Chicago Gangs Acquiring Guns Via Railway Yard Robberies

Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains make their way through a rail yard in Cicero, Illinois November 3, 2009. REUTERS/John Gress
REUTERS/John Gress

Chicago gangs have targeted gun shipments in Norfolk Southern rail yard on three different occasions in as many years.

They pulled a successful heist in 2014, 2015, and September 2016. The 2015 heist alone netted 111 guns for gang members.

According to the Associated Press, the guns from the 2015 robbery were “en route from New Hampshire weapon maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. to Spokane, Washington.” They included  “.45-caliber Ruger revolvers and other firearms [which] spread quickly into surrounding high-crime neighborhoods.”

Only 16 of the stolen Rugers have been recovered. “One was used in a Jan. 22, 2016, shooting.”

Chicago’s Democratic leaders regularly blame Chicago’s gun crime on “lax gun laws” in Indiana and surrounding states. The railway shipments, however, have nothing to do with gun laws, whether in Indiana, Illinois, or at the federal level.

AP points out that gang members found the big 2015 firearm shipment by accident. They first “found and kept a shipment of women’s sandals,” and then happened upon the firearms.

ATF agent Thomas Ahern said the thefts are “a serious (security) breakdown that needs to be addressed.” But National Insurance Crime Bureau spokesman Frank Scafid said, “there’s little incentive to spend millions fortifying yards because railways are well insured and don’t take a big financial hit when cargo is lost.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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