LIPSTICK’s new report, “Women and Crime Guns,” was featured in the online news magazine The Trace. The article highlights  LIPSTICK’s 4 findings that explain why women straw purchase guns for men: 

1. Manipulative Relationships
Male criminals often leverage relationships with women with clean criminal to get guns. 

A college-bound valedictorian prep school student in New York City distributed guns for her boyfriend who was a member of a violent street gang. He also instructed her on how to shoot, saying “head shots only.”  (New York Daily News, 4/27/2011)

2. Drug Addiction

Many women are persuaded to make straw purchases in exchange for fresh supplies of illicit substances.

A 27-year-old Pennsylvania woman, a single mother, was sentenced to 5-to-10 years in prison for the straw purchase of three handguns She was paid a few hundred dollars for the weapons. She said she needed the money for diapers and Percocet, a prescription narcotic. (Delaware County Daily Times, 1/9/2015)

3. Economic Necessity
Many women are driven to make straw purchases out of financial need. Gun buyers pay them modest sums to make the buys.

A gun trafficking ring paid a female college student in Mississippi $50 to $100 to make straw purchases and hide the guns in her dorm room. One of the trafficked guns traced to the ring was used to kill an off-duty police officer and Iraq War veteran in Chicago (Chicago Tribune 9/18/2010)

4. Lack of Awareness
Often women don’t know straw purchasing is a crime, never mind one punishable by more than a decade of prison time in some states.

When a 21-year-old Virginia woman was told she was being charged with lying on gun purchase forms, she said, “Is that all?”

Read the full article here.