Guns in America: Gun Trafficking

Thursday, January 31, 2013

More than 100 firearms were seized by the NYPD during a gun trafficking takedown. More than 100 firearms were seized by the NYPD during a gun trafficking takedown. (Kathleen Horan/WNYC)

Paul Barrett, assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and author of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, talks about gun trafficking and how concerns about gun violence in urban areas like NYC are different from elsewhere. Plus: the role of the Glock in urban areas.


Paul Barrett

Comments [38]

Kurt Tank from NJ from NJ

I think people in NYC turn to illegal guns because NYPD makes it very difficult for them to buy guns legally for self defense. As far as making a profit on straw purchases, I think, it's nonsense. It's mostly the poor who need guns for self defense cause they live in bad neighborhoods. They can't afford to pay 500 or more for a handgun.
NYC has been wiping its a... on its citizens of a long time know. They can be searched on the street for no reason other that color of their skin. They can't buy a bottle of soda of the size they want. Not to mention rampant infringement of their 2nd amendment right. I guess they like living this way.
Just please, don't' assume the rest of the country wants to live like that too.

Jan. 31 2013 10:23 PM

Bill from New Rochelle~

You've got my vote!!

Jan. 31 2013 05:13 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Peg from Tioga County NY -- Good point.

Jan. 31 2013 01:00 PM
Bill from New Rochelle

The solution to illegal gun trafficking is two-fold; and actually fairly simple; and will stop, perhaps, 80%-90% of guns going into the wrong hands:

1) Register all guns, from the factory, to the final owner.

2) When a gun is used in a crime, indict the last known registered owner as a co-conspirator to the gun crime. If he is innocent, he can go to the court where his gun crime is being tried, and prove his innocence to the judge or jury.

3) All strictures against civil trials of gun owners must be lifted. With rights, come responsibility. When a gun is used in a crime, the last-known owner bears some responsibility, and ought be sued for damages.

A) Since the 2nd amendment dictates that gun ownership is devolved from membership in an organized militia, all military reservists, and state militia members are automatically entitled to gun ownership licences.

B) A National Militia of VOLUNTEERS must be established, created by the Commander-In Chief.

C) Any active member of this Organized Militia is entitled to gun licence and ownership.

D) State reserve Militias may also be created by Governors, but those militia are under the Second Amendment, and subject to Federal call-up, as are the existing state militia. These state reserve militia, therefore, must meet Federal membership standards.

E) All militia members will be subject to the same mental state testing as the US arned forces now use, and other character filters. As volunteers, they will pay for their own testing.

F) In connection with their armed militia status, they are subject to the same discipline and good-of-the-service rules as military, for their deportment, and are subject to discharge for infractions.

G) If discharged from militia, their gun ownership privelege is revoked, and they must dispose of any and all guns in a lawful manor.

H) These volunteers are subject to Federal call-up, and entited to military pay while called up to service, until sent back down.

Jan. 31 2013 12:35 PM

How many legally owned guns are used to kill, either intentionally or not, by once "sane" ("fit") gun enthusiasts???

Adam Lanza's guns were legally owned!!!

MOST firearms used in MASS shootings are "legally" owned!!

Legally owned or not, the shear volume of firearms in this backward country put's murder and mayhem within the reach of anyone who is so inclined!!

Enough with placating the psychotics with pathological hero and/or army guy fantasies!!


Jan. 31 2013 12:14 PM


Don't bother.

Wasted keystrokes...

Jan. 31 2013 12:05 PM


The NRA takes in more $$ from gun manufacturers than from members dues.

Gee, I wonder who Ol' Wayne "Just Shy of a $1M a Year*" Lapierre is looking out for??

*According to the most recent NRA filings with the IRS.

Jan. 31 2013 12:03 PM
Peg from Tioga County NY

@Mike from Tribeca - in case you didn't know - there are plenty of "crackers" in NY. Many of my neighbors have "arsenals," and believe it's their mission to defend themselves from "The Governmency."

