Video description: “Peabody Award winning journalists Mariana Van Zeller and Darren Foster joined HuffPost Live host Jacob Soboroff in studio Tuesday to discuss their new series, “Inside: Secret America,” which goes undercover to expose worlds rarely seen by the public. In this clip, the pair successfully purchase an AK-47 assault rifle in a parking lot without submitting to a background check.” The horror…the horror….

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100 Responses to OMG! Journalists Buy AK-47 Without A Background Check! OMG!

  1. I suspect these two reports are not planning to murder anyone with the rifle or sell/give the rifle to someone who is going to murder someone with it. So in this case the current system worked as intended. Nothing to see here.

      • Nope, providing they are residents of the State they purchased it in, perfectly legal. Otherwise, yes they did knowlingly commit a felony, by not going through a FFL… then posted the proof, sort of Kokesh style… not too bright.

        Even if purchasing it for someone else, unless they know the other individual is a felon whom should not possess firearms, they did nothing wrong or illegal.

        I Honestly hope they did because I didn’t see anywhere in the laws that you get an exemption if you are a journalist doing a story. So the real story should be “Why aren’t these people being prosecuted for violating Federal Firearms laws?” Rather than trying to add new laws? Hmmm….

        If not then I’m glad to see them exercising their 2A Rights to Keep and bear arms, providing they don’t destroy it or some stupid crap.

        • That’s a good point. Can they claim residency in AZ? If not… I suspect the AZ US attorney will be unamused by their faggotry.

        • i think if they aren’t residents but are not prohibited from owning firearms the only crime committed is by the seller as the seller is required to verify state residency of the buyer. i could be wrong, i’d love to see a source that settles the argument.

        • From the ridiculous chicks Facebook page
          https://www.facebook.com/marianavanzeller

          Mariana Van Zeller

          November 6, 2012 via mobile.

          I’m in the process of becoming a citizen, mainly for a day like today. So I can vote. Can’t yet. You’re lucky if you can, so don’t miss out. Vote! #election

          Is the broad in the US legally and an immigrant. If not she committed a felony. Is she is an paper carrying immigrant WHY? Are we so short on braindead leftwing “media” types that we need to import them from PORTUGAL???

      • Do we know what they did with it? I skipped around in the video so did not watch every second. As long as they either kept it, destroyed it or sold it in a legal manor I see no felony.

        • It doesnt matter what they did after they committed a crime. God may forgive but the law does not.

    • I suspect we won’t be seeing an edition of “Inside: Secret America” covering late term abortions anytime soon.

      As a Texas transplant, I was shocked to find out that it is currently legal to have abortions at 20 weeks or even later here. My wife was too, despite that we are both pro-choice libertarians. As in all things, we default to supporting the maximum amount of liberty possible, so long as it does not infringe upon the liberties of others. I suppose we both naïvely assumed that the time cut-off for an abortion was a lot closer to the sea-monkey stage of fetal development than the consciousness phase. We were very surprised… but nothing compared to what we witnessed next; throngs of vapid douche bags calling the 20 week law an attack on women’s health. I would love for one of these people (I use the term loosely) to define the point during a woman’s pregnancy when her reproductive rights end and the child’s rights begin.

      Where are all the “investigative journalists (what a f*cking joke)” covering this? When will the propagandists at huffpo have a hidden camera hovering over a late term abortion? Never. That’s when. This perfectly legal rifle-related business transaction harmed no one and yet they are portrayed as “dangerous” and “sketchy.” At the same time, they happily deified a lawmaker who supports the practically limitless application of abortion; a procedure that has factually ended approximately 50,000,000 lives since 1973 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Number_of_abortions_in_United_States). How they can possibly live with that level of hypocrisy is beyond my understanding.

        • That’s not the point. I am pro choice, with the caveat that I expect a woman to make up her f*cking mind prior to the child achieving consciousness. Frankly I don’t think that’s a lot to ask and anyone who thinks otherwise is a monster.

