Maine man pleads guilty to lying on gun background check forms

A man from central Maine faces up to a decade in prison after admitting last week he lied on gun background check forms.

Donald Henderson, 35, pleaded guilty Sept. 24 in a Bangor federal court to two counts of making false statements to a federal firearms licensee, according to the Department of Justice.

Investigators indicted Henderson in April after determining he lied on Form 4473 when buying a Smith & Wesson .380-caliber pistol and a SCCY 9mm pistol during two separate transactions in late February and early March at Audette’s Inc., last year.

Henderson indicated on the form he was the intended buyer of the guns and he didn’t habitually use controlled substances, including marijuana — both of which were untrue and against the law, according to court documents. He could spend a maximum of 10 years behind bars and pay as much as a $250,000 fine, according to the DOJ. Sentencing has yet to be scheduled, according to court documents.

The “lie and try” prosecution comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised the Department of Justice would amp up enforcement of existing gun laws as a result of several high-profile mass shootings across the country.

Sessions said, through Project Safe Neighborhoods, DOJ prosecutions for those charged with violating federal firearm laws reached a decade high in 2017. Violent crime prosecutions are likewise at the highest rate in more than 25 years and claims the department “is just getting started.”

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