NYC Investigation Into AZ Gun Show Finds Dealers Sold Guns Without Background Checks

ZUMA Press/Newscom
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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday announced the results of an undercover investigation into a gun show in Arizona — and that those results show just how simple it is to buy a gun there with minimal oversight.

According to the the Gun Show Undercover: Arizona report, undercover investigators successfully bought guns after telling unlicensed dealers, “I probably couldn’t pass a background check.” The investigation took place January 23 at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix.One undercover investigator purchased a Glock pistol and a high-capacity magazine — the same weapon Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner allegedly used — without a background check.

“We have demonstrated how easy it is for anyone to buy a semiautomatic handgun and a high capacity magazine, no questions asked,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “This country must take two simple steps to stop more of the 34 murders that occur with guns every day: make every gun sale subject to a background check, and make sure the background check system has all the required records in it.”

Crossroads of the West President Bob Templeton defended the gun show, saying “When we find someone who isn’t complying with the law, we ask them to leave or don’t allow them back.”

While unlicensed gun dealers aren’t required to run background checks, it violates federal law to sell a gun to a person a dealer suspects is a felon or mentally ill, the Times points out. According to Bloomberg’s statement, the purchases appeared to be legal.

Read the entire report here.

Watch the undercover video below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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