          THE POINT is that journalists have propagandized abortion until it is a polished, untouchable human right cloaked in “healthcare” and phony righteousness; all the while calling for the repeal of an ACTUAL human right (the RKBA) that saves more lives than it takes in this country. THE POINT is that liberal journalists have deluded themselves into believing that there is a distinction between an unborn child and one that attends Sandy Hook. THE POINT is that journalists like the ones in this video are hypocritical f*ck holes and that they’re detestable scum, not that I have anything against abortion. I could care less if a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy under the caveat listed above. I’m just not willing to lie to myself and call it anything other than the execution of a human child before they are able to achieve consciousness.

        • Glad this discussion has remained rational and hasn’t devolved to the point of calling people “monsters” who disagree with your opinion.

        • Duke, with respect, I stand by what I’ve said. Even if I disagree with abortion, I fully support a woman’s ability to have one. However, if someone, ANYONE believes that the practice is still okay after the fetus’ brain is capable of thought, then that person needs to seriously reevaluate their valueset. The word monster kind of rolls off the tongue.

        • How do you determine if the “fetus is capable of thought” without violating the woman’s body?

          I know, it’s hard to change attitudes that have been ingrained since there has been civilization, namely, that women are chattel property. The USA is the very first nation in all of history to recognize that women are, in fact, people who have Freedom of Choice.

          And getting pregnant doesn’t strip away her Constitutional protection from being probed TSA-style.

        • Accur81,
          Cheers and 10-4 bud. The same offer extends to you should you ever be in Austin.

        • I’d say that’s pretty easy Rich; get the consensus of the medical community and call it a day. If there’s a ton of debate on the general timeframe, conduct a paid study. Women are paid for their participation, which is voluntary, so I would say there’s no concern about “violating” anything. I am hardly implying that we “violate” every woman nor am I implying that the government should have any authority to do so. Your inferences that I treat women as if they are property and that I am pro-life are both assumptions. Incorrect assumptions, I might add. Please execute more attention to detail in the future. Thanks for rattling that sabre.

  2. This clip made me cry… because it reminded me of having to sell one of my guns in a Bass Pro parking lot to pay a bill 🙁

    • Lol. Its funny how many times I’ve used BassPro’s lot to meet buyers and sellers for FAs. Of course, given its legal here, ‘undercover’ videos like this just make me scratch my head. Kinda’ like buying cough syrup at the store and making an ‘undercover’ video of it…

      OMG…we’re filming an ‘undercover’ video of something legal!!!!

      Might as well film someone putting gas in their car… Oh, wait, it’s the Huff Post…

      • On that note, when was the last time any “journalist”
        dared comment on the price of gasoline. Maybe Zellar
        and Foster can tackle that next. They’re fearless,
        Peabody Award winning writers not afraid to put
        themselves in “sketchy” situations to find the “truth”.
        They shouldn’t be afraid to ask simple questions like:
        why the price was such a huge to the press, including
        the HuffPo, before 2010 but no longer.

        • Oh, feh! People whine about four bucks a gallon for gas, but think nothing about going into the same store and paying a buck and a quarter for a pint of water!

  3. The “undercover” reporter said the situation was “…kind of sketchy. A large sum of money was involved, and anything could have happened.”

    Like what? Getting hugged by the guy selling the product as a thank you for the business?

    What I saw was a financial transaction. Not unlike buying a used lawnmower.

    When the reporter said multiple times, “private sale, totally legal,” the talking head kept trying to push it to something uber scary. I’ve had scarier things happen to me the the dairy section of my local supermarket.

    • With momma there to ensure the guy sold his means of protecting his family. “We” need a new sofa and dining room set/not going to get any until those things are out of the house.

  4. Next these two geniuses well show you ever body else how you to can buy illegal drugs from the parking lot of HuffPost in one easy payment plain of cash. Do not forget selling illegal drugs is illegal it happens in more parking lots street coners ever day week than this does.

  5. Aww, you can practically hear the poor dears getting the vapors.

    These sheltered snobs treat what most of middle America sees as ordinary, real life like a trip to the damn zoo.

