Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ronning Arms in Modesto

Mercury News reports on the extremely rare happening.

Federal prosecutors are charging a licensed Modesto gun dealer with making illegal sales of arms to agents posing as Mexican nationals.

Robert John Ronning owns Ronning Arms Inc. He was arrested Thursday in connection to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation that began in February 2009 and led to the seizure of drugs and weapons, some of them from Ronning Arms.

After the arrest of the initial targets, undercover agents bought silencers, assault weapons and a machine gun from Ronning himself.

What's rare is not the fact that an FFL guy was doing this, but that the ATF got their act together enough to catch him.

And what about the business? You can't let a gold mine like a gun shop go belly up just because the owner and some of the employees where doing some dirty business. You need to find a close friend or relative to take it over, that's what they do in Wisconsin and Washington state anyway.

What's your opinion? Are unscrupulous FFL guys one of the main sources of guns in the criminal world? Aren't they often the last legitimate owner of a particular gun used in crime or found in Mexico?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. FFLs are just a more efficient way to move a large number of guns.

    A straw buyer ring might divert hundreds to the black market, but a FFL is capable of diverting thousands.

    This doesn't necessarily mean most guns on the black market come from FFLs, just that they can move more of them.

    It doesn't even have to be a FFL, in one case the criminals fabricated fake FFL licenses.