Anti-Gun investigation falls short

Judicial WatchAn investigation requested by two fierce anti-gun members of Congress to determine if firearms are purchased illegally from internet dealers has come up empty. Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren demanded the probe in the aftermath of mass shootings and the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), conducted a lengthy covert operation to try to purchase firearms illegally from internet dealers.

All 72 of Congressional investigators’ attempts to purchase a firearm illegally via the surface web were unsuccessful, slamming Cummings’ and Warren’s claims that guns are easily obtained by criminal elements on the internet. “All of our attempts to purchase firearms from private sellers on the surface web were unsuccessful,” the GAO writes in an extensive report. “Our covert testing involving GAO agents attempting to purchase firearms illegally on the Surface Web were unsuccessful. Specifically, private sellers on Surface Web gun forums and in classified ads were unwilling to sell a firearm to our agents that self-identified as being prohibited from possessing a firearm.” Most of the sellers refused to complete a transaction once the undercover investigator revealed either a shipping address across state lines or a prohibition by law from owning firearms. Five of the vendors went so far as to freeze the undercover GAO accounts, preventing agents from using forums and attempting to make a purchase.

The report makes interesting distinction between the "surface web" (normal websites) where all their attempts to obtain firearms were unsuccessful, and the "dark web" (presumably tor-anonymized websites already known for illegal content like drugs). All their attempts to obtain a firearm illegally through normal websites failed. In other words, normal fireamrs owners follow the law and sell legally, even when using the various internet sites available for buying and selling firearms online.

And criminals, who know they are criminals, set up their storefronts elsewhere and do not follow the law.

This entry was published Wed Jan 10 09:38:35 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-01-10 09:38:35.0. [Tweet]

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