I’ve railed against “stings” many times in these electronic pages. It’s lazy, inherently corrupt police work that puts the government on a slippery slope to tyranny (creating criminals to control the populace). In a previous post, we detailed an ATF “sting” that yielded “especially lethal” firearms christened “ghost guns.” To paraphrase Blue Peter‘s catchphrase, here’s some ATF entrapment they prepared earlier [via chicago.cbslocal.com] . . .
A Elwood gun dealer was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for selling nearly a dozen firearms to buyers who were not legally allowed to purchase the weapons.
Patrick S. Keiran, 41, pleaded guilty in April to one count of selling a firearm to a prohibited person. In addition to the four-year prison term, Kerian was imposed to three years supervised release, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Sounds bad right? Lock Keiran up! And now the money shot . . .
Keiran, a federally licensed firearms dealer since April 2013, sold 11 weapons to an undercover officer who told Keiran he couldn’t pass the required background check and a convicted felon, according to the statement.
On May 29, 2014, Keiran sold three 9mm handguns for $960 to the undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The following month, Keiran sold the undercover agent a .38-caliber revolver for $398.43, and two .22-caliber rifles for approximately $1,390, according to the statement.
On June 20, 2014, Keiran sold five 9mm handguns for $1,600 to the convicted felon, who was cooperating with law enforcement, according to the statement.
In both instances, Keiran doctored the bill of sale and the federal firearms paperwork by using the names of other customers. The sales were conducted in his Elwood home, according to the statement.
Question: did Keiran use entrapment as an affirmative defense (admitting to the crime and claiming entrapment)? According to Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/7-12. . .
A person is not guilty of an offense if his or her conduct is incited or induced by a public officer or employee, or agent of either, for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the prosecution of that person. However, this Section is inapplicable if the person was pre-disposed to commit the offense and the public officer or employee, or agent of either, merely affords to that person the opportunity or facility for committing an offense.
If Keiran had priors, good luck with that. If he didn’t . . . good luck with that. As we’ve advised readers regarding their rights in a defensive gun use, there’s the law, there’s enforcement of the law and there’s the judicial interpretation of the law. I reckon Mr. Keiran was convinced that an entrapment defense didn’t stand a chance in court, and plea bargained for a four year sentence.
One more thing: if you’re willing to give the ATF the benefit of the doubt regarding Mr. Keiran’s predisposition for selling firearms to prohibited persons, what about the ATF’s predisposition for manipulating innocent people to rack up collars?
I refer you to the Milwaukee “sting” where the ATF agents convinced a mentally disabled person to have a neck tattoo promoting their fake gun store. And encouraged underage visitors to drink and smoke pot on the premises. An agency that can do that has demonstrated its willingness to do anything to bolster its [entirely undeserved] reputation as squeaky clean crime fighters.
What was the purpose of them having racking up 11 sales during 3 trips over 2 months? Why didn’t they just call it good at one? Or two? It’s like all they really wanted was to put somebody away for the longest time possible. If they were concerned about him doing illegal stuff, wouldn’t they have been concerned he’d be selling other guns to other prohibited persons during that time they were racking up more illegal sales from him through stings?
Sadly, Illinois’ entrapment provision wouldn’t have been applicable here since it was a federal crime being tried in federal court.
They want to pad the charges in case they didn’t cross all their ‘t’s and dot all their ‘i’s and some of the charges get thrown out.
It gives the prosecutor more to plea bargain with. The defendant pled guilty to one count. He gets prison time without the cost of a trial.
Prison time that appears to be well deserved from what I can tell.
