Federal agents raid Albuquerque gun store
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The feds have busted a long-standing gun store in Albuquerque after a man was allegedly making illegal sales, and trying to sell a fully-automatic rifle.
Federal agents went undercover multiple times. They say they bought guns from him at the store three times – spending thousands of dollars, and each time he did something illegal.
The store is Shooter’s Den on San Mateo.
KOB 4 wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone who works there. Its social media pages say it opened in 1986.
The feds say Anthony Stephen was the one who was breaking the law.
In a search warrant filed earlier this month, agents with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms say Stephen was breaking licensing and registration rules, and selling parts that are illegal when attached.
Starting in March, agents say they gave the store a warning, then went back and seized a gun. Then, undercover agents went in three separate times and bought guns.
Here’s what they say Stephen was doing illegally:
- Building guns without a manufacturing license
- Not completing background checks
- Not reporting sales
- Not charging tax
They say he was illegally selling a rifle with a device that makes it fully-automatic, and a pistol with a certain stabilizing device.
The warrant calls for taking all the guns, accessories and records at that store. As of right now, we do not see that Stephen is facing any federal charges.
The Biden Administration issued rule changes applying to both situations involving those illegally modified guns. Right now they’re facing challenges in court.
Gun rights groups have scored some victories in the last three months, and both challenges are now in the hands of federal judges in Texas.
The ban on a certain style of fully-automatic gun that targets an attachment called “forced reset triggers” – making them illegal.
The ATF says one company has sold more than 100,000 of them.
The Trump Administration banned a different attachment – called a “bump stock” – after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There are tighter regulations on pistol braces, and that means people must register them and pay fees.
These devices allow people to shoot one-handed, they were made for disabled people. Opponents point to their use in mass shootings.
The ATF says there are three million of them in America.
Gun control has been a statewide conversation for years now. Last month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tried to temporarily ban guns in Bernalillo County.
Lujan Grisham wanted to suspend open and concealed carry on public property. A judge later struck down nearly every aspect of that.
Earlier this year, many Democratic state lawmakers tried to pass more gun restrictions – and they did. The state Legislature did pass Bennie’s Law meant to stop children from getting their parents’ guns.
Many other bills failed. For example, bills that would restrict assault weapons and magazines of certain sizes, make a 14-day waiting period to buy guns, and increase penalties for gun trafficking.