  6. IMHO…NatGeo has jumped the shark with this. This would have had the effect they’re looking for a few months ago but I don’t think that’s quite the case these days. More people are starting to realize that they’re being hustled.

    • Wait, they JUST jumped the shark to you with this?

      Most of these channels jumped the shark a long time ago. I remember in the late 90s/early 2000s when you could still find scientific documentaries on NatGeo, Discovery, History and TLC. Now it’s all reality trash and tabloid-style documentaries. It’s why I dropped cable years ago.

      I sorely miss my late-90s high-school weekend History Channel binges.

      • Well said Jeff, I certainly agree… These use to be the educational channels that we could fall back to but they’re also filled with a lot of garbage these days and not worth our time or money…. Congratulations on dropping cable, smart move…

  7. One disadvantage to being an OFWG is remembering that prior to 1968 you could walk into a hardware store and buy anything that they had in their gunrack by producing some monetary instrument, shaking the store owners hand and carrying it out to your car.

    In fact my first gun (a Rem 510) was acquired when Mom gave me a handful of “green stamp” books. Got the old man to drive me to the Green Stamps Store and came home with a real gun at 10 years old. OMG !!!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26H_Green_Stamps

    Just goes to prove that the cultural amnesia in America, to anything prior to the iPhone, is destroying this country. A nation of cultural morons.

    • What a flashback. I had forgotton S&H green stamps. Suddenly I got a funny taste in my mouth remembering my mom making me lick those stamps and stick ’em in a book.

      • Don’t forget Gold Bond Stamps.

        Oh and and the tobacco stamp / coupons on the backs of packs of some Cigs. Like play money cuz dad didn’t use them.

    • Yep, I remember those days. Most hardware stores sold rifles and shotguns and ammo and some sold handguns as well. I seem to remember a car parts chain store that sold guns as well. You could mail order guns to your door and I bought guns at yard sales starting when I was 13.

      Mom had a drawer in the kitchen for just her green stamps. There was never any mention of getting me a gun with them.

      • I was looking through an old Sears catalog the other day and there were shotguns in there for $48.00. They would just mail it to your house.

  8. I bought an AK in a parking lot once. No big deal. We did show each other ID’s and we did a bill of sale for the transaction.

    I love how they put in the horror movie music and quick cuts to add tension to a situation that looked anything but tense. I would say this verges on yellow journalism. Attempting to drum up fear on something that is not scary.

    What percentage of gun owners become mass shooters or murderers again? Oh that’s right, an infinitesimally small number.

  9. That host guy could not be a better caricature of a smarmy liberal journalist. He’s the Ken to Rachel Maddow’s Barbie.

  10. Since an AK-47 assault rifle is a full-auto NFA item, shouldn’t they have to submit a form 4 to the ATF branch and wait 6-8 months? If not, then that would mean the media is misrepresenting the firearm in question, pretending a semi-auto rifle is an assault rifle, and we all know they would never do that.

    • Until I see it fire Full-auto I will assume it is semi-auto. If it was they should be going to prison for a Looong time, regardless of the fact they were journalists or not, unless the BATFE was monitoring the transaction.

      Otherwise even they would Yawn…

  11. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it…then I watched the clip. The ominous music makes it completely obvious that guy is an international arms trader who deals in special guns designed to kill children.

    Is that woman an AZ resident? If not, isn’t it illegal for her to buy a gun from an AZ resident without going through an FFL? The seller could claim ignorance, because he saw the AZ plates on the car. But if that counts as an interstate transaction, and she willfully made the purchase out of state, without an FFL, she’s a “criminal”.

    • yup yup yup. And that rifle is probably not legal in California either, and very definitely illegal if it had one of those evil 30 round “clips.” So if they transported it back to California, that would be another crime (although I suppose it is more likely that they dumped it at the nearest police station or FFL/pawn shop).

  12. Detective Google has her only home listing… in L.A.

    Near Glendale..

    But not Glendale Arizona..

    HI THERE FELONY!

    • Reading the text of 18 USC 922(3), would it still be a felony if they bought the rifle but did not transport it back across state lines?

