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Las Vegas Man Charged with Selling Hundreds of Firearms Without a License

Welcome to Las VegasA Las Vegas man who allegedly sold hundreds of firearms without a license, some of which were subsequently used in crimes, was charged in federal court today, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada.

Sylvester Mitchell, 47, made his initial appearance in court before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen. He was charged by a federal criminal complaint with one count of dealing in firearms without a license. The charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison. A preliminary hearing is set for May 16, 2018.

As alleged in the criminal complaint that was unsealed today, Mitchell purchased approximately 438 firearms between January 2004 and November 2017. Of those firearms, approximately 42 were subsequently recovered and found to have been illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime. Those firearms were recovered in Southern California, Nevada, and Mexico. Two of the most recent recoveries were from homicide scenes in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the course of 2017, Mitchell purchased 199 firearms for a total cost of $58,942.

The complaint alleges that Mitchell, who did not have a license to sell firearms, placed several advertisements offering firearms for sale on Backpage.com. ATF records showed a pattern of Mitchell purchasing new firearms from Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) on a weekly basis and that he went to multiple FFLs on the same day. In some instances, he purchased firearms from FFLs and posted the firearms for sale on Backpage.com a few days or weeks later. It further alleges that between June 1, 2017 and September 14, 2017, law enforcement conducted multiple undercover firearms purchases from Mitchell based on his Backpage.com advertisements. Among the purchases was an AR-15 rifle.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that the defendant has committed a crime, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Burton is prosecuting the case.

NSSF: Firearms Industry Economic Impact Rises 169% Since 2008

The total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.4 billion in 2017, a 169 percent increase, while the total number of full-time equivalent jobs rose from approximately 166,000 to almost 310,000, an 87 percent increase in that period, according to a report released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry’s trade association.

On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $51.3 billion in 2016 to $51.4 in 2017, ticking higher even while the industry came off-peak production years. Total jobs increased from approximately 301,000 to almost 311,000, a 3 percent increase in the same period.

“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO. “In response to that dynamic, we have increased our direct workforce by more than 7,000 in the past year alone, adding jobs that pay an average nearly $50,000 in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 144 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 104 percent and state business taxes by 121 percent.”

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2018 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid. Access the full report here.

KelTec Announces Recall of Certain Sub-2000 Rifles

KelTec Firearms has announced a voluntary recall of certain Sub-2000 (aka Sub2k) pistol-caliber collapsible rifles due to a potentially dangerous condition. While, thankfully, we escaped our personal firearms being subject to this condition, many others are still out there.

Sub-2000 owners can check to see if their firearm is subject to the recall by entering their serial number(s) on the recall page or by viewing the list of all affected serial numbers.

From KelTec:

ATTENTION
IMPORTANT SUB-2000 SAFETY RECALL NOTICE

We have recently identified an issue with the heat treatment of certain steel tubes received from a third‐party supplier from which the barrels for a limited number of Kel‐Tec SUB‐2000 rifles were manufactured. This could potentially cause the barrel to rupture when a cartridge is fired and could result in serious personal injury. The safety of our customers is our primary concern, so Kel‐Tec has voluntarily initiated this recall because of the possibility of a barrel rupturing.

This recall only affects a portion of SUB‐2000s that were manufactured in 2017.

All costs associated with the recall of your firearm shall be covered by Kel‐Tec.   Continue reading

United States Attorney Annonces Charges Against More than Two Dozen Felons in Law Enforcement Surge to Reduce Violent Crime

Several Charged in a Conspiracy with Stealing Nearly One-Hundred Firearms from Licensed Dealers in Kentucky

United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman announced that the Louisville Federal Grand Jury returned 21 felony indictments charging 23 individuals this week with multiple counts, including firearms violations, possession and distribution of scheduled drugs as well as the filing of an additional criminal complaint of two Tennessee residents charged in a conspiracy of stealing nearly one-hundred firearms from dealers licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“These arrests are yet another significant deposit on our promise to reduce violence in this Commonwealth,” stated United States Attorney Coleman. “Working together with our law enforcement partners, we will not concede one block of our city to drug traffickers, gang members, or, as we demonstrated today, felons with firearms. Stay tuned.”

U.S. Attorney Coleman was joined in today’s announcement by the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Wine, ATF Special Agent in Charge Stuart Lowery, and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, who stood shoulder to shoulder with numerous prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office, in a committed effort and shared partnership to reduce violent crime. These charges were developed through an ongoing partnership of multiple law enforcement agencies to maximize penalties for the most violent repeat offenders.

This week, Kashma Floyd Dardy, Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee, and Marvin Dale Johnson, of Madison Tennessee, were charged with conspiring and stealing firearms from licensed dealers located in Bowling Green and Owensboro, Kentucky. Dardy was charged with the burglary of Wheeler’s Fastway Gun and Pawn located at 4848 Scottsville Road in Bowling Green. Johnson was charged with the burglary of Wheeler’s as well as another burglary of Whittaker Guns, LLC, located at 6980 West Louisville Lane in Owensboro. According to the affidavit attached to the criminal complaint, firearms stolen from the dealers were recovered from both defendants.   Continue reading

Media Sensationalism Partly to Blame for School Shootings, Says SAF

Second Amendment FoundationWhen anti-gunners point fingers of blame for tragic school shootings, there is plenty of room for media sensationalism in that ugly spotlight, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

“The heartbreaking attack on students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is made even more terrible because the suspect is getting more than his share of fame,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “His face has been all over television and newspaper front pages, and there is a concern that this kind of attention might inspire somebody else to seek this same kind of infamy.”

Gottlieb pointed to a project at Texas State University’s ALERRT (for Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Center called “Don’t Name Them.” It recognizes the responsibility of the press to identify criminal suspects, using their names and likenesses to help in the apprehension, and to report criminal charges. However, beyond that, the “Don’t Name Them” effort encourages the press to instead focus on the victims.   Continue reading

ATF, Rock County Sheriff Host Educational Seminar in Response to FFL Burglary Uptick

Our town has experienced a number of smash-and-grab, vehicle-through-the-front-of-the-store firearm burglaries over the past year or two, so it was interesting to see this being addressed in at least some places.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, hosted an educational seminar for federal firearms licensees on February 15, at the Rock County Courthouse in Janesville, WI. The seminar was set up in response to the rash of gun store burglaries that recently occurred in southwest Wisconsin.

Despite gun shop counter-talk, there are no federal laws requiring FFLs to secure their firearms, ATF’s industry operations investigators recommend a variety of measures to reduce the number of gun store burglaries. Licensees received information on ideal methods for securing their inventories including installation of alarm systems and other physical security measures, as well as best practices in record keeping to ensure a good record of inventory is in place.

“Partnering with firearms dealers is critical in order to prevent thefts and keep our communities safe,” said Director of Industry Operations Hans Hummel, who is responsible for regulatory operations of ATF’s Saint Paul Field Division. “We want licensees to be aware that there are low-cost solutions that can be implemented. Many burglaries can be prevented with just a few safeguards in place.”   Continue reading

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