Sacha Baron Cohen Gun Store Busted
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By now you’ve probably seen the prank video Sacha Baron Cohen made with a bunch of gun rights supporters. Not everyone he was fooled by his “Israeli commando” disguise. When Cohen went into a Riverside, California gun store in another ludicrous get-up last year, the gun store owner smelled a rat, too.


It happened at Warrior One Guns & Ammo in February 2017. That’s when owner Norris Sweidan told FOX 11 Cohen and a camera met him while claiming to be filming a documentary about a Hungarian immigrant wanting to buy a gun.

“He comes in, off the bat you can see in the video I’m looking like, this guy does not look like a Hungarian immigrant, tight ass leather pants, a beard, it just didn’t fit,” Sweidan said. “The moment his words came out of his mouth I was like this guy is full of s***.”

Sweidan told FOX 11 Cohen said he wanted to buy a gun, but said it with a very odd sounding accent he didn’t find credible.

It seems a little healthy skepticism goes a long way. As soon as Sweidan let Cohen know his cover was blown, he made tracks fast.

He says after Cohen left the store, he left his crew behind.

“We’re talking to the people they don’t wanna give us an answer, we basically told them to get the f*** out, you guys are all full of s***, have a great day, get out,” Sweidan said.

He said it’s obvious what Cohen’s intentions were.

“Once I knew it was Borat, we already know his game and his bull*****, so we knew he’s here to make a mockery, and of what? Gun owners? The gun business, gun shops,” Sweidan said.

As Dyspeptic Gunsmith (who forwarded this to us) said, “I would have been much harder on him – I would have gone along with it up front, and then found a way to get the LEO’s responding to my location.”

Surely there must be a law against buying a firearm using a false identity. Even in California. It would have been a shame if he’d been frog marched out of the store for violating federal gun laws.

If only more of the people in Cohen’s video had been a little more aware like Mr. Sweidan, a lot of embarrassment could have been avoided.

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    • Seriously. WHO issues a Visa to thess Brit/furun so called “entertainers”, “actors”,& “comedians”? We don’t have enough useless homegrown bums hanging out in coffee shops & resturants in LA and NY? We have to IMPORT THEM? Secure the border.

    • I like the idea of sucking him in then dropping the hammer…chalk it up as an opportunity lost….

  1. That reminds me to practice my “go away – I’m not going to sell you anything” expression and tone for the occasional twit who comes into my shop with has pants hanging off his butt.

    • What does how one wears their pants have to do with exercising their second amendment rights?

      • A gun store / FFL doesn’t need a reason to deny a sale to someone.

        Pants hanging low, bad breath, they look funny, they remind you of a kid you hated in school… Any reason at all is perfectly “Good-to-go” for denying a gun sale.

        (Excepting racial or any other designated “protected class (LBGT)” person.)

        I’ve denied sales to people who’s eyes were blazed red from being high, and I told them that’s why I’d like them out of the store. They got offended and snotty about it, but they left…

        • What you wear and how you present yourself matters. There are people that don’t learn that all their life. Those people are called dumb.

        • When I got my FFL, my ATF inspector told me that I may deny a transfer to anyone for any reason, no matter how mundane, no matter how un-PC.

          If I don’t like the socks the guy is wearing, he doesn’t get a gun. If something seems “off” about him, no gun. And my ATF inspector said that the ATF will never complain about it, ever. A FFL can get into trouble only for transferring a gun to someone who later turns out to be a prohibited person (or not doing the paperwork properly).

        • Ah yes, it’s why Buds Guns does so well, and why I buy them all from their online store and have them shipped to my ffl hardware store. That way, no dealing with arrogant assholes in hometown gun shops. Don’t want my shaved head and long beard in your store? Fine. Don’t like my socks? Fine also. Now, hurry up and go out of business like our arrogant friends at Gander. Gun salesmen are such dicks.

        • what a classist piece of trash. everyone hates your kind of gun shop. good riddance, have fun processing transfers from buds, barely in business, and employing your mildly-retarded cousin Earl.

