Websites selling firearms getting little-to-no regulation

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Gun control is a hot topic across the country and now many people are looking for alternatives to purchase weapons.

9 On Your Side learned of some weapon websites that the North Carolina Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said it has little-to-no regulation over.

“When you have these websites, you have individuals that are licensed through ATF who are gun dealers and you have people who are unlicensed regular civilians,” explained Gerod King of the North Carolina Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. “The licensed dealers must abide by all the rules and regulations that they must abide by if it were a store front type operation. The unlicensed operations, they are not regulated by ATF.”

Sites like have thousands of weapons posted with more than 7,500 weapons available in North Carolina. The site works like a Craigslist for firearms and other weapons, and authorities said there is nothing they can do to keep track of the sales.

“Those are guns that we can’t trace, and we can’t do anything with because they’re not regulated by ATF,” King said.

Sellers may list firearms buyers searching for the weapon they want. The transaction must take place within the state where the seller and buyer are both residents, and it’s assumed the transaction is legal, but not guaranteed.

Buyers and sellers beware because there’s no sure way to tell the sale isn’t breaking the law.

“So, for all we know, people could be buying these guns illegally online,” asked 9 On Your Side.

“Uh, they can do anything they want to when they go through people that are not licensed dealers,” King replied.

The ATF could not comment on if it believes the sites are an issue so 9 On Your Side asked if it’s a problem.

“It’s the way it is. We only deal with what’s legal and what the law is,” King answered.

North Carolina firearms laws clarify that individuals should get pistol purchasing permits before buying a handgun in the state. The permit must be bought in the county where the gun is being sold.

The seller should request the permit for their records before the transaction is complete, even if it is purchased online.

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