We’ve long known that concealed-carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding people in the country. But a new study released by the University of Pittsburgh suggests that firearm owners in general are similarly law-abiding.
The study focused on tracing the origins of the 893 guns recovered from crime scenes in 2008. “All guns start out as legal guns,” lead researcher Anthony Fabio told the Washington Post. “As a public-health person, I’d like to be able to figure out that path.”
Once all guns were traced, researchers found that in roughly 80 percent of cases, the perpetrator wasn’t the lawful owner of the crime gun, but was in illegal possession of someone else’s firearm. About a third of those guns had been stolen—but researchers suspect that a large portion of the remainder came from illegal straw purchases.
Previous studies have come to similar conclusions, but this research serves to even further disprove the idea that making it harder for law-abiding Americans to purchase guns will do anything to stop crime.