Jan. 31 2013 11:10 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Best way to cut down on gun violence: Major investments in REAL education and supporting people who got that stone in their shoe. The education system in this city is like a precursor to the prison system. It just leads to more and more cycles of domestic violence, street violence and poverty. We need to fully educate everyone. This would also help cut down on gun violence.

Jan. 31 2013 11:06 AM
MBS from Cobble Hill

Simple solution - require every gun owner to carry liability insurance for each gun they own. If their gun injures anyone or is used in a crime and they don't have insurance, they face jail time. Guns that are not insured can be immediately confiscated. The Supreme Court ruled that the Commerce Law allows the gov't to require insurance. Make the gun owners pay for the blood they spill, the careless accidents and the crimes committed with their weapons!

Jan. 31 2013 11:04 AM
Mike from Tribeca

As a New Yorker, why should I care if some cracker in Mississippi wants to amass their own arsenal?

Jan. 31 2013 11:02 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

@AG - I can't disagree with your statement. But legalization would definitely cut down on gun violence. Look at Mexico and the cartels and gangs killing people by the tens of thousands. Eli Lilly and J&J don't blow each other up to get into pharmacies. Illegal drugs is a major factor in gun violence.

We can control guns all we want up to outright banning them all, but it's not going to make guns disappear. The cats out of the bag -- guns are here to stay. We need to limit behaviors that lead to violence. One way to do that is drug legalization, regulation so that people can fight it out in the courts instead of on the streets.

Jan. 31 2013 11:02 AM
Sophia from Broad Channel, by way of Brooklyn

You fail to discuss the basic argument of most gun rights people (I don't own one, nor am I a member of the nra): the erosion of citizen rights. The purported quote by Ben Franklin, that 'those who are willing to trade some liberties for security deserve neither.' That is the root of the reasoning behind those who "cling to their guns" but who are otherwise reasonable people. This is a BIG part of it and ignoring it makes any discussions disingenuous.

Jan. 31 2013 11:01 AM
bernie from bklyn

good job BL show! time for rachel maddow, brian williams, bill o'reilly, anderson cooper, follow suit. rational people need to demand attention to this issue, the only real gun issue. journalists need to do their job and cut through the smokescreen created by self-serving politicians.

Jan. 31 2013 11:00 AM

All motor vehicle sales are tracked and as everyone knows a vehicle can be used as a weapon if some disturbed person is driving.

Jan. 31 2013 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Danny, the ex-cop who called in, said he could take his NY gun permit to Virginia & use it to buy guns legally there. Do states recognize each others' gun permits? Is this universal, or is there state-by-state reciprocity?

Jan. 31 2013 10:57 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Thumbs up @Tony from Canarsie

Jan. 31 2013 10:56 AM
Howard from Bronx

Who funds the NRA? The gun companies. Very short trail to find the profit motive.

Jan. 31 2013 10:56 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

What is missing in the conversation is the fact that NRA is lobby for gun manufactures. They use
gun owner rights as a shill. Over all gun sales has be declining in the past 2 decades. Americans are not into guns as in the past. So the manufactures are doing everything to increase sale. Oppose everything that limits, with in the 2nd amendment, the distribution of any and all guns.

Jan. 31 2013 10:56 AM

Bob from Brooklyn - as an FYI stolen prescription drugs are as much of a problem as hard drugs. And yes - ppl do get killed over them. It may not be doctors - but there is still violence associated with them.

Jan. 31 2013 10:55 AM

It is interesting to hear about handguns for a change. There was an incident when my son was in third grade when a mother was grabbed by a middle schooler with a "gun" to her back. It looked like a gun and felt like a gun. This mother managed to fight her way out of the grip and the unarmed security guard was able to subdue the middle schooler. Fortunately, it was not a real gun - but looked real enough that it would be difficult to tell the difference. Recently there have been a rash of smart phone robberies with middle schoolers as targets. Some have been stalked as they walked home and then trapped when they get into their apartment buildings. The schools have been educating the kids about keeping in groups and not flashing smart phones around. But I think my biggest fear as a parent is one of these stalkers having a hand gun.

