Wisconsin’s Lax Gun Laws Impacts Crime Nationally

Some interesting data is contained in a newly released report from the City of Chicago which underscores what many have known for a long time.  Not only do certain gun dealers who operate in a very slimy fashion contribute to a high percentage of gun-related crimes, but neighboring states with lax guns laws also must share in the blame, too.

According to this year’s Gun Trace Report, 40% of “crime guns” are from parts of Illinois outside of Chicago, but a sizable 20% of those guns come from neighboring Indiana.   For a precise definition the report defines a crime gun as a firearm recovered by the Chicago Police Department that was illegally possessed, used, or suspected to be used in furtherance of a crime.  These guns, sadly, make the news on a daily basis.

The failed argument that some pro-gun advocates use is that even in Chicago, where there are strong gun laws, crimes associated with guns seems out of control.  So goes their claim that gun laws do not work.  What those people miss, however, and what this latest report proves, is that the number of soulless gun dealers who work to evade sales laws combined with neighboring states with weak gun laws allows for the funneling of guns into places with strong gun laws!

According to this report in Chicago, almost 25% of crime guns came from just 10 gun stores, and over 50% of their guns came from out of state.  Those numbers are impossible for pro-gun forces to deny.

Source States

Those who have squeezed the numbers and poured over the data are seeing that in the states with the strongest gun laws, the percentage of crime guns that were originally sold in-state is at least 20 percentage points lower than in states with the weakest gun laws.  Therefore it is easy to determine that Wisconsin, with lax gun laws, is part of the problem in making the streets of Chicago much more dangerous.

Gun Laws

The numbers for Wisconsin are not good, regardless of how one tries to position them.  In fact, they prove what two of the problems are with too many guns in circulation, and the ease with which they can be purchased.  In 2016, Wisconsin was the source state for 3,772 guns used in crimes in our country.  Of those, 2,944 guns were recovered in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s weak gun laws enable gun traffickers, and other criminals and dangerous individuals to purchase, possess, and use guns in crimes in cities, towns, and neighborhoods outside Wisconsin.  

We all know instances when shootings in predominately black neighborhoods in Chicago makes the national news.  We also are aware of the types of remarks made from a certain demographic in this nation to such reports.  Some of it is bigoted and totally wrong.  But how many times do those same people recognize the role our state plays in making the streets of cities like Chicago unsafe?

With this report there is at least reason to hope that more people will be educated as to the way weak gun laws impact places far beyond one’s political borders.

10 thoughts on “Wisconsin’s Lax Gun Laws Impacts Crime Nationally

  1. Mike

    Soooo . . . repub gun mantra #1 says, “Gun laws just restrict law-abiding gun owners. Criminals are going to get guns no matter what.” This article says, “We need stronger gun laws, because these states where criminals are getting their guns no matter what have lax laws” . . . ? Is that really what I’m reading here? I’m not sure when people are going to wake up and realize that morality can’t be regulated. The harder laws make it, the more money there is in it, and the more the potential reward for having taken the risk. Stricter laws/penalties regulate morality decisions AFTER the fact; they stop nothing. If I’m a shady gun owner who got a $200 markup, and you make the laws so strict that now I can get a $500 mark up, I’m not suddenly going to become “not shady” because the penalty is greater IF I get caught. Not to mention by the time you catch Mr. Shady, he’s sold dozens or hundreds of weapons for the one you caught him with, and there are 20 people taking his spot the minute you cart him off to jail. Broken logic or relationships portrayed here between the data and what should be done about it.

  2. To your point that morality can not be regulated. Was it not the intent and hope from the Founders that we would have a nation led by virtuous men, and was not the Declaration of Independence and Constitution based on the notion that the most base instincts of man needed to be contained and made to work within a framework of laws?

    1. Mike

      And how’d that work out when it came up against (an economy driven by) slavery? Oops, conveniently left addressing that out of the whole “created equal” scenario. Kicked that can down the road to the civil war where people would rather fight and die than have morality legislated to them, or their economic engine regulated away from them.

  3. pkarm61

    The Muslim who attacked New York on Tuesday had a pellet gun and a paintball gun. Looks like the laws that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals worked

    1. Mike

      Maybe he only had enough money to buy gas to run over people and not to buy the guns, due to a low wage job. Better raise gas prices back to $4.

      David: That line of thought cuts both ways though, right? Regulating or deregulating abortion; drugs; etc. etc. is unlikely to be a be-all, end-all solution any more than further regulating guns is a solution to the background moral issues here, right? (although, not sure I agree with your cause-effect conclusions. It stands to reason that people of color enslaved, oppressed, and openly murdered in this country through the 1960s might need a little ‘help’ now from the ‘powers that be’, but for this argument, it doesn’t really matter).

      If the answer is “No, increasing regulation and penalties for these decision points where people are buying guns, having abortions, or buying street drugs is not likely to solve the problem,” then my question would be, “So why are so many people caught up in ‘voting their conscience’ on these issues?” There are a lot of people voting a party ticket because so-and-so is going to take a certain stance on abortion, gays, guns, drugs, etc., but if further gov’t (de)regulation is not going to solve the problem, why are we stuck casting votes and spending debate time on these issues?

  4. Got to go with Mike on this one, Deke. If someone devised a giant magnet and propelled it to outer space so it could suck up every pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, so-called assault rifle, etc., in America do you think the Gangs of Chicago would take up calligraphy? Liberals like to talk about root causes. There is a rottenness at the root of the murder culture in our big cities and, btw, Milwaukee is worse, per capita, than Chicago. It lies in the worthlessness that Big Government, Great Society giveaways inculcate in the Victim Class it purports to “save” but, instead, creates more dependency. But, as long as good little liberals are willing to blame guns, Republicans, the Second Amendment, lack of “family supporting jobs” (as if our gang bangers are pounding the pavement and filling out resumes), and now (especially) police … as long as we don’t demand accountability, we can continue to believe that all that is needed is more Big Government. Confiscate those guns!

  5. Mike

    I do like the idea of the gun magnet, though! I would certainly be easier to assess and treat causes if that side of the equation were set to zero.

  6. I want to come back to the point that intrigues me from Mike’s original comment and blend it to David’s comment. That being morality can not be regulated. When thousands of angry men took up arms in Massachusetts over their economic plight, attempted to take over a weapon depot, and shut down local courts it took action to stop not only that episode, but also caused leaders to grasp the fact a more concerted national government was needed to be shaped into being. A robust national government followed Shays Rebellion. The mass shootings–as defined as four or more people shot in an incident–surely rises to the level of a national moral crisis and to not then think a national government response is warranted seems most unreasonable to me.

  7. tim

    Considering the proximity of Wisconsin to Chicago, it seems like the number should actually be higher. Of course out of state guns are more likely to come from closer states. If Chicago is somehow an outlier in this case, that might be something. But I suppose if you did the same study in New York or Miami or Houston, you would find the same: that many of the out of state guns came from the states which share borders. In the end, this tells us nothing.

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