Kansas man sells guns out of beauty salon without license

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 24, 2013 1:39 PM
Kansas man sells guns out of beauty salon without license

By Carey Gillam

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (Reuters) - A convicted felon pleaded guilty to dealing in hundreds of firearms without a license from his wife's beauty salon using the promotional slogan "where beauty and bullets collide," authorities said on Thursday.

The couple operated a combination hair salon and sporting goods shop that featured massages and manicures as well as rifles and revolvers, authorities said. The couple set up a website with the url www.beautyandbullets.com.

"She would promote the idea that it was important for women to feel safe," said James Cross, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas.

Some of their marketing showed guns with sequins on them, Cross said. While the wife styled hair and helped sell guns during the week at the Augusta, Kansas salon, her husband supplemented the shop sales with dealings at weekend gun shows.

Jeffrey Eberhart, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of dealing in guns for nearly three years even though he could not be licensed as a federal firearms dealer because he is a convicted felon, the prosecutor's office said. Eberhart's felony convictions were for arson and prior illegal possession of a firearm.

Tracey Eberhart, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to keep records of firearms transactions. Authorities said she applied for and was granted a firearms dealers license in 2009 after telling authorities that she intended to cater to gun-buying women. She did not disclose that her husband would be selling the guns.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of five years in federal prison for Jeffrey Eberhart and three years probation for Tracey Eberhart.

(Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Greg McCune and Andrew Hay)