I lived in this man’s house prior to his being incarcerated. He never talked about this subject matter. I, personally, didn’t find out about it until he was brought to prison. But as time went on I learned alot. My ex gf went crazy (say it ain’t so!) and I had nowhere to go. I had early signs of heart failure at age 43. Doesn’t matter. I KNOW THIS MAN. I TOOK CARE OF HIM BEFORE HE WENT TO THE CAN. I KNOW HIM PERSONALLY. It was VERY nice of him to help me out and give me a home temporarily etc. BUT he was GUILTY! He KNEW WHAT HE DID! He DIDN’T CARE IF THOSE GUNS WERE GOING TO BE USED TO KILL KIDS IN SCHOOLS OR ANYTHING. HE IS A CRIMINAL AND HE HAS ZERO! MORALS! HE’S A TERRORIST A PERVERT AND THE BIGGEST PIECE OF CRIMINAL TRASH I EVER MET AND ONLY GETTING 3.5 (yes 3.5 years not true 4) IS A CRIME! HE SHOULD’VE GOT 10 YEARS OR MORE! YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL MORONS!
Other ATF abuses aside, if my dealer sold a gun to a felon and used my name on the 4473 and that gun showed up at a crime scene and was traced back to me resulting in a 3:00 am SWAT raid, I’d be pissed. I’d say 4 years in a federal prison is a little on the light side.
I agree. Any ass willing to sell not one but several guns to someone who tells them they are a felon deserves to do time.
I second that motion.
I expect GRINDSTONE to come to the felons defense any second now. After all, the 2A and all that. Entrapment aside, How is this even defensible?
Personally I think that if a person is too dangerous to have a firearm they’re too dangerous to walk the streets as free men, but that’s not how our society works. This is not the place for an FFL to buck the system.
Not all felons deserve to have their gun rights taken away. You might assume that this dealer was greedy willing to sell guns to a gangbanger with prior robbery charges… but this could have possibly been somebody embezzled a few grand from the car dealership he was managing, and the FFL was sympathetic to the guy who lost gun rights who shouldn’t have since he’s not a danger to the public. 11 guns over three months raises other strange red flags, but we don’t know the whole story.
He didn’t know the guy was a cop, how the hell would he know what KIND of felony he committed? Take his word for it? And filling out phony 4473s with the real names of other customers? You’re free to believe that someone doesn’t deserve to have his firearms rights taken away, but you’re not free to abuse the rights of others to facilitate him getting them.
Nice, another member of the Irrational Club. Not surprise that the entire point of the last “conversation” went completely over your head.
Also, it’s very flattering that out of everyone who call you out on your bullshit, you remember me.
Lol. Ideals are great, but they will get you killed. I just happen to be a realist. 🙂
Yeah, all those deadly bad check writers and forgers out there, shooting cops!
No, you live in your own mind. You have no rational grasp of reality.
That is if you take the alphabet gang’s word on anything… Liars lie, power corrupts, and jackboots well they like to stomp things(and people).
Yes, assuming a completely innocent man did not take a plea deal for a crime he never committed. There are two unforgivable sins her though. One he sold a felon guns and two, he put his own customers at risk of being wrongly targeted by among others, the ATF. Remember how the ATF treated Randy Weaver? I don’t care what business you’re in you deserve to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail if you treat you own customers like that.
There is no need to catch someone at more than one illegal act. This is how it’s done with everything else. Exceptions might be a huge drug ring where infiltration and months or years goes into it. But this is a case of peanuts. Same as excessive force, unnecessary to complete an arrest.
This pouts me in mind of the agencies that spend three or more years watching people sell hard drugs before they decide it’s time to make an arrest. WTF? He’s a drug dealer, bust him the first time, not after he’s spent three years or more peddling poison on the streets. Don’t those agencies have any liability for the damage he caused while they were observing and knowingly not acting?
I’ve only got two things to say about this: Ruby and Ridge.
You want me to trust my government why?
I’ll add “Waco”
I’ll add Waco pt. 2.
Explain to me why I should sympathize with this guy? AS soon as I saw “knowingly” I lost any sympathy. And I know where Elwood is too…
In order for you to be so unforgiving, I assume you rely on the testimony of ATF as complete and unvarnished truth. I consider that to be really dumb, in fact as a juror, I would discount anything an ATF representative said, look and see if there is any reliable evidence.
Don’t have any sympathy for this FFL. It is crooks like him
that give dealers that do everything right and get tagged with technical violations that are exposed to the public as serious breaches of the law. This is more ammo to the liberal anti 2nd amendment politicians to place more restrictions on law abiding gun dealers and gun owners. Surprised to see any sympathy given to this crook by this organization.
