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NewsNew York

Bloomberg probe finds gun sellers willing to flout federal laws


guns Credit: Office of the Mayor

Private gun dealers are willing to break federal laws and sell to buyers online who wouldn't normally pass a background check, according to a nationwide probe conducted by the Bloomberg administration.

The startling results unveiled Wednesday found that 62% of the 125 gun sellers contacted on various websites agreed to sell to undercover investigators who explicitly said they can't qualify to buy a gun. The probe took place in 14 states.

While background checks aren't required in private transactions, it's illegal for dealers to sell guns to someone they believe wouldn't pass a background check. For instance, a buyer would be disqualified if they're under 18 or have a felony conviction.

One firearm illegally bought through the city's investigation was a Ruger P95, the same handgun used to kill NYPD Officer Peter Figoski -- allegedly by a wanted criminal -- on Monday, officials said.

"Let's do something to make sure we don't have more tragedies," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, urging people to contact federal lawmakers to better regulate the online gun market.

The probe's findings were sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as those gun-buying websites. The ATF could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Under a list of recommendations, Bloomberg wants lawmakers to require a background check for all gun sales, which is already part of legislation pending in Congress.

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