A gun shop that sits in an unassuming strip mall in Portsmouth is at the center of a Washington Post article this week, an article that suggests the guns sold here are more likely than others to eventually enter the criminal world. According to this piece, about 70% of guns sold at this particular store are seized by law enforcement within a year. For other stores the figure is about 30%.
This turnover from gun shop counter to crime scene is known as the “time to crime” and the Post states it is a warning sign that criminal motivations were present when the gun was being purchased.
Of course gun stores must do background checks at the time of a sale and as the owners of this particular store state: “What people do with the guns once they leave is their own business.”
This gun store, owned by a husband and wife has been tied in to several crimes, all where the weapon was traced directly back to a sale there. The owners state this has nothing to do with them and instead is related to high crime in Portsmouth and their sheer sales volume.
As a way to side step background checks associated with the sale of a firearm, people with records send in others to make the buy for them. These buyers are paid in cash or drugs and the actual possessor of the weapon never steps foot inside the gun shop.
But this practice isn’t unique to the Portsmouth shop and like a Special Agent with the ATF states, “for the most part they are following the rules and regulations.”
So, it isn’t clear what’s making this particular store a target for criminal weapons purchases. Is it a fluke or are people drawn to this shop for a specific reason that officials can’t pinpoint?
Regardless, it’s important to realize that gun laws are serious and even if you don’t use the weapon—having one in your possession that isn’t registered under your name can bring serious repercussions. And if it’s found you are a felon—those penalties are even more severe.
Although we are guaranteed the right to bear arms within the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, there are numerous state and federal laws controlling this right. It isn’t difficult to break the law and not even realize it when it comes to firearms.
If you made a mistake and now you’re facing weapons charges in Virginia, you may be flabbergasted at just how severe the potential penalties are. You might feel like no one cares about your side of the story and no one is looking out for your interests.
If this is the case and you need an advocate on your side, contact our offices today!