Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Eh heh heh heh.  Check this out:  Federal Investigators Couldn’t Illegally Buy Guns Through Legitimate Websites Despite 72 Attempts.  Excerpt:

Federal agents posing as criminals were unable to purchase any firearms from legitimate online marketplaces despite dozens of attempts over a two-year period.

Between July 2015 and November 2017 investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), following up on a congressional request, tried to make the illegal private gun purchases through a number of online forums and market places. They made 72 attempts over that time but couldn’t complete a single sale using legitimate sites.

In 29 attempts the gun sellers refused the sale after being asked to illegally ship the gun to the buyer. Twenty-seven sellers refused after being told the potential buyer was a felon, domestic abuser, or otherwise prohibited from buying a firearm. Eleven sellers attempted to scam the investigators after finding out they were prohibited from buying firearms with two successfully obtaining money from investigators but never sending the promised firearm. Another five attempts to illegally purchase firearms were ended when the investigators’ accounts were shut down due to suspicious activity.

“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,” Seto J. Bagdoyan and Wayne McElrath of the GAO’s Forensic Audits and Investigative Service section said in a report on the investigation released in November.

The investigation specifically targeted online sales by private sellers who do not have a federal firearms license and, in most states, aren’t required to perform background checks on potential buyers. The investigators wanted to see if private sellers on otherwise legitimate online gun forums and marketplaces would break federal law by knowingly selling firearms to somebody who isn’t allowed to buy them.

And nobody did.  Big surprise.


It’s important for the pro-gun community not to draw too big a conclusion from this, though.  The sample size is too small to be really meaningful, even if it did wind up the way the pro-Second Amendment community would like.

Instead, rely on the tens of thousands of good, solid statistical reasons for the pro-Second Amendment position:  The sterling record of CCW permit holders, the millions of cases every year where armed citizens deterred criminals, the hundreds of millions of guns in the possession of tens of millions of gun owners who have never, ever been involved in a crime.

What is interesting about this incident is the hole it blows in the “rampant illegal online sales” narrative.  Imperial investigators tried to fulfill the scenario and failed.  That makes it worth repeating.