According to a story in the New York Times, Bloomberg sent undercover investigators to the Crossroads of the West gunshow in Phoenix, Arizona the weekend of January 22-23. The story isn’t clear on whether these were private investigators or actual NYPD undercover cops.
The goal of these investigators was to purchase firearms from private sellers without a background check. As you can guess, they succeeded.
In two instances, the New York undercover officers specifically said before buying a gun, “I probably couldn’t pass a background check,” but were still sold guns, city officials said.
In a third case, an investigator bought a Glock pistol and two high-capacity magazines like the ones used in the Tucson shooting. Such purchases were made without any background check but were perfectly legal.
Bloomberg plans to release the results of his “investigation” today. I’m sure he’ll make a big deal out of it. What will be missing from any discussion is that the purchasers broke Federal law in purchasing handguns in another state without going through a FFL.
Now, I think a couple of those sellers were stupid as it sounded like an entrapment situation. Given this was in a border state, I would be surprised if the BATFE didn’t have undercover agents at the show pursuing Operation Gunrunner. Instead of muckraking investigators from New York City trying to make hay for Bloomberg, they could have been dealing with an ATF agent trying to pad his arrest statistics.
UPDATE: The New York Daily News also is covering this story in their typical idiotic way. According to their story, Bloomberg used private investigators to make the purchases. Of course, the Daily News refers to the sellers as “Arizona gun dealers” as opposed to private individuals giving the impression that they are being sold off the books from a FFL.
Bloomberg promises to have video of the transactions at a news conference.
This all leads to an obvious question – does being a billionaire mayor and gun banner absolve you from conspiracy to commit a felony?