Point, Click, Fire

An Investigation of Illegal Online Gun Sales

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the City of New York

December 14, 2011

On December 14, 2011, the City of New York announced a first-of-its-kind undercover investigation of illegal online gun sales. The investigation uncovered a vast and unregulated online market for illegal guns.

Read the full report

Open PDF

This investigation uncovered a vast and unregulated online market for illegal guns. The report, Point, Click, Fire: An Undercover Investigation of Illegal Online Gun Sales, uncovered the extent of the online gun market and offers recommendations on preventing illegal online gun sales. Investigators found:

  • 62 percent of online sellers agreed to sell guns to investigators posing as buyers who couldn’t pass a gun background check, which is a felony under federal law.
  • 82 percent of sellers on Craigslist agreed to sell guns to people they believed to be prohibited purchasers—even though the website prohibits online firearms sales altogether.

These videos accompanied the release of the above investigation. This original footage shows how private sellers advertising guns online react when investigators say “I probably couldn’t pass a background check.”

It is a federal felony to sell a handgun to someone younger than 18. In this video, a seller in Gallipolis, Ohio advertising a gun on Gunlistings.org agrees to sell to an investigator who says he is 17 years old.