Buying guns on


by David Safier

Buying guns on the internet is apparently easy and background-check free when you're dealing with private gun sales. A ThinkProgress article has the email conversations between the buyer and, "a Craigslist-style site that deals solely in firearms."

We searched “Smith & Wesson M&P15″ in the Colorado listings and instantly found dozens of sellers. A few emails later, we had four people willing to sell us the gun that same day, no questions asked. When we inquired whether we’d need to do a background check or any paperwork to obtain the assault rifle, we met the same response every time: no.

Here are the emails during one potential sale.


If When we get a law requiring universal background checks, it had better go beyond gun shows to all those "private gun sales," whether they happen online, person to person, or in a parking lot where Frank Antenori has temporarily set up shop.


  1. Armslist is nothing more than a specialized version of the firearms section of your newspaper. People have been buying firearms on the resale marked for decades. Why this fact should be surprising is beyond me. It is just as illegal today for a prohibited possessor to buy a rifle or pistol today as it was 10 years ago.

    I encourage readers to visit and judge for themselves the potential it has for good and bad when it comes to voluntary exchanges via that web site. Government background checks cannot promise that a person with no criminal background will never commit a crime in the future. More background checks and more gun regulation of those people who are already inclined to obey the law is a counterproductive path.

    In any case I encourage supporters of increased gun regulations to attend a debate with Arizona representative Ruben Gallego (LD-16 Phoenix) Tuesday evening 7:00 PM (e.g. tomorrow) at the ASU Tempe campus at Discovery Hall Room 250. <- details about the debate