The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 17, 2013

Assault rifle seller sold online without license

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota man who did not have a license to buy and sell firearms is accused of purchasing dozens of assault rifles at local stores, then illegally reselling them online at a profit — to apparently help pay for his mother's mortgage and veterinary bills for a dog, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

The man has not been charged. But federal prosecutors said they are seeking the forfeiture of 60 assault rifles that were seized from his residences in October. Prosecutors said the man bought at least 81 assault rifles over three months, and re-sold 25 of them through a firearms auction website.

The man "did this without obtaining a license to deal firearms, and he continued this conduct after ATF advised him of applicable regulations that required licensure," the court documents said.

The investigation began after Mills Fleet Farm contacted the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to report that the man had been making repeated purchases of assault rifles at various store locations, including Blaine, Brooklyn Park and Carver.

ATF spokesman Robert Schmidt said he could not provide information about the case at this time.

Generally speaking, Schmidt said, it's not illegal for a gun owner to sell an individual firearm without a license, but it is against the law to "engage in the business" of dealing guns without a federal firearms license.

Schmidt said the federal firearms licenses are important for many reasons. Among them, they help the ATF regulate the industry, and they give dealers access to buyer information — so a dealer knows he is selling a gun to someone who may legally own it.

When it comes to online purchases, the seller ships the gun to a licensed dealer near the buyer's location, which would then conduct the transaction and take care of the necessary paperwork.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Injured snowy owl ready to be released ST. PAUL (AP) — A rare snowy owl that gained national attention when it was apparently hit by a bus in the nation's capital is scheduled to be released into the wild after a rehab stint in Minnesota. The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • Court case to test 'Buy the Farm' law NEW PRAGUE (AP) — A case set for trial next week is expected to test Minnesota's "Buy the Farm" law, which is meant to require utilities building high-voltage power lines to buy out farms in the way if affected landowners demand it. The case pits th

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge strikes down part of state energy law MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that part of a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional because it attempts to control business that takes place outside state borders — and she barred Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • White House updating online privacy policy A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tribut

    April 18, 2014

  • Horse virus cases showing up in Upper Midwest BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State officials in the Upper Midwest are cautioning horse owners about a virus that spreads easily among the animals and can lead to breathing problems, abortions and nervous system disorders. Three cases of equine herpesvirus

    April 18, 2014

  • Bear attacks spark debate: Kill them, or leave them alone? ORLANDO, Fla.—Dallas Smith thinks he has the answer to Central Florida’s black-bear threat, and he’s ready to lock and load it. “I think the fear of God needs to be put back into them,” said Smith, 47, who wants state authorities to lift restriction

    April 18, 2014

  • Tourism push plays up 'Only in Minnesota' ST. PAUL — (AP) — Say goodbye to "More to Explore." Minnesota tourism promoters ushered in a new slogan Thursday that focuses on "Only in Minnesota" experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign. The revamped message kicks off a maj

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp ap pipeline photo Minnesota Pipe Line seeks to expand capacity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Pipe Line Co. announced plans Thursday to nearly double the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that carries oil from Canada and North Dakota to the two refineries in the Twin Cities that produce most of Minnesota's and much

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holder asserts his commitment to fighting heroin WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront

    April 17, 2014

  • Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds ATLANTA — Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her speech, but she

    April 17, 2014