Jad Ali Mokad (courtesy policestateusa.com)

“A college student from Lebanon has been arrested on weapons charges after local and federal authorities discovered two assault rifles, high capacity ammunition clips and a handgun in his bedroom in this Boston suburb,” eagletribune.com reminds us. “Authorities said they were tipped to the weapons cache when the student’s father called a gun store to ask how to modify an assault rifle to fire a 30-round clip. They said the father also inquired about purchasing a silencer for the rifle. Detective Charles Dejesus of the Methuen Police Department said the person who took the call at North Shore Firearms in Middleton, Mass., advised the caller the ‘items he was inquiring about were illegal’ and promptly notified authorities.” Should the LGS have dropped the dime on Jad Ali Mokad’s Dad [son shown above]? One more [unreported] factor you should consider . . .

North Shore Firearms posted this on their website:

The BATF was investigating us for an unrelated incident at the same time this event occurred. That means that they were present, standing right there. Do you understand? Is that too much to comprehend at one time? North East Shooters, think before you post, we don’t take false accusations lightly. For all you people out there, we do sell high cap. magazines, have been since we opened. You trouble makers…stay out of our store.

So, make the call or no?

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86 Responses to Question of the Day: Should North Shore Firearms Have Ratted Out Jad Ali Mokad?

  1. Asking about the law is not a crime and does not implicate that you are doing something illegal. Here in Maryland we have people asking all the time about the laws, and when they understand what they are asking about may be illegal, they drop the question.

  2. If you have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed, it’s a good thing to tell the police. Especially if the jack boots are standing right next to you, and they are proven to use underhanded and illegal means to shut down businesses.

    That business owes no obligation to someone seeking to break the law. I don’t like those laws and I want them to change, but I’m not in the business of selling firearms, they are. They have a responsibility to take reasonable actions to protect their business.

    Ratting out someone trying to buy a silencer in a state where that is illegal is okay.

    The real question is, did the jack boots have a warrant and probable cause to search the residence of a man who simply asked a question?

    • Do you live in a slave state? You have to know what it feels like as a new gun owner trying to jump through hundreds of pages of gun laws before you can justify what the shop did.

      If gun shops did what you suggest for every new gun owners questions the ATF would be kicking down the doors of every potential gun owner, and they would probably enjoy it. Asking a question never poses intent. Would you go to a shop that is willing to send all your info to the Feds for an ignorant question?

  3. Anyone that wears a wife beater with a body like that (can you say man boobs) deserves to go to jail, so yes they seem to have done us all a favor.

    • If he were little less chubby and had more tattoos, that dude would look a lot like me…since when did we send people to jail for wearing tank tops Governor? I usually agree with your comments gov, but that one was a bit beyond the pale.

      So the ATF busts people for asking questions now? Maybe the government is better off being shut down.

    • Just a little levity to break up the monotony. And for the record I probably wouldn’t look any better in a wife beater that said perp. But I have the good taste to cover myself the f*#k up.

      For the record, I wasn’t party to the actual phone call so I won’t pass judgement. I would however. point out the consequences of a couple of flight instructors minding their own business about 12 or 13 years ago when a few Saudis insisted they didn’t need to learn how to land airplanes, just how to fly them.

      • Hello gov. Big problem with that statement. The F.B.I. were notified about those individuals and did nothing whatsoever. Or are you refererring to the college kids who our government stated died in a fiery plane crash but were soon found in Egypt taking college courses during the crash?

  4. The caller was asking completely legitimate questions. In most of the nation, the modifications inquired upon are completely legal. He did right by informing the caller of the legality of his intentions, and he should have left it at that. I have a feeling he was trying to throw the ATF a bone in order to score points during the “unrelated” investigation. Just like with the NFATCA, you don’t try to bargain with the devil and expect a positive outcome.

  5. So, are we now Soviet Style Russia where we rat on our parents too? Are the thought police present?

    Unless there is some full text of the phone conversation, I have no idea. If a guy calls to ask a question, is that enough to call the police?

