By: José Niño

Chicago is generally at the center of gun control debates because of its rampant violence.

A common trope put forward by anti-gunners is that the city’s problem with gun violence emanate from firearms brought in from out of state, namely, from states like Indiana that have laxer gun laws.

Such assumptions, of course, do not always square with reality.

AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) released a report refuting this narrative. According to its 2018 figures, the ATF found that Illinois was the leading source state for guns recovered by Illinois authorities.

ATF figures show that 5,337 firearms found in Illinois could be sourced and traced back to Illinois; 4,375 firearms recovered in Illinois could be traced to 14 other states such as Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, and Michigan. An additional 792 guns originated from a group of 34 states.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has harped about Chicago’s gun violence problem and has frequently scapegoated outside states for this issue. She went on CNN’s State of the Union and declared:

Our gun problem is related to the fact that we have too many illegal guns on our streets, 60 percent of which come from states outside of Illinois.”

Illinois is not a pro-gun place. It currently has a rank of 41st place according to Guns & Ammo magazine’s most recent Best States for Gun Owners rankings. Additionally, the state and the city of Chicago have built a nasty reputation for their soft-on-crime policies. For example, Cook County decided to remove its gang database in 2019 out of fears of being “racially insensitive.”

Knowing full well that criminals will do what it takes to acquire firearms, no amount of gun control will deter them from committing their criminal activities. It takes an armed citizenry, along with a rational approach to policing, to tackle crime head-on. Lightfoot’s scapegoating is typical of the post-fact Left that only cares about advancing misleading narratives to confuse people into supporting their anti-freedom agenda.

José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.