Kansas Man Uses ‘Dark Web’ to Circumvent Background Checks, Ship Guns Internationally

(Photo: Vocativ)

(Photo: Vocativ)

Short of national gun confiscation a la Australia, the anti-gun lobby has one consuming goal: instituting universal background checks in order to create a national firearm database.

They deny it, of course. “Mandating a background check on each and every gun exchange won’t lead to gun registration,” they say, “because, well, just trust us on this one.”


There are lots of reasons universal background checks are a bad idea, but two stand out. I’ve already mentioned the first. Universal background checks would allow the government to create a national firearms database, which would give the feds free rein to implement national gun confiscation. It’s a lot easier to confiscate firearms if you know which Americans own which guns.

Universal background checks, then, are a potential danger to the Second Amendment itself. Given the right legislators, judges, and president, a national firearms database could be the tool that destroys the right to keep and bear arms.

But there is a second, somewhat more practical reason universal background checks are a bad idea: they don’t really work.

As The Hill reports, a federally-funded study titled “Firearm Use by Offenders” noted that “nearly 40 percent of all crime guns are acquired from street level dealers, who are criminals in the black market business of peddling stolen and recycled guns.”

Criminals, it turns out, don’t obey background check laws anyway.

A prime example of this fact appeared yesterday in The Wichita Eagle. Michael Andrew Ryan of Manhattan, Ks., pleaded guilty on Monday to using a hidden internet marketplace, in a section known as the “dark web,” to purchase and export firearms illegally.

“With a computer and an internet connection, Ryan hosted an international arms trafficking business on the dark web, peddling firearms and ammunition throughout the world,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a news release.

Ryan, according to the Eagle, “sold a variety of guns including Uzis, Berettas and Glocks, many of which had their serial numbers removed, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.” He shipped these guns to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia.

A universal background check system wouldn’t keep men like Ryan from purchasing guns on the black market. It wouldn’t keep criminals from stealing guns and selling them on the street from the back of their cars.

It would, however, keep law-abiding citizens from borrowing or selling a gun to a family member without making a trip to a local FFL. It would let the federal government know precisely who owns which firearms. And it would give Washington, D.C., a tool to confiscate guns from these law-abiding citizens.

The negatives seem to outweigh the positives here, unless you—like the anti-gun lobby—think a disarmed America is a safer America. I, for one, do not.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Kalashnikov Dude June 11, 2016, 4:29 pm

    How about that third reason Jordan Michaels? You know, Americans do not have to ask permission to exercise their natural rights, one of which is clearly delineated in the 2nd Amendment to our Bill Of Rights. Governments have no business running any kind of regulatory restrictions on who owns what when it comes to arms. Arms meaning guns, knives, swords, and even drones with guns on em too. There are laws governing the use of all these items and if you commit a crime with them you are responsible. But keeping and bearing them is off limits for governments, or I can’t read and understand the English language. This recent tyranny of our 9th Circuit Court is based on some of these judges reading of 16th century English law. Or at least that’s what’s been reported. Do I look like I gave a rats ass what 16th century English laws have to say? A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. If they’re going to be a judge in America, they must apply American law, as it is written. There is no interpretation other than what it says. The court is gravely in violation of the highest law of our land. And they act as if they can do whatever they want with impunity. I cannot do anything about it alone except to defend my own rights on the spot, where the violations take place. That means I have to shoot it out with police, enforcing laws that are illegal. All of you people need to get off your asses and help me. Help yourselves. Help your children and theirs. It’s time to tell these courts to straighten up and fly right or suffer the consequences. All branches of our government need some reigning in. Let your mortgages and big TV’s, and flashy cars go for a little while and earn your keep. Demand what’s yours. Or it will be you and yours who will suffer the consequences. I won’t be here. I don’t want to live in the world you folks seem to be setting up for yourselves. I’ll die fighting to get my country back instead. Pull your heads out already!

    • jerry wooten November 15, 2016, 5:58 am

      We should not forget that the spark which ignited the AMERICAN REVOLUTION was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonist….PATRICK HENRY 1776…

      • James Higginbotham January 24, 2018, 2:37 am


    • Steve September 11, 2017, 6:34 am

      The “PEOPLE”

  • John June 10, 2016, 8:57 pm

    Drug confiscation laws, were to take the profit from drug dealers, instead cops used them on EVERYONE!!
    The TSA lies about their scanners being able to ‘inverse’ a scan to make it more ‘lifelike’.
    Then they lie about the scanners being able to save an image, but try to excuse it by saying that it can ONLY do it in “test mode” and that none will actually be saved.
    Then people find out it has a high speed interface to transfer saved images, and after that a story breaks that at least THOUSANDS of scans have been saved, after the TSA assures us that that won’t happen. (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20012583-281.html)
    Social Security when it was first started assured people that their numbers would NEVER become national ID numbers….
    When someone lies to you again & again, do you REALLY trust ANYTHING they say??

    • hey June 11, 2016, 1:01 pm

      Lets not forget, 2/3 of our social security numbers are now a worldwide number now that the IRS data base has leaked. Better become dependent on identify theft and insurance protection! Since we do not hold the government accountable for anything.

  • John E June 10, 2016, 9:57 am

    I do not have an issue with universal back ground checks for the permenant transfer of ownership. The problem is everyone is talking about going through and FFL instead of the 2 individual involved doing the checks themselves. If you have to use an FFL they would have to charge you and that would make it unexceptable. The informaiton needed is not tough anyone could enter their personal information getting back a confirmation number they provide to the seller who could then validate it along with their id (photo id). Yes they would have to build an interface to do the check by citizens but it would be more exceptable than haveing a fee imposed. Safegaurds would also be needed so that the information is not tracked by our overseeing overlords of the US gov.

    • David June 10, 2016, 3:38 pm

      John E…
      The problem with universal background checks is not the checks themselves, its who performs them, who keeps records and for what purpose. It is instructive to remember the very folks who decree background checks can’t possibly guarantee the privacy of those examined and indeed are known to misuse the information, once gathered. It happened with the IRS.
      At the core of background checks is the reality of the fact they harm those they’re meant to protect.

    • Rick June 11, 2016, 7:30 am

      John E., since you don’t mind giving out all your private information to databases, would you mind posting your credit card numbers here along with your social security number? JJ

  • Fro June 10, 2016, 9:54 am

    Notice where he said the weapons were being shipped to? Confiscating weapons happened here many years ago w/Austrailia more recently. Countries that only allow certain people ‘long guns’, & some ‘elitists’ allowed hand guns. Looks like these countries are preparing for SHTF also.

  • mpryan June 10, 2016, 9:44 am

    A psychology study from 4 years ago just admitted a big mistake, they reversed the data!!?? The TRUTH is that those people most psychologically associated with freedom and personal responsibility are conservatives, and the ones who have psychotic episodes more closely align with Democrats.

  • Ed Sunderland June 10, 2016, 8:56 am

    “I wonder where these anti second amendment people are getting information that tells them average and law abiding gun owners are so dangerous?” “Where are all the stats that say the people with CHL’s are so careless and how do they think a background is going to stop anything.?”

    The fact is, all the deadly shootings have either not really happened like “Sandy Hook” or they have happened at the hands of liberals and democrat operators. It is the liberals and democrats that are anti God, anti Christian, anti moral and anything goes for them. Then they insist those of us Christian conservatives bend to their abhorrent behavior. SuperG and Thomas Paine got it right.

  • SuperG June 9, 2016, 11:21 am

    Thomas Paine, writing to religious pacifists in 1775:

    “The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; the weak would become a prey to the strong.”

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