Liberals and opponents of the Second Amendment argue gun laws in the United States are too soft and allow people, who are legally prohibited from owning guns, to purchase them. However, a government experiment conducted last year found that theory to be completely untrue.
Members of Congress recently asked government investigators to assess how well the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was enforcing federal gun laws. So investigators with the Government Accountability Office set out to test how well laws were being followed and enforced.
According to a GAO report, investigators sought to determine if private online sellers sold firearms to people who are legally barred from purchasing or possessing them. The results were undeniable.
What did the experiment find?
The report states that investigators posing online as gun buyers who were not legally able to purchase a firearm were completely unsuccessful when attempting to purchase firearms from private sellers. In fact, the report states that investigators tried 72 times — and each time they failed.
"Tests...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," the report states
The investigators looked for private sellers in online gun ads, not federally licensed firearm dealers who are required to run a background check for every purchase.
In 56 cases, the seller ultimately refused to ship the firearm or terminated the transaction because the undercover agent admitted they were unable to legally purchase or possess a firearm. In five other cases, the agents' online accounts were frozen, preventing them from even accessing a forum area to browse firearms for sale. The remaining 11 attempts turned out to be scams.
Each attempt was made on the "surface web," according to the report, which is the part of the internet you access when you open your browser.
Meanwhile, the agents also tried purchasing firearms from the "dark web," an area of the internet where much illegal activity happens and requires a special browser to access.
The agents attempted seven purchases on the dark web and only came away successful twice. They were able to buy an AR-15 with an "obliterated" serial number and an Uzi that was advertised as fully automatic.