Investigator | Buying assault weapons is easy

Investigator: Buying assault rifles as easy as buying beer

How easy is it to buy an assault rifle?

It's as easy now as it was a few years ago when there was a renewed call for tougher gun regulations following mass shootings in Orlando, Connecticut, and Colorado.

Semiautomatic guns with 30-round magazines were the weapon of choice in those high-profile shootings. In Vegas, however, police believe one of the 10 rifles found on the shooter was a fully automatic machine gun, which can fire hundreds of rounds in a minute continuously as long as there's pressure on the trigger.

Machine guns are highly regulated and require a background check. But as we discovered, background checks are not required with semi-automatic weapons that are purchased at gun shows.

Channel 3 News went gun shopping undercover in 2013 and within an hour, bought a semiautomatic assault rifle for $1,500. The seller only wanted to see a driver's license. He was not in violation of the law, which is of great concern to those seeking tougher gun regulations.

"My first question would be, why would you need such a high-powered rifle? Even if you're going deer hunting, I feel sorry for the deer that gets shot with that," said Yvonne Pointer, who founded a support group for women who hve lost children to violence.

But gun advocates say stricter laws are unnecessary.

"It's a shame they're using tragedies to blow things up. It's not guns that are the problem. It's people," said one buyer who declined to identify himself. 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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