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Great WSJ article on Larry Vickers/ATF, etc.


Bd_p98

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38 minutes ago, Dean said:

"He must forfeit his gun collection to the U.S. government".  He had transferables and pre samples in his collection as well.

Do you know he had transferable and pre samples for a fact or are you just speculating?

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59 minutes ago, G&G ESQ said:

Thank you guys got it. Sad situation all around IMHO. 

I mean he committed a crime he acknowledges he committed the crime … he accepts he was caught committing said crime … not sad.. that’s part of the game if you’re going to traffic guns. If anything he owes the entire gun world an apology for making us look bad getting caught corrupting law enforcement an making it harder for sot’s to get law letters just to make some extra cash. If you were arrested for the exact same thing he wouldn’t give a shit about you. 

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4 minutes ago, eMGunslinger said:

Do you know he had transferable and pre samples for a fact or are you just speculating?

He had some listed on gunbroker saying “from Larry vickers collection” probably about a year- year and a half ago.

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Just now, eMGunslinger said:

Those were post samples 

Aaah 10-4 I thought there was a handful of transferrable / pre samples as well? Maybe I’m wrong I definitely could be. There is also a huge list floating around of all the guns he surrendered.

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2 minutes ago, Thumpy said:

Aaah 10-4 I thought there was a handful of transferrable / pre samples as well? Maybe I’m wrong I definitely could be. There is also a huge list floating around of all the guns he surrendered.

He did but those were gone long before any of this stuff started happening.

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8 hours ago, Thumpy said:

I mean he committed a crime he acknowledges he committed the crime … he accepts he was caught committing said crime … not sad.. that’s part of the game if you’re going to traffic guns. If anything he owes the entire gun world an apology for making us look bad getting caught corrupting law enforcement an making it harder for sot’s to get law letters just to make some extra cash. If you were arrested for the exact same thing he wouldn’t give a shit about you. 


"Traffic guns"?? That's a little harsh, wouldn't you say?
It's not like he's supplying gangs or cartels with weapons. He just found a way to get the cool stuff we all wish we had. The govt didn't like it and smacked his hand.
They are probably going to smack a few others as well before this is over.
It's no secret that messing around with posties is a risky business. And although LV wasn't doing it, the whole "reorganizing your business" and dropping your license and selling off posties with no letters, just to get a new license and do it all over again thing is shady as heck and if you participate in it, the law is going to catch up with you. The feds put a lot of stock in "intent" of the law, so exploiting loopholes, even if they fall within the wording of the law, isn't going to save a lot of people when they get asked about all the HK and AR sears and Glock switches they manufactured for "T&E reasons".
I'm sure there is a lot of talk back in VA about posties and LE letters as well as the regs regarding "going out of business". And I'd expect a lot of new changes this year for manufactures and dealers.

I'd hate to have a lot of $$ tied up in posties right now.

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7 hours ago, Chef said:


"Traffic guns"?? That's a little harsh, wouldn't you say?
It's not like he's supplying gangs or cartels with weapons. He just found a way to get the cool stuff we all wish we had. The govt didn't like it and smacked his hand.
They are probably going to smack a few others as well before this is over.
It's no secret that messing around with posties is a risky business. And although LV wasn't doing it, the whole "reorganizing your business" and dropping your license and selling off posties with no letters, just to get a new license and do it all over again thing is shady as heck and if you participate in it, the law is going to catch up with you. The feds put a lot of stock in "intent" of the law, so exploiting loopholes, even if they fall within the wording of the law, isn't going to save a lot of people when they get asked about all the HK and AR sears and Glock switches they manufactured for "T&E reasons".
I'm sure there is a lot of talk back in VA about posties and LE letters as well as the regs regarding "going out of business". And I'd expect a lot of new changes this year for manufactures and dealers.

I'd hate to have a lot of $$ tied up in posties right now.

Gun trafficking fits the exact definition of the crime he was 100% doing he was trafficking guns into America through falsified paperwork and corrupt police. No different than a guy doing fraudulent 4473’s etc  doesn’t matter who his end customers were.

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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes...

Always amazed with these guys who have so much, just never enough.

 

"Gun trafficking fits the exact definition of the crime he was 100% doing he was trafficking guns into America through falsified paperwork and corrupt police. No different than a guy doing fraudulent 4473’s etc  doesn’t matter who his end customers were."

 

PERFECTLY SAID!

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I heard about what was coming down the line for Vickers 2 years ago.. 

Didn't want to believe what I heard so kept my mouth shut and not spout gossip against him, but my source told me he was being pursued. I wanted to believe he only screwed up not renewing his SOT and not have being investigated. 

