NEW YORK (PIX11) – Just days from the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference taking aim at internet loopholes through which tens of thousands of guns can be sold illegally by unlicensed dealers. Singling out armslist.com as the main culprit.
“On December 14th, we will mark a very somber anniversary and pause to remember what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our report shows much more clearly needs to be done to prevent unlicensed sellers of firearms from illegally flooding the Internet with weapons and the result is a massive online, unregulated, second-hand firearms market that threatens public safety. These findings tell us that law enforcement, legislators and web sites all need to take steps to choke off this potentially deadly stream of illegal firearms sales.”
Bloomberg, one of the most outspoken gun-control advocates nationally and co-founder of Mayor’s Against Illegal guns, said a 2 month investigation found the site traffics an estimated 244,000 guns a year. And that one-third of the guns being sold on the site were ads posted by high-volume sellers who should be considered dealers – and thus required to be licensed.
“The disturbing results of our coalition’s latest investigation into online gun sales further highlight the perils of the Internet’s vast illegal marketplace for guns,” said Chief Policy Advisor Feinblatt. “Unlicensed private sellers are flooding the Internet with hundreds of thousands of guns and undermining our background check system, making it all too easy for dangerous individuals to arm themselves. We need federal prosecutors and the ATF to investigate these unlicensed sellers, and most of all we need Congress to close the deadly loopholes in our gun laws that allow criminals to effortlessly obtain guns online.”
The findings come from a Mayors Against Illegal Guns study that took place over eight weeks, with investigators posing as possible buyers.