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Old January 8, 2018, 09:33 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Feds Unable to Illegally Purchase Guns Online

http://freebeacon.com/issues/federal...e-72-attempts/

In 72 attempts over almost a two year period, federal investigators were unable to purchase firearms illegally via online websites. In at least 11 cases, sellers attempted to scam the investigators with 2 actually receiving money but never delivering the promised firearm. 56 attempts were foiled when the seller refused to act illegally and the remaing 5 were stopped when website administrators shut down the investigators’ accounts for suspicious activity.

Edited to correct number of successful scammers.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; January 8, 2018 at 03:11 PM.
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Old January 8, 2018, 10:09 AM   #2
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From the article...
Quote:
In 29 attempts the gun sellers refused the sale after being asked to illegally ship the gun to the buyer. Twenty-seven sellers refused after being told the potential buyer was a felon, domestic abuser, or otherwise prohibited from buying a firearm. Eleven sellers attempted to scam the investigators after finding out they were prohibited from buying firearms with two successfully obtaining money from investigators but never sending the promised firearm. Another five attempts to illegally purchase firearms were ended when the investigators' accounts were shut down due to suspicious activity.
Also noted...
http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...empts-2-years/
http://ussanews.com/News1/2018/01/07...ed-repeatedly/
http://www.anchoragedailyplanet.com/...mate-websites/

I think this was an excellent test of the system.
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Old January 8, 2018, 10:12 AM   #3
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Interesting....

But I saw nothing in that article that indicates "scam". A website receiving money but not delivering the item (regardless of what that item is) can so easily be more about faulty code or a faulty payment system on that site. If anything, this means that something somewhere got stuck and in the case of these firearm sales - that's a good thing. Being a good firearms seller does not automatically mean being good with computers.

It all makes me wonder about all those online sales of any kind that the buyers money was taken but the purchased item never delivered. This happens all the time.
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Old January 8, 2018, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prndll
...Being a good firearms seller does not automatically mean being good with computers.....
Anyone active in e-commerce needs to be pretty good with computers and have a good system. If he doesn't, he's not going to be active in e-commerce vary long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prndll
...It all makes me wonder about all those online sales of any kind that the buyers money was taken but the purchased item never delivered. This happens all the time.
Do you have some actual evidence that happens all the time. Certainly it hasn't been my experience in more than 20 years of buying stuff on-line.
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Old January 8, 2018, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
. . . . In 72 attempts over almost a two year period, federal investigators were unable to purchase firearms illegally via online websites. In at least 11 cases, sellers attempted to scam the investigators with 5 actually receiving money but never delivering the promised firearm. 56 attempts were foiled when the seller refused to act illegally and the remaing 5 were stopped when website administrators shut down the investigators’ accounts for suspicious activity.
So, out of 72 attempts, the investigators got 0 guns illegally, and got scammed 5 times. That's kind of funny, actually.
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Old January 8, 2018, 01:04 PM   #6
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I completely agree that they need to know something about computers. Everyone should know something about them. But very few people really do (beyond the Facebook Like button). That's the single biggest reason so many people have so many problems with technology. Most people leave it to someone else to take care of.

No, I do not have actual statistical data with links to back up my claim that this happens all the time. The idea that you personally haven't had issues buying things online means little. I personally have never had issues (beyond my personal ability to quickly and directly fix) with Windows XP. But that means very little as the majority have. I know that people get shot and killed all the time. But I do not have to have directly experienced that event in my life or have factual data to backup that claim. My apologies if that is against forum rules.
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Old January 8, 2018, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Quote:
So, out of 72 attempts, the investigators got 0 guns illegally, and got scammed 5 times. That's kind of funny, actually.
Hopefully, they left negative feedback on the scammers....
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Old January 8, 2018, 03:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
So, out of 72 attempts, the investigators got 0 guns illegally, and got scammed 5 2 times. That's kind of funny, actually.
My bad, that should read 2 times; but yeah, a little funny. I wonder if scamming federal agents qualifies for enhanced sentencing?
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Old January 8, 2018, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
But I saw nothing in that article that indicates "scam". A website receiving money but not delivering the item (regardless of what that item is) can so easily be more about faulty code or a faulty payment system on that site. If anything, this means that something somewhere got stuck and in the case of these firearm sales - that's a good thing.
Read the article(s) again.
Their primary venues were online forums and "market places" (inferred to be Armslist, Gunbroker, and local classifieds like Utah Gun Exchange, Phoenix Gun Trader, etc.), and their targets were private sellers - not FFLs.

