Gun Store Owner Foils Potential Mass Shooting


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.


  1. avatar Anon says:

    “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?

    1. avatar Puyallup Devil Doc says:


    2. avatar Mike H in WA says:

      Well played, sir. Well played.

    3. avatar Ralph says:

      Dannel Malloy lies when he says “hello.”

    4. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      Thank you for saying what we were all thinking!

    5. avatar CT Resident says:

      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.

      1. avatar Rokurota says:

        Then it’s a good thing lobbyists don’t sell the guns.

      2. avatar Simon says:

        Oh, so by “gun industry” he really didn’t mean “gun industry”. I get it…

    6. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      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. avatar Geoff PR says:

    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.

    1. avatar Tominator says:

      I’ve work years behind the counter……this ‘clerk’ is a hero by any definition! BRAVO!

      1. avatar JimmyDelta says:

        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”.

        1. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

          That, indeed, is the world in which we live today.

        2. avatar BLAMMO says:

          Everyone is special.

        3. avatar Mat says:

          None of your family work at that hospital I imagine

        4. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          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.

        5. avatar Grindstone says:

          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. avatar former water walker says:

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

    1. avatar Mike H in WA says:

      Evidence in a federal felony.

      1. avatar Rick says:

        And the approved 4473 isn’t??

        1. avatar m11nine says:

          Its not a press conference unless there’s guns on a table, must be the same with trials.

        2. avatar Another Robert says:

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

        3. avatar Rick says:

          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 $$.

        4. avatar DJ9 says:

          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.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          “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.

      2. avatar Mediocrates says:

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

        1. avatar Tom says:

          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.

      3. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

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

        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.

        1. avatar Nick says:

          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).

        2. avatar Call Security! says:

          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.

    2. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

      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.


      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        “They” had no information other than a holdup alarm according to the TTAG article.

  4. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    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?

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      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.

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        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.

        1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

          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.

        2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

          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.

        3. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          “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.

      2. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        Which means ATF stole the weapon from the store owner. Thanks for clearing that up.

        1. avatar explainist says:

          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

        2. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          “pawn shop”. OK, since it is not a “pawn shop” perhaps you missed some details.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          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.

  5. avatar Neil D says:

    What crime can they charge him with if the sale was never completed? I don’t get it.

    1. avatar dirk diggler says:

      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

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        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.

        1. avatar B says:

          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.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

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

        3. avatar MarcusAurelius says:

          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.

        4. avatar TxGal says:

          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!

    2. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Im in no way a legalese buff, but I imagine something containing the word “premeditated”.

      1. avatar Paladin says:

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

        1. avatar twency says:

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

        2. avatar twency says:

          [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.]

        3. avatar Liberty2Alpha says:

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

        4. avatar neiowa says:

          twency – Nobel gave out a prize for attempted (or planned) imperium to the Kenyan eunich.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “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…

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Falsifying data on a 4473 is a federal felony. The firearm is evidence of nothing.

  6. avatar pod says:

    “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…

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      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.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        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.

        1. avatar Call Security! says:

          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.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          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.

  7. avatar ropingdown says:

    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.

  8. avatar Paul53 says:

    1500 rounds? How big is that hospital?

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    1500 rounds for a SIG? I guess it wasn’t a Mosquito.

    1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      That must be how they knew he was crazy, he thought he could just walk into a store and find 1500rds of .22lr.

  10. avatar Vhyrus says:

    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.

    1. avatar Eric L says:

      Maybe he was planning on his own death in the process. He wouldn’t have to worry about money.

      1. avatar Rick says:

        Well, did he pay cash or use a credit card?

        That’ll tell you something.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Reading the post, I don’t think he got that far into the transaction.

    2. avatar TheBear says:

      It could be some other wacko in the hospital told him how awesome Sigs were.

    3. avatar Nine says:

      Probably heard/read “Sig is the best” or “All the best choose Sig” and wentfrom there.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        I guess sig marketing has some data points to work with, then.

  11. avatar Wow says:

    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…

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      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.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      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.”

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        “Yes, sir, that is a Sig. One of millions. I observed that man fill out and sign that particular form 4473.”

    3. avatar DJ9 says:

      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.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        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.

  12. avatar Sammy says:

    How many mags did he want?

    1. avatar MarcusAurelius says:

      Rumor has it he wanted extra assault 30 clips.

  13. avatar savaze says:

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

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      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.

      1. avatar MattT says:

        “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.

  14. avatar DBM says:

    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.

  15. avatar Mark says:

    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!

  16. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    “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?

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      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.”

      1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        So, yes, they just stole it.

  17. avatar Phil says:

    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…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      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.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        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.”

        1. avatar Phil says:

          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!

  18. avatar CSM (ret) J. says:

    The owner is intelligent, articulate and showed good judgement. He is also a nice guy if you ever meet him.

    1. avatar JeffW says:

      I took my CHL class there, Michael really is a awesome guy. We couldn’t ask for a better public representative.

  19. avatar BDub says:

    Wait, so CTGWs is out a $1000 pistol, why, if no sale was completed?

    1. avatar DJ9 says:

      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.

  20. avatar Kirk says:

    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.

  21. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    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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