15 Criminology, Crim. Just. L & Soc'y 57 (2014)
Guns for Hire: North America's Intra-Continental Gun Trafficking Networks

handle is hein.journals/wescrim15 and id is 205 raw text is: 

                VOLUME 15, ISSUE 3, PAGES 57 74 (2014)

Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society

                      E-ISSN 2332-886X
                      Available online at

                                            Guns for Hire:

         North America's Intra-continental Gun Trafficking

                               Christian Leuprechta and Andrew Aulthouseb
                                      a Royal Military College of Canada
                                             b Queens University



Since Canada adjoins the largest weapons market in the world, it is unsurprising that guns used to commit criminal acts
in Canada largely originate in the United States. But how are such weapons transported across the border: by individual
entrepreneurs, by small networks, or by sophisticated cartels?  This article analyzes six cases that resulted in
prosecutions of 40 Canadian and American citizens implicated in Canada-U.S. gun trafficking networks between 2007
and 2010. This study is a plausibility probe that applies social network analysis-investigating networks that come into
existence by the creation of pairwise links among their members-to analyze global structures, identify brokers and their
roles, and discover patterns in the way guns are being procured in the United States, transported across the border, and
distributed in Canada. In the process, this study generates hypotheses about network structure and works towards
modeling these networks functionally: Since guns are available legally in the United States, we expect to find a
proliferation of relatively simple networks. In contrast, drugs, which are not as readily available, might require more
sophisticated networks to be trafficked across the border. Results revealed that the trafficking network structures seem
to be driven by function. When the objective of the network is mere rent-seeking, transborder trafficking networks for
guns tend to be simple. By contrast, when the objective is to manage violence as a constituent element of a larger
criminal organization and its activities, networks tend to be more sophisticated, although the gun trafficking networks
remain simpler.

Article History:


Received 26 April 2014
Received in revised form 9 Sept 2014
Accepted 17 Sept 2014

plausibility probe, social network analysis, gun trafficking

© 2014 Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society and The Western Society of Criminology
                                  Hosting by Scholastica. All rights reserved.

    In November of 2008, a family in Guelph had
their car and house shot at by a neighbor while he
was high on cocaine. A month later, a 26-year-old
Ottawa man was shot dead answering his door. The
following month, three people were held at gunpoint
during a robbery in Vaughan (Powell, 2009). These
violent crimes share a common denominator: each

was committed with a gun traced back to Ugur
Yildiz, a Chicago man who ferried over 200 firearms
into Canada (Thompson, 2009). Two-thirds of all
guns used in Canadian crimes originate in the United
States (Cook, Cukier, & Krause, 2009). Indictments
for gun trafficking and the number of guns seized per
investigation has trended upward (RCMP, 2007). In

Corresponding author: Christian Leuprecht, Royal Military College of Canada, 13 General Crerar Crescent, Kingston, Ontario,
    K7K 7B4, Canada. Email: christian.leuprecht@queensu.ca

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