How One Stolen Gun “Blazed a Violent Path” In Minneapolis


The Minneapolis Star Tribune traces how “one stolen gun blazes a violent path.” It’s the story of Thomas Hoffman, who was looking for a “cheapie,” and bought a $150 Hi-Point C-9 semiautomatic pistol. “Soon the gun was stolen, changed hands, then changed hands again, spiraling beyond the bounds of lawful ownership,” sthe Star Tribune says. Young gang members passed the Hi-Point among themselves and put it into action, using it to shoot at people, rob and terrorize a neighborhood. The long and shadowy circulation of handguns like the Hi-Point often confounds police and can elude gun control laws. “If you look at a gun that's 10 years old, that's an eternity of how many times it can pass hands,” said Commander Bruce Folkens of the Minneapolis police special crimes investigation division. Nearly 8,000 firearms have been taken off the streets by police in Minneapolis and St. Paul in six years. Some were sold by corrupt dealers, others by gun shops in “straw purchases,” or at gun shows and by private owners, who aren't required to do background checks on buyers. Others were stolen from rightful owners.

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