Following a seemingly endless series of claims made by Michael Bloomberg and other Second Amendment opponents, three Democrats from the House and Senate pushed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to commission a report on internet gun sales. The prime drivers behind this effort were Elijah Cummings, Brian Schatz and Elizabeth Warren. The claim on the table was that criminals and others who were not eligible to purchase a firearm were using the internet to buy guns from unscrupulous sellers. Well, the study is finished and the results don’t exactly support the claims of the people pushing for it. (NRA Institute for Legislative Action)
In yet another embarrassment for the gun control lobby, a government investigation of online gun sales designed to determine “whether private sellers would knowingly sell a firearm to an individual prohibited from possessing one” determined that … no, actually, they would not. In 72 attempts undertaken over 2 ½ years, undercover agents trying to buy guns through readily-accessible Internet sites failed exactly 100% of the time to complete a sale when the seller had reason to believe the buyer was prohibited or lived in another state.
Ironically, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report — “Internet Firearm Sales: ATF Enforcement Efforts and Outcomes of GAO Covert Testing” – was commissioned by three staunchly anti-gun members of Congress. Leading the charge was Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who was joined by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
So undercover agents went fishing for online advertisers offering to sell firearms and attempted to get them to complete the transaction even after suggesting that they lived in a different state, couldn’t provide ID or wouldn’t be able to pass a background check. This happened 72 times over a period of more than two years. And in all 72 instances they failed to get anyone to sell them a weapon. Is this the plague of “loophole” gun sales that we keep hearing about?
The same thing happened when officials looked into the so-called “gun show loophole.” It’s a myth. But it makes for great campaign ads for Democratic candidates, so why let a little thing like reality rain on your parade? The sad part of all this is that there really is a problem with illegal gun sales in this country and the federal government (in league with state and municipal authorities) could definitely be doing more about it. One study after another by law enforcement officials has revealed that at least 40% of criminals convicted of gun crimes got their weapons on the black market, purchasing unregistered guns from other criminals. The same linked study found that another 37% had gotten their guns on the so-called “gray market” using straw purchasers who are, themselves, also criminals by definition.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t do any good for liberals in the government who want to pass new laws making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms legally. It would mean getting their hands dirty and going after the actual criminals. And nobody wants to waste any time with that, right?