Lawyers Guns and Money

You Can Order Anything On the Internet, Including Guns

Don't try this one at home.
 You Can Order Anything On the Internet, Including Guns

(Photo: flickr.com/nostri-imago)

In keeping with today’s theme of aggregating news you can perhaps use if you have more money than common sense, we thought it worth pointing to Gizmodo’s in-depth investigation of the dark Internet’s hub for ordering weapons online.

Wares for sale at the aptly named Armory include everything from the humble Glock to the aforementioned AK-47, and yes, you will need to pay in Bitcoins. Guns are shipped in a series of small, discretely wrapped packages (just like vibrators!), which you then reassemble into your mail-order death machine.

The best part: Gizmodo called the ATF, as in, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. And they sounded, frankly, a little befuddled?

The ATF later called back to say they’d located The Armory in Virginia Beach, and that it was a fully licensed, legitimate operation. This, despite the fact that I’d explained again and again that it existed only within a marsh of online encryption, with the explicit mission of illegally selling illegal guns, illegally. I explained how a storefront in Virginia was sort of the opposite of The Armory, but it wasn’t much good—the ATF said it’d have to dig around itself again and get back to me. It hasn’t.

Getting to the site will require a little IT jujitsu, however, starting with the installation of the software program TOR, which “routes and reroutes your connection to the Internet through a sprawling maze of encrypted nodes around the world, making it a herculean feat to find out who’s who.”

So unless you’re looking to stage an outright coup d’état, maybe just stick to gun shows for now.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com