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NYC undercover stings expose 'gun show loophole'
October 07, 2009 11:39 AM EDT
NEW YORK - Investigators hired by New York City conducted stings at gun shows in states that have not closed the "gun show loophole" and found some vendors openly selling weapons to buyers who admitted they couldn't pass background checks.

The stings, described in a city report released Wednesday, were conducted at seven gun shows in Tennessee, Ohio and Nevada. Those states are among the many that permit private unlicensed dealers, known as "occasional sellers," to sell weapons at gun shows without conducting background checks.

Gun-control advocates say the loophole makes it easier for criminals to acquire guns and prevents law enforcement from being able to trace those weapons if they are used in crimes.

Nine states, including New York, have passed laws to close the loophole, requiring background checks on at least all handgun purchases at gun shows. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long campaigned for Congress to close the loophole, and for states to do it on their own if the federal government does not.

Even in states that haven't closed the loophole, federal law bars "occasional sellers" from selling guns to people they have reason to believe would fail a background check.

This is where the Bloomberg operation says 19 out of 30 sellers broke the law during the investigation, in which undercover buyers wore tiny cameras concealed in baseball hats and purses and audio recorders hidden in wristwatches.

In each purchase, the investigator showed interest in buying a gun, agreed on a price and then indicated that he probably could not pass a background check. Most sellers allowed the purchases anyway, responding in some cases by saying, "I couldn't pass one either," or "I don't care," according to the city's report.

Two assault rifles and 20 semiautomatic handguns were bought this way, the report said.

The 11 dealers who refused sales showed they knew the law.

"Once you say that, I'm kind of obligated not to," said one seller, according to the report. "I think that's what the rules are."

"Fact is, you done told me too much," said another who refused. "I wouldn't sell one to you at all."

The city has no legal authority over the dealers and is using its findings to make a point. A copy of the report is being sent to every member of Congress and the findings will be shared the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"The gun show loophole is a deadly serious problem, and this undercover operation exposes just how pervasive and serious it is," the mayor said in a statement.

The undercover operation took place from about May to August and its $1.5 million cost was paid by city taxpayers. The city hired a team of 40 private investigators from an outside firm to make the purchases.
EarthLink - U.S. News

I wonder how the NYC taxpayers like how their money is being wasted?
 

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I do agree that the sellers need to be held accountable and obey the law. I'm also wondering if in the states where this sting happened is it legal to video or record a conversation without both parties agreeing. If it's not legal then Bloomberg and his associates should be charged. After all the law is the law.
 

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I'm thinking we're going to need to start carrying RF detection gear with us when hitting the shows. Anybody that sets off the alarms...feel free to start pointing them out to the vendors...and the local LEO's if wiretapping, etc... is illegal in said state.:icon_neutral:
 

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The article doesn't seem to mention that the investigators broke the law. I wonder why not.

Someone from the state where this happened should contact the appropriate authorities and push the issue.
 

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permit private unlicensed dealers, known as "occasional sellers,"
"Would you call someone selling their own car an occasional car dealer.
There is another word that can be used insted of "private unlicensed dealer" that is gunowner.If you don't have a FFL it is a private purchase among individuals and does not require a background check.As a matter of fact I don't think in SC you can do a background check unless you have an FFL.
 

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My concern is this. NY spent 1.5 million dollars to investigate gun sales in States other than NY?

What basis does the City of NY have to investigate the legal business transactions between private individuals in other States? If I were in the States where this occurred I would be sending emails to my State Atty General regarding how ANGRY I am over the fact that NYC is "investigating" legal transactions between private individuals and wondering if conducting "sting operations" outside your State jurisdiction is compensable behavior to the citizens of the affected State. NYC has trampled the rights of the State where this behavior occurred and should be made to pay damages or at least be served with a restraining order.

The fact that they hired private investigators is no shield. The investigators were knowingly and actively working for the City and are therefore agents of the City. NYC is directly liable for their actions. Additionally, if this was a legitimate "sting operation" did the City have permission to conduct it inside the affected jurisdictions? If not, then the "sting" was illegal and ALL people involved should be prosecuted.
 

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1) Bloomberg is an ass.
2) If you break the law, regardless if you think the law is stupid or not, you should pay the consequences of your actions.
3) A good way of wasting the NY taxpayer's money.
4) New York City voters put Bloomberg in office, and as such can take him out. However, look how long Chappaquiddick Ted was a Senator regardless of the complaining of MA residents and others.

Just a few observations.
 

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I find it interesting that NYC acknowleges that there is already a law to cover this activity, that law is not working (by their argument), so somehow a new and improved law is going to work.

Sounds like the old saw about doing the same thing and expecting different results being the definition of insanity.
 

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Bloomberg is A Village Idiot and an ASS. Personally, I think he is arrogant and professes to make sound decisions on behalf of the people of NYC. Prior to being elected NYC mayoral elections were 2 terms only. Rudy Giuliani could have ran a third term by convincing the NYC council. But, he instead respected the rule of law and said no thanks.

Then came the Bumbling Boob Bloomberg on his shiny horse. Unfortuantely the majority of NYC people will never see the light of day.
 

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"Gun-control advocates say the loophole makes it easier for criminals to acquire guns and prevents law enforcement from being able to trace those weapons if they are used in crimes."



It's only good if your government is buying back guns with no questions asked:rolleyes:
 

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Four months, $1.5 million dollars, and they snatched how many? Two rifles and twenty handguns?

Wow! Move over, Geraldo!
 

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And less violent crime was committed at all of the gun shows combined than in one square block of NYC in an average hour. I'll stick with the gunshows thank you!
 

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I find it interesting that NYC acknowleges that there is already a law to cover this activity, that law is not working (by their argument), so somehow a new and improved law is going to work.

Sounds like the old saw about doing the same thing and expecting different results being the definition of insanity.
Wait...You mean to tell me that no matter how many times I smack my head against a 10' thick brick wall that it's not going to move for me on the 20th try? Darn it all... I better get back to it...:banghead:
 

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I'm thinking we're going to need to start carrying RF detection gear with us when hitting the shows. Anybody that sets off the alarms...feel free to start pointing them out to the vendors...and the local LEO's if wiretapping, etc... is illegal in said state.:icon_neutral:
There was no wiretapping and it is legal to record audio and video in a public place as there is no expectation of privacy, at least in NY. It's a dirty trick by underhanded people to further their agenda.

Bloomberg and his henchmen will stop at nothing to destroy the second amendment.
 

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There was no wiretapping and it is legal to record audio and video in a public place as there is no expectation of privacy, at least in NY. It's a dirty trick by underhanded people to further their agenda.

Bloomberg and his henchmen will stop at nothing to destroy the second amendment.
The question is, is it legal in the states where it occurred. The legality in NY is not relevant.
 

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Seems with the budget problems cities such as New York City they would have more important local issues for their police than sending them around the country on nonsense undercover work where they have no authority at all.

Bloomberg needs to get a life!
 
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