U of Chicago Study: Few Criminals Buy Guns Legally

Acquired regardless of the law which they ignore.

Acquired regardless of the law which they ignore.

By Frank Main of the Chicago Sun-Times


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Pollack, Philip Cook of Duke University and Susan Parker of U. of C. were the authors of the study, which was published online Friday in the Preventative Medicine journal.

Researcher Alisu Schoua-Glusberg led a team that conducted anonymous, face-to-face interviews with the men in the fall of 2013. The sheriff’s office selected inmates who were facing gun charges or whose criminal background involved gun crimes.

About 70 percent said they got their guns from family, fellow gang members or through other social connections. Only two said they bought a gun at a store. It’s unclear how many of those surveyed were felons, but they can’t hold a state firearm owner’s permit — so they can’t legally purchase a weapon at a store.

Most of the men said they had possessed semiautomatic handguns and preferred magazines with a capacity of 30 or more bullets. Only a handful said they had possessed military-style assault weapons such as an AK-47.