There's no "website glitch" that stops a money order or personal check.
A person doesn't need to be internet savvy or computer savvy to scam the old fashion way, either (failing to deliver the goods).

Even though essentially irrelevant to this topic, I still don't believe that monetary transfers run into 'glitches' and 'getting stuck' on a regular basis - especially with actual online retailers (with FFLs).

Scams from private individuals happen all the time, though. That, I would agree with.
Three cases in point, that I have been involved with:
About three months ago, a member on MarlinOwners contacted me to find out why I was selling his rifle again (I had purchased it from him last year). Except... I wasn't. Some one had snagged the "before" photos from my project thread and listed the rifle for sale on Armslist ... under four accounts and in four different states.

Less than a week later, that same member sent me a few photos, asking whether or not I thought a rare (original) Marlin 1895 take-down in .40-65 was priced right, after he negotiated with the 'seller'. I replied with two screenshots of the same rifle listed in my area, on two separate classifieds sites, with totally different contact information; and then, after some searching, followed up with a link to a legitimate 'firearms collectors' auction site where the rifle was actually listed and had un-cropped photos with watermarks.

And, if we go back about two years... I get an angry phone call one day, from a man whom I had sold a non-running car. He was ranting and raving about how I'd be "sold bold" as to sell him the car, wait for him to give up and scrap it, buy it back (150 miles away, mind you), and list it for sale again. Except, again, I hadn't done so. Some one had copied the original listing, almost word-for-word, used the same photos, and used my name and phone number; but created the listing with their own email address.
The funny thing about that one is that when I reported the listing to the site administrators, they ended up accidentally reactivating my old listing while deleting the scam ... which didn't look so great for me, from the perspective of "Angry Man"...
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Old January 8, 2018, 04:22 PM   #10
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That's alot of assumptions made. That article does not specifiy. Hint - maybe. Innuendo - maybe. Surely a private seller would be less likely to have a safe, solid, secure means of conducting transactions than an established FFL (in general)?
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Old January 8, 2018, 04:44 PM   #11
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From the article:

"Federal agents posing as criminals..."
"Twenty-seven sellers refused after being told the potential buyer was a felon, domestic abuser, or otherwise prohibited from buying a firearm."



I must say, admitting up front that you're a felon and a prohibited person doesn't exactly entice someone to sell you a gun that could possibly be traced back to them.
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Old January 8, 2018, 04:57 PM   #12
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
I must say, admitting up front that you're a felon and a prohibited person doesn't exactly entice someone to sell you a gun that could possibly be traced back to them.
You mean to tell me that a networked public computer system that tracks your every move and stores data for decades isn’t the place to commit federal felonies?
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Old January 8, 2018, 05:53 PM   #13
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Sounds like honest gun dealers and Federal fraud, waste and abuse to me.
How much did they waste to get 0/72?
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Old January 8, 2018, 09:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doofus47 View Post
spats mcgee

Hopefully, they left negative feedback on the scammers....
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Old January 8, 2018, 10:52 PM   #15
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So,we can assume the real point of this study/experiment was to discover,once and for all,the UNDENIABLE TRUTH about out of control internet gun sales...
and put forth a MEDIA CAMPAIGN and MAKE CONGRESS DO THEIR JOB!!
To FINALLY TAKE ACTION on GUN CONTROL !!!!

Come on CNN,MSNBC,Huffpo,etc, Elijah,Nancy,Chuckie.....

I'm waiting.

UUHHH....The results were not what we expected...We have been so wrong...again. I guess we have to look elsewhere
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Old January 8, 2018, 11:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
I must say, admitting up front that you're a felon and a prohibited person doesn't exactly entice someone to sell you a gun that could possibly be traced back to them.
Federal law does not require you to conduct a background check to ensure the purchaser is not a convicted felong during a private sell. It just says you cannot KNOWINGLY sell to a convicted felon. Telling the seller you are a felon is part of what's needed to make it a crime, hence its part of the setup.

Without saying too much... I am LEO and I do work with ATF frequently. I can tell you that the ATF monitors gunbroker, arms list, et all... But they have just about given up on U/C cases involving online sells unless the ad insinuates they are willing to break the law. There was one investigation recently that involved the sale of a post '86 G18 (actually a converted G17). The posting was quickly flagged, but not before communication was started with the seller. In the end, it was a class III ffl who wanted proof of the purchaser having a class III ffl, making it legal.

