A study conducted by the Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health shows that four out of five criminals acquire their guns illegally, while one out of five acquires them through legal means, prior to building up a criminal record.
The Washington Post published the study, which looked at guns recovered from Pittsburgh crime scenes in 2008 and found that “in approximately 8 out of 10 cases, the perpetrator was not a lawful gun owner but rather in illegal possession of a weapon that belonged to someone else.”
Roughly one out of five guns, 18 percent, were used in crimes by the people who actually purchased them. This latter group would consist of people with criminal intent but no criminal record to prevent them from passing a background check. Such people have legally acquired weapons, then killed innocents at Virginia Tech University (2007), Fort Hood (2009), Aurora movie theater (2012), DC Navy Yard (2013), Fort Hood (2014), Chattanooga (20105), Umpqua Community College (2015), Orlando (2016), among others.