Forget the so-called "gun-show loophole. To buy a gun without a background check, all you have to do is go online, where websites connect gun buyers and sellers in “private sales” exempt from scrutiny.
Gun control advocates have previously speculated that these kinds of markets are ripe for exploitation, but a new investigation from Mayors Against Illegal Guns provides the best evidence yet. Out of a sample of prospective buyers on Armslist.com, “the ‘Craigslist’ for guns,” one in 30 had a criminal record that would have prohibited them from buying a gun if they hadn't been exempt from the background check.
The report argues this narrow slice is actually a conservative estimate. It considered only criminal records in the buyer's jurisdiction and didn’t check other factors that can make purchasing a gun illegal, like serious mental illness or drug abuse. It also seems intuitively more likely that someone seeking to flout the law would remain anonymous or use the contact information of a friend. The fact that so many would choose instead to post identifying information online is what Bloomberg said most surprised him.
“They just must feel that there’s no enforcement, and there’s not going to be any enforcement,” he said. “And it’s a sad commentary.”
Conservative estimate is right. The true number is probably 15 out of 30.