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When a man walked into Central Texas Gun Works and asked to buy a $1000 SIG pistol and 1500 rounds of ammo, alarms went off (both literally and figuratively). The man told the clerk that he had recently been released from a hospital and, “I want a gun. I want this SIG. I want to make sure you guys have the ammunition for it. And I’m gonna go over there to that hospital and I’m going to shoot everyone in that hospital,” according to KTBC news. Michael Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works, toed the silent alarm and kept the deranged man there until the police arrived . . .

The ATF has confiscated the pistol and the form 4473 with the intention of charging the lunatic with a federal crime. There is no word on whether or not the wannabe Charles Whitman would have passed a NICS, but it’s nice to know that he never made it that far.

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99 Responses to Gun Store Owner Foils Potential Mass Shooting

  1. “What this is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible even if they’re deranged, even if they’re mentally ill, even if they have a criminal background,” Malloy said. “They don’t care. They want to sell guns.”

    Was Dannel Malloy lying to us?

    • You can tell Gov. Dannel “Dan” Malloy is lying if you see his Director of Communications lips moving.

      “Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Malloy, said the “Democratic governor was criticizing lobbyists, not the gun industry”. Malloy has said he wants Connecticut’s large gun industry to remain in the state, though gun manufacturers say the new restrictions will hurt their business.”

      Weird how Doba so often “corrects” what the Gov is saying.

      Doba is Malloy’s Director of Communications.

    • I’ve stood at the gun counter at Academy before and watched as a waif asked in a near whisper voice the man behind the counter whether this store sold “……uh…..A……R……fifties……?” All the while, she’s on her phone getting instructions and corrections from the caller, then tells the man “No, I meant AR-15. Meanwhile, the entire gun rack she’s staring at is chock full of ARs.

      She passes her NICS and takes her gun and leaves. I asked the man “Seriously, you’re going to let that obvious straw purchase go through?” He said he just works there and as long as she passes, it’s not his job to question.

      Now, maybe there’s a gangster felon boyfriend on the line and she’s buying gor him. Or maybe it’s her Dad giving her Dad giving her guidance on a legitimate gift purchase for someone else. Who knows? Nobody asked.

      I’m against background checks to begin with. Insofar as they are the law for FFLs, though, let’s not pretend that either through greed or sloth, they aren’t sometimes thwarted. Perhaps that’s proof of their futility, but it’s also suggestive that not all crime guns are acquired through theft or the black market.

  2. I’ve worked the gun counter at a few local pawn shops over the years.

    That scenario right there is the #1 nightmare of a firearm dealer. To have a whack job go on a rampage and have the gun used come from your shop.

    Mr. Michael Cargill was _very_ fortunate that guy was a stupid nut job.

      • Wow. Words really don’t mean the same thing anymore, do they? Everything above mediocre is “aMAY-zing” and doing your job competently makes you a “hero”.

        He might be a “hero” by some mall ninja or Facebook standard, but I think most of us still consider this just “doing your job”.

        • Well to be fair we do live a society where the word “common sense” is attached to every legislature overreach measure put forth by politicians, so to do something as sensible as this would indeed fall into “hero” catagory.

        • So then you oppose calling troops who deploy overseas and cops who get shot by gangbangers “heroes”? After all, they’re just doing their jobs.

  3. Ummm…why would they confiscate this gun? Did alleged crazy guy walk out with the gun? Physical possession? Am I missing something?

        • The gun itself is better than the paper to prove the guy tried to buy a particular gun.

        • Perhaps “no harm no foul” unless the transaction was completed and the weapon was actually transferred to the wacko. If so, I hope the shop got their $$.

        • Rick (to your 20:20 comment, above), the second-to-the-last-line of the article reads “The ATF has confiscated the pistol and the form 4473 with the intention of charging the lunatic with a federal crime.”

          So I agree, the form 4473 is also important to their case, and they have it, along with the pistol.

        • “The gun itself is better than the paper to prove the guy tried to buy a particular gun.”

          Is that sarc or something? He never paid for the gun, never owned the gun, never fired the gun, and there were hundreds of guns in the shop, why is that particular one evidence of anything? If they were going to confiscate something without payment, why not a cheaper, used gun?

          The signed 4473 is the evidence, the cops wanted a free Sig.

      • I know right? Seems like holding an expensive firearm for physical evidence is punishing the store owner for doing the right thing….

