(PA) Feds seize 69 guns from shop


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Drizzt
July 29, 2005, 03:59 PM
Feds seize 69 guns from shop

Weapons untraceable; owner nabbed

By LEAH M. ZERBE

zerbel@phillynews.com

Neighbors of Mac's Gun Shop in Clifton Heights stared with a combination of disbelief and disappointment as federal agents carted nearly 70 untraceable weapons from the shop.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigated the shop on Springfield Road near Oak Lane for more than six months and received a warrant to search the gun shop after an undercover agent easily purchased a 45-caliber machine gun last month.

Michael McGinnis, the shop owner, did not have the proper license to sell that type of weapon, authorities said.

ATF spokesperson John Hageman said the case developed in Philadelphia, but he would not give any more details until McGinnis is indicted. Authorities do not know if the guns were stolen.

McGinnis was charged with the illegal transfer of a machine gun and will be arraigned at the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia, according to Hageman.

"With 69 guns taken from the store not in the record book, there's no telling how many guns passed through here and into the hands of drug dealers and violent people in the city of Philadelphia," Hageman said.

The confiscated weapons included three machine guns and a sawed-off shotgun. All were untraceable and unlogged.

Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to log guns when they are brought into the stores and when they are sold.

ATF workers followed McGinnis late yesterday morning as he left his Drexel Hill home and approached him before he arrived at the shop.

They escorted him inside, where Hageman said he could not account for all the illegal weapons.

"We've seen people we know buy and sell guns there," said Nancy Jones, who lives and works in the neighborhood. "It's the greed that got this owner."

She said McGinnis owned the store only about a year, It was called Pierce Gun Shop before he took over.

McGinnis' new sign features a pit bull clad in camouflage, holding a gun in one hand and blood-soaked knife in the other, but Carmella Cichetti, who works on the block, said you'd be surprised at the array of people that visits the shop.

She said businessmen, cops and hunters can be seen there, although cops don't get their guns cleaned there nearly as often as they did before McGinnis took over.

Yesterday, a bunch of men stood across the street, looking at the stockpile of weapons stashed in the back of an SUV, waiting to be taken away.

"For a dealer to sell guns off the books means they're not traceable," Hageman said. "Therefore, when a crime gun is recovered, chances of finding out how the gun got into the hand of the possessor is minimized."

A mother who lives around the block was happy to see the weapons go.

"There are kids, a playground, a school right down the street," Liz Ward said. "And all along you think this is a legitimate business. How do we know who he's selling to? You just don't know."

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/12251793.htm

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Myself
July 29, 2005, 04:10 PM
Just love when someone trashes the law to make a few bucks and makes us all look bad. :fire:

Mongo the Mutterer
July 29, 2005, 04:25 PM
"For a dealer to sell guns off the books means they're not traceable," Hageman said. "Therefore, when a crime gun is recovered, chances of finding out how the gun got into the hand of the possessor is minimized."

LEO's ... Question.

When is this done? Does it really help to have the registration? Who keeps it (not the feds, I know). What if the registered owner says he sold it? Lost it?
Hasn't seen it in awhile?

In other words does the gun shop or pawn shop register ever get looked at by LEO's (other than ATF)?

Kurush
July 29, 2005, 04:45 PM
Why do people automatically assume ATF is telling the truth and the guy is a criminal? Remember when ATF went after IO, they claimed that all of their parts kits were machineguns and even claimed that IO had committed money laundering by falsely labeling those "machineguns" as parts kits. Of course all of this was bull and ATF knew it, it was just a pressure tactic.

If the cops were to get a grudge against you and make up some charges, you think the paper would title their story "Innocent Gun Owner Targeted By Abusive Feds"? Ha! Heck there would probably be people on here saying you should get butt raped in prison or suffer amputation :barf:

Myself
July 29, 2005, 04:58 PM
Does anyone think it is an interesting coincedence that this occured the day S.397 is being voted on? :scrutiny:

DirtyBrad
July 29, 2005, 06:35 PM
She said businessmen, cops and hunters can be seen there, although cops don't get their guns cleaned there nearly as often as they did before McGinnis took over.

Cops take their guns to shops to get cleaned?

LAR-15
July 29, 2005, 06:46 PM
Yes.

They might go off randomly if the cops cleaned them. :neener:

Standing Wolf
July 29, 2005, 11:38 PM
Does anyone think it is an interesting coincedence that this occured the day S.397 is being voted on?

Nothing short of fascinating, in fact.

