Former Connecticut gun executive sentenced to probation, fine

Reuters News
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Posted: May 17, 2016 3:43 PM

(Reuters) - The former owner of a Connecticut gun manufacturer was sentenced on Tuesday to serve two years probation and pay a $100,000 fine after pleading guilty in federal court to having unregistered machine guns and machine-gun components at his New Britain factory.

Mark Malkowski, who resigned as president of Stag Arms LLC as part of his plea deal with prosecutors, agreed to have no further role in the firearms industry for violating U.S. laws requiring serial numbers on gun components.

Malkowski sold Stag, which makes weapons including the AR-15 rifle, to Miami-based private equity firm White Wolf Capital in February for an undisclosed sum. Stag, which had to apply for a new firearms license as a result of the sale, was sentenced to pay a $500,000 fine.

"This is the first time nationwide that a major firearms manufacturer has been convicted of a felony and had its license revoked, effectively forcing the company to be sold to new owners," Deirdre Daly, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, said in a statement. "Stag displayed a systemic and egregious disregard of federal firearms regulations."

Federal investigators had been probing Stag since 2007, and found about 3,000 weapon components lacking serial numbers and 62 machine guns and machine-gun components that were unregistered or improperly registered, according to prosecutors.

Police rely on serial numbers on weapons to track and investigate guns used in crimes, and firearms lacking proper serial numbers can be difficult to trace, federal prosecutors said.

An attorney for Malkowski did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Connecticut adopted one of the toughest gun laws in the United States following the massacre of 20 young children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newtown in 2012. That move led at least one of the state's gun manufacturers, PTR Industries, to relocate to South Carolina.

(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Will Dunham)