Debate Magazine

New York FFL Gun Dealer Loses License but Avoids Jail

Posted on the 08 November 2013 by Mikeb302000
Local news reports Louis R. Panunzio, 83, who operates Panunzio’s Guns shop at his residence at 46559 Route 37, Hammond, was sanctioned Friday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, but avoided any jail time that might have accompanied a June 3 guilty plea to making a false entry or representation with respect to information required for a firearms transaction by a licensed dealer. He could have faced up to a year in prison, but his attorney, Anthony M. Neddo, Watertown, argued in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court that a prison sentence would be unreasonable based on Mr. Panunzio’s age and lack of any previous criminal record. According to court documents, an unidentified man came into Mr. Panunzio’s shop in March 2009 and inquired about buying a gun. The man filled out a form required by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives before the purchase, but based on the information included in the form, the purchase was denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System because the buyer was shown to be wanted in South Carolina on a fugitive warrant alleging that he passed bad checks and failed to appear to answer to a traffic offense. Mr. Panunzio declined to sell the gun but allegedly told the man to “bring in somebody that can fill out the form to get it approved and they can sell the gun to you” and offered to hold the gun for the man. As part of Mr. Panunzio’s plea in June, he agreed to surrender his federal firearms license which he had held for more than 40 years. At sentencing Friday, four counts against him contained in a grand jury indictment handed up in May 2012 were dismissed.

This story made me realize how difficult it is to catch these guys. The article goes on to detail all the steps the government had to go through to prove Panunzio was guilty. It's not easy.  Crooked FFL guys almost never get caught.

The other thing I wondered is how many times might he have done this in the past.  In his 40 year career of selling guns, how many times had he contributed to the criminal gun flow.

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