A Democrat-backed research meant to expose illicit online weapon sales instead seemed to show the alternative — with hardly any sellers taking bait when undercover investigators attempted to set up dozens of illegal firearm dealings.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as well as Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, acquired commissioned the Government Accountability Office are accountable to look into how online private sellers might be selling guns to people prohibited to have them.
Their efforts were deduced on a 2016 report from the Agency of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms plus Explosives (ATF), which claimed that will “ anonymity of the internet causes it to be an ideal means for prohibited individuals to acquire illegal firearms. ”
“ Congressional requesters asked that GAO access the particular extent to which ATF is enforcing existing laws and investigate regardless of whether online private sellers sell guns to people who are not allowed or permitted possess a firearm, ” the GAO report said.
Over the course of the particular two-and-a-half year investigation, agents attempted to buy firearms illegally on the “ Surface Web” and the “ Darkish Web, ” generally by revealing their status as “ restricted individuals” or trying to buy throughout state lines.
But the GAO revealed that their 72 attempts outside the dark web were all “ unsuccessful. ”
“ Private sellers upon Surface Web gun forums and classified ads were unwilling to market a firearm to our agents that will self-identified as being prohibited from having a firearm, ” the GAO reported, noting that in their “ 72 attempts… 56 sellers declined to complete a transaction once we uncovered that either the shipping deal with was across state lines or even that we were prohibited by law through owning firearms. ” In the some other cases, the investigators’ website had been frozen or they encountered thought scammers.
On the dark web, GAO agents successfully purchased two weapons illegally, as the serial numbers over the weapons were “ obliterated” plus “ shipped across state outlines. ” But in the attempt to buy, the GAO agents “ failed to disclose any information indicating they were restricted from possessing a firearm. ”
In line with the findings of the study, the GAO said it is “ not producing recommendations in this report. ”
Cummings, Warren and Schatz did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the GAO’ ersus findings.
The National Rifle Organization seized on the report to claim that on the web sales are in fact regulated, calling the research an “embarrassment” for the gun manage lobby.
“ GAO’ t findings showed nothing so much because that private sellers advertising on-line are knowledgeable about the law, conscientious, plus self-policing, ” The National Rifle Organization said, adding that will online gun sales are “ subject to the same federal laws that will apply to any other commercial or personal gun sales. ”
The NRA defined the study as an attempt to model the particular findings of former New York City Gran Michael Bloomberg’ s 2015 review, titled “ Point, Click, Fire: A study of illegal online gun product sales, ” which discovered that 62 percent of personal sellers were willing to proceed using a sale, even if the prospective purchaser could hardly pass a background check.