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Thread: "For teens, illegal guns easy to get on streets", says Seattle PI

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    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/377311_guns02.html]

    Stolen weapons often come cheap
    By CASEY MCNERTHNEY
    P-I REPORTER


    When 16-year-old Luis Cosgaya-Alvarez wanted to get a gun, police say, he didn't have to look far.

    Cosgaya-Alvarez bought a .40-caliber handgun on the street in downtown Kent from an illegal dealer, court documents say.

    Less than two weeks later, Cosgaya-Alvarez, a self-proclaimed gang member, fired a single shot from that gun to kill a man he argued with outside a Federal Way school, according to documents used to charge him with murder.

    The shooting underscored a persistent problem of juveniles using guns in crime: The weapons are simple to get and cheap. They are for sale not just on street corners in Kent but throughout the region.

    "People can get stolen guns for 50, 100 bucks," said Gabe Morales, a local gang expert who works with police and at-risk youths. "It's easier to get a gun than it is to get a car."

    You can't buy rifles or shotguns in Washington until age 18. People can possess a pistol in limited circumstances at 18 but can't purchase one or carry a concealed pistol until age 21.

    Morales said teens unable to get a handgun legally often ask around on the streets until they're connected with street dealers who specialize in selling firearms. Sometimes they peddle a range of guns from the trunks of their cars.

    The illegal guns frequently end up in police reports.

    A 16-year-old with suspected gang ties used an illegal gun when he shot another teen in the face near 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street earlier this year, authorities say.

    An 18-year-old who prosecutors say fatally shot a teenager in a Kent gang-related confrontation -- and was shot himself hours later in suspected retaliation -- possessed his firearm illegally.

    As part of the investigation of Cosgaya-Alvarez and the Federal Way homicide, police are having a ballistics test done on the gun they say Cosgaya-Alvarez used and have asked the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace the gun's history, a Federal Way spokeswoman said.

    In 2006, the ATF opened a regional crime gun center in Seattle. The center is a destination for many weapons that city and state police seize.

    All traces go through the ATF, said Candice Nilsson, the center's senior ATF investigator. However, she said agencies are not required to submit all recovered guns, despite the benefits.

    Last year, Washington law enforcement agencies traced 3,553 guns, according to the ATF. More than 40 percent of those -- 1,561 -- were pistols.

    Federal law prevents the ATF from publicly sharing specific data about crime guns, including how many of those traced were used by juveniles, where they were bought, or in what specific geographical areas they were used, said Doug Krogh, group supervisor of the Seattle division ATF intelligence group.

    Agents also point out that not all traced guns were actually used in crimes, such as rifles lost while hunting.

    At the Regional Crime Gun Center, agents determine how suspected criminals got their hands on illegal guns. The Seattle Police Department also has a crime gun analyst, who did not return interview requests for this story, who works with the ATF gun center and looks for patterns in the histories of the firearms used.

    In some cases, that can be difficult.

    Last month, a Seattle police officer saw known gang members hanging out near Rainier Avenue South and South Henderson Street. He saw one convicted felon in his early teens with a pistol, and when he confiscated it, saw that the serial number had been etched off.

    "Based on my training and experience, I know that firearms that have their serial numbers purposefully removed were either used in a crime or a reported stolen gun," the officer wrote in his Aug. 2 report.

    Tracing can be done in 24 hours for high profile cases, ATF agents say. Although tracing in some cases can take months, "every gun will tell you a story," said Nick Starcevic, a spokesman with the ATF's Seattle Field Division.

    In fiscal 2007, the ATF's Seattle office, which covers other parts of King County and parts of Snohomish, recommended felony charges in 47 illegal gun cases. That's a typical number because the ATF is selective, combing through cases and taking time to compile evidence on "the worst of the worst," Starcevic said.

    Other agencies also use information from ATF traces to recommend charges.

    Federal law prevents the ATF from publicly sharing specific data about crime guns used. But Starcevic said agents see teens with illegal guns, and they know there are dealers who peddle them for quick cash.

    The pistol Jordan Jantoc used when he accidentally killed his brother in 2006 came from a classmate at Evergreen High School. He traded a Glock semiautomatic taken from his stepfather's study and the promise of $100 for the gun used in the shooting.

    Last year, the brother of a Henry Foss High School junior who was accused of gunning down a classmate told police his sibling had sold illegal handguns and brought them to school.

    Kent police Officer Paul Peterson said about half the people who have guns stolen from their homes or cars don't write down the serial numbers.

    Police in other King County jurisdictions estimate that the number is even higher -- and say that's often how street criminals get their firearms.

    "A gun may be stolen in Oregon, passed off for dope somewhere else, then given to somebody as a payment for a debt here," Peterson said.

    "That's why we encourage any gun owners to take the responsibility to secure it and to write down the full make, model and serial number."

    Responsible gun owners would never defend street thugs or illegal gun use, said Dave Workman, senior editor of Gun Week and author of "Washington State Gun Rights and Responsibilities." And he said additional laws won't stop the criminals who already have no regard for them.

