Dan Z. for TTAG
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How is it possible to write an article about America-sourced guns used by Mexican cartels without mentioning the Mexican military? It’s not…unless your aim is to smear a US online service that connects gun buyers and sellers. VICE News can’t stand the fact that there’s a legal online service that does what platforms like Facebook and Craigslist won’t.

Asked about Armslist and online gun sales in the U.S., Alejandro Celorio, principal legal adviser for Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told VICE News that the country “has one gun store in the entire nation and issues fewer than 50 gun permits per year,” and strict domestic laws “make it virtually impossible for criminals to lawfully obtain guns in Mexico.” 

“Gun companies and sellers like Armslist, instead of implementing public safety–related monitoring or disciplining controls on their distribution systems, undermine these stringent Mexican laws, and wreak havoc in Mexican society, by persistently supplying a torrent of guns to the drug cartels,” Celorio said.

Armslist and an attorney who represents the company in civil cases did not respond to requests for comment. The site runs a disclaimer that says: “Always comply with local, state, federal, and international law. ARMSLIST is NEVER involved in transactions between parties.”

Elsewhere on the site, Armslist describes itself as “purely a service provider” that allows sellers to list guns for sale and notes that “it is the sole responsibility of the buyer and seller to conduct safe and legal transactions.”

Armslist was born at a Fourth of July party in 2007, the brainchild of co-founders Jonathan Gibbon and Brian Mancini, then classmates at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Gibbon told the website Human Events in 2010 it was a direct response to Craigslist prohibiting gun sales.

“When I heard them say that they decided to ban all gun-related ads because a few users cried out for it, it inspired me to create a place for law-abiding gun owners to buy and sell online without all of the hassles of auctions and shipping,” Gibbon said.

With a low-tech aesthetic similar to Craigslist’s and a simple user interface, Armslist quickly grew to become one of the most popular sites for gun sellers and buyers. There are glossier competitors, like the site Gunbroker, and local riffs such as Texas Gun Trader, but Armslist is the most ubiquitous and controversial.

— Keegan Hamilton in How the ‘Craigslist of Guns’ Helps Arm Cartels in Mexico

VICE conveniently buries this statement at the and of the article . . .

“Armslist is just a small slice of the pie of the transfer of firearms between individuals,” [ex Oklahoma deputy Don] Horton said. “It facilitates in making it easier perhaps, but it does not facilitate something that wouldn’t happen by some means anyway.”

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  1. I would never want to do a transfer using Facebook or Craigslist. That’s sounds like idiocy to me.

    It is seriously disenguous to focus this kind of attention to this AND have a mentality of erasing our nations border while never really dealing with Fast and Furious.

    • This might be a good time for the 126 million Mexican residents to sue the US for not furnishing them all with guns, ala “Fast and Furious”. I’m pretty sure King Dribblecup would okay cutting checks for $450,000 each to them all… would that be slightly more than 5 quadrillion?

      • And what does increasing the money supply without increasing the supply of goods and services for that money do?

        Causes inflation. In worse cases, hyperinflation.

        Marxists certainly are not economists. Too bourgeois for them.

  2. Once a media outlet has established a partisan audience it should just die.
    I suppose that’s sort of what’s happening. There is such an abundance of these hack MSM sources that their audience is stretched so thin allegedly pillar entities like MSNBC get hard-ons when 10,000 people watch their flagship shows.

  3. Pretty much anyone who sells guns could possibly arm cartel, gangs etc however it is the “knowingly” that matters. The ATF knowingly armed the cartel. China knowingly sold them the grenades they are using. Armslist did not.
    Free trade will continue despite the blight of journalism

      • Vice huh? I did watch their “Iron pipeline” thing. Interesting but not groundbreaking. I know all that living south of Chiraq(rumblings at the gym I used to frequent). Honestly I’ve never used Armslist and never will. Shady as he!! to moi…

    • ONLY if yuor name is Lori LIght-in-the-Head foot. ALL those guns “walked” out of the gunstores in Smash-and’Grab raids that wandered south of the Rio Grande came from such “sales”. dountchya Knowwwww?

