DENVER (CBS4)– Buying or selling a gun online is as easy as finding a seller or buyer and exchanging money for the sale. It’s all legal and there are no background check involved.
Gun control advocates want to put an end to those kind of sales and require background checks for private sales.
John Delva is one of those sellers. He had placed an ad on armslist.com for a rare AR-15. He is among dozens of others selling high-powered rifles across Colorado.
The site has thousands of listings for handguns, high-capacity magazines, AK-47s all for sale with no background checks.
Delva said trust is the only thing keeping sellers from exchanging money for a gun with a felon. He said sellers wouldn’t let guns go to the highest bidder if that put guns in the wrong hands.
“There’s so much to lose and it doesn’t make sense,” said Delva.
The site only requires a verified email and usage agreement to gain access. It’s an open market intended to self regulate.
“The purchaser wants to buy. The seller wants to sell. They’re going to tell each other they’re good guys,” said Rep. Elizabeth McCann, a Democrat representing Denver.
McCann has drafted background check bills that would change how online gun sales sites operate in Colorado. She believes there is a big loophole that needs to be closed and regulated.
“I can’t think of anywhere where self regulation accomplishes the goal,” said McCann.
Gun rights advocates defend the sites for online gun sales. They believe efforts to restrict the sales is unconstitutional.
“We think citizens should be able to meet places and sell firearms and buy firearms without government intervention as a private sale,” said Colorado Gun Market operator and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners spokesman Dudley Brown.
Brown said the required background checks will push sales elsewhere.
“This will create a brand new black market and its not going to stop any of these shootings whatsoever,” said Brown.