“In both instances, Keiran doctored the bill of sale and the federal firearms paperwork by using the names of other customers.” He knowingly violated the law. All he had to do was refuse the sale. Now, if the undercover agent had threatened him and forced the FFL dealer to violate the law, that’s an entirely different story.
Why does this idiot deserve my sympathy? At the very least, he should suspect anyone coming in and asking him to falsify paperwork might be a cop. And on top of that to keep working with this guy for multiple sales? Come on. Once could plausibly be called entrapment–not 11 times.
I agree. If someone comes and asks you to do something illegal don’t do it. And like a DGU call it in so you are covered.
I am happy to see the over whelping majority can see this guy as a bad dealer and still hate ATF. Sorry Robert, this guy is a bad apple and deserves what he got.
Agreed. If you don’t want to play by the rules don’t get in the gun business. If you want the fed’s to play by the rules vote for people who support the 2A as written.
Maybe the Mexican cartels should entrap the ATF by convincing the feds to smuggle some guns across the border to the Sinaloas.
Oh, wait . . . .
All I know about this case is what’s in this article, but on that limited information, I’m not seeing entrapment here.
That defense gets a little tricky, depending on whether a state employs what the law calls an objective or subject standard. I don’t know what Illinois law or federal law is on this point. Regardless, I’m not seeing overbearing or incessant tactics on the part of ATF here. I’m only seeing the ATF offer opportunity for a crime, but not inducing him to act.
If anything, since he just got his FFL in 2013 and within a year the ATF was already running a sting against him, I’d wonder what was in his record that attracted them so quickly. Then I wonder whether he may well have had a predisposition to this criminal behavior.
Armed Terroristas Federales need wrapping up with sticky-back-plastic (there’s a Blue Peter favorite for you!) and shelving entirely.
The run down:
“sold 11 weapons to an undercover officer…according to the statement”
(3) 9mm handguns…to the undercover agent
(1) .38-caliber revolver…and
(2) .22-caliber rifles (to the undercover agent), according to the statement.
(5) 9mm handguns for $1,600 to the convicted felon…, according to the statement.
That’s 11 as claimed in the money shot, so who is “the convicted felon”? The undercover agent or a real felon? Was the officer a prohibited person or not? -Obviously not.
Lets see if the offense transfers to a hypothetical scenario:
Undercover agent hands a gun dealer an unloaded handgun and with instructions to shoot a third party who is tied up in a chair. Gun dealer accepts the handgun, takes aim, pulls the trigger and “click”…nothing happens. In this scenario, the dealer attempted to commit murder however a homicide does not occur. Does the gun dealer go up for murder or attempted murder?
The lead sentence indicates all the firearms were sold to an undercover officer -obviously not a prohibited person. This FFL attempted to sell firearms to a person he believed was prohibited, but only believed the person was prohibited because the undercover agent lied to the FFL.
What’s the difference? because guns.
Perhaps the charge should have been “attempted selling a firearm to a prohibited person”.
As far as using other customers names on the fraudulent 4473 forms, light him up for that…fraud and identity theft are the domain of the FBI…lock him up for 25 years and pull his FFL. Ban him from access to computers and firearms until is sentence has been served.
In a past article, we had a strong majority expressing affirmative answers to a question regarding ex-cons that had served time for non-violent felonies to regain their firearm rights. I’ve seen calls to do away with background checks here more times than I care to count. -and the ATF even.
I’ll say it again. Non-violent felons who serve their time and are released should not spend the rest of their lives devoid of their rights to bear arms. The 2nd amendment means what it says. Violent felons shouldn’t be released.
There should be no background checks. They obviously do not work and are subject to abuse by dirty FFLs and only keep non-violent felons from exercising an important right recognized by the 2A.
This sounds like a “Here’s your sign” moment. If someone admits to being a prohibited person, you probably don’t want to sell them a gun. That is unless you love prison.
