Three readily juxtaposed articles from the St. Louis newspaper will answer those question. One primary way they obtain guns is theft. Sometimes it’s an organized theft ring stealing the guns, like these guys who were sentenced back on 1 March 2013:
Denis M. Joiner, 20, of Chicago, was sentenced in federal court here [East Saint Louis, Ill] Friday to nine years in prison for a series of thefts from gun stores in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, prosecutors said.
Joiner and three other Chicago men stole a total of 455 guns, prosecutors said, including 124 from a Salem, Ill., store known as “Hunting Stuff,” that they then sold in Chicago.
Gee, didn’t anyone tell these thieves that they were violating Illinois’s very strict gun control laws? In fact, they committed hundreds of gun law violaions, but like most anti-gun jurisdictions, Illinois doesn’t enforce those laws against real criminals. These guys were only charged with theft. They were caught by expert police work, right?
They were caught when one was arrested by police in Chicago after firing shots into the air on New Year’s Day last year. His prints matched a box left at the scene of one of the thefts, they said.
Oh, right. They were caught because one was an utter blockhead. Got it. Three of the four thieves were sentenced to relatively short terms for enabling hundreds of gun crimes — from five to nine years in prison, of which they’ll probably serve less than half. The fourth was not sentenced, but his life of crime still caught up with him — he was murdered in Chicago a year ago January. Fortunately, Rahm Emanuel can still count on his vote. And when the other three jitbags get out, they won’t be able to pass a background check, but they already know how to get guns without them.
OK, but that’s an isolated incident, right? As isolated as this one from January.
ST. LOUIS • The handgun Sean Johnson used to shoot an administrator at a business college downtown last week had been stolen during a burglary in St. John in 2011, police said.
Sean Johnson’s another charming guy — he had a warrant out for probation violation, but nobody was really looking for him. They figured he’d turn up, and he did: he didn’t appreciate being turned down by a financial aid counselor at a career college, so he shot the guy with a Kel-Tec pistol. (He then shot himself in the side, apparently by accident). Another story describes how the criminal had defaced the serial number of the Kel-Tec, unaware that ATF Firearms Technology Branch has ways to recover ground-off engraving and stamping.
The ineptocrats at the press called the Kel-Tec a Tec-9. Because it was 9mm and had “Tec” in the name. (Did you know the AR-15 is the preferred weapon of Pirates of the Caribbean? Well, they do go “AR”).
Oddly enough, Johnson would not have passed a background check, either. As an ex-con (for trying to cut a taxi driver’s throat) and under an active warrant, he was a prohibited person. But somehow he managed to get a gun in the underground market. (He was, unusually, charged with two firearms violations as well as the attempted murder).
Oddly enough, the warrant for Johnson’s arrest had his home address. So why wasn’t he picked up? His home address was in St. Louis, MO. And they don’t want to be bothered picking up fugitives:
County police sends information to other jurisdictions where fugitives have home addresses, but it said St. Louis city police asked about a year ago to be taken off the list.
The police chief explains that they only bother picking up homicide and aggravated assault suspects. They’re too busy to chase mere aggravated assult or attempted murder convicts who blow off their probation. There are too many of them.
Really makes you want to visit St. Louis, doesn’t it?
And so what happens when these guns get in the hands of criminals? Often enough, they don’t work. Very fortunate for one ATF undercover officer. The would-be shooters, who go by “Freaky” and “Blood” (we are not making this up!) have been resettled in a new zip code for the time being.