Unlicensed Sacramento gun maker sentenced to prison for making AR-15 rifles

A Sacramento man has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for manufacturing guns without a license and for possessing an unregistered machine gun.

Daniel Albert Crowninshield, 54, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the judge characterized Crowninshield’s actions as a “brazen attempt to circumvent the law.”

“The unregulated manufacture and sale of high-capacity firearms is a serious threat to public safety,” said U.S. attorney Phillip A. Talbert. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute unlicensed gun dealers who circumvent the law.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill A. Snyder stated: “Daniel Crowninshield, aka Dr. Death, owned and operated a machine shop where he allowed customers with unknown backgrounds to use his machinery to unlawfully manufacture firearms for profit. That activity posed a very dangerous threat to the safety of our communities.”

Last April, Crowninshield pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted to manufacturing firearms out of C&G Tool, a metal shop in northern Sacramento. With machinery at the facility, he made AR-15 lower receivers and other firearms.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Crowninshield would have customers press buttons or put their hands on machinery to create the pretext that the customers were building the firearms. Using the name “Dr. Death,” he also advertised his services on at lease one online firearms forum.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies investigated the case, and Crowninshield was reportedly just one of many individuals involved in manufacturing AR-15 style firearms in the Sacramento area.