I had one interesting experience. I was selling one of my AR’s last year and had one guy who wanted to buy it. We met in a public place to conduct the deal. We started the deal and I asked him where he lived. He said the state south of me. There were some other comments he made that didn’t add up. I said I can’t sell it to you unless we go to an FFL in your state. He tried to convince me to sell it anyway and I said no. But I did say I would be going through his town the next weekend and could bring it to the FFL of his choice to sell it. He just had to call me the day before to set up the time and place. He never called.
The Illinois statute you’ve cited is irrelevant. This was a federal case. There is no federal entrapment statute; the defense is governed by common law, with the defendant bearing the burden of proving that he had no predisposition to commit the crime.
This guy gets no sympathy whatever from me. The ATF did a decidedly good job at building an airtight case against a crooked dealer, and I generally despise the ATF.
If a guy walks into your store and says “I want to buy a gun, but I can’t pass a background check”, you should say “Sorry Sir, but I can’t help you”. Instead, you sell him THREE handguns! Then a month later, same guy shows up, and wants another handgun, and a pair of rifles, and you don’t even think to jokingly say “What did you do with the three I sold you last month?”, you just sell him the guns..
Then the ATF sends in one of their own bona fide felons, just to see if you’ll do it a third time, and you sell him five guns.. No excuse, and absolutely no defense. There’s no way you could convince the most obtuse juror in the world that this wasn’t trafficking in firearms.
I’m willing to bet that he was on their radar before the first trip in there. Since he was only in business for 14 months, I’d say that tracking down and verifying every purchase would be a good use of agency resources. Give the agents real work to do rather than the half-assed stunts they usually pull.
He got his FFL in 2013 and worked out of his home.
I know there are lot of legitimate home-based FFLs but in this case I’m wondering if selling to prohibited persons was maybe an important part of his business plan. I seriously wonder how many other felons he sold to.
This is the money shot:
In both instances, Keiran doctored the bill of sale and the federal firearms paperwork by using the names of other customers.
4 years is way too light for this guy.
IF the dealer in question had contacted the ATF after an attempt to get him to falsify the name, then he would be a hero. Now he has given the antis ammo that is sure to be used against us!
Heck, don’t send him to jail at all! In our society being labeled a Felon is quite the punishment in itself!
So this dude is now a non-violent felon. Anybody think he should have his gun rights restored? Where are the absolutists 2A-ers on this?
Felons give up their right to guns whether violent or non-violent. And yes, I include black powder SAA styles as well.
Unless it comes out that the undercover officers or their pet felon threatened the dealer or his family, or harassed him, or offered some extraordinary consideration (like $1 million per gun) then I don’t see entrapment here.
Hmm… Alot of people who don’t support the unalienable right of the individual to keep and bear arms here. No wonder our freedoms are in such sad shape today. May your chains rest lightly upon you.
Our chains have loosened quite a bit in the last ten years alone.
50 states with some form of lawful concealed carry
Gun sales up
NRA membership up
Make no mistake, I think the very existence of the ATF is an infringement. But defending a gun dealer who falsifies documents using the names of law-abiding customers in order to sell to known felons will not break the chains.
We are less free now than when I was growing up… NSA surveillance, NDAA, Patriot Acts, etc. The President can murder anyone, anywhere at his discretion. We are losing the war against tyranny in this nation. Public school, institutes of higher learning, and mainstream media make sure that the People remain ignorant of that fact. The free nation will either die with a whimper or in a roaring thunder. My money is on the former. As long as people believe the big lie that we are more free today, the once free America is doomed.
I also am quite concerned with the rise of statism in the US and have become pessimistic about the future of our nation.
People who get FFLs so they can sell guns to felons out of their basements are criminal opportunists, no different from the gang bangers who sell drugs to kids. They’re only in it for the money, couldn’t give a rat’s ass about freedom, and won’t be on our side in the coming fight for liberty.
