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Cyber Crime - Online Sale Of Firearms

gun act background federal

The Gun Control Act of 1968 requires whoever imports, manufactures, or deals in firearms to obtain a federal firearms license. The Brady Act of 1993 requires all federal firearms licensees (FFLs) who sell firearms to perform background checks on customers and maintain careful records of gun sales. A criminal, fugitive from the law, or drug addict would not pass the background check. Under the Brady Act, the U.S. government estimates 400,000 such individuals have been turned down for gun purchase since 1993.

The Internet provides an easy alternative to a gun store for acquiring a firearm. Unlicensed dealers, however, may advertise and sell guns over the Internet without keeping records. Anyone willing to pay can obtain a gun online without a background check. If the gun is later used to commit a crime, it usually cannot be traced to the purchaser—who is most likely the offender or directly associated with the offender.

A violation of the Gun Control Act occurs when a gun offered online is sold to an individual in another state from where the online advertisement originates. The act prohibits selling a handgun to a resident of another state. Shipping across state lines is also banned. Yet guns for sale online reach people across the country. Online state to state sales and shipping occurs continuously in violation of federal law.


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