I have met Vickers and he is a cocky guy and probably thought he could get away with it. I don't know him personally other than training I did with him. The source I had talked to mentioned he had imported gun in parts with different people to assemble some rare Russian firearms. One firearm that he sold was a HK that shouldn't have been in the US which caught the attention of the ATF which confiscated it when one of the owner of it didn't keep his mouth shut about it. At least that's what I heard.. That started an investigation that let them to a few people like Vickers. 

I hate to see him in this situation but he knew what he was doing. He had illegally imported firearms along with doing law letters with no intent to sell to the police dept. 

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It is a sad situation. 

Maybe not on the surface level, but sad that a guy of such respect and prominence would put himself in this situation.  

 

Is is sad he got caught? IDK. I don't agree with many of the (victimless) criminal law in our country, but I follow the because the government will kill me if I don't listen to them. 

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So, I just read the article it is these folks that ruin it for us. We try as hard as possible to follow the law yet there are folks out there doing this. I am sure we all know folks out there doing this. We look the other way, but it hurts the business when we do. Is there an answer no . People will continue to do stuff driven by the almighty dollar. We wonder why the atf is the way it is we allow our people to do this stuff.

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5 hours ago, reichstall said:

So, I just read the article it is these folks that ruin it for us. We try as hard as possible to follow the law yet there are folks out there doing this. I am sure we all know folks out there doing this. We look the other way, but it hurts the business when we do. Is there an answer no . People will continue to do stuff driven by the almighty dollar. We wonder why the atf is the way it is we allow our people to do this stuff.

While I see what you are saying and don't disagree with you...

It's the ATF, lawmakers, and anti-gunners thay ruin it for us. If it wasn't for them, this wouldn't be an issue. 

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Playing the system against itself never leads to anything good. Notice all the issues now with transfers of guns that haven’t moved in 20 years? Notice all law letter questions popping up? What caused this or lead to it? People playing the system to make a quick buck….they got greedy and they got arrogant and stupid. While I may not like all the rules, I play by them and don’t try to cheat the system as it’s not worth it and it only screws myself and the next guy who comes along. 

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Mr BIG KOCH has items listed for sale in the semi forum right now I believe.

I doubt he'd want to shed light on this series of unfortunate events that got kicked off ...supposedly by contents on his seized phone.

I wish all involved the best.

 

*************************************************************************

 

Mr_Big_Koch

It was a single gun sold online by an Arizona man with the username “Mr_Big_Koch” that played a vital role in cracking the case.

Christopher Fiorentino dabbled in bitcoin, real estate and firearms made by the German company 

, hence his username on an online gun marketplace. He lived in a wealthy Phoenix suburb, and owned an Aston Martin and a Mercedes-Benz G wagon. 

 

Investigators at the ATF grew suspicious when a dealer in Florida reported that a gun it had purchased from Fiorentino appeared to be a highly regulated short-barreled rifle. They discovered that Mr_Big_Koch was selling a lot of guns and didn’t have a dealer’s license, prosecutors allege.  

When ATF agents raided the condo Fiorentino shared with his fiancée, they found more than 60 guns, including four short-barreled rifles that he hadn’t registered with the federal government, prosecutors allege. They also discovered that he had a Heckler & Koch machine gun that wasn’t registered.

But it was his phone that revealed a much broader web. There were WhatsApp messages between Fiorentino and a former Homeland Security analyst named Sean Reidpath Sullivan who had a side business importing guns from Europe. Prosecutors alleged that Fiorentino was buying imported guns through an alleged black-market network that Sullivan and Vickers had developed.

Fiorentino has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including possession of the unregistered guns, dealing without a license and pandemic unemployment-assistance fraud. 

“Any transactions that he engaged in were through federally licensed dealers and anything they’re alleged to have been doing he was not aware of or involved in,” said Brian Russo, Fiorentino’s lawyer.

Sullivan also pleaded not guilty to illegal-gun-importation charges in September. 

“We look forward to resolving in court the allegations that he unlawfully imported machine guns as part of his business,” said Jim Wyda, an attorney for Sullivan. “There is no evidence that Mr. Sullivan intended for firearms to get into the hands of dangerous people. And they didn’t.”

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Or…

BATFE could have simply communicated to all SOTs that they know what some are doing, they don’t like it, and they’re going to spank you if you don’t stop, and by the way, if you did it, here’s how to make to unscrew yourself…

But no, someone had to make a name for themselves, or justify their existence.  I don’t condone deliberately violating the law, but I don’t condone arbitrarily changing interpretations or enforcement policies either.  We all know his stuff has been happening, or had the potential to happen, when we first started getting into the NFA game.  But now it’s suddenly not legal, or perhaps more illegal than it was?  

I think our brothers and sisters in federal law enforcement could have found a better way than to play “gotcha”.  What a waste.

My $1e-02.
 

 

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Well this was the way of saying “keep it up guys and you’ll get spanked” by showing they are enforcing the laws on the books.
 

