Criminals know about this loophole, and they exploit it every day. Thousands of people who are barred from legally purchasing guns have been flocking to the internet to evade background checks and buy guns. Research by Everytown has shown that just one online gun marketplace — Armslist.com — transfers an estimated 25,000 guns to criminals each year. And in some states, the share of people seeking guns online who are prohibited from buying them is as high as one in ten.

online gun sales

online gun sales

Felon Seeks Firearm, No Strings Attached

The online marketplace for guns is vast — and growing. Each year, millions of people connect through online ads to buy and sell firearms.

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Felon Seeks Firearm, No Strings Attached

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

The online marketplace for guns is vast — and growing. Each year, millions of people connect through online ads to buy and sell firearms. And because many of the transactions are conducted by so-called ‘private sellers’ who are not required by federal law to conduct background checks, guns routinely change hands with no questions asked. In the digital age, convicted felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people who are legally barred from buying guns can do so online with little more than a phone number or an email address.

No Questions Asked

In Oregon, domestic abusers and meth users are evading background checks and buying guns online in plain sight.

Hiding in Plain Sight

In Vermont, domestic abusers and drug traffickers are evading background checks and buying guns online in plain sight.

Online and Off the Record

Criminals and domestic abusers are prohibited from buying firearms, but until voters in Washington State passed a bill to close them, loopholes in the law made it easy for them to get guns.