NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- An investigation by the city of New York found "it is both feasible and easy for criminals to illegally buy guns at gun shows," city officials said Wednesday.
Investigators said 94 percent of licensed dealers and 63 percent of private owners sold guns to customers who said they could not pass a background check at seven gun shows in Nevada, Idaho and Tennessee.
Licensed gun sellers are required to conduct checks on prospective buyers using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Federal law exempts private sellers from such checks but prohibits them from selling guns to people "they know" or "have reason to believe" are prohibited by law from purchasing a firearm.
"Gun Show Undercover: Report on Illegal Sales at Gun Shows," released Wednesday, urged increased enforcement of gun sale laws and called for an end to the so-called gun show loophole, by requiring background checks on all purchases.
"The investigation shows that it is feasible and easy for criminals to illegally buy guns at gun shows," the report concluded.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulandam accused New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ordered the investigation, of "being more interested … in holding press conferences" than prosecuting lawbreakers, The Washington Post reported.
"Our position is very simple, and it's something we have been saying for decades: If anyone breaks the law, arrest them and prosecute them," Arulandam said.