stag-arms

Stag Arms officials were warned previously by the ATF that their horrific record-keeping practices in a heavily-regulated industry were going to get them in trouble. The company clearly didn’t take that warning seriously, and when ATF inspectors rolled around again in a follow-up inspect and found numerous rifles—including machine guns—”missing,” they had no choice but to hammer the company, and force the owner out of the gun business.

The former owner of a company that makes military-style rifles has been sentenced to probation and the company fined $500,000 for violating federal firearms laws.

Mark Malkowski was sentenced to two years of probation and personally fined $100,000 during the sentencing hearing Tuesday in federal court in Hartford.

Malkowski and the company, New Britain-based Stag Arms, had pleaded guilty to charges including possession of a machine gun not registered to the company and failure to maintain proper firearms records.

Deirdre Daly, Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney, said sloppy record-keeping and a failure to comply with regulations left the company unable to account for hundreds of weapons, including fully automatic guns.

“Stag displayed a systemic and egregious disregard of federal firearms regulations,” she said in a statement. “The company was unable to account for hundreds of semi-automatic rifles and possessed over 60 unregistered machine guns.”

Investigators, who also found machine gun parts, said more than 3,000 guns were transferred by the company without being property recorded.

Daly said it is the first time that a major firearms manufacturer has been convicted of a felony and had its license revoked.

It’s important to note that while there were hundreds of semi-automatic AR-15 lower receivers (the part that is legally recognized as the firearm) and 60 machine gun lower receivers that were not properly accounted for in the company’s books, it is not thought that any were lost or stolen.

Stag Arms remains in business under new leadership.