Texas gun dealer indicted for illegal machine gun sales, selling to minors

A 26-year-old firearms dealer from San Marcos, Texas, faces 21 counts of federal charges that include multiple violations surrounding the sale and transfer of firearms, according to a grand jury indictment returned last month but unsealed Monday.

Paul Allen Peters, owner of Jack of All Trades Tactical & Supply in Midland, is accused of five counts of wire fraud; four counts of unlawful transfer of a machine gun; six counts of illegal sale of a handgun to a minor; five counts of failure to keep proper records; and, one count of making a false statement to an investigating agent.

Peters has been practicing as a Type “01” Federal Firearms Dealer since Oct. 13, 2010, according to court documents obtained by Guns.com. This licensing allowed him to sell and transfer firearms that are not defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosvies as destructive devices, which typically includes firearms with a bore more than one-half inch in diameter, with some exceptions for shotguns.

As a Federal Firearms Dealer, Peters was required by law to keep precise records of the sale or otherwise transfer of firearms in his possession, including those that were transferred into his own private collection. According to court documents, these records, along with ATF forms and any supporting documents must be kept by the dealer for 20 years from the date of the sale or transfer, but Peters failed to do so on multiple occasions.

Additionally, without the proper applications and fees, Peters was not permitted to sell or transfer firearms that are restricted under the National Firearms Act, such as machine guns, but allegedly did so anyway.

The wire fraud charges stem from five separate occasions from May 2013 to September 2014, when Peters submitted falsified forms – specifically ATF form 4473 – via facsimile to the National Tracing Center in West Virginia.

Peters is also accused of selling four machine guns in 2012 without the proper paperwork or fees, and on six different occasions sold handguns to individuals he either knew, or had reason to believe, were under the legal age of 21.

However, when questioned by authorities on Nov. 4, 2014, Peters allegedly “knowingly and willfully made and caused to be made false, fictitious and fraudulent material statements and representations” when he told investigators he had transferred approximately 30 to 40 firearms without the proper paperwork or following the required, legal process. Authorities did not disclose the true number of firearms believed to have been illegally transferred.

Additionally, Peters is facing charges for failing to maintain proper records for gun sales, including basic information required by law – the purchaser’s name, age and place of residence.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charges, 10 years for the unlawful transfer of a machine gun and five years each on the remaining 12 charges.