Gun Show Undercover: Arizona

A Project of the City of New York

A Glock. Three High Cap Mags. No Background Check.
Illegal Sale #1: Seller Fails the Integrity Test
Illegal Sale #2: Another Seller Fails the Test

How Dangerous
People Get Guns

Two weeks after the tragic shootings in Tucson, undercover investigators went to a gun show in Phoenix, Arizona and purchased guns - no background check, no questions asked.

Watch the undercover videos and help spread the word about how easy it is for felons, drug abusers, and other dangerous people to get guns.

The Investigation

Download the Report (PDF)

Just two weeks after the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, private investigators went to a gun show in Phoenix, Arizona -- one of thousands of such shows that occur across the country every year -- to test two basic questions:

How easy is it to buy a gun without a background check?

  • Answer: In a matter of minutes, an investigator purchased a Glock 9 millimeter and two high capacity magazines, similar to the weapon used by Jared Loughner, without background checks.

And, would unlicensed sellers sell guns to people who said they probably could not pass a background check?

  • Answer: Yes. An undercover investigator purchased two 9 millimeter pistols from two different sellers, even after the investigator told the sellers that "I probably couldn't pass a background check."

Private gun sales, like those at gun shows, occur with no background checks, and provide a dangerous loophole that fuels the interstate and international market for illegal guns. These loopholes in our system make it too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns.

You can also watch videos from the 2009 Gun Show Undercover Investigation where 19 of 30 private sellers - 63% - broke the law by completing a sale to a buyer who they thought could not pass a background check:


  • 30%
    of illegally trafficked guns are connected to gun shows, according to the ATF. Source
  • 63%
    of private sellers broke the law during a 2009 investigation by completing a sale to a buyer who they thought could not pass a background check. Source
  • 81%
    of gun owners in a 2011 bipartisan poll said they support background checks for all gun sales. Source

Join the Effort to Prevent More Senseless Shootings

I am joining more than 550 U.S. Mayors in calling for a comprehensive background check system to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people by taking two critical steps:

1) Get all the names of people who should be prohibited from buying guns into the background check system.

2) Require a background check for every gun sale in America.

Add Your Voice Right Now