t had time to look them up. I’d like to know if it really is a “problem”, and if it is I’d like to offer other solutions rather than limited regular non-criminal people from exercising their rights.

Pretty sure it would be illegal to buy handguns from VA if you are a NY resident. Would have to go to a FFL in NY.

My point is laws are more likely to restrict law abiding citizens more than they effect criminal behavior. It might be more productive to look into the source of the violence and crime instead of trying to make laws against the tool.


Toward details and numbers, either 60 minutes or Frontline did an article not too long ago about the ‘strawman sales’ being taken up into NY. NYPD were represented as being pretty certain this pipeline was flowing. I’d look within the past three years… on the websites for citation and the video article.

For me, at the time, wasn’t too focused on the details. Good hunting!

So who ever said crime doesn’t pay?

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They’re all too busy trying the wrong solutions for the problems that exist. It will take actual thought to get where they need to be, at the root of the problem. So they keep singing the same tired old song because it’s easier, I often think.


I know this is an old thread, but I feel I need to interject some facts. One cannot legally purchase handguns in a state of which one is not a resident. The ATF has tracing data on firearms by state (latest data): https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/firearms-trace-data-2018

For 2018, New York State (NYS) recovered and traced 7,689 firearms through the ATF. Of those firearms, from NYS there were 1,176 ; Georgia, 582; Virginia, 472; Florida, 388; Pennsylvania, 337; South Carolina, 326; North Carolina, 303; the rest were fewer than 300 per state. This means that NYS provides the largest number of firearms that were recovered and traced by the ATF.
NYS ATF trace data: https://www.atf.gov/file/137211/download

In 2018, NYS had 4,155 aggravated assaults with firearm; 3,293 robberies with firearm, and 313 murders by firearm.

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There is a very popular argument in Chicago that all their homocides are the fault of Indiana. They claim there’s an endless supply of illegal guns streaming over the border.

Colion Noir went to Chicago and asked why Indiana doesn’t have the same homicide rate, since that’s where all the guns are.

No answer.


Same in Virginia, with Maryland on the Northern border, in which the ATF data shows most firearms used in crimes in Maryland come from Maryland - no surprise, of course.

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Facts and data are always welcome!

I just learned something new today. Confirmed in Virginia you have to be a VA resident to buy a handgun but not a rifle or shotgun… does this apply in all 50 states?

Thank you for the links, it gives me one more place to troll for data. My motivation is to debunk (if possible) my elected representative’s position that the “one handgun a month” rule made any difference in the traffic of firearms up to NY from VA.

Yes, that is a federal law. Handguns are required to be purchased or transferred by an in-state FFL dealer. Rifles and shotguns are legal to purchase in every state, regardless of state of residence.

Hi-Dave I am william440. Communicated with you about a sawed off shot gun. I could not find our original post. In Texas you can own a sawed off shotgun as long as the barrel is 31" long.