  4. In this case Vice News is 100 per cent correct. The Arms List is a magnet for gun runners. For nothing more than a wink and a nod and cold cash changing hands gun runners make a good living buying second hand guns off of The Arms List and then running them to Mexico making two to three times their original investment. In most states all that is required is for you to flash a drivers license to prove you are a resident of the sellers state and blind greed rules and the sale takes place. Even if the gun runner is caught he can claim the gun he originally bought was sold in a bar or at a gun show and he does not know how his purchase ended up in Mexico.

    All this insanity is iron clad proof of how long overdue and how necessary it is to extend the Brady Bill to cover the sale of all second hand firearms. All civilized nations have had such laws for decades. Its not rocket science and no amount of Far Right paranoiac excuses and outright lies will change the truth about the pure insanity of all of this.

    Right now if you live in Capitalvania and are a criminal or psycho all you have to do is look on Craig’s list or another news outlet including the internet and buy a second hand gun no questions asked. Its that easy and that insane.

    • Having purchased off of both GunBroker and GunsAmerica, I can tell you that it really isn’t that easy. All sales have been processed through a local FFL, to whom the firearm is shipped after paying the seller. All interstate transfers require the firearm to be shipped to a licensed FFL. The FFL then processes the transaction according to local state law.

        • To Southern Double Cross

          No smack down. Just Far Right Smoke and Mirrors. Second Hand guns in most states do not require a transfer through an F.F.L. You do not live here in the U.S. so when you make ignorant statements you simply prove how little you know about our gun laws. Have someone of intelligence explain my post to you.

        • I know private sales between people in the same state does not need a FFL. Interstate transfer does need to go through a FFL.

          I am more versed in US firearms law than you think.

          But it is still up to the seller to make sure the buyer is not a prohibited person.

          If all transfers have to be done through a FFL, what constitutes a transfer? Some laws were so badly drafted (Washington state) that you couldn’t even use a friend’s gun at a range for a few shots without a FFL being used twice.

        • Do you come up with those attempted slights on your own? You have certainly convinced me of your level of maturity.

          Give yourself a gold star. Sorry, too bourgeois for you. Make it a red star instead.

      • to Mark

        I was not speaking of F.F.L. transfers rather it is the traffic in second hand guns that requires no paper work in many states. That is insanity that no one can deny.

        • To Mark

          I should have added I was speaking of face to face sales within a State and that in many States requires no F.F.L. Transfer

        • But still legal in most states.

          The only way to enforce background checks on all guns is to have ALL of them registered.

        • mny states now mandate that ALL transfers involve an FFL. Fed lawmandates that ALL interstate transfers require FFL. Many states allow private long gun sales but handguns bring in the FFL and his fees.
          You put yourself out as an expert far more often thanyu should. Yu do NOT know all you claim to know.

          I’ve enver used Armslist, but have used Gunbroker and similar sites, as well as smaller regional boards. WHY is there even a “need” for pirvate tarnsfers to be brokered through an FFL? MY private property, why cnt I buy/sell at will?
          Da ganstas, druggies, narcotraficantes, etc all have their own “channels” and NEVEr mess with FFL’s. And that tradewill never be stopped.

        • To Tionico the Moron

          quote———– Many states allow private long gun sales but handguns bring in the FFL and his fees———–quote

          Come to Ohio you Moron you can buy all the handguns you can carry home with NO paperwork from flea markets, bars, gun shows, newspaper adds, internet chat rooms and screaming on a street corner you need to buy heat.

          Many Southern and Western States do the same thing.

          quote————MY private property, why cnt I buy/sell at will?———-quote

          Two different Chicago studies plus numerous police tracings in other states proved that the average gun used in a crime was second hand and had passed through many hands. Now Moron what part of this do you not understand???????????