    Right now in CT a lot of unsuspecting Fudds trying to gear up for skeet and trap are walking into shops to find out they cannot purchase any ammo. I saw one man get very vocal this week that he had to be escorted out of Walmart with arms flaying in the air. Should this guy get reported too?

    Unless we know the text, we cannot determine if this person was suspicious, curious or just plain stupid.

    It sets bad precedence. Something tells me they just lost some business. It could have gone the other way too. Someone getting arrested or shot but being legal.

    • Right now in CT a lot of unsuspecting Fudds trying to gear up for skeet and trap are walking into shops to find out they cannot purchase any ammo.

      Maybe they’ll pay attention to what’s going on next election.

  6. Since none of us were the ones who took the call, it’s really not our place to say. All the local dealers I’ve dealt with have a pretty good nose when it comes to sniffing out trouble and law breakers. Something in that call made them act.

    • +1
      So someone at a gun shop takes a call and has a reasonable suspicion that the caller is up to no good. And the Feds happen to be in the shop. So he tips them off.
      Where’s the problem?

  7. Here in NYS, living within a spiderweb of firearms laws, I’d bet many questions fielded by gunshops result in the obligatory, informational response: “Sorry–that’s against the law.” No real need to call the cops over it. If the cops are standing right there, still no need. If the gunshop is trying to earn some sort of get out of jail free points in an unrelated matter and doing it at some unrelated customer’s expense, well that just sucks.

  8. Their post makes me dislike them. Either something is worth telling the police about, or it’s not. Either it’s a crime, or it’s not. Don’t expect people to forgive\trust you just because you say the cops were standing there. Alternatively, don’t apologize at all if you don’t feel you did anything wrong.

  9. This is still another heads up to all those guys that boast of not registering or handing over their guns that become illegal. Every day that you possess an illegal gun presents you with hundreds of opportunities to wind up in cuffs facing a felony charge. The reason this guy did the perp walk is because his dad asked a couple of questions.

    Now my man is going to live a felons life for ever. Even if all the stupid gun laws are done away with next year this man will still be a felon.

  10. I personally would be scared out of my mind that this was a setup by the ATF and Eric Holder’s crew. I shudder to think of someone losing their life’s work due to government goons.

  11. I didn’t hear the call, but if he was simply asking a question, I don’t believe they should have alerted the police. They may have been in some sort of tight spot, but they should know the 2nd amendment people are no fans of their actions. If you kick a hornet’s best expect to be stung. I dont’t think this will end well for them. From what I read, the only illegal things in his possession were the magazines, and even then, it’s up to the police to prove they were manufactured before a certain date or they are also legal. I think it’ll end badly for the shop and police and maybe he’ll see some nice cash for his troubles.

  12. Something stinks in this story…and personally I wouldnt touch that gun shop.

    So a guy calls in, asks some questions….how many times do you give your full name to the guy at the gun shop. or enough personally identifiable info that could allow them to find your residence?

    So maybe they used caller ID? Usually you might get a number, sometimes a name, which means either the feds or the shop did some record searching to dredge up the address.

    Or if the shop was under investigation, did the feds have the shops phones tapped?

    Then my next questions is did they have a warrant? If so how? Would a judge issue a search warrant based on questions from a phone call? Not likely I would think.

    Some shady dealings are afoot methinks.

  13. Maybe they just reported him calling it a clip and wanted the experts at the ATF to educate him on the difference between a clip and a magazine?

  14. How does a foreign. Student get guns in a slave state? Better make that against the law!
    But on a serious note how does a student get enough dough for two rifles and a pistol? Sure these “assault rifles” might be .22s or you know a hb gun but still, seems like there’s more to this story like … Facts?

    • Dad wants guns, like in the old country. Gives cash to kid to buy same. Screws up blabbing on the phone. Kid gets busted. Life sucks…

  15. Bull. I wouldn’t shop there. That, and the website looks designed by a 4 year old….

    People, who don’t know any better, ask all kinds of questions about the legality of things here in California. The laws are extremely complex and it practically takes a law degree just to stay out of prison and rights intact.

