Government Report: Not That Easy To Get A Gun Illegally Online – Even On The “Dark Web”
Now, I’ll say from the get-go that engaging in criminal activity in order to catch criminals is something I’ve always been against. Yet, it seems that this is exactly what the Government Accountability Office spent more than two years doing in an attempt to demonstrate loopholes for prohibited purchasers of firearms who are attempting to circumvent federal background checks.
The GOA released a report on December 21, 2017 that they attempted to purchase 79 firearms online from private sellers between July 2015 and November 2017 as they posed as those who were prohibited from obtaining a gun legally.
Out of all those attempts (what were they doing for 2 years?), only two of the sales proved to be successful from private sellers on the “Dark Web,” which is accessed anonymously and attracts a lot of criminal activity, including child pornography.
“In these attempts, agents did not disclose any information about whether they were prohibited from possessing a firearm,” the report stated. “Of these seven attempts, two on a Dark Web marketplace were successful. Specifically, GAO agents purchased and received an AR-15 rifle and an Uzi that the seller said was modified so that it would fire automatically. GAO provided referral letters to applicable law-enforcement agencies for these purchases to inform any ongoing investigations.”
The report did not state whether there were any arrests that were made or that anyone was prosecuted.
To be clear, the GOA did make several attempts to purchase arms via the surface web, which is the web most people access via their web browsers.
Out of those surface web attempts, not one of them were successful.
According to the report:
Tests performed on the Surface Web demonstrated that private sellers GAO contacted on gun forums and other classified ads were unwilling to sell a firearm to an individual who appeared to be prohibited from possessing a firearm. Of the 72 attempts agents made to purchase firearms on the Surface Web, 56 sellers refused to complete a transaction: 29 sellers stated they would not ship a firearm and 27 refused after the disclosure of the undercover identities’ stated prohibited status. Furthermore, in 5 of these 72 attempts, the accounts GAO set up were frozen by the websites, which prevented the agents from using the forums and attempting to make a purchase.
Why did the GAO attempt to do this for two years at taxpayer expense?
“The current federal legal framework governing buying and selling of firearms does not specifically address the use of the Internet to facilitate these transactions,” the GAO website reads. “Additionally, private transactions involving the most-common types of firearms between individuals who are not licensed to commercially sell weapons and who are residents of the same state, including transactions facilitated by the Internet, are generally not subject to federal background-check requirements.”
GOA was asked by Congressional requesters to assess 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.
Interestingly enough, the cost of this two-year study is not listed and as of the writing of this article, the GAO has not returned phone calls.
Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt claimed the report demonstrated a problem with unregulated gun sales. No, really, he did.
“Unfortunately, the new paper is only so helpful — GAO undercover investigators took the unusual step of asserting that they were prohibited purchasers, effectively stopping these sales before they could be completed,” he said. “But time and again, Everytown’s research has shown overwhelming evidence that guns are readily available through unlicensed sellers, online and at gun shows, and prohibited purchasers flock disproportionately to those venues to buy guns without a background check.”
So, out of 151 attempts to purchase guns illegally online, only 2 went through, and that’s a sign that “guns are readily available” to prohibited purchasers? Did this guy read the same report I read or is he merely engaging in lying like Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts did concerning the support for background checks?
However, there is an irony here. GAO was tasked with seeing if the ATF was doing its job. From the report, there is a table listing several arrest statistics from 2014-2016.
The report states, that on these arrests, which may or may not include internet-related investigation, 89 percent of the defendants were convicted. That shouldn’t be a surprise seeing what we’ve seen come out of the Bundy Ranch standoff trials.
However, what the American people should take note of is the very ATF who is charged with handling this matter were the very ones putting over 2,000 guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels through straw buyers in Operation Fast and Furious, under the direction of a usurper in the White House and his comrade in the Justice Department and not one person was arrested, nor lost their job, nor went to jail, nor were fined. Not one!
The only thing that we know happened, which resulted in a big nothing, was that Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for not submitting documents relevant to Congress’ investigation into the arms trafficking of the ATF.
These guns were used to murder two federal agents, Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata. Hundreds of Mexicans were killed using these guns, including a Mexican beauty queen. How about this murdered police chief? What about these three crime scenes, or the attempted assassination of this police chief? Then there’s the Fast and Furious gun that was tied to the Paris jihad attack, and possibly the Garland Texas Muhammad cartoon contest jihad attack.
The same cartels that Eric Holder, Barack Obama and our ATF armed are the same ones that engage in the kind of violence that can only be paralleled to Islamic jihadists. These are the same monsters that mercilessly pursued, attempted to murder and finally did murder brave Ticquicheo Mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta because she was exposing them.
Stop and let that sink in for a moment, and ask yourself, who really needs to be monitored here, American citizens who use the web for gun purchases or an unconstitutional agency that sounds more like a convenience store than a lawful entity?