Shirley, if a gun is "out there" it was originally purchased by a law-abiding citizen. The only way a criminal would have got one is by stealing it, it was given or sold to him by an individual or it was sold to him at a gun show.
Require responsiblity of the original buyer through background checks, annual registration and inspections and insure the gun.. If it comes up missing or stolen require the owner to notify the police. If those steps(the same as req'd of car owners) aren't followed then the buyer is held responsible along with the criminal if it is used in a criminal act.
This in no way keeps guns out of the hands of honest law-abiding citizens.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got!