      • 18 USC 922
        (a) It shall be unlawful –
        (5) for any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm to any person (other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector) who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in)the State in which the transferor resides

        I read that as “private party transfers are unlawful if transferor and transferee do not reside in the same State”.

        • If this is the statute, and there aren’t other riders and clarifications elsewhere:

          …who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in)the State in which the transferor resides

          Then the burden is on the seller, not the purchaser. In this case, the seller didn’t have reasonable cause to believe that she was not a resident of AZ, she did have an AZ license plate (mind, he didn’t check either, but where’s the statute obligating him to actually check?).

          So, IANAL, but either way, the burden is on the seller to prevent the transfer, not the purchaser to identify themselves properly. Mind, there may be State laws concerning this transaction as well as federal ones.

        • Agreed. (a)(5) isn’t the problem for the buyer, and it’s only a problem for the seller if he knows / should know that the buyer isn’t a resident of the same state as the seller.

          The buyer would have a problem with (a)(3), but only if he tried to bring the firearm into CA. The purchase didn’t meet any of the listed exemptions (most notably, (b)(3)).

  13. as a resident of AZ, this is a REGULAR occurrence.. most people meet in the parking lots of cabelas, sportsmans, or bass pro. a quick glance at an AZ drivers license is all we can do. I mean if the NSA can make a super spying computer, why the f*ck can’t our tax dollars provide an automated NCIS 800 number? I couldn’t care less about a BG, check. it’s not too difficult to judge character. if someone appears unstable or might be a criminal, I won’t sell them a gun. I don’t need a law to or government intervention to use morals… or do I?

  14. Aside from their sketchy use of the term “unregulated”, I’m a little offended by their use of the term “sketchy”, too. What exactly was sketchy about this?

    It took place in a well attended public place in broad daylight. The private seller readily produced the exact item expected, in plain view, that they had come to purchase. He even trustingly turned his back on the buyers (not recommended) as they approached, while he laid out the GIANT case of an AK-47. The clean cut, well mannered private seller and his lovely and cordial female companion politely stepped aside while the buyers inspected the firearm. At one point, the private seller’s female companion, too, turns her back on the buyer/journalists. The only thing remotely sketchy about this transaction were the buyers/journalists themselves.

    They’re the ones who are a little too eager to buy, a little too reluctant to ask any questions, and not at all interested in engaging in any small talk. That strikes me as suspicious. Factor in further that the buyer/journalists are the ones with some other guy in the backseat of their truck, aiming at the transaction what from a distance could only be described as a lengthy, black, shoulder positioned item which he appears to be peering down the length of. I think I even caught a glimpse of the shoulder thing that goes up; but I’m not sure. Plus, there’s a second person in a second vehicle, who’s observing the transaction. Peabody Award-winning journalists? Try Raspberry Award-deserving yellow journalists.

    Now, I’m not excited about the “lots of AR’s” for sale; but that’s out of my concern for the private seller’s legal well being and ATF’s potentially fluid interpretation of the term “dealer.” And it’s true that any given encounter has potential to turn violent; including a Craig’s List cell phone purchase under these exact same circumstances. Still, I’m not seeing anything at all “sketchy” here that wasn’t introduced by the buyer/journalists themselves; including that ridiculous Brian De Palma-esque music and melodramatic action rack.

    For their next “sketchy” undercover assignment, will they penetrate the seamy recesses of the bootlegging and human trafficking rings, by attempting to purchase a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a copy of “Penthouse Forum” at 7-11? Good grief.

  15. Mariana Van Zeller was born in Portugal. Here is a facebook post:

    Mariana Van Zeller · 6,244 like this
    November 6, 2012 at 7:26am ·
    I’m in the process of becoming a citizen, mainly for a day like today. So I can vote. Can’t yet. You’re lucky if you can, so don’t miss out. Vote! #election

    So, she is possibly a resident alien. The older dude (doesn’t appear to be her husband) in the red/orange shirt pays for the AK, so she might be off the hook. Not sure if the actual buyer is a AZ resident.

