By: Teresa Mull

The Department of Justice just released the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates (SPI), revealing that of the prisoners who had possessed a firearm during their offense, a huge majority of them did not jump through gun control hoops to obtain their gun(s).

The survey finds:

An estimated 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense. Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.

Among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source.

The survey also found: "Handguns were the most common type of firearm possessed by state and federal prisoners (18% each); 11% of all prisoners used a handgun," and "Among prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense, 0.8% obtained it at a gun show."

Since none of the most popular gun control measures have affected the way violent criminals behave, the argument for increased background checks, "assault weapons" bans, waiting periods, age restrictions on gun purchases, closing the so-called "gun show loophole," etc. should all go out the window, right?

Alas, if only safety and crime reduction were the liberals’ true goal.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) reminded us in an interview with Gunpowder Magazine recently that:

“For Democrats, this issue is about emotion. They’re appealing to emotion and not reason. If they were appealing to reason, they would know ways to keep people safe and that, to quote a book, ‘more guns equal less crime.’ But also for the Democrats, it’s about paying back their donors. Soros and Bloomberg are going to want what they paid for, and what they paid for is disarming our society.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at