PHOENIX – Undercover officers captured video of a seller at a Phoenix gun show selling a high-powered semi-automatic weapon to a man who admits he couldn’t pass a background check.
The investigation was launched weeks after the Tucson mass shooting and shows how easy it is to purchase a gun in Arizona.
The people who run the gun show are saying the undercover exposé is a political ploy led by a man who doesn’t even live in Arizona.
The investigation deals with what is being called the “gun show loophole,” where private sellers do not need a background check in order to make a sale whereas a licensed dealer in a store does.
On Monday New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed he sent a team of investigators to the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix 15 days after the Tucson shooting to prove federal laws are being ignored.
Although private sellers are not required to run a background check, it is illegal to sell a gun to anyone they believe may be a felon or a drug dealer.
A spokesperson from Crossroads says they require all of their exhibitors to sign a contract saying they will comply with applicable laws.
The company, which is based in Utah, released the following statement: “Mayor Bloomberg and his 'task force' have no legal authority in the state of Arizona. These forays into America's heartland committing blatant acts to entrap otherwise innocent gun owners is an unlawful scheme. The 'investigators' who presumably reside in a state other than Arizona, violated federal law by purchasing a gun in a state where they are not legal residents.”
Also on Monday Arizona Sen. Steve Gallardo introduced legislation to close the “gun show loophole” requiring a background check for all gun sales.