Two women have been accused of buying handguns in Alabama so they could sell them in Boston for a quick profit, reports the Boston Globe. They were found with six handguns and 50 rounds of ammunition in a rented car; they had hoped to sell the handguns for up to $800 each, said U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan. Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole said yesterday that the firearms probably would have become ”community guns,” weapons stashed at the end of streets and other convenient locations and shared by criminals. Community guns tend to be older weapons, like the .38-caliber revolvers, .380-caliber pistol, and .357-caliber revolver found in the suspects’ rental car.
Older guns, which are cheaper and harder to trace, are becoming the weapon of choice on city streets. Of the 755 guns recovered by Boston police in 2004, about 64 percent were at least seven years old. ”They can certainly still function properly despite the age,” said Jim McNally of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. ”The bad guys read the papers, watch the news. They get to know what law enforcement is doing to fight [crime], and they know tracing firearms is a big part of what we do. The odds of tracing [older guns] are not as good.” Boston police are dealing with an increasing number of weapons coming from out of state.