    Unless it comes out that the old guy expressly implied that the mods were going to be used to shoot up a place, mind your own business.

  16. I wonder what would you guys would be saying if the FFL said nothing and our Lebanese friend went on a personal jihad. I think in the era of terrorism there was enough there to call the feds.

      • In other words you would be screeming how stupid the feds and local cops are or declaring it to be a false flag operation.

    • If that’s what you believe, then, in your case at least, the terrorists have won. They want us to look at everyone with suspicion, warranted or not. Simply being from the Middle East does not make someone a terrorist. Being a gun owner from the Middle East does not make one a terrorist. Being ignorant of stupid laws does not make one a terrorist.
      Was this man a terrorist bent on killing people? I don’t know, but the odds are in favor of that not being the case.

      • The old “the terrorists have won” gambit. The terrorists win when they commit a terrorist act not when someone with a Middle East or Muslim background acting suspiciously gets reported. On the morning of 9-11 a airline ticket agent in Boston didn’t like the way a couple of passengers were acting but after just having her sensitivity class she decided that she should say nothing. These suspicious looking middle easterners took control of the flight and flew the plane into the World Trade Center. I guess the terrorists didn’t win that one right?

        I hate to be the one to take such an unpopular stance but I bet that every one of you who are up arms over this would be running your mouths about “why this was allowed to happen” if this guy went on a terrorist rampage. So I don’t take anybody’s indignation seriously.

        • NO, you’re dead wrong. Terrorism is a psychological game where the terrorists gamble that the effects of a terrorist act generate fear far beyond the effects of any single terrorist incident. Of course, vested interests have played into this to attain their own ends (e.g., TSA, Fusion Centers, the entire dysfunctional DHS HQ organization [sic], the never ending wars, etc.). The end result for each act? More fear. And the IC gaining money and power by the day.

          Post 9-11 we watch and possibly rat out our neighbors (See something, say something) while the Government watches our every move (ever present cameras, license plate readers, NSAs electronic data vacuuming, and who knows what else). Everybody fearful and watchful. Can’t go anywhere or do anything without being watched. Hell, I can’t “get lost” anywhere.

          For all we know an NSA program at the brand new Utah megadata center flagged a word or two in the conversation, notified the regional Fusion Center, which passed it on to the BATFE and MSP liaisons on-site, who contacted the locals and got a warrant for the raid. Likely, judging from the LE turnout (more Feds than state or local).

          So yeah, the terrorists won. Because 14 years ago none of this existed, nor would it have been possible.

          And by the way, the terrorists tried to fly an airplane up my butt, but missed by mere yards. That was the worst mistake they ever made. So I can say with good authority that you’re wrong.

        • And before you ask, we didn’t get scared and we didn’t stay mad. But we were in a perfect position to get even. That’s all I’m saying.

        • You have your opinion and I have mine. So I expect that the next time something happens the authorities could have taken some action to prevent you will not criticize said authorities.

        • I reserve the right to criticize them if they act like a bunch of imbeciles or raging clowns, yes. I did my part with zero drama. Now sit down and color.

        • Unlike you I have been accountable for making the call. So you go back to your Call of Duty game.

    • Do you really mean to say that we should assume everyone buying a gun or thinking of customizing it is a potential terrorist who should be investigated? I asked my class II dealer about the process and cost of buying a suppressor recently, should I be investigated? Surely you’ve spoken without thinking, for that would be more acceptable than the premise that you actually meant what you said.

      • He didn’t say everyone buying a gun…

        but someone looking to modify (not “customize”) one illegally is a different story. I’m not saying it was the right call, but don’t build a strawman and act as if there was nothing suspicious there.

        • Point taken, I was in fact building a bit of a straw man. However one who asks questions that MAY lead to breaking arbitrary administrative laws certainly should not be ratted out by the LGS they do business with. I wouldn’t shop in that store if it were the last gun shop on earth. Better to go armed with a stick than end up in prison because they decided to sick the ATF on you.

