Where to Buy an AK-47 for a Mentally Ill, Abusive Felon This Holiday Season

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


With legislation to close the gun-show loophole stalled in Congress, Virginia Tech shooting survivor Collin Goddard teamed up with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to show just how easy it is for anyone to legally buy firearms—even individuals who would otherwise be barred from gun ownership, such as convicted felons or domestic abusers.

While most gun purchases require prospective buyers to submit to a National Instant Check System background check by the FBI, in 33 states proof of residency is all that’s needed to buy firearms from unlicensed private dealers at gun shows. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives estimated that each year some 2,000 to 5,000 gun-shows take place nationwide.

In the video below, Goddard, who was shot four times in the Virgina Tech massacre that left 32 dead, buys firearms in his native Virginia and at gun-shows in Ohio, Minnesota, and Texas with the help of local activists in those states. Wearing a hidden camera, he records the purchase of a weapons cache that includes cheap handgun, a pistol with a silencer, and yes, an AK-47. Goddard and an Ohio resident were even able to obtain the Maadi Egyptian assault rifle without showing any form of ID, as federal law requires.

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate