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Chicago, Illinois mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for more gun control, even though Illinois has strict gun purchasing regulations already in place. But, will added gun control laws actually keep guns out of the hands of criminals? Probably not. The story was published on The Washington Times on April 25, 2017.
How Legal Gun Owners Purchase Firearms
Regulations on firearms purchases vary from state to state, even from city to city. No matter what state you live in, a federal background check will be performed before you’re allowed to purchase a firearm, including shotguns and rifles. Some states require a waiting period and some states require that you register said firearm with a law enforcement agency.
There are even more restrictions on certain kinds of semi-automatic firearms defined as assault weapons, or on magazines that can hold more than X number of rounds. All states have some form of concealed carry law, though they are all quite different. You can learn more about the regulations in your state by visiting this Wikipedia article.
These regulations apply to all Federally licensed firearms sellers. While it does not apply to private sales, some states still require a background check. Illinois even has regulations in place to prevent any person from purchasing a firearm for another person who would not pass the Federal background check.
How Criminals Purchase Firearms
There is a huge black market for weapons in the United States. This is particularly seen in border states and big cities, but can happen no matter where you live. Black market firearms are even available for purchase on the internet. Included in black market online purchases are handguns as well as weapons like the Israeli Military Industries 9MM UZI.
In inner-city areas, criminals can find many underground firearms sellers. These sellers can find any type of firearm, for a price. Often, these guns are stolen, have serial numbers removed, or are brought into the United States illegally.
The point is, your average criminal doesn’t walk into a Federally licensed gun shop, sign the agreement for a background check, and/or wait the required waiting period to purchase a firearm. Instead, they simply go online or to the neighborhood thug selling firearms from his trunk.
A Necessary Evil
Gun control regulations are a necessary evil. But, these regulations will never prevent all criminals from finding weapons to use in committing crimes. Making it more difficult for the honest citizen to purchase firearms will not prevent or reduce the number of gun-related crimes in this country.
Instead, law enforcement should concentrate efforts on finding and eliminating the black market sale of firearms. This is, of course, a daunting task, and it will not completely negate the illegal sale of weapons to criminals. But it is these markets we should concentrate on, rather than removing rights from lawful citizens.
Firearm regulations in the United States exist for a reason. However, these regulations, while perhaps eliminating a small amount of illegal sales, will not reduce the amount of gun-related violence in this country. Only by eliminating the black market will a reduction of gun crimes occur. Legislators should concentrate their efforts on these underground sellers instead of cracking down on law-abiding citizens.
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