Entries in Undercover (2)


Undercover Probe: Semi-Automatic Weapons, No Background Check

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A New York City-led undercover investigation at a Phoenix, Ariz., gun show found that despite the mass murder and apparent assassination attempt of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this month in which a semi-automatic handgun with an extended clip was used, buyers who likely wouldn't pass a background check can still easily purchase similar weapons.

In two instances private sellers were willing to sell a semi-automatic handgun to undercover investigators who told them they "probably couldn't pass" a background check.

The sellers were willing "to break the law and endanger their fellow citizens just to make a quick sale," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

The investigation, conducted by the nationally recognized private investigative firm Kroll Inc. at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix, Ariz., also found a Glock pistol capable of firing 33 rounds -- similar to the one allegedly used by Jared Loughner in the Tucson shooting that claimed six lives earlier this month -- was legally purchased without any background check.

The purchase exposed a "dangerous gap in our existing federal gun laws," Bloomberg said.

In the instances in which the buyers said they likely would not pass a background check, the omission should have immediately stopped the sale, officials said, because even though unlicensed occasional sellers are not required to run background checks using the FBI database, it is a federal felony for them to sell guns to people they have reason to believe are prohibited purchasers.

High capacity magazines were purchased three times during the investigation, along with the three weapons, a city official said.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 30 percent of guns involved in federal illegal gun trafficking investigations are connected to gun shows. Because no records are kept, guns sold by private sellers at gun shows become virtually untraceable.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


NYC Nabs Unlicensed Contractors in Undercover Sting Operation

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The city of New York announced Wednesday the results of an undercover sting operation that targeted illegal contractors.

The majority of states require home improvement contractors to be properly licensed, but there are still plenty of rogue companies operating.

Repairing or remodeling your home is one of the most expensive projects you'll ever undertake, and when things go wrong it can be not just a money issue but a safety issue.  That's why authorities in New York and elsewhere are getting tough with illegal, unlicensed contractors.

Authorities in New York used an ordinary house that appeared to be in need of repairs to perform a sting.  The homeowners who invited contractors to the house were actually inspectors with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

As soon as someone offers to perform contracting work, they have him.

"What is it you do?" an inspector asks a contractor.

"Everything," the contractor replies.

"I need brickpointing," the inspector said.

"I start with the foundation. I'm the contractor," the contractor said.

But actually, he's not.  In New York and at least 41 states, to be a contractor, you must be licensed or registered.

New York's sting netted a dozen companies and $65,000 in fines.´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio