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The three agents then explained that about 80 percent of black market guns no ffl found in New York City come from out of state. That makes sense; after all, New Jersey and Connecticut are within commuting distance of New York City. They also said the average “time to crime” (the time it takes for a gun sold from a gun dealer to make it to a criminal’s hands and then to a crime scene) is 12 to 13 years in New York City. “In that time a handgun could easily go through four or more owners,” said Agent Mulham. I asked, “So basically the guns seized at crime scenes aren’t leading back to guns for sale without ffl but to thefts or other sales?” They nodded agreement. This made me refer to the ATF’s statistics to get them to explain what’s behind some shocking numbers. I noted that the ATF estimates that 190,342 guns were lost or stolen in the U.S. in 2012. Most of those guns (177,898) were lost or stolen from private residences and vehicles, but 5,762 firearms were reported as being stolen from Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers—gun stores, pawn shops, and so on. The thing is, though those numbers are alarming, the ATF officially says the number of no ffl guns for sale stolen from private hands people buy illegally is a guestimate based on different sources of data.
The ATF’s “2012 Summary: Firearms Reported Lost and Stolen” report explains, “This is raw data that has not been substantively reviewed by the FBI, has not been screened for duplicates or other data entry issues, and does not account for firearms that were subsequently found or recovered.” The ATF does, however, say the number of black market guns stolen from FFLs is a good statistic because in 1994 Congress required FFLs to report the theft or loss of any firearm from their inventories to both the ATF and to local police within 48 hours.
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Police dealing with new sources of black market guns no ffl that are supplying Canada’s illegal firearms trade. Police are scrambling to keep pace with criminals who are coming up with creative ways to supply USA, Canada and Australia black market with firearms.
“Gun violence is getting worse, there is more access to illegal guns or firearms most especially in Canada, USA and Australia gun black market. Police Chief Mark Saunders told CBC News. “And so we have to look at the problem from a bigger perspective.” That means looking more closely at the flow of guns throughout the country.
Police are trying to reduce the number of illegal guns through things like gun buyback program, which pays $200 for long guns and $350 for handguns. By Friday, two weeks into the three-week program, it had collected 1,235 firearms. But even as programs like this seek to get guns out of circulation, fresh ones are being added through the black market guns for sale every day.
The majority of no ffl guns for sale in Australia and Canada used to be smuggled across the border from the U.S., but that seems to be changing. According to police, a growing number of people now buy guns legally in Canada and resold on the gun black market, or made here illegally. That’s not to say smuggling isn’t still a problem. The number of firearms confiscated at the Canada-U.S. border has fluctuated over the years — 751 were seized during the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.
They are hidden in gas tanks, the trunks of cars, in luggage, or on someone’s body. In one remarkable instance involving Montrealer Alexis Vlachos, firearms were smuggled through a public library that straddles the border with the U.S.
Last year, The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was granted an extra $51.5 million in funding over five years to enhance screening, detection and training around firearms smuggling. The RCMP were also given $34.5 million over five years for the new Integrated Criminal Firearms Initiative to enhance intelligence gathering, technology and investigations. Superintendent Jason Crowley with the Windsor police department says the appeal of smuggling guns is pure economics.
“You will see a guns for sale without ffl purchased in the States for potentially $200 to $300, and they’ll go on the streets [in Canada] for $3,000.”Crowley calls it a “pipeline” — Black market guns no ffl smuggled across the border from Detroit into Windsor, and then to cities across the country. He says the influx of firearms has contributed to an increase in violent gun crime in Canada.
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However, Crowley points out that it’s not only guns smuggled across the border that are a concern these days. Last December, police busted a firearm manufacturing ring and confiscated so-called ” Black market ghost guns ,” firearms assembled from parts obtained legally and without any serial numbers.Police also say 3D printers and other devices are being used to either make guns, or create parts that turn some firearms into automatic weapons capable of firing many more rounds a minute. Such guns have been found across the country. Police in Winnipeg said this week that the number of homemade firearms seized on the streets has spiked from three in 2016, to more than 60 last year.
“I think it’s safe to say that the creation of weapons will be something that will definitely play a huge, disruptive factor when it comes to community safety in the years to come,” Toronto’s Chief Saunders says. Another growing source of illegal guns in USA, Canada and Australia according to police, is firearms that were originally bought legitimately through retailers.While the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says it is working with Statistics Canada to compile national figures, Chief Saunders says what he’s seen in Toronto is a growing concern. “It’s Toronto-specific that the black market guns no ffl majority of them are domestic, predominately through straw purchasing,” Saunders says.
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Some of these Guns For Sale No FFL were stolen from their legitimate owners and resold, others were bought legally by Canadians and then offered for sale illegally for a profit. “Straw purchasing” is when a legal Canadian firearm licence holder buys a gun and then sells it on the Guns For Sale No FFL market. Criminals try to remove the serial numbers to make them untraceable.
“Those guns are now in the black market for guns and being used as crime guns, typically,” Crowley says. Among the more notable cases is Justin Green, a former philosophy student at the University of Toronto, who legally purchased 23 handguns over the course of 22 months starting in 2011, including as many as 15 from a single location, and then illegally resold them. That same year, Andrew Winchester purchased 47 handguns from black market guns no ffl over the course of six months, selling them on the illegal firearm market for as much as $100,000.
Green and Winchester were only caught after the guns they purchased and resold were found at crime scenes and identified. Straw purchasing cases have also recently occurred in Alberta and B.C., with officers telling CBC News it is a growing concern for them as well. “Straw purchasing is a hot-button topic,” says Wes Winkel, owner of the Ellwood Epps sporting goods store in Severn, Ont. He says it can be tough for retailers to identify a possible straw purchaser, although there are some telltale signs.
“They tend never to buy accessories. You know, most sports shooters will need accessories to go with their firearms, whether it be holsters, ammunition, stuff like that.” Wes Winkel, is the owner of the Ellwood Epps sporting goods store in Severn, Ont. He says it can be tough for retailers to pick out a possible straw buyer, and law enforcement authorities have been slow to identify them based on sales records. (Mia Sheldon/CBC)
Still, Winkel says the proposals meant to stop it — including broadened background checks, licence verification and extended mandatory record-keeping by gun retailers that includes details of the gun and who bought it — would not be effective because the real issue is these are Guns For Sale No FFL and lack of enforcement.
Winkel says years of sales records are already kept by retailers, and yet authorities aren’t effectively using that information to quickly flag straw buyers. “For whatever reason, the amount of time it takes for law enforcement to identify a straw person is too long.”
Still, Crowley of the Windsor Police says stronger legislative measures would help. “There is a demand for these guns, these firearms, and there’s definitely going to be a market,” he says, and the potential for profit will continue to fuel straw buying and smuggling without deterrents.