The mentally ill man who shot and injured two police officers at New Hope City Hall in New Hope, Minnesota, before being killed in a volley of return fire obtain his weapons from a straw purchaser who is now in hot water:
The three guns were sent to an FFL in Princeton, Minn., called the Full Metal Gun Shop. A 42-year-old man from Golden Valley who was an acquaintance of K____* picked up the guns, Stanek said. A background check was done on him. Documentation for the gun transfer shows the names of both K___ and the alleged straw buyer.
Troy Buchholz, owner of the gun shop, said in a phone interview Friday night that he questioned the buyer about why K____’s name was on the K-Bid auction form. The buyer told him he had used that name to protect his privacy online.
Buchholz ran a background check on the straw buyer, which came back with no problems. On the form, the buyer checked a box that said he was buying the guns for himself. He was alone, didn’t appear to have been coerced into buying the guns and paid for them, Buchholz said. Everything appeared legal.
Due to quirks in how the state law was constructed, the straw purchaser will not face state charges for his straw purchases because he did not know K____ was a prohibited person.
The local prosecutor is forwarding the case to federal authorities, where the straw purchaser could (and should) