As if illegal drugs from the dark web have not done enough damage to the United States, US Officials now have to be worried about illegal firearms being purchased on the dark web too. Although the case of illegal drugs being sold and bought on the dark web is rampant, it does not leave out the fact that, there is more to the dark web than just drugs. Illegal trading of firearms on the dark web has been around for some time now but as we’ve entered a new year. Fresh concerns and security measures have drawn the attention of America’s law enforcement to the threats these guns pose on the lives of citizens.
The United States has witnessed numerous mass shootings over the years of which guns used were illegally obtained and in that scenario, one can easily point to the fact that, the dark web has a hand in that. Researchers from the University of Manchester in a collaboration with RAND Europe recently investigated 18 different online dark web marketplaces which dealt in online illegal trading of firearms, explosives, and ammunition, and their report showed that 60% of the weapons being sold were occurring from the United States.
These weapons happen to be of a higher quality than any other source. Customers can purchase tutorials with detailed explanations on how to make bombs and explosives or reactivate replica and deactivated firearms, as well.
Additional reports suggested that Europe had the largest chunk of dark web illegal guns trading, bagging revenues that are 5 times higher than the U.S., even though most of the guns sold are shipped from the U.S.
This has however not stopped the Feds from upping their game as they predict 2018 to be far more dangerous with sales set to soar. A secret operation by the federal government turned up with surprises as purchasing illegal firearms on the dark web was way easier than they thought.
This is in the wake of the number of gun violence escalations in America. According to the U.S. Gun Violence Archive, about 346 were estimated to have died in a mass shooting in America last year. 2016 recorded 432 with 2015 also registering 369, and at this rate, the ratio turns out to be more than one person for each day of the year. This is just for mass shootings. Thousands of other people die by gun violence that is also domestic violence or robberies each year in America.
Mass shootings, on the other hand, averages a duration of just 72 days between incidents from 2010 throughout to 2017, a number which is far worse as compared to the average duration of up to 162 days from 2000 to 2010.
The covert operation provided a detailed ATF dark web sting of which an AR5 and a fully automatic UZI, which are all banned, were bought anonymously on a dark web marketplace with ease, not even a background check. The ATF has a responsibility of investigating violations of the laws that govern the sale of firearms.
The anonymity that the dark web provides has made it an ideal place for criminals to obtain firearms with ease without the fear of being traced and getting caught. The probe revealed that prohibited buyers are resorting to the dark web for automatic weapons as they are likely to get rejected by legitimate gun sellers.
In recent investigations conducted by federal agents, they uncovered that buyers of illegal weapons on the dark web normally show up in person to pick up their items, in a bid to avoid licensed sellers.
What makes this problem much worse is that prohibited buyers are likely to be terrorists or involved in some kind of gang related activities and even in some cases, some turn up to be lone shooters. Notable amongst them is the Munich shooter. Investigations revealed that the gun which was used by the killer, a 9mm Glock handgun, was bought on the dark web, originally coming from Slovakia.
With the feds still lacking a clear solution to this problem, the risk of gun incidents happening is very high.