The inmates made clear they do not walk into gun stores to buy guns.
A new study conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, inmates in the Cook County jail said they get they guns on the streets from “personal connections” rather that outlets like guns shows and the internet.
The study focused on “inmates who were facing gun charges or whose criminal background involved gun crimes.”
According to the Chicago-Tribune, Crime lab co-director Harold Pollack said the study shows that “some of the pathways [regarding guns] people are concerned about don’t seem so dominant.” He said very few inmates indicated using gun shows or the internet. Rather, they get the guns in undetectable ways on the street. He said the inmates know they run the risk of being caught by police but “were less concerned about getting caught by the cops than being put in the position of not having a gun to defend themselves and then getting shot.”
The vast majority of the inmates used handguns to commit their crimes or protect themselves, very few cited using “military-style assault weapons.” And they said their habit was to get rid of a gun after one year because of the “legal liability” of being caught with a gun that could be linked to crimes they or others committed.”
As for specifics regarding sources for purchasing guns, some of the inmates indicated that gangs have individuals with a Firearm Owners Identification Card who buy guns then sell them to gang members. Others indicated using “corrupt cops” who seize guns then “put them back on the street.”