    • The older dude is her husband and partner. So I suspect he lives in LA too. The NatGeo web site says they also bought a .50 cal. Nice budget to work with…

      • Oh they had to buy a 50 cal also because you know how many school shootups that has been involved with. /sarc

  16. bought my last rifle in someones living room…..it was scary let me tell you, we used one of those iphone credit card swipers. the one that turns down “fire arm purchases”

    no news here. im still waiting on all the stories about all the 17 yr old black males killed across america to come out. how come TM is more important?

  17. Hasn’t anyone picked up that this was a total set up by the reporters.
    The whole thing was bogus from the word go.

  18. It’ll be interesting to see if they are charged. They put video of what seems to be an illegal purchase up online.

    On the other hand, if they are not charged than I might have to start working on an expose into how lax America’s gun laws are and how great and benevolent the government is.

  19. This smells like a sham aimed at making theses “Reporters” some ca$h by creating a video to horrify the ninny hoplophobes….I call BS!

    • You’ve just described the MO of news agencies for the last
      150 years. Hearst would be impressed at the scale of
      yellow journalism today.

      • Yep. Hearst would hire these two in a minute.
        Actually, I cut-out a remark to the effect that if these two had an ounce of real courage they would have done this in California, Washington DC, New York City or Chicago because I thought it was too mean, but what the heck. What they did and how they used it is like re-enacting the Storming of Omaha Beach with Nerf Guns and water balloons, then expecting to get a Purple Heart or Silver Star…

  20. Wouldn’t it be ironic if they bought from a BATFE undercover agent? And if the one they bought was one of the F&F guns?

  21. I work in the film biz. So easy for the editor to clip out the part where the seller asks to see an AZ ID. Almost as easy as laying scary music down to make it seem ominous.

    What we saw was a seemingly nice young man selling a rifle to some people who were acting nice to him. No danger. No sketchiness. The fact that the seller was willing to meet in a public place kind of dispels the whole “danger” aspect of it.

    If this is a news story, then God save the union because we are in a heap of shit.

    • Just got a marlin model 60 at a garage sale 3 weeks ago. 40 bucks. I get all warm when I find deals.

      • One of ’em was from a guy at a swap meet held at a drive-in cinema.

        Hundreds of sellers, more than a few with firearms, and noone the least bit concerned.

        Kansas.

  22. Big deal. I live in AZ and I have seen and been involved with private transfers in the parking lot with cops here. The idea that this is evil and a bad thing is just ridiculous.

    Now the fact that she is not an AZ resident, as others have pointed out, makes her a felon.

    • Hmmm… If she’s from Калифорния, yeah, I guess.

      ‘Round here, private sales to folks from other states are fine. In Missouri as well.

      The only catch is one has to follow the rules of the other state – if they need some piece of paper for a private purchase in their state, then they need it here as well.

      While this could in theory get complicated with a local not knowing the laws elsewhere, in practice it works quite well.

  23. Please stop using the OMG! tagline.. I get it, you’re being ironic and satirical.. its just… damn I hate that acronym.. all played out
    Also, buying an AK in a parking lot is a bad idea.. they should go into a Starbucks where its nice and comfortable.

  24. Pretty sure those journalist just broke AZ laws:

    http://www.azccw.com/purchasingfirearminarizona.htm

    An Arizona resident may then take possession of the firearm. Non-residents need to comply with several additional criteria:

    • the firearm must be legally possessible in the buyer’s state of residence
    • the transaction must be legal in the purchaser’s state of residence
    • Immediate possession of long guns is allowed if this is allowed in the state of residence

    And California law, if the AK-47 pattern rifle wasn’t compliant with CA law:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_California

  25. It is personal property, protected by law. By publishing the details of a private sale they may have slandered the seller by insinuating poor behavior and judgement

  26. Thank you for giving money towards the supporting of our (Arizona’s) local gun enthusiasts.

    If you want, I’ll buy the AK from you now… personal sale of course… off the record.

  27. If what she’s doing is illegal, is there a way to tip-off law enforcement about it so they get arrested and charged with something? First Amendment rights end at committing crimes IIRC.

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