    • FFL’s are not the police. We comply with ATF regulations. We follow state and federal laws on firearms. If you pass the background check that is required I will sell you a gun. I don’t have to – we have the right to refuse – but I will. Because that’s how liberty works.

      I won’t take the chance that I deny someone’s right because that there’s a chance you could do something wrong with it. I am not Feinstien.

      • Well said and thought out position Anmut. I’m fairly close to my favorite FFL, but I don’t think you should have to be range buddies to feel comfortable asking questions about firearms laws. I often ask questions about what would and would not make my guns into AOW’s or such things specifically because I DONT want to run afoul of the law. Some call it a gun shop, I call it a temple because it’s about as close to worship as I get. If I thought for a minute that my LGS would call the cops because of a question I asked them about modifying a gun I’d high tail it out of there and never go back.

        Now, if someone is dumb enough to keep asking after being told what they have in mind isn’t legal, then maybe stop doing business with them, but unless they threaten violence or something I just can’t see informing the police.

        Having personally asked what mods to the receiver would be necessary to use a pistol caliber upper on an AR-15 (such as with the mag well) and inquired about acquiring an suppressor, I’d be more than a little concerned if my FFL thought that was a reason to report me to the police.

  17. There are FFLs in MA where I absolutely will not shop, even if they had the last ammo on Earth. This is one of them.

  18. Exactly what modifications does an AR-15 require to be able to accommodate a 30-round magazine versus a 20-round or 10-round magazine? Unless AR-15s in Massachusetts have a fixed magazine, then isn’t the answer “none”?

    • Maybe a better question would be, “Exactly what modifications does a normal AR-15 require to cripple it so that the magazine is fixed and not removable?”

    • AR-15s in MA do not have a fixed mag. No modifications are needed to turn a MA-legal AR into a baby seal murdering scary 30-round death machine good only for hunting human beings evil black rifle with the thing that goes up.

    • ”Authorities said they were tipped to the weapons cache when the student’s father called a gun store to ask how to modify an assault rifle to fire a 30-round clip.” is the description.

      I immediately thought this guy had a ban era single stack AK. Those rifles have to have the receiver modified to accept double stack 30 rd mags.

      • Ah. Thanks. The more I thought about it, the less sense it made in the context of the AR-15 platform; I hadn’t known that a 30-round AK magazine was double-stacked.

  19. I truly hope that store goes out of business. A man asked what he needed to do to use 30 round magazines (nothing) and what you had to do to legally purchase a silencer (move to a better state.) This gun store SWAT-ed a customer for asking reasonable questions. F*** them. How the heck did they get from a phone tip of some random caller to a search of the son’s totally separate apartment anyways?

  20. I think everyone should take a step back.

    This is a news report, it wouldn’t surprise me if everything said in it was completely wrong. “Firing a 30 round clip” could be idiot reporter speech for making a semi go full auto. Seriously. Reporters get stuff wrong all the damn time, expect this to be almost completely, if not totally, wrong.

  21. I read the eagletribune.com article and it got everything wrong about the law in MA. There is no special registration for so-called “assault rifles.” All transfers of all firearms in MA must be reported to the Firearms Records Bureau. ARs are not limited for use at gun clubs and for hunting — in fact, when it comes to deer hunting, MA is a shotgun-only state.

    The dumbest: “Methuen police said Mokad’s licenses for the confiscated weapons have been revoked.” It would be hard to do so, since there are no separate “licenses for the confiscated weapons.”

    And the only reason why the 30-round magazines would be “illegal” is if they were post-ban mags bought out of state. With regard to the WASR-10, they certainly could be pre-ban purchased in MA. As North Shore noted, it does sell them. With respect to the “MP assault rifle” noted in the article, all I can say is “WTF?”

    Excuse me if I opine that the so-called journalist who wrote this abortion of an article is as dumb as a box of hammers.