        • I’m certain there was a point in history where they didn’t confiscate the item someone tried to buy that a lawyer go them off for it, so now they have to confiscate it to ‘prove’ in court that the asshole was doing something asshole-y.

      • I am not defending the guy, but the scenario is bordering on entrapment.

        Scenario:
        1.) Bad Guy: He mister, I want to commit a crime
        2.) Mister: Here, fill out this form that I know will make you a criminal before you commit your intended crime
        3.) Bad Guy: Thanks, where is your pen?
        4.) Police arrest Bad Guy for the form he filled out, crime is prevented.

        • It’s only entrapment if the person would not normally commit the crime and was convinced to do so by a government official (like a cop).

        • No its not. If the story is accurate, the suspect approached a private citizen and explained in some detail what he wanted to do with the gun he was looking at. The private citizen then advised police hoping to prevent a mass shooting. Suspicion of government action is appropriate, but knee-jerk assertions of “entrapment” just make you sound like a jail house lawyer. If you want to challenge legitimate state overreach, a little research will help your credibility.

    • Legal proceedings, I reckon.

      While I’m tempted to say that they should have waited long enough for crazy to pay for it, I just wasn’t there. I do hope that the dealer gets his gun back or is otherwise properly reimbursed in a timely manner.

      Tom

  4. I’m glad they caught this nutjob and that he as a total idiot. He should have gone to the special NRA store that is in every town, according to MDA, that sells guns to gang bangers and crazy people no matter who they are or what they want to do with it.

    So, the police take the gun from the store owner as “evidence”. Now, when the investigation is over, will they give the store owner the Sig back? Or will he have to fight to get it back in court?

    • Take a deep breath and read the following quote slowly, noting my emphasized word:

      The ATF has confiscated the pistol and the form 4473 with the intention of charging the lunatic with a federal crime.

      • Let’s see… If the nut job had gone in to buy a car, and told the salesman he planned to use it to run over people, I would assume the salesman would also have called the police.

        Now… tell me if the police would then have confiscated the CAR he proposed to buy. I don’t see any rational reason the gun should have been taken either.

        But, yeah… seems none of the “law” enforcers are exactly rational when it comes to guns.

        • The antis have been successful in infusing our society with the idea that guns are magically different from other objects because they are “designed to kill people,” so when a gun is involved rational thought is suppressed and people involved tend to go at least partial retard and the gun defaults to the custody of the authorities even when it makes no sense.

        • Exactly. But, unfortunately, there is just so much more to it. Anyone who actually would harm someone with a gun (or any other tool) needs to have a keeper, or be dead at the hands of his/her intended victim. That sounds harsh, but it is a reality humans have to accept.

          People who are mentally/emotionally deranged as this person seems to be should be restrained by their family or community – personally. When the care of such people is left to the “government,” there is little or no incentive to actually care for the person or to deal with their problems. They become mere pawns, being used and abused rather than kept safe or helped.

          The motive and energy to do that job has to come from personal committment to the sick/deranged individual by other caring individuals. It’s not something that can be delegated to faceless, uninterested bureaucrats.

        • “not something that can be delegated to faceless, uninterested bureaucrats.” That, right there, is the crux of the entire problem. Far too many people want “someone else” to do everything for them. In the end those “someone else” decide to do things TO them, instead.

        • no, they took it as evidence. it remains the property of the pawn shop. when the trial is over, if the lunatics attorney does not appeal, the gun ceases to be evidence and the pawn shop gets its property back

        • Bet me. If he ever gets that gun back, it will have 10,000 rounds of hard use, and it will be the result of a lawsuit.

          This is the government which spends trillions of taxpayer dollars every year, if they had any intention of dealing fairly, they would have reimbursed the dealer his cost for the gun on the spot.

    • Attempt. It is an inchoate offense Another is conspiracy. A crime would have been committed if the prior acts leading up to it were sucessful

      • I would have just told him to get the hell out of my store. Like I’ve seen happen in the city(of CHICAGO) . Just a run of the mill nut. No dialogue, no form, no anything. Most gun shops near me have ARMED employees.

        • Are we sure this wasn’t some gun grabber “sting?” They walk in with a hidden camera and try to get footage of those blood thirsty greedy gun nut store owners. Of course they should have called the cops, bet MDA would have had them on youtube in 10 minutes if they didn’t. Not to mention the possibility of some psycho going to another store and successfully carrying out an attack after learning you can’t tell people you will be shooting people.

        • Law enforcement would take a _very_ dim view of someone trying make a sting video at LE expense.

