Stag Arms becomes the first major manufacturer to have its license revoked after pleading guilty to federal charges in Hartford Federal Court on Tuesday morning to violating federal firearms laws.
The gun manufacture is charged with violating federal firearms laws, after investigators said they found 3,000 firearms un-serialized during a 2014 compliance inspection at Stag Arms in New Britain.
“It is critically important for those who are responsible for manufacturing firearms, especially high-powered semiautomatic rifles, to diligently comply with federal firearms laws throughout the production and distribution process,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly. “Stag’s misconduct has resulted in hundreds of these weapons being lost or untraceable."
One hundred of those guns were also reportedly obliterated and missing serial numbers.
“When a firearms licensee is not able to provide those records to us, it puts law enforcement behind the 8 ball. So when we talk about tracking guns, it makes our job that more difficult," said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s Boston Field Division Daniel Kumor.
Officials said the possession, by private citizens, of machine guns made after 1986 is prohibited. Licensed manufacturers are required to stamp a unique serial number on each machine gun and register it with ATF within one business day of manufacture.
Stag Arms representative and president Mark Malkowski pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of a machine gun not registered to the company.
"He will be barred from the industry. He will not be able to own or operate or manage a firearms company," Daly said.
As part of the company's plea, Stag agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and Malkowski is selling his 12-year-old company.
Stag Arms also encountered problems during an inspection in 2007, when officials found registration issues and nothing was done to fix the problem.
“In the 2014 inspection, we found repeat errors, problems, which caused us to make referrals over to our criminal enforcement to say there were violations,” said ATF’s Head of Industry Operations Earl Nealy.
Malkowski is expected to appear in New Haven federal court on Wednesday for a misdemeanor charge of failure to properly maintain firearm records, which could lead to a year in prison. As part of that plea, he'll agree to pay a fine of $100,000.
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