        • I don’t really care how someone is dressed when they come into my shop. I care about their attitude. I may think the 20 something hipster or multi-tatted up pierced guy looks like a jerk but until they start acting like a jerk I will happily sell them whatever. We need to get as many people into shooting as we can so that doesn’t bother me. Customers who are abusive or asking stupid stuff like “hey how do I convert this to full auto?” are shown the door. I sort of understand what Weapon Of War was saying when he stated “gun salesmen are such dicks” because, yeah sometimes some are. But not all of us so what’s up with the blanket statement? Sorry bud but that comment makes you sound like a dick. But how am I to know? You may be a super awesome nice guy and by your statement I am ASSUMING the worst. And let’s be honest, most people are buying from Bud’s to avoid sales tax and the fact they work on volume and can survive selling guns 25$ above wholesale not because gun salesmen are dicks. Be interesting when they start collecting sales tax on internet purchases.

      • baggy-pants, butt-shaking, d-scratching, obama-phoning jamf’s only go into gun shops to rob the owners

      • Gun store owners like liquor store owners have been held responsible in civil courts for cues short of objective disqualification. That is why any liquor store owner or gun store owner can outright refuse to sell to anyone based on subjective cues he/she deems relevant.

  2. Isn’t the attempt to illegally purchase a firearm a crime? Here’s a chance for the gun grabbers to put their money where their mouth is. We’ll see, because if he was trying to damage the gun store’s reputation then that makes his activity perfectly legal…..not.

    • Yeah they should have let him dig himself deeper, then call the cops, rather then call him out right away. At least ask him for ID, then
      A: He gives a fake ID, they call the cops
      B: He says he doesn’t have it on him, then is questioned on how he got to the store. The obvious excuse would be the camera operator(s), but then it’s just an excuse to see THEIR ID

      • This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

        that is what I would have gone for…let him dig the hole while my workmates call the cops and ATF to run over for the media TV event arrest!!!

        TV cameras on when the ATF was doing their job…film at 11! You could get DOZENS of agents to show…some FBI or US marshals…maybe ICE for deportation fun!

      • “Yeah they should have let him dig himself deeper, then call the cops, rather then call him out right away.”

        If Cohen is stupid enough to include a false sale in his broadcast, that’s enough proof to get him convicted…

        • Just like when David Gregory waved around a 30 rd mag on live TV in DC?

          I like the idea of Cohen getting caught by the short and curlys in an illegal sale as much as the next guy. However, he is doing this in CA specifically because he knows a prosecuter will give him a pass as an “entertainer” trying to “educate” viewers.

          The shop owner did the right thing by not providing him any more footage than necessary to tell him to GTFO.

    • Don’t be silly. Are you forgetting already the times grabbers have violated their own laws with impunity, and gotten away with it? Like that politician waving around a 30-rd mag on TV to prove some stupid point, even after his staff warned him it was freaking ILLEGAL due to laws he himself had voted for? Absolutely nothing happened, those laws were for other people.

      • David Gregory was that asshat’s name. On national television nonetheless. All the proof in the world for a conviction.

      • What about the Fast and Furious shit show by the Deep State, Eric Holder, and the Obama administration. That has and will continue to get people killed. And not just in our country but Mexico also. Which means it was an international shit show in which citizens of other countries also died. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the victims might eventually number in the tens if not hundreds. It’s ok though, the’re mostly just Mexicans, right?

  3. Mr. Sweidan should have excused himself, gone into the back room and immediately called the police. Having Cohen let out in handcuffs would have exposed his entire operation and dealt a blow to the anti-gunners.

    • This. Have him fill out the 4473 and provide false docs. Call the cops as he’s filling or have them swing by in 10 days when he would try to get his gun. Would have saved us some headache.

  4. Until he actually put ink to paper and signed a false 4473, did he violate the law?

      • Yes, really.

        Just before signing on line number 14. (top of page 2) of the 4473, there is a block of text that reads, in part:

        …”I also understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law.”…

        So yes, even saying he wanted to buy a gun (oral statement) under false pretenses is a felony. Technically, Sacha Baron Cohen committed a felony.