    • when’s the lst tie YOU listed a firearm or related product on Craiglist? (I can’t even list a cheap fofteeen dollar rifle sling on Craigslist) Dintchya READ the pice towhich ou are responding> Or are you so intent on making noise you just don’t care about accuracy OR truth?

        • To Southern Double Cross

          The only cognitive dissonance comes from your ranting’s. You know nothing about U.S. gun laws, you do not even live here so stop trying to act as the self anointed grand pubar that claims to know everything about anything and what you do not know is not worth knowing anyway. You are a joke Southern Double Cross.

        • I may not know the thorough details of each and every state but I know the broad generalities. Mostly from this site and other sources. Ironically I probably know more about US gun law than most Americans.

          The personal attacks mean I getting on your nerves. You are so predictable. Keep having “naughty dreams” of your “Caravan of Death” bringing Social Justice to the masses. Have you picked up the historical reference yet?

      • When dealing with the Arms List it speaks of face to face contacts within your state and in many states that requires no background check

    • “I was told by the Democrats I could get a gun delivered to my house by using the Internet”

      “I was told by the Democrats I could buy a gun on the internet”

      • They also said I could print a gun after a download some files off the internet.

        How much ink will that take?

        / sarc

      • to Chris

        They were correct. Its done illegally and legally through internet chat rooms and their are hundreds of them. And the best part is there are no selling fees as when you go through GunBroker and other similar well known big gun audition and selling web sites. Its the underground chat rooms that people look for if they want to save money and avoid the f.f.L. background check.

      • Technically speaking this is true, the Dems just want Sally Soccermom to believe that it’s legal like Amazon where you go to a website and use your credit card and the gun just shows up on your front porch which is not the reality.

        Of course, if you’re willing to ignore the law you can actually use the same basic interwebz conduits to get literally any narcotic you can imagine but no one suggests, subtly or not, that this is legal the way the Left does with firearms.

    • You don’t strive to be correct much do you? Gun owners pay no attention to your drivel and gunphobics have made up their own fantasy and what will fix it. Whatever someone read what you wrote only has think opposite.
      I am all for no gun control at all or government should force everyone to have at least one.. If guns are bad then why do you arm your police? Police have no special or magical powers and in fact they are aware of the fear their sidearms command from citizens. We are ruled at gunpoint, don’t kid yourself. Too bad your family knows your are helpless to defend them. Make firearms illegal and your comments will no longer be tolerated anywhere and that is how it works. If you think govt and police are not corrupt then you are their sucker.
      I wonder my local police force keeps over 400 M-16s in their arsenal.

  5. No, actually the ATF gives the illegal foot soldiers their own weapons when they cross the border! Remember all those weapons the pentagon can’t seem to account for??

  6. Armslist now has a pay to use model. I’ve been on before this and it was super shady. People giving fake ffl numbers claiming they were veterans.

    • true.
      first a monthly fee to communicate, now just to see price.
      themonthly fee is what i’d be willing to pay for a year; it’s mostly windowshopping for me, but it was great for avoiding ammo tax, and some stuff was very reasonable.
      c’list has items as well, you just have to search correctly.

  7. Vice news is just covering for the Obama/Biden administration and their Fast and Furious operation. Which Vice news ignored.

  8. The main source of arms for cartels is the US Government via “aid” sent to the Mexican Government. “Aid” that the cartels steal through a variety of methods.

    What, Armslist sells FIM-92’s now? Yeah, bullshit.

    The Mexican government’s grip on territory has shrunk and the cartels’ territory has expanded basically every year for a while now. At this point Mexico isn’t Mexico, it’s Cartelajara.

    And it’s expanded well north of the border so far as I can tell too, with cartels deploying the same tactics they used to take over most of Mexico, er… Cartelajara, here in US cities. They’re not doing that without a purpose, you can bet your ass on that. While Ed Calderon may be a little OTT in his analysis I’m going to defer to the guy since he basically spent his life fighting the cartels and knows how they operate.


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