    "I think if you really want to address the problem of disarming street thugs, you've got to enforce the existing statutes, which unfortunately often wind up getting plea-bargained away," he said. "If you stick them with an enhanced sentence for using an illegal gun in a crime, they're going to go away for a

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    Public comments may be submitted here to the above article:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/soundo...ticleID=377311

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    Regular Member trevorthebusdriver's Avatar
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    :shock:Wow, I didn't know my city was such a hotbed of stolen gun sales...

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    trevorthebusdriver wrote:
    :shock:Wow, I didn't know my city was such a hotbed of stolen gun sales...
    Hmm, haven't looked outside recently? (jk, jk)

    Kent has really gone downhill, used to be a halfway decent place to live, but wouldn't live there now.......

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    What is an illegal gun, again?

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    Writing down the serial number of my gun will prevent what, exactly?

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    Writing down numbers is worthless, a guy in Tacoma had the gun safe stolen out of his house (nice observant neighbors) and the police never came to his house. Maybe that ought to be sent to this reporter...let him ask why the TPD doesn't feel they need to investigate a burglary where a whole safe full of guns is taken

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    OK, looking at this from the other side (a side I used to support adamantly), how would you address this issue of guns being entirely too easy to get, not only for children, but also for criminals? I know that many of you will say that we should all carry, but that's a utopian ideal similar to the idea that banning guns will actually eliminate them entirely. Would it help to require all guns to be registered? Probably not because there would continue to be illegal gun sales--only law-abiding citizens would have to deal with the hassle (like we already do when we purchase a firearm). Now, maybe in this incident, there might have been a different outcome had there been SOMEONE--ANYONE--carrying at the school. But that still probably wouldn't have prevented the kid from buying the gun in the first place.

    Here's the thing. It doesn't make much sense to me to say that we need more guns or that we need to write down the serial numbers or whatever if the cops won't even take a report or do ANYTHING at all when a weapon is stolen.



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    Sean wrote:
    Writing down numbers is worthless, a guy in Tacoma had the gun safe stolen out of his house (nice observant neighbors) and the police never came to his house. Maybe that ought to be sent to this reporter...let him ask why the TPD doesn't feel they need to investigate a burglary where a whole safe full of guns is taken
    It isn't just the TPD. Most PDs don't do anything except get the serial numbers anymore. Long mandatory sentences with no plea bargain or parole and required to serve on chain gangsforhaving a gunwhile committinga crime would certainly keep the scumbags off the street. But the same clowns (that would be obama and crowd)that want to take your guns don't want to hurt the bad guys feelings by actually punishing them.

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    I had a Glock 21 stolen, police only took the serial and not really much else they could do at the time. 1.5 years later Arlington PD who had taken the original report phoned me up and let me know that it had been recovered by Everett PD and that they were now who I would deal with. Took another year to get it back from Everett PD as it was evidence, seems they had pulled someone over on other issues and found it on him. All I was told when I got the phone call that I can retrieve my Glock was that the weapons charge had been dropped on him


    But hey got my Glock back and after getting it fixed by Glock due to a serious issue that had happened to it before it was stolen I got to put a few rounds through it on Labor Day :celebrate

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    scarlett1125 wrote:
    OK, looking at this from the other side (a side I used to support adamantly), how would you address this issue of guns being entirely too easy to get, not only for children, but also for criminals? I know that many of you will say that we should all carry, but that's a utopian ideal similar to the idea that banning guns will actually eliminate them entirely. Would it help to require all guns to be registered? Probably not because there would continue to be illegal gun sales--only law-abiding citizens would have to deal with the hassle (like we already do when we purchase a firearm). Now, maybe in this incident, there might have been a different outcome had there been SOMEONE--ANYONE--carrying at the school. But that still probably wouldn't have prevented the kid from buying the gun in the first place.

    Here's the thing. It doesn't make much sense to me to say that we need more guns or that we need to write down the serial numbers or whatever if the cops won't even take a report or do ANYTHING at all when a weapon is stolen.

    I don't believe everyone should carry...I believe everyone except those who are felons, mental cases, or habitual drug users should exercise their 2A rights as they see fit--because I do not believe everyone is capable of pulling the trigger on another person.

    My solution: less gun control, more criminal control. The guns are not causing crime, criminals are. Put them in jail...plea only the non-violent criminals. Why should law-abiding people have to subject themselves to government intrusion (i.e. registration) for exercising a right?

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    I am still waiting for the technology that knows who is holding the gun and allows it to be fired only after confirming. I know this would be really expensive, and eventually criminals would find a way around it just like everything else, but it would prevent your gun being used against you, and make is so it couldn't just get passed off right away some work would have to be done to unlock it. Even some type of voice unlock may work.

