Gun control group targets unlicensed gun sellers online 

Nevada’s criminals are “flocking” to online gun listings to obtain their firearms illegally, according to a new report released Friday by Everytown for Gun Safety.

“The Wild Wild Web” measured the number of unlicensed gun sales originating in Nevada by tracking the volume of ads posted to four websites: Armslist, Backpage, Gunlistings and Facebook, which account for an estimated 35,862 gun ads annually, the report said.

Everytown used various methods for monitoring the sites, including the use of software to collect data on ads posted by private sellers offering guns for sale or trade between Nov. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015.   

Facebook recently banned private gun sales on its social media platform and on photo sharing site Instagram, to the praise of Everytown and similar organizations.       

The Everytown report looked at 27 Facebook groups from Dec. 25 to Jan. 21 and found 962 gun ads posted by unlicensed sellers.

Gunlistings.com had 41 ads between Nov. 1, 2014 and Oct. 31, 2015; Armslist hosted 8,388 ads during the same period and Backpage.com had 4,179 gun ads between Aug. 13, 2015 and Oct. 31, 2015.

Of the ads posted during the monitoring periods, 81 percent of those on Backpage, 95 percent on Facebook and 100 percent on Armslist and Gunlistings were put up by unlicensed sellers, the report said.

Close to one in 11 people shopping for these guns in the state of Nevada are prohibited from possessing them, the group claims.

Everytown is challenging Second Amendment groups like the National Rifle Association in Nevada, one of several fronts in the battle over background checks.

The gun control group dropped nearly $3 million on a ballot initiative for universal background checks, which was met by an additional $600,000 from other donors.

Everytown’s contribution came after winning on a background check initiative in Washington early November.