        • I HOPE it is an anti sting. Revealing oneself to be an MDA operative is not going to gain one any leniency. Let the antis try this and get sent to prison. To quote Martha Stewart, it’s a good thing.

        • I have done a fair amount of business with Central Texas Gun Works including getting approved for CHL though them. I can assure you every employee there has a pistol on their hip while on the clock. No way Michael was going to let a nut case walk out of his shop with a weapon. Also he has a pretty good relationship with Austin police, has had South Austin shop for years and runs a pretty tight ship, so yes, Michael will get his merchandise back. Also friendliest gun store in the area. As a woman gun owner can’t tell you how much I appreciate the guys & gal who works there! Highly recommend for Austin & surrounding area gun owners!

      • Premeditated generally implies a successful crime carried out with prior planning. I believe the word you’re looking for is “attempted”.

        • “Attempted murder.” Now honestly, did they ever give anyone a Nobel prize for “attempted chemistry”?

        • [The post above included pseudo-HTML tags indicating I was referencing Sideshow Bob, but apparently the angle-bracketed text got eaten rather than being displayed.]

        • They gave one about 6 years ago for something… attempted chemistry is as good a guess as any.

    • “What crime can they charge him with if the sale was never completed?”

      By stating “He was going to shoot everybody in that hospital”, that’s a terrorist threat…

  5. “That’s when I found out that he actually was at the hospital earlier that day. He had a hospital band on and they’d released him from the hospital because they didn’t have enough beds in the psych ward,” he said.

    MDA would still blame the gun or “gun culture” and not the fact that the hospital released an unstable person onto the streets…

    • Aha. So they kicked him out because there weren’t enough beds, and he wanted to stay–so he found a way to make sure that they HAD to keep him and kick someone else out. Maybe not so stupid after all.

      • Well, most mentally ill people don’t believe that they are ill at all. I’m sure to him shooting up the hospital was for a perfectly good reason in his mind.

        • I suspect he knows the system in and out. Utter certain magic words about wanting to harm yourself or others in front of witnesses–especially healthcare workers, police, behavioral health workers–and you will go to the hospital and you may be held and evaluated for up to 72 hours.

          His statements are called homicidal ideations in psych lingo.His threat involved going to a very specific place to murder people. He wanted to alarm the shop owner and get police involved, IMHO. I see similar scenarios play out most days at work. Sometimes they really mean it. Other times, they want a place to stay, drugs (anti-agitation drugs or whatever they can get) or attention from someone they are trying to guilt trip.

          Who knows, maybe he really would have done it. Isn’t it wonderful that most hospital security departments still forbid their officers from carrying firearms? Oh well, maybe those signs with the crossed out guns will protect everyone when one of these guys is serious.

        • My bet is they will find he did not possess the means to buy the gun, no cash, no cards, etc, which may be twisted into no crime. Gaming the system.

  6. You’ve got to look at the thing from the point-of-view of Bloomberg/Gates/Allen: What’s cheaper, adequate inpatient psych wards and sane America retaining its natural unalienable constitutional rights, or turning the urban streets into an open-air psych ward, necessitating the restriction of constitutional rights?

    Now don’t tell me they don’t know what they’re doing. They already tried this concept on urban minority America: Why build prisons and provide effective probation monitoring, when you can just make poor urban neighborhoods open-air prisons run by…the inmates. Proof of concept.

    Sure, the billionaires are willing to provide first-rate armed security for…themselves. No hobos or nuts will be wandering in their neighborhoods.

  7. Interesting choice of weapons. There are certainly cheaper guns to be had, as well as more effective guns for the money. It makes me wonder why he chose that particular gun.

  8. So ATF confiscated the gun? Why? It was never sold…they took this shop owner’s property for no reason. I doubt he’ll get it back…

    • I completely agree. There was absolutely no reason for the ATF to confiscate the gun because at no time had it been transferred to the bad guy, and it is not an element in the crime of a prohibited person attempting to acquire a firearm and/or lie on the 4473. Cops always want to confiscate the guns, but in many cases there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to do so.

    • It will be an exhibit at trial and they had to seize it as evidence to have a chain of custody.
      “Sir, can you identify this gun, marked as exhibit A?”
      “Yes, that is the firearm the man said he wanted to buy.”

    • It might have his fingerprints on it, too. Especially if he is a previously convicted felon, or has already been committed for mental problems in the past, having proof that he laid hands on (took temporary possession of) the pistol could be the charge they are pursuing. Either of the above, along with the 4473 with the “wrong” answers to the Felon or Mental Commitment questions, will seal the case.