        • Not according to the shop owner. In the local news video Cohen used a fake accent to say “I want to buy a gun” or words to that effect. The shop owner then said that he recognized Cohen and ordered him out of his store. Cohen did not give a false ID either orally or with credentials, if the shop owner’s account is true.

          Until he signs his name on the 4473 and pays his money there is no transaction.

        • I do not know the specifics of this law, but I suspect if he had intent and took an action toward committing the illegal act, it would be enough. The tricky part is a jury (or judge) has to decide intent. Since it was a media stunt, a jury may not agree that he intended to go through with it. But, I suspect that there would have been enough probable cause for him to be arrested. At the very least, I would have called the police to issue a trespassing notice which probably would have made the whole thing very public, very embarrassing, and admissible in court in a future incident. But again, I am not a lawyer. I have a degree in criminal justice from 30 years ago, but that means…well…nothing. 🙂

        • @Bob999: “At the very least, I would have called the police to issue a trespassing notice which probably would have made the whole thing very public, very embarrassing, and admissible in court in a future incident.”
          Cohen knows about this, and when called out, he left, making any such confrontation impossible.
          Future incident? Why would he ever return to that shop?

    • Typically every time I buy a gun they ask me for ID before I even start filling out paperwork.
      If you know who he is, ask for ID. When he presents a fake ID that you know is not of him that in itself is a felony right off the bat. Falsifying government documents. You already got him. At that point you ask him to fill out a 4473 and see if he lies on that for bonus points.

      Highly doubt any of that would show up on the evening news though. Doesn’t fit the “narrative”.

      • Some stores have a policy of requiring ID before they’ll even show you a gun. Even if that’s not his normal policy, he could have used that.

      • Makes me wonder what the plan was. Was Borat’s plan to go through with the purchase? Did any gun stores actually fall for it? Are we going to see a video of a gun store that fell for it to see what the intent actually was?

    • Until he actually put ink to paper and signed a false 4473, did he violate the law?

      YES. False oral statements to circumvent gun purchase laws ARE criminal. Easily prosecutable? No. Criminal? Yes. A 20-year-old telling a liquor store clerk that they are 21, even before, or without showing fake IS is braking the law.

  5. I wonder whether a call to the cops, to report a suspicious person trying to buy a gun would’ve worked.

    • They would have pawned it off on ATF or FBI…and they would decline to show up.

  6. Arm chair planning: Would have been fun to ensure security camera’s catch him falsifying docs for purchase, or capture his “requests” for off the book purchase. Leading to his arrest.

    hind sight… damn it

  7. Kudos to Norris Sweidan! A number of supposedly respectable people were completely fooled by Borat and didn’t recognize him even through the course of an hours-long interview. If only more of us were as savvy as Mr. Sweidan.

  8. As soon as he signs the 4473 with lies its a crime. I would have made him sign it (he probably has no idea what it is) and then called the cops.

  9. Something more interesting was YouTube comic- commentator/Mark Dice…His recent CNN episode about Anderson Cooper’s new YouTube channel…The point of interest was the CNN clip at the end where CIA/Intelligence correspond was discussing a proposed “Shadow Government take-over of America, to save Americans from the Trump government!” Now that was a startling catch that should nullify gun control immediately!

  10. He would have been let off like Katie Couric was….we can’t prosecute Dems/Journalists! Its for the kids!

  11. Neat I can’t post at work anymore because its IP shows as from Hungary (we have weird proxies for security)

    Dan, I object to the characterization of this as a ‘prank video’. This was a dedicated, well-funded attack, to bamboozle, humiliate and discredit 2A leaders, using any means necessary no matter how dishonest.

    No doubt ‘creative’ editing was used to maximize the impression of buffoonery. The whole situation should be considered unforgivable. Make sure Showtime and their partners know exactly how utterly despicable they are to be involved in this.

    • This ^. A prank is a joke , an attempt at humor. Essentially harmless. These people were conducting a professional political propaganda operation on innocent hardworking people just going about their own business of making an honest living. As opposed to creating more fake news. Nothing funny about that.

  12. What a shame. Borat and Ali G were hilarious. Sucks that Cohen is pretty much an activist now.

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