Firearms illegally bought through 'straw purchases'

Law enforcement says if you don't have a license and ship a gun purchased online to a store, the store does a background check on you / File

In Friday's Facebook Story of the Day, viewers wanted to know if there is an online loophole for buying guns in Georgia.

You cannot legally purchase a firearm online without filling out paperwork and without a firearms license, according to Capt. Craig Dodd with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

He says if you do not have a license to purchase guns online - like those who purchase guns as a collectors item - you have to have it shipped to someone with a permit and you still have to file paperwork with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Dodd says local gun and pawn shops will allow people to ship online firearms purchases to them for a fee, but they will perform a background check on you before giving you the firearm.

Dodd says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms does monitor black market websites where people can illegally purchase weapons.

"There's always going to be a way no matter what law you have for someone to break it. Laws are to keep honest people honest just like locks keep honest people honest," says Dodd.

Dodd says criminals get firearms through what law enforcement calls "straw purchase." He says criminals get someone who can legally purchase firearms, like a girlfriend or fellow gang member who's never been arrested, to buy them.