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You may remember that Stag Arms ran into some regulatory trouble with our friends at the ATF last year at this time. They seemed to have had difficulty accounting for all of their firearms in an industry that’s about as highly regulated as any other. The ATF doesn’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to missing (or miscounted) firearms. Especially hundreds of them. Some of them machine guns. Now, as abcnews.go.com reports, “The former owner of a company that makes military-style rifles has been sentenced to probation and the company fined $500,000 for violating federal firearms laws” . . .

Mark Malkowski was sentenced to two years of probation and personally fined $100,000 during the sentencing hearing Tuesday in federal court in Hartford. Malkowski and the company, New Britain-based Stag Arms, had pleaded guilty to charges including possession of a machine gun not registered to the company and failure to maintain proper firearms records.

Connecticut-based Stag now soldiers on under new management.

Deirdre Daly, Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney, said sloppy record-keeping and a failure to comply with regulations left the company unable to account for hundreds of weapons, including fully automatic guns.

As a result of the mess, Malkowski will no longer work in the gun business.

As part of his plea agreement with the government, Malkowski sold the company in February and has agreed never again to hold an ownership or management position in a firearms business.

29 Responses to Felonies, Fines, Probation Over Stag Arms’ Sloppy Accounting Practices

  1. To my knowledge none of his “loose” guns have ever killed anyone. Maybe we should have this conversation with Eric Holder.

    • In situations like this it is most likely that these “guns” never physically existed – just serial numbers that were taken out but never cut into guns.

  2. Gotta love those crimes against bureaucracy. It’d be anarchy without them. Anarchy I tell you!

    • How do you blackball/”redline” a guy from even making a living in his industry? A business can not even enforce a non-compete contract with such terms.

      • People get banned from industries and professions all the time. It’s perhaps most common where there’s a license necessary to work in that field.

        You’ll see drug addict doctors lose their license, embezzler accountants or brokers lose theirs. Cops and teachers can lose theirs over abuse cases. Often it comes down to licensure requirements of exercising sound judgment or being of good character.

        • I agree! Let’s get rid of licensure requirements. Trying to ban someone from a useful, valid, productive industry of which the entirety of their knowledge, education, and experience is invested is cruel and unusual punishment, and is an open invitation for them to ignore the law and go back into that field – one way or another.

      • Until you’re above a mid-six figure salary, non-completes are pretty much unenforceable decorative wallpaper. I remember back when it was all the rage, they used to put non-competes in the hiring paperwork for line-level workers. Like pizza makers (not kidding).

        Everyone soon learned courts wouldn’t touch these things, and generally looked askance at trying to stop a poor schlub from making a living. Radio and TV air talent still have some restrictions, which are followed more as a agreement, than because of force of law.

        • I had a boss try and pull that crap on me, about 30 years ago.

          In the coin-op video game and juke-box biz (and pawn & gun shop) if you can believe it.

          I looked him dead in the eye and told him I might entertain signing one of those, depending on how large the raise would be.

          He never mentioned it again…

          (The video game route was in the basement of the pawn & gun shop and I filled in as needed with the upstairs shop)

        • It varies from state to state. Non-competes are definitely quite enforceable in some (though employers may choose to not bother in many cases, because even if they win in court, the PR hit is substantial), and courts have ruled them void in others.

        • Sorry Soopid2, the California Supreme Court made no such blanket ruling. There are noncompetes that are void, and others that are perfectly enforceable. It is all matter of knowing what is permissible, and drafting accordingly. Generally, noncompetes cannot be used to prevent someone from making a living outside of a local area, but may be used to prevent a (former) employee from stealing clients, using client lists, and using trade secrets data, the most common uses today. The agreements must be limited as to time and distance, the reasonableness of which limits are fact specific.

  3. People in the firearms business and firearms owners, at all levels, should be very very serious about their conduct. These sorts of careless behavior episodes make the ordinary man-in-the-street wonder if there ought to be more and stricter laws and regulations. It also gives great fodder to the anti-gun hoards, who are starting to talk amendment repeal.

    Malkowski was careless and stupid.

    • overall agreed, he really got off with a slap on the wrist considering. Why would you be careless in an industry ruled by regulation with an entity you can almost assure is out to get you? At that point your game has to be tip top otherwise they’re going to just steam roll you.

  4. Here’s the best part, FTA, “The company, which had been licensed since 2003 and manufactures semi-automatic rifles, also agreed to give up claim to any of the guns that were seized.”. I’m thinking that now the Feds have a bunch (at least 160) of unregistered, untraceable weapons to be used for whatever they want. Nice.

  5. Govermennt ? This word stand for gives primary in over 99,99% the cases the answer for the question about an “problem” nobody have question and create a new problem and new “crime” ^^

  6. Too bad that the same standard isn’t used by our political leaders.

    i’d like to see Hilary fined 500,000 and banned from “being in the political business”.

    I can dream.

  7. These are, as others have said above, crimes against the bureaucracy with no real victim at all. Malkowski took all the punishment it seems in likely one of those “somebody must be punished” scenarios in another careless, low quality operation orchestrated by the ATF, who walks the block like the local mobster taking a cut of everyone’s money, and pounding out their version of justice as they see fit per their twisted interpretation of moronic law conceived and passed by imbeciles generations ago.

  8. “The ATF doesn’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to missing (or miscounted) firearms.”

    Unless they’re the ones doing it, of course. Nobody in that agency raises their voice when ol’ Eric Holder conveniently loses a few thousand of them in Mexico.

  9. Same company that wont sell private citizens a %100 legal short barreled upper without first showing proof of an sbr tax stamp, even in states where an ar15 pistol is %100 legal, even if said citizen shows them proof of owning an ar15 pistol or lower. Fuck him.

  10. The ATF doesn’t have a sense of humor about lost guns, unless of course it belongs to them, another alphabet soup agency or some other LE agency.

    When it’s one of those groups that loses guns or has sloppy practices… well then the ATF does’t really seem to care.

  11. I am to understand that they make a lot of OEM “parts” for other gun mfrs. I have yet to see a Stag Arms AR style rifle at a gun show or LGS in my area. Maybe Stag just lost the ones that were to have been shipped here…over the last 10 years. Their sales and marketing sucks as bad as their inventory accounting.

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