Friday 22 September 2017

NYC private investigators find US online sellers offer guns despite background check warning

A city investigation caught online gun sellers around the country illegally handing over assault weapons to people who said they couldn’t pass a background check, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday, just days after a police officer was shot to death with an illegal gun.

NYC private investigators find US online sellers offer guns despite background check warning

Peddlers who list their guns on websites such as Craigslist aren’t required to conduct a background check before selling a gun, but it’s against federal law for them to sell to someone they believe wouldn’t pass such a check. Among the weapons purchased in the sting was a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun identical to the model police say was used to kill Officer Peter Figoski when he responded to a 911 call about a home invasion Monday.

The $290,000 effort — the latest in a series of city-sponsored sting operations targeting out-of-state illegal gun sales — took private investigators hired by the city far beyond New York’s borders. But Bloomberg said Wednesday that the impact of such illegal sales makes them very much the city’s business. The city estimates that 85 percent of guns used in crimes here come from out of state.