Guns in America: How Criminals Might Be Purchasing Weapons Easily, No Questions Asked


"This is a typical Russian round," Torrez said, holding a large clip. "It'll penetrate all body armor except for level-3 body armor and above … and he wouldn't have had a trace of who I was."

Torrez said these sorts of private transactions happen every day. In 2010, there were more than 5 million firearms manufactured in the U.S., according to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Van Zeller and Torrez next set their sights on buying a .50 caliber sniper rifle, a weapon so powerful that the U.S. military uses it to penetrate concrete and steel.

Again, they took to the Internet to search for sellers and found one willing to sell them a .50 caliber within a matter of minutes. Van Zeller and Torrez again donned hidden cameras and drove to meet the seller at his house.

When they arrived, a man named Mike invited them into his garage to negotiate the purchase.

"This could literally penetrate steel," Mike told van Zeller, as he handled the sniper rifle. "In Iraq, they told the snipers, don't waste one round on one person, even if he is standing behind a brick wall. Usually they'll have two, three guys lined up, then they shoot because it would go through the brick wall and all three of them."

Mike then showed her the gun's ammunition, which he was selling for $15 per bullet.

"You're getting 11 boxes with 12 rounds apiece, so you have a lot of firepower to start your own war," he said.

After making the purchase, van Zeller and Torrez looked over the .50 caliber, one of two incredibly dangerous weapons they managed to purchase within a couple of hours.

"Definitely not a lot of people have these weapons," Torrez said. "It's a war gun. All you need is a finger to pull the trigger."

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