Gun laws are always a hot button issue among Americans, but looking into facts and how people actually obtain illegal weapons can reveal a lot about the way the system works and one Chicago man helps clarify this issue.
Sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison, Rickey Hatchet, 25, went to Indiana to illegally purchase guns which he later sold back home in Illinois, according to Bearing Arms. Hatchet bought the handguns on three separate occasions in 2015 from an unlicensed individual in Bloomington.
Also known as Hatch, prosecutors say he recruited someone from Indianapolis to serve as the initial buyer at the sale. The seller then reviewed the person’s driver’s license and listed some of her information on a bill of sale before selling the guns to Hatch who paid in cash. In the following two purchases, Hatch used aliases to conceal his identity, covering his tracks well.
After all three purchases, Hatch brought the guns back to Chicago and sold them across the city. Police eventually recovered five of the weapons from his buyers.
Looking back and reflecting upon this, it is clear that each law meant to prevent this kind of situation was simply broken. From the straw purchase to the false information being filled out on the 4473 Form, the laws could not prevent the criminals from getting what they desired. Obviously, it is hard to find law abiding criminals these days.
According to Bearing Arms, this means there is no way to prevent criminals from obtaining guns other than banning the weapons altogether. Even then, they admit this would not stop the purchase of guns, but could at least prevent this means of receiving them. It is in this argument that they propose the opposite approach. Rather than banning guns, Bearing Arms suggests we empower the law abiding society to have access to these weapons as well.
With an introspective look, Chicagoans can admit that gun laws do not prevent gun crimes seeing as 2018 alone has already seen 187 shootings in the city, according to the Chicago Tribune. This should be taken with a grain of salt however because while Illinois is known to have tougher gun laws than many other states, Chicago is known to be the toughest city on these laws.
While Chicago does have tough gun laws, they are not the toughest and have even slacked down a bit, according to NPR.
“No one’s in a position to say that Chicago’s various special regulations and Illinois’s regulations are doing no good,” Philip Cook, professor of public policy studies at Duke University said. “Because we don’t know what the homicide rate would be in the absence of those.