Fletchette
July 30, 2005, 12:09 AM
Does anyone think it is an interesting coincedence that this occured the day S.397 is being voted on?

Very similar to the ATF raiding the Hell's Angels awhile ago. If I recall correctly, they raided something like 70 different residences and found over one hundred guns, and one package of meth. I heard that on NPR and thought that it was amazing that there was only one house with meth! Pick 70 houses at random and you'd likely get more. As for the guns, so what? NPR simply ran the story as if owning guns were illegal...

Binkster
July 30, 2005, 10:38 AM
I saw this on the local TV news last night. I was hoping someone here had a little more information. The news clip was less than 30 seconds long and just showed ATF agents carrying some bolt action hunting rifles out of the shop and to their vehicle. The news stated that the ATF found a number of guns that had the serial numbers filed away, and that the owner would be held until Tuesday for arraignment. I found it odd that the TV news was there on site to film the gun store being emptied by the ATF. I would seem to me that someone at the ATF tipped off the news crew to get a little face time and PR.

armoredman
July 30, 2005, 10:55 AM
OK, say the Class 3 stuff is the killer, he's done. As for untraceable, well, how many firearms were built without serial numbers, before '68? A lot, and they are legal as church on whatever day of the week you prefer.

rhubarb
July 30, 2005, 05:18 PM
Just love when someone trashes the law to make a few bucks and makes us all look bad.

OK, say the Class 3 stuff is the killer, he's done.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
That's absolutely clear to me. I don't think he did anything wrong. You can vacillate and say, "Welll, he knowed they was laws agin machine guns and that he was supposed to keep detailed records of which guns he sold to whom 'cause it's for the children just like the nice lady said in the article." Bullhockey. Shall not be infringed. I don't reckon your hardware store keeps records of the hammers they sell complete with name, address, ssn, and FBI permission number, right? Guns are tools. Don't give em no slack. We got a sure enough CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Until we return to the point where we can keep and bear arms as we see fit without government infringement, I will rail against said infringement. My Congressman just got a spate of emails along these lines. My Senators just got emails thanking them for voting for SB397. We need to speak up against laws that are wrong.

JohnBT
July 30, 2005, 08:13 PM
He broke a few laws and now he's in deep trouble. I'm sure he'd be happy to hear that you don't think he did anything wrong. It won't pay his legal bills though.

John

CAnnoneer
July 30, 2005, 08:48 PM
This case only demonstrates to me that no control system is foolproof - if perps want guns, they can get even machineguns! :neener:

The sad part is when a single case like that can be used by "think of the children" activitists to justify limiting my rights as a law-abiding citizen. Angle has become more important than substance. :mad:

Myself
July 30, 2005, 10:54 PM
I will rail against said infringement

Big difference between protesting, demonstrating, etc. against a law and outright breaking it.

Just because I don't like a law doesn't mean I can violate it without consequences.

Walt Sherrill
July 30, 2005, 11:06 PM
And if the new coverage is mostly correct, the guy in question wasn't KEEPING AND BEARING ARMS, he was selling them. I think that's a subtle difference.

Wonder if any of the buyers -- who can't be found -- are felons?

Somebody asked: the ATF can take a gun, and trace it by serial number/import mark back to the importer (by the import mark) or the maker, and then work forward, from record to record (4463? 4473? can't remember) to the last legal owner of record.

I've been in guns shops with the ATF called, or visited,as that was being done. (One of the shops was managed by a friend, an ex-cop who still worked as an auxilliary; he explained what was going on.)

Brad Johnson
August 2, 2005, 07:01 PM
I'm still leery of anything the BATF(E) says. Like the time they tried to convict a guy of selling a "machinegun" when it was really just an old clunker semi-auto with a weak hammer spring and a worn-out sear. IIRC the ATF agent was humiliated in court when a real firearms expert showed the problem and forced the agent to admit that he, personally, had not torn down the gun for examination.

Brad

leo68
August 16, 2005, 08:51 PM
I believe that form 4473 must kept for 20 years and the dealers logs must be mailed to the BATF, when gun shops go out of business. I might be wrong. State Laws may vary, ask your gun dealer. I do know multiple gun sales from buyers within the week or dealers hours the dealer must fill out a form of what you purchased in the time frame and mail it to the BATF. Not sure if this is for handguns only or both handguns and long guns more then likely both. Most dealers don't inform their customers of this. Also when you fill out your warranty card and return it to the MFG. helps the BATF with tracking prior owner, or starting point.

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