The ATF operation revealed a flourishing gun trade taking place on the dark web, including banned models. The agency predicts 2018 to be more dangerous, as illegal market sales rise.
The illegal trade on the dark web is not new to the world, but if drug trading drew the attention of US agencies a long time ago, the illegal gun market has remained relatively untouched. However, since the rate of mass shootings in the US has increased over the past few years, with some of the perpetrators using unregistered firearms, their interest in this illegal market has suddenly increased, reports the website DeepDotWeb.
According to the online media outlet, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has conducted a covert operation, which revealed how easily one can buy an unlicensed gun, even banned models such as the AR5 or a fully automatic UZI, which agents managed to acquire, without any background checks.
What troubles the bureau the most is that potential buyers are likely to be terrorists or lone shooters. For example, the 9mm Glock that the infamous Munich shooter used was illegally acquired via the market on the dark web, the media outlet recalls.
Over 300 mass shootings were registered in the US in 2017, with one of the most notorious taking place in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017 during the Route 91 Harvest music festival, leaving 58 dead and 851 injured.