New York City Proves Obvious in Arizona: Any Criminal Can Score a Gat at a Gun Show
Now if you could only buy nuclear weapons this way...
Tucson killer Jared Lee Loughner didn't get his gun through a gigantoid flea-market-type gun show, where any criminal can buy a Glock and some extended mags, cash and carry.
Actually, Loughner copped his gat from a licensed gun dealer. He passed the "instanf" FBI background check, though if the U.S. Military had shared the results of Loughner's drug test with the feds, he would likely have been blocked from purchasing his widowmaker legally.
But even if he had flunked the background check, Loughner could've just waited for the next big gun show to come to town. There, he could have easily purchased his Glock and his 31-round mags and avoided the background check altogether.
This is hardly news. The "gun show loophole" as it's known allows private, non-licensed dealers to sell firearms without the instant background check. Investigators from the Big Apple recently attended Phoenix's Crossroads of the West Gun Show, and -- surprise, surprise -- they were able to buy semi-automatic handguns sans background checks.
Yeah, gramps, I just got out of prison, what's the best gun to surprise your parole officer with?
This, though the undercover operatives admitted to the sellers that they probably couldn't pass a background check if they had to.
The sellers aren't supposed to sell to those they suspect of being prohibited possessors. But in the hillbilly, swap-meet atmosphere of a gun show, folks ain't too particular about following federal statutes.
After all, that could really cut into the profit margin if every rinky dink operator had to make sure each customer wasn't a prohibited possessor or a Mexican national in town to buy weapons with a fake Arizona I.D.
Loughner should've hit the gun shows, saved himself some trouble....
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the results of his city's investigation today, along with videos of pretend criminals buying guns like they were garden tools. I can tell you zero eyebrows will be raise here in Sand Land, though. Some states require background checks for all gun buys, but the Grand Canyon State isn't one of them.
Maybe Bloomberg and other like-mainded politicos can prevail on the U.S. Congress to close the gun show loophole. That seems doubtful with the U.S. House in GOP/Tea Party control. Nevertheless, kudos to Bloomberg for the college try.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.