Jan. 31 2013 10:55 AM

What do we have to do to get lawmakers to focus on the issue of illegal gun trafficking? All these proposals about banning certain weapons and limiting magazines will do NOTHING to stop anyone who wants to go shoot someone. It only takes one gun and one bullet to serve the purpose of shooting another person. States regulate automobiles and driver licenses more thoroughly than they do guns. How does that make sense, and how can we get lawmakers to recognize such a simple and ridiculous discrepancy as this? And how do we get the ATF to be better empowered to help control gun violence?

Jan. 31 2013 10:53 AM

Yeah - I was confused by the congressman Jeffries comments... because I remember in the early 90's the ATF arrested several traffickers in my area. I can't say I know what goes on now... but they sure used to be around.

I also agree with the current caller that it is absolutely ridiculous that cars are monitored so closely - but not guns.

Jan. 31 2013 10:53 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Less glock, more grok!

Jan. 31 2013 10:52 AM
Eli Friedmann from astoria

Brian i think what you missed in your analysis re tracing and registering all guns is that there is a significant number of gun owners in this country who think that once all guns are traceable Obama will send in the black helicopters and squash the valiant would be "militia" one gun owner at a time. It is paranoid thinking but definitely part of the gun situation here in the U.S.

Jan. 31 2013 10:48 AM

I thought the reason the NRA agreed to "instant background checks", was the fact that all checks couldn't be made instantly at the time.

They only agreed to a standard which was impossible to meet at the time. The more possible it becomes, the less they agree with it.

Jan. 31 2013 10:46 AM
Marc from Brooklyn

Re background checks: if law-abiding citizens have no reason to object to background checks when they purchase a firearm, then law-abiding citizens should have no reason to object to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies.

Funny how that standard isn't applied across the board. Why is that?

Jan. 31 2013 10:46 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Legalizing and regulating drugs will cut down on gun violence. Do we see doctors shooting it out over pain pills?

The answer is no.

Jan. 31 2013 10:44 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Legalizing drugs will drastically cut down on gun violence.

Jan. 31 2013 10:42 AM
Shaneeza Aziz from New York

What type of violence are associated with illegal handgun violence?? Drugs?? Domestic violence??

Jan. 31 2013 10:41 AM
John Williams from New York City

The NRA talks about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, not law-abiding citizens. But what percentage of homicides are committed by people who did not have a violent history prior to that shooting?

Jan. 31 2013 10:40 AM
Eli Friedmann from astoria

timely and logical topic of discussion. thanks brian!

Jan. 31 2013 10:37 AM

Why is the author who agreed with the NRA's insane response to Sandy Hook turned to week after week as the source on this issue?

Jan. 31 2013 10:26 AM
bernie from bklyn

BL show- thank you for airing this segment. this is long overdue and it's shocking that segments like this aren't being aired and explored in every news outlet. this is the core of the gun problem in our country and all the talk about assault rifles, mag's, just hot air and does not address the real problem.

Jan. 31 2013 10:15 AM

Oops...I meant "come from the government".Sorry about the typo.

Jan. 31 2013 10:11 AM

Martin. No listener interest would translate to less money from pledges in this context. What you state is technically incorrect. The minority of funds some from the government and listener ratings that translate into advertising dollars could incentivize MORE bias in reporting.

Jan. 31 2013 09:57 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL ... one further thought.
This is the problem with (public) radio when you live off the dole and don't need to worry about ratings (i.e. listener interest). Muddle along ... and still stay on the air.

Jan. 31 2013 08:39 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Oh, heavens .... yet another anti-gun rant. Same guests, same questions, same comments from the slacker peanut gallery. This got old about 6 weeks ago. "Move On."

Talk about this-

IN JUST ONE OBAMA TERM, our country has added over $6 trillion to the national debt. At $16.4 trillion, our nation’s total debt is now larger than our entire economy.
This means that every man, woman, and child owes a $53,000 share of this debt.

Jan. 31 2013 08:27 AM

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