Tonight on AC360: Gun show hidden camera investigation
April 10th, 2013
06:50 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Gun show hidden camera investigation

Is it easy to purchase a gun at a gun show without doing little more than paying for it? CNN went undercover at five gun shows in three states to find out.

While background checks are not mandatory for private sales, the seller is required to check the buyer's ID to verify the person is from that state.

The producer who visited Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia was able to walk away with several weapons without having to prove residency or give any personal information – but not in every interaction with a seller.

Tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET to see the investigation. Following the report, Anderson Cooper will ask National Rifle Association President David Keene why he opposes universal background checks that proponents say could prevent criminals from obtaining guns.

Here's the statement the NRA released today:

Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools. While the overwhelming rejection of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg's "universal" background check agenda is a positive development, we have a broken mental health system that is not going to be fixed with more background checks at gun shows. The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson. We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone. President Obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers.

A new CNN/ORC International poll shows nearly nine in ten Americans support tougher background checks. 86% of those questioned in the survey say they support some form of background checks that are not currently required by law for gun sales. The most popular is the gun show proposal, which 83% of all Americans support.

Where do you stand on the issue? Should background checks be required for gun shows? Sales between friends and family members? Watch tonight's program and tweet your reaction @AC360.

UPDATE Watch tonight's report: 


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Filed under: Gun Control • Guns
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Why did they only go to private sellers at these gun shows?

    April 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  2. david greene

    Please do a show on how easy it is to buy a gun on the street. Pass a new law but without increased law enforcement ie ATF etc., how do you insure people will obey them. At the gun shows on the report I bet there were no law enforcement officers present.

    April 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  3. jbrooks

    why not remind the NRA that when the constitution was written, we had no cars to register nor any weapons except MUSKETS!!!

    April 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  4. Ben

    Great interview. OK, all of the guns you bought are NOT TRACEABLE. So all the buyer needs to do is to go to a gang who has plenty of drug money to spend. Re-sell the guns & make a huge profit. Is the NRA President THAT DENSE???

    Please continue to make the case for this utterly obsurd excuse we label "The 2nd Ammendment". The NRA President and all that follow him should be ashamed. We need background checks for ALL SALES. You can't even sell an automobile without the correct paperwork. It's not the only solution but it is certainly a "no brainer" start. Thank you!

    April 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • AJ RIner

      Uh you sure can buy an automobile without ID or paperwork. In some cases there is no actual title for an automobile. Nothing shown in this video violates any laws currently on the books in the State of Tennessee.
      All dealers who were working that show ran the required paperwork for all sales. What was shown on the clip from Kingsport were private individuals not dealers. Same principal with a car. Private individuals do not run credit reports, background checks, or even ask what state you are from. Automobile dealers must do all of these things because they are a business. It is all very simple regulate the criminals not the tools of the criminals. One more thing, The US military does not use AR-15 rifles because they are semi-automatic, M-16 and current M-4 rifles are either both semi-automatic or 3 round burst/automatic.

      April 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  5. J Taylor

    Mr. Cooper, On gun control: Please show me where stricter laws would apply to the criminals and how many would be detected if the laws were made. If I was a criminal, I would not get a gun from a gun show (like your reporter) or a gun shop. There are to many guns available on the street. A study from Harvard may interest you: Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population). Thanks....

    April 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  6. Bryon Tuck

    What I do not understand mr. cooper is why someone needs an ak-47 in todays economy. There is a supermarket on every corner, we are not having to wholesale hunt for food. If you need more than 1 -10 bullets to kill a dear or a defenceless animal then you probaly should be shopping at a supermarket. Point blank, I think all americans deserve home protection but exhibition of power by Semi-Automatic weapons are weakening our most basic civil rights, putting those in question. What is America to do ?

    April 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • AJ RIner

      Shotguns, Revolvers, all pistols that use a magazine like Glocks, Hunting rifles such as 30-06 and all others are ALL Semi-automatic !

      April 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  7. Joe Marino

    the nra always uses the excuse that not enough is being done to prosecute criminals who used a gun to commit a crime. the problem with that argument is that the damage is already done. the crime has been committed. it's too late. why should criminals go through a background check when they can get weapons virtually anywhere. when manufacturers sell guns it should be documented to whom they were sold. it should continue with each sale or gift. the last person who had the registered gun is responsible for any crime. the nra is so lacking in logic. they are fear mongering. they never give a direct answer to a direct question. stay after them!

    April 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

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