      • Ah. That is correct. If he handled the weapon and is a convicted felon, etc, that handling is itself a felony (possession) and that would be a good reason to confiscate the Sig as evidence. Thanx for reminding me.

  9. What do you wanna bet that this was an attempted sting? I wonder if this guy will disappear when questions start rolling in….

    • Uh, I don’t think that’s gonna fly, I certainly hope he is handcuffed and locked up, and will have to come clean and be studied for years before anybody is convinced it was all a “joke”. Disappearing is not an option when you’re in jail.

      • “Disappearing is not an option when you’re in jail.”

        Clint Eastwood did it….

        On a more serious note, I was miffed at the confiscation too. The fingerprint/felon thing is a viable explanation in the absence of more facts.

  10. The big question is if the ATF ever going to hand the pistol back over to the gun store and how much in legal fees will the owner have to pay to get it back.

  11. Yeah, but the man’s plan was fatally flawed from the start. He wouldn’t have been able to enter a “gun free” zone with a gun anyway. That would have been against the law.

    Stickers look *awesome* on your trapper-keeper & your bike, and sometimes they even protect you! Just *one* sticker on every door is the equvalent of bulletproof vests for *everyone* inside!

  12. “The ATF has confiscated the pistol ” Really?!?!? Guy never had it in his possession, how do they justify confiscating it? Did they pay the store owner for it? Or just steal it?

    • Repeated from above:

      “It might have his fingerprints on it, too. Especially if he is a previously convicted felon, or has already been committed for mental problems in the past, having proof that he laid hands on (took temporary possession of) the pistol could be the charge they are pursuing. Either of the above, along with the 4473 with the “wrong” answers to the Felon or Mental Commitment questions, will seal the case.”

  13. Call me crazy, but when I read this article, somewhere in my mind I can easily imagine some MDA/Bloomberg people that would try this kind of crazy act with some hidden cameras… to make a point and diffuse it on TV, Youtube, etc… saying: “You see, any mentally ill dangerous person can buy a gun to mass kill”. And adding that to their whole campaign of propaganda to pass Universal Background Check in more states…

    I wouldn’t be surprised by this kind of stunt from them…

    • Well, their selected representative is going to rat them out or spend 5-10 years in a federal penitentiary. Cops and ATF are not going to see this as a joke. Unless, of course, it was not Bloombooger but Holder behind it, and I suspect he learned a tiny bit from “Fast and Furious”, though I may be overly optimistic, there.

      • I’d really like to think this would be the case, but remembering back to Bloomie’s minions that were buying handguns from sellers located in other states to “prove” his point about gunrunning a couple of years ago, I don’t believe I ever heard anything about them being prosecuted.

        If anyone has info indicating otherwise, I’ll happily withdraw my comment, but otherwise, I think it’s just another case of one kind of enforcement of laws for “them” and another kind for “us.”

        • It would be then also very interesting to follow this incident and observe if we will see a prosecution… If not, we could easily conclude to some manipulation, once again!

    • Repeated from above:

      It might have his fingerprints on it. Especially if he is a previously convicted felon, or has already been committed for mental problems in the past, having proof that he laid hands on (took temporary possession of) the pistol could be the charge they are pursuing. Either of the above, along with the 4473 with the “wrong” answers to the Felon or Mental Commitment questions, will seal the case.

      ———————-

      In any case, in most states, the shop owner will get the item back after the trial, if not before.

      And if they don’t/won’t return it, then responsible gun owners in that area should take up a collection to refund the cost of the pistol to the shop owner, to reward him for doing the right thing, and getting us all some very valuable good publicity. A couple hundred gun owners, 5 bucks apiece, done deal.

  14. This incident emphasizes how critical it is and will be for the industry to support its brick and mortar retailers.

    According to an NSSF 2012 survey, 14.5% of sales were online — with 50% greater profit margins. It is obvious, absent a program to support retailers, where sales will end up.

    Yes, it largely remains necessary to conclude transactions via an FFL. But that is materially different than the interactions and insight that develops when a possibly-deranged customer is available in a retail setting.

    Good for this retailer. Now if I could only get manufacturers to support the Groupon for Guns rubric that would secure distribution via in-store, face-to-face opportunities.

  15. BTW with CHL and Texas Law Shield membership, FFL transfers at CenTex are $7.50 . Getting there and parking can be a PITA though.

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