@Curtis in IL: I believe that you are painting with too broad of a brush. I certainly give more than a rat’s ass about individual liberty and would have no ethical conflict in selling arms to former felons. In fact, one of the many reason that I do not hold an FFL is that I find it morally repugnant to deny a person living freely in society the ability to keep and bear arms. In other words, you would never see me doing a background check or even asking for identifion in an arms transaction. I have never seen anyone’s identification before buying or selling a firearm and I’m not ever likely to start.
Sorry to disagree, but it looks like LSMFT to me: Legally sufficient, mighty fine trial! We loudly call for the enforcement of existing laws instead of passing new “feel good” laws, so we can’t just turn around and cry about the ATF putting the Habius Grabbus on this scumbag gun dealer. It’s he and his ilk that arm the felons that commit endless crimes and fan the flames of gun prohibition. He should have gotten 4 years for every gun he sold.
Oh, and for the idiots who proclaim the 2nd Amendment to be an “unalienable” right; that was never in the Constitution. It’s in the Declaration of Independence, which states “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Natural rights are inalienable. The Second Ammendment underscored that the keeping and bearing arms is a right. Ergo, the RKBA is a recognized inalienable right. Do you not believe that the inividual right to keep and bear arms is a natural right? If not then you are part of the problem.
Responsibility for defense against criminals falls to the individual. By trying to shift that responsibility to government, some are encouraging the improper interference by government with the individual freedom. They are also demanding that government steal tax money from the People to fund regulation, enforcement, and incarceration for something that falls outside the proper role of government in a free nation. Stop being pussies and shoulder your own responsibilities. When you don’t, you encourage your government to interfere with my Liberty. Idiots, indeed!
Of course I believe the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, protected by the Constitution; but it has always been subject to reasonable restrictions. We just disagree on what “reasonable” is at times. If it were truly unrestricted, then inmates on death row would be able to keep and bear arms.
At one time, what our nation proclaimed was unthinkable. The right to defend one’s self is natural and the right to keep and bear arms in an inextricable part of that. It ought not be restricted… shall not be infringed. Only fools think that government can be trusted with any level of infringement on that natural individual right.
Your death row example is a strawman. When an individual is in the proper custody of another, the custodian is responsible for their safety. Are we all prisoners or dependants in your eyes?
Are you now backtracking on your stance that those who stated that the right to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right are idiots? You now have stated that it is a natural right and protected by the Constitution. Isn’t that amendment the most strongly worded of them all, shall not be infringed? If you support government ignoring that then are you of the “living, breathing document” type too?
You quoted it, why did you not read it? “AMONG these rights”, not “only these rights.” RKBA is also one of these rights, is “unalienable”. Like he said. Or are you saying that since it was in the DOI, instead of the constitution, it is not important?
Yeah, well, ATF claimed one thing during Fast and Furious but at least one dealer had proof ATF was being less than honest with their claims.
Remember, when ATF got caught, they tried, and succeeded to a certain extent, to throw various dealers under the bus.
As a gun dealer, you are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to ATF. If you refuse to work with ATF, due to known abuses by ATF, ATF will then use the power of government to shut you down. If you cooperate with ATF, and ATF screws up, which ATF is wont to do, then ATF blames the gun dealer.
ATF lies to the point that If ATF told me the sky was blue, I would go outside and check.
This quote fits better with the ‘ghost gun’ sting, but this topic is newer so I’ll post it here.
Yes, ATF admits to creating crime here, but assuming (A VERY BIG ASSUMPTION) the feds are telling the truth, the FFL deserves it.
The ghost gun guys look more like Randy Weaver, would never been engaged in a crime if it weren’t for a long drawn out excursion into the illegal by agents of the feral government. (and in Weaver’s case, he swears up and down that the shotgun was legal when it left his hands, and if a $5 tax fraud occurred, it was not done by him)
Anyway, here’s that quote I wanted to post:
“Because [federal] agents create crime, rather than merely detect it, they hold the power to create the appearance of guilt… Many of the values reflected in our Constitution are directly threatened by these operations.” -1984 report, US House Subcommittee on Civil & Constitutional Rights
It is all about choices: the customer he could not pass the back round check! END OF STORY he made the wrong choice DONE