  22. I work at a local FFL, and if the question was asked if it was legal I would not call anyone. Heck we have had people come into the shop with illegal SBR’s (usually a fwd grip on a ar pistol) because they dont know the law. We tell them politely that they are a walking felony and have them leave immediately. But we don’t call the cops – we just do our duty to inform them so they can go home and make it right.

    FFL’s are not the police. However if you creep me out on the phone or in person I will make a mental note of it.

  23. Also remember that we don’t know how the guy was inquiring about these questions over the phone. Two people can ask exactly the same question and one can come off as sincere while the other comes off as being a creeper. I’m sure the fact that this guy is Lebanese, and probably has what the gun store owner thought of as a Middle Eastern accent, didn’t help to soothe any nerves. I mean, how many of you are going to feel comfortable with a Middle Eastern guy inquiring about how to illegally modify firearms given recent world events?

    • I mean, how many of you are going to feel comfortable with a Middle Eastern guy inquiring about how to illegally modify firearms given recent world events?

      Thank you for reminding me why I hold my fellow Americans in such low esteem.

  24. Here is an idea.
    Everyone call the store fro their home state and ask the same questions. Let’s see them travel to free states and do exactly what?

    • That’s actually a great idea. I’ll post this to Reddit and see if we can’t get a few thousand people calling.

      • We did this Friday, and after over 200 calls we all found out there was a lot more to the story. And we give kudos to the gun shop, there were felonys involved as well as straw purchase.

        • “And we give kudos to the gun shop, there were felonys involved as well as straw purchase.”

          The “felony” of asking a common question for new and less informed gun owners?

        • Is it illegal for a father to buy a gun for his son in Massachusetts? I know Toomey-Manchin would have made it illegal as a felony straw purchase, but seriously?

        • B.. It is illegal for the son to buy a gun for his father when the father has a felony! He admited to police he purchased them for him.

  25. I’ve actually bought firearms from these guys. Its in my hometown. I took my CCW class there. I thought they were nice guys, but I think this was more brought on by racial stereotypes than by anything else. I won’t be going back there for any major purchases. Best go to 4 seasons gun store.

    • Chris call the store and ask for the truth, I think you would be surprised, it has nothing to do with race.

      • Because they have no reason to lie in order to protect their business. Just like how Lower Than Dirt lied about “system changes” preventing them from shipping any guns for months after Newtown.

  26. Their calling the cops to report the conversation is a tip, that’s all. The cops can choose to investigate it further– and found out he should be arrested– or they could have ignored it. Tips come from all kinds of sources. This turned out to be more than just a harmless question.

    • I heard gunfire on the Feinstein compound, some screams too. Better send in the SWAT team officer, sounds like a hot zone.

  27. I think the key here is they are already under investigation for something else. Shows me they flaunt the law as well as their potential customers privacy. Stay away.

  28. I call bullshit, Oh no another middle easterer that wants to shoot Americans, and in Boston to boot. The fed was at the store when it happened? How convenient, more Obama, Holder propaganda.

  29. The ATF has a long infamous history of set ups and entrapment. The story of Ruby Ridge and what happened to Randy Weaver and his family comes to mind. I do not know what really happened here. But a gun dealer being afraid of entrapment by the ATF just means he is not a fool. They do that sort of thing daily

  30. How did the pigs be able to get a warrant to enter (invade) the property where they “discovered” (stole) the freedom tools? Please report to room 101 or inhale Zyklon-B…..’Big Gov’ style.

  31. First thing to do would’ve been to ask the caller, “Sir, do you realize that if you actually do such a thing you are breaking the law?”

    That would’ve accounted for an innocent and/or simply ignorant enthusiast.

    Second, “Sir, I am not going to answer these questions. Such answers can new found on the internet or try your local gun club. Have a nice day.”

    If it persisted. Report.

    “Ratting out” is a term native to the small-minded criminal low life culture. It does not apply to shop management trying to be responsible even if they were (and I’m not saying they were) awkward in their effort.

  32. No different to some raghead asking about the explosive properties of fertilizer as he buys a ton of it.

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