Online gun sales sometimes do allow felons to access firearms. I have learned this through a couple of interviews. It is super rare though. And that was admittedly, by them, not their only avenue of obtaining a firearm. They just wanted something with more class than a Saturday night special, which is the most common street sold gun.
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Old January 9, 2018, 12:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
From the article:

"Federal agents posing as criminals..."
"Twenty-seven sellers refused after being told the potential buyer was a felon, domestic abuser, or otherwise prohibited from buying a firearm."
And those "private sellers" as you noted were likely going through many of the places noted (e.g., gun broker) in which the rules hold that guns must be shipped to FFLs. There are indeed sellers on those sites that are FFLs as well. The article does not specify if the sellers were individuals, businesses, FFLs, or anything other than "sellers." Note that the feds had their accounts shut down on 5 of those sites due to suspicious activity.
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Old January 9, 2018, 06:44 AM   #18
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Considering that the anti-gun crowd is always telling us how easy it is for anyone to buy a gun over the Internet with no background check, this just shows how incompetent the government employees are. If they had had their 7-year old kid do it, they could have bought anything they wanted.

[/sarcasm mode]
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Old January 9, 2018, 07:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndsojourn
From the article:

"Federal agents posing as criminals..."
"Twenty-seven sellers refused after being told the potential buyer was a felon, domestic abuser, or otherwise prohibited from buying a firearm."



I must say, admitting up front that you're a felon and a prohibited person doesn't exactly entice someone to sell you a gun that could possibly be traced back to them.
Yes, but federal law prohibits a sale where the seller knows or has reasonable cause to know that the buyer is a prohibited person. If the agent doesn't indicate to the seller in some way that he's prohibited, his prosecutor won't be able to convict the seller. The US Attorneys who prosecute these things won't let a mistake like that affect their conviction rate.
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Old January 10, 2018, 09:45 AM   #20
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"...his prosecutor won't be able to convict the seller. The US Attorneys who prosecute these things won't let a mistake like that affect their conviction rate."

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old January 10, 2018, 04:41 PM   #21
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Old January 10, 2018, 08:21 PM   #22
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In reference to my post above, it is also possible that a buyer (agent) might also indicate a desire for a sale across state lines, without using an FFL. That would also be an illegal transaction, even in the absence of one of the prohibiting factors (domestic violence, felony, etc.).
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Old January 11, 2018, 08:27 AM   #23
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I got to reflecting in this article and the sting operation and I am not sure just how beneficial it is to the firearms community in regard to alleviating folks' concerns about illegal gun sales. This was a very narrow/limited parameter test.

So while a positive article that indicates the sample of sellers wanted to do not break federal firearms laws by selling to folks by selling to prohibited persons or under illegal conditions, the article and operation in no way address sales being made to prohibited persons who fail to disclose their status, ala Devin Patrick Kelley. We know guns are getting in the hands of bad guys, all this does is indicate that they are not getting in the hands of bad guys who are into full disclosure of their status or want for the sale to be overtly illegal...which is probably only going to be a very small percentage of the really stupid folks. With that said, the sting did reveal that while not wanting to violate firearms laws, a small percentage of sellers were dishonest.
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Old January 11, 2018, 08:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS
So while a positive article that indicates the sample of sellers wanted to do not break federal firearms laws by selling to folks by selling to prohibited persons or under illegal conditions, the article and operation in no way address sales being made to prohibited persons who fail to disclose their status, ala Devin Patrick Kelley. We know guns are getting in the hands of bad guys, all this does is indicate that they are not getting in the hands of bad guys who are into full disclosure of their status or want for the sale to be overtly illegal...which is probably only going to be a very small percentage of the really stupid folks. With that said, the sting did reveal that while not wanting to violate firearms laws, a small percentage of sellers were dishonest.
I think it specifically refutes a popular notion that criminals handily skirt federal transfer restrictions by buying arms over the internet. You know that an unlicensed New Yorker can't internet/mail order an M60 from Nevada and have it delivered to his home by UPS, but it is a notion that recurs frequently in political discourse.

Last edited by zukiphile; January 11, 2018 at 09:12 AM.
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Old January 11, 2018, 12:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
I think it specifically refutes a popular notion that criminals handily skirt federal transfer restrictions by buying arms over the internet. You know that an unlicensed New Yorker can't internet/mail order an M60 from Nevada and have it delivered to his home by UPS, but it is a notion that recurs frequently in political discourse.
And in the mainstream media.
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