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A study conducted by academic researchers and the federal government at Chicago’s Cook County Jail has confirmed what previous studies have shown and Second-Amendment advocates have known for a long time: Criminals do not use legal markets to obtain firearms, according to this story from

Philip J. Cook, Susan T. Parker, and Harold A. Pollack, writing for the scholarly journal “Preventive Medicine,” conducted interviews with criminals held in the jail that revealed they obtained the firearms they used for criminal purposes from their respective networks of friends and acquaintances.

This story from about the same study says, “They do not buy guns in gun stores. They do not get guns at gun shows. They do not buy them from Internet sources. The study even found that criminals only rarely steal guns.”

The study also found that criminals don’t usually buy guns on the used market either, because they’re wary of buying from anyone who isn’t a relative, a fellow gang member, or another criminal. And they don’t hang on to the guns they carry or use for very long, because of the risks associated with a gun that can be traced to a specific crime.

All this adds up to mean that no matter how strict the gun control laws regarding the sale of firearms might be, they simply don’t effect criminals and the way they obtain firearms.

The NRA-ILA story says: “They concluded that since criminals do not hold guns long, ‘disrupting’ the supply chain would have a positive effect on criminal gun use…but how this ‘disruption’ can be achieved is not spelled out or suggested. Of course, the authors refuse to offer the obvious conclusion many will draw from their results: expanding background checks would have no impact on the criminal acquisition of guns. Instead of admitting that their own research argues against the primary goal of the anti-gun movement right now—expanded ‘universal’ background checks—the authors reveal their pre-established bias.”

Here’s the actual wording from the published study:

“The frequency of transactions and high turnover suggests that an effective disruption of transactions might have an immediate effect on gun use in crime, and that the impact of such efforts would grow over the course of a year…the police are a powerful influence on the nature of Chicago’s underground gun market. Fear of arrest limits what transactions take place, making the market much less efficient than it would be otherwise (Cook et al., 2007). It appears, then, that continued and even expanded law enforcement efforts could increase transactions costs in this underground market.”

Basically the study is saying, if the risk of arrest is high enough, it will cut down on guns available to criminals because their cost, based on risk, would become prohibitively high.

Go here to read the study and its conclusions in its entirety.