[Ed: A deep dive into the newest data from prisoners who have committed violent crimes. Rather enlightening, though I suspect that more used guns during crimes than admitted to it. Original is from the October 4 SCOPE-NY email, which will get posted here.]
Gun control politicians, at both the federal and state level, are salivating at the opportunity to use government resources in the name of public health to finance studies critical of the 2nd Amendment. Before wasting more of our tax dollars on propaganda, they should read the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of Prison inmates.
Defenders of the 2nd Amendment will find it interesting and gun control advocates will want to ignore it. In the section, “Sources and Uses of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016”, it investigated state and federal prisoners’ possessing firearms during the commission of a crime.
You can read the actual report here: Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016 (ojp.gov) SCOPE summarizes the important points below. (Emphases added for clarity.)
“About 29% of state and 36% of federal prisoners serving time for a violent offense possessed a gun during the offense”. (About three fourths of these actually used it).
Comment: Only between one-third and one -quarter of violent criminals (who got caught) used a firearm. Therefore, two thirds or more used something other than a firearm when committing the crime. (See FBI report later in this Article.)
“About 21% of state and 20% of federal prisoners said they possessed a gun during their offense” (both violent and non-violent offenses included here).
“Handguns were by far the most common type of firearm possessed or used by prisoners during the crime for which they were sentenced. About 18% of all state and federal prisoners (violent and non-violent crimes) in 2016 reported that they had possessed a handgun during the crime for which they were serving a sentence. Two percent or fewer possessed a rifle or a shotgun. Most state (79%) and federal (80%) prisoners did not possess any type of firearm during the crime for which they were imprisoned.
Here’s a summary of the above data on prisoners at the state and federal level serving time for both violent and non-violent crimes:
- 80% did not possess a firearm
- 20% possessed a firearm
- 18% had a handgun
- 1% had a shotgun
- 1% had a rifle
Note: about two-thirds of them actually used the firearm during the crime.
Comment: 1% of all the criminals in prison who were surveyed used some sort of rifle. The AR 15 Modern Sporting Rifle is derided by gun control addicts as an Assault Rifle and subject to multiple laws and proposed laws…and yet it was used by less than 1% of all criminals.
“Among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source”.
Here is a breakdown of where the criminals obtained the firearm:
- 43.2% off the street or from the black market
- 25.3% from an individual
- 10.1% at retail
8.2% at retail from an FFL
1.9 at retail from a private seller or unknown. (“0.8% obtained it at a gun show”.)
- 6.4% from burglary
- 15.0% other
Comment: Only 10.1% of firearms used in crime were obtained using legal means. But the gun control advocates spend their resources on creating more impediments to legally obtaining a firearm, while not creating impediments to the biggest problem, illegally obtained firearms. Perhaps their goal is not crime control but removing all legal firearm possession from law abiding citizens?
Male prisoners were more likely than female prisoners to have possessed a firearm during their crime.
Blacks were the most likely to use a firearm and whites were the least likely to use a firearm.
The use of a firearm in a crime declined with age.
From the FBI report, “Crime in the U.S. 2018”, from 2014 through 2018, the following was the breakdown in murders:
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Rifle 235 215 300 390 297
Knives/Cutting Instruments 1,545 1,525 1,558 1,609 1,515
Blunt Objects (hammers, etc.) 431 436 464 472 443
Hands, Fists, etc. 668 647 664 710 672
Comment: In all years, rifles were used less in murders than either knives/cutting instruments or blunt objects such as hammers or personal weapons such as hands and fists. And yet, the left-wing political leaders still focus on the AR 15
While we are writing about sources of guns, the following was published by the Associated Press on June 21, 2021 – about two months before billions of dollars in military equipment was left in Afghanistan for the Taliban:
“…at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010’s, with some resurfacing in violent crimes…AP’s total is a certain undercount”.
“Government records covering the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force show pistols, machine guns, shotguns and automatic assault rifles have vanished from armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships, firing ranges and other places where they were used, stored or transported. These weapons of war disappeared because of unlocked doors, sleeping troops, a surveillance system that didn’t record, break-ins and other security lapses that, until now, have not been publicly reported.”
In fairness to accuracy, the billions left in Afghanistan weren’t all firearms. Helicopters, drones, vehicles, etc. were also left. According to a Forbes article on August 23rd, 356,000 rifles of all sorts were left and the lowest priced were $749 so the rifles loss was “only” somewhere in excess of $266 million.
The same government that wants to deny you your constitutional rights has managed to arm one of the world’s worst terrorist organizations. Will the Taliban subject their soldiers to a NICS check before arming them with US rifles?
–Tom Reynolds is the president of SCOPE-NY.