Everything is going digital, even a bazaar for arms. While sites like Amazon sells books and records, The Armoury sells guns and other illegal weapons online. It is an anonymous marketplace where the transactions and identities of users are almost impossible to trace.
Using the digital currency bitcoin, The Armoury has a whole range of items up for sale: handguns, grenades, body armour, etc. Once bought on the platform, these deadly weapons can be shipped anywhere in the world.
The Armoury originated from another open bazaar The Silk Road, which sells all forms of drugs. However, the sale of guns was getting too popular with users, and the administrators broke the site off by establishing a separate The Armoury.
Getting access to the site is not easy; in fact, it is not really on the Internet. First, users need to obtain a free piece of software named TOR. Originally developed by the US Navy, The Onion Router, or TOR, is an anonymity system that directs Internet traffic through an encrypted volunteer network all around the world to obscure a user’s location and conceal him from surveillance. Furthermore, the choice of currency bitcoin and The Armoury’s complex URL itself – ayjkg6ombrsahbx2.onion – are all steps to ensure the protection of its users’ identities.
For the receipt of the weapons, the sellers on the Armoury discreetly ship them in small separate pieces to avoid detection. The buyer then assembles the product himself.
The dealers on Armoury even have feedback ratings, and there is a message forum system that chronicles successful receipt of the weapons.
Currently, the American Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) seems to be unaware about The Armoury.