Study to Expose Illegal Online Gun Sales Backfires
Here is a headline you won’t see in the mainstreet media, “Democrat-backed Study Meant to Expose Illicit Online Gun Sales Goes Bust!
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., was joined by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, to commission a Government Accountability Office report to look into how online private dealers might be selling guns to people not allowed to have them. The problem was, quite frankly, you—the honest and responsible gun owning public! The GAO proved what we already know, by definition, law-abiding gun owners are just that—law abiding.
The commissioners of the GAO Report were reportedly basing their support on a 2016 report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which claimed that “anonymity of the internet makes it an ideal means for prohibited individuals to obtain illegal firearms.”
“Congressional requesters asked that GAO access the extent to which ATF is enforcing existing laws and investigate whether online private sellers sell firearms to people who are not allowed or eligible to possess a firearm,” the GAO report said.
The investigation spanned about 2.5 years where agents tried to buy firearms illegally on the “Surface Web”, social media sites and even the “Dark Web.” Agents, at times, portrayed themselves as being prohibited from legally owning a weapon or attempted private sales across states lines. Dozens of attempts outside of the dark web resulted in exactly ZERO illegal sales!
“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,” the GAO reported, noting that in their “72 attempts … 56 sellers refused to complete a transaction once we revealed that either the shipping address was across state lines or that we were prohibited by law from owning firearms.” In the other cases, the investigators’ website was frozen or they encountered suspected scammers.
The Dark Web is more nefarious but still yielded little in the way of illegal sales. On the Dark Web, agents were able to illegally purchase two firearms. The serial numbers were obliterated on both guns and they were shipped across state lines. I guess bad people really don’t follow the law. On these dark web purchases, the agents “did not disclose any information indicating they were prohibited from possessing a firearm.” However, anyone selling firearms on the Dark Web with obliterated serial numbers would not have likely cared.
Surprisingly, the stunning failure to get law-abiding gun owners to consent to illegal sales caused the GAO to state, “It is not making recommendations in this report.”
News agencies have reached out to the sponsors of the reports. However, all have declined to comment at this time. On the other hand, the National Rifle Association had a bit to say about the report and noted that online sales are in fact regulated, calling the study an “embarrassment” for the gun control lobby.
“GAO’s findings showed nothing so much as that private sellers advertising online are knowledgeable about the law, conscientious, and self-policing,” The National Rifle Association said, adding that online gun sales are “subject to the same federal and state laws that apply to any other commercial or private gun sales.”
The NRA described the study as an attempt to model the findings of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2015 report, titled “Point, Click, Fire: An investigation of illegal online gun sales” which reportedly found that 62 percent of private sellers were willing to proceed with a sale, even if the prospective purchaser could not pass a background check.