It’s the same with “dealers” at gun shows. Guys buying and selling “private collections” but aren’t FFL’s  Sorry but they are in the business of selling firearms same as me but I have all the paperwork and regulations to follow and they only care about the money. its time they stop “hey don’t do that” and start cracking down hard as a message of “ stop breaking the law, or you’ll get what’s coming” 

Sorry but im tired of guys skirting the law or thinking it’s fine to play a loophole that in the end makes it harder on everyone else. 
 

Im waiting for one near me who has 6-8 post sample MG42’s….and keeps getting more post sample stuff as he has a chief somewhere who seems to sign off on anything he wants….can you say part of the problem with “demo letters” wtf is a PD needing/wanting a demo with an MG42? Same with the items that were at the root of this arrest and such-had someone been paying attention to what was on the demo letters, a flag would have/should have been raised saying “hey what the hell are you doing here, that’s not something realistic for an LEO use” common sense here guys…

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I disagree with you about most the gun show guys honestly. Some times to enhance your collection you have to buy other guns to get the diamond. Then you end up with more trade loot etcetc. Now are there guys doing it an running a business illegally? I’m sure there has to be a small %. Just like there is a (rather large) % of ffl/sot’s smuggling/trafficking guns etcetc. But the vast majority of guys at gun shows are ffls now the handful of dudes that aren’t that I’ve come across legitimately are trying to enactment their collections. Every time I hear a story about trafficking guns/doing something illegal it’s always an ffl… it’s rarely a non licensed person committing these crimes that I’ve seen an when it is The atf goes after straw purchaser’s that get 20-50 guns etc but then there’s ffl’s that get caught illegally selling a few hundred to 2000+ guns pretty dam regularly. 

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This isn’t a case of big brother attacking the little guy, Vickers knowingly did the firearms crimes and now has to face the time. Vickers also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions against a foreign firearms manufacturer (Russia) between, July 2014 and March 2021. Hard to fathom when someone takes an oath and paycheck to protect and defend the United States, then gets in bed with the enemy. 

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Well I can tell you in my area, there are several people that fit my description so you can believe it or not, but the facts of this one are clear. I can count of 10 guys minimum who are illegally dealing without a license at the one show I do and they buy/sell/trade not to enhance their personal collection, but are doing it as a business. 

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2 hours ago, Got Uzi said:

Well I can tell you in my area, there are several people that fit my description so you can believe it or not, but the facts of this one are clear. I can count of 10 guys minimum who are illegally dealing without a license at the one show I do and they buy/sell/trade not to enhance their personal collection, but are doing it as a business. 

I see A LOT of this as well. I have even had people tell me in casual conversation that they are unlicensed but in the business 

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18 hours ago, rhouston8 said:

^^^ OK Mark2....that's a bit over the top....stating or implying that Vickers is somehow an agent or mole of Russia or that he's " in bed w the enemy".

 

I never stated an agent or mole. He pled guilty to conspiracy charges involving financial dealings with Russia and gunrunning into the United States. Seems pretty clear here? 

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You said “  Hard to fathom when someone takes an oath and paycheck to protect and defend the United States, then gets in bed with the enemy.“ 

 

so …do you or do you not feel “ he’s in bed w the enemy “ and what exactly do you mean by that ? 
To me you stated and implied that vickers has sold out his country somehow.  I bet the real reason is that you just don’t like him but that’s speculation. Most of us here prob believe he was leaned on heavily in some plea deal …which may or may not have reflected underlying reality of whatever downgraded charge he ultimately confessed to. Thats just the way they do it. 

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We’ll agree to disagree. 

I’m sure .gov could find 20 laws you’ve broken in the last week if they desired …from 922(r) to xyz. And they certainly could add enough pressure on you to admit to any lesser charge, etc etc. 

( but yeah …with the one and only side about this I’ve seen…it certainly does appear that Vickers flew too close to the sun and messed up badly. Agree ! But aiding and abetting the enemy arguments are a bunch of BS…other than in some contorted legal construct- which is exactly what we are dealing w here. )

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We’ll agree to disagree. 

I’m sure .gov could find 20 laws you’ve broken in the last week if they desired …from 922(r) to xyz. And they certainly could add enough pressure on you to admit to any lesser charge, etc etc. 

( but yeah …with the one and only side about this I’ve seen…it certainly does appear that Vickers flew too close to the sun and messed up badly. Agree ! But aiding and abetting the enemy arguments are a bunch of BS…other than in some contorted legal construct- which is exactly what we are dealing w here. )

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I wouldn't say he was getting into bed with the enemy. If it came down to war, I'm sure LV would always go red white & blue.

It's about money and getting cool stuff that other couldn't.. also during the time he was doing it, the Russian's were not so negatively looked upon as they are now.

I remember a meme back in the day where some Americans praised Putin's strength over our weak President.. Of course now we condemn Putin as crazy for his war crimes in Ukraine.

 

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