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    d0od wrote:
    I am still waiting for the technology that knows who is holding the gun and allows it to be fired only after confirming. I know this would be really expensive, and eventually criminals would find a way around it just like everything else, but it would prevent your gun being used against you, and make is so it couldn't just get passed off right away some work would have to be done to unlock it. Even some type of voice unlock may work.
    That is the exact kind of techno BS that will get you killed. You don't wan't a gun that only works once it recognizes your DNA 2 minutes after you pick it up. You want it to work NOW!

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    There was ( i am not sure if they ever got it going ) a start-up company in Puyallup starting to work on a system that included a ring that the owner wears. It would recognize the wearer of his/her ring only on gripping that gun. There was NO delay as Bear stated. Now I don't believe this is the answer, I am just stating that techno stuff will eventually work for the below average gun owner sooner or later.

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    Triple Tap wrote:
    There was ( i am not sure if they ever got it going ) a start-up company in Puyallup starting to work on a system that included a ring that the owner wears. It would recognize the wearer of his/her ring only on gripping that gun. There was NO delay as Bear stated. Now I don't believe this is the answer, I am just stating that techno stuff will eventually work for the below average gun owner sooner or later.
    Yeah, and the system used batteries. What do batteries always do? Die, which is what you will do with this kind of crap. Oh yeah, suppose you don't have the ring with you, or it is in your pocket for whatever reason. You still die. What you fail to understand isthat if the ATF and antishas their way we will all be stuck with this crap. And it won't just be the below average gun owner, we all will. peobably with Kalifornia leading the way.

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    I would not use it until it had become a proven technology, and I would support it as personal choice never as something to be mandated by law.

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    Bear are you really as angry a dood as your posts sound? Not trying to be an ass just not sure how to take you. Maybe passionate is a better word than angry.

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    Bear is passionate.

    But I have to agree that relying on circuits and wires and batteries during a SHTF situation is not my idea of a tactical advantage. I would rather spend money on classes dealing with hand-to-hand combat and weapon retention techniques. If I get overpowered and/or killed, it should be because *I* failed and not the weapon.

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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    Triple Tap wrote:
    There was ( i am not sure if they ever got it going ) a start-up company in Puyallup starting to work on a system that included a ring that the owner wears. It would recognize the wearer of his/her ring only on gripping that gun. There was NO delay as Bear stated. Now I don't believe this is the answer, I am just stating that techno stuff will eventually work for the below average gun owner sooner or later.
    Yeah, and the system used batteries. What do batteries always do? Die, which is what you will do with this kind of crap. Oh yeah, suppose you don't have the ring with you, or it is in your pocket for whatever reason. You still die. What you fail to understand isthat if the ATF and antishas their way we will all be stuck with this crap. And it won't just be the below average gun owner, we all will. peobably with Kalifornia leading the way.
    I don't fail to understand any of it now that you have graced me with your knowledge. Thanks so much for all your help. JHC

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    There was ( i am not sure if they ever got it going ) a start-up company in Puyallup starting to work on a system that included a ring that the owner wears. It would recognize the wearer of his/her ring only on gripping that gun. There was NO delay as Bear stated. Now I don't believe this is the answer, I am just stating that techno stuff will eventually work for the below average gun owner sooner or later.

    I've been reading about that stuff since I was a kid (about 15 years ago) and all the tests they run on it don't have anywhere near a 100% percent success rate, so no one, especially in the kind of law enforcement that would want a individual-specific gun, is dumb enough to carry a gun that there's a chance that it just won't work.

    That kinda stuff just scares the **** out of me in general.

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    I will use it 10 years after every single LEO uses it....and it is implemented by the U.S. military.

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    SIGguy229 wrote:
    I will use it 10 years after every single LEO uses it....and it is implemented by the U.S. military.
    Oh, like Glocks?... Oh, wait, you're a Sig guy.

    j/k
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
    KF7GEA

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    just_a_car wrote:
    SIGguy229 wrote:
    I will use it 10 years after every single LEO uses it....and it is implemented by the U.S. military.
    Oh, like Glocks?... Oh, wait, you're a Sig guy.

    j/k
    Hey now, the US Army uses (unfortunately) the M9 (Beretta 92F), and just about all the other services use (MUCH better choice) the M11 (Sig P-226).

    In regards to the techno crap, the last thing I saw on it was a wireless device, like the ring, that wouldn't work if microwaves were in the area as they would block the signal. Have to chase him into the kitchen? What, you're within 15m of that microwave that's running? You're not shooting ANYONE . . .

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    If your interested, Here is the complete Patent.

    http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5953844/fulltext.html



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    DenWin wrote
    Hey now, the US Army uses (unfortunately) the M9 (Beretta 92F), and just about all the other services use (MUCH better choice) the M11 (Sig P-226).

    In regards to the techno crap, the last thing I saw on it was a wireless device, like the ring, that wouldn't work if microwaves were in the area as they would block the signal. Have to chase him into the kitchen? What, you're within 15m of that microwave that's running? You're not shooting ANYONE . . .
    The M-9 is the standard issue sidearm for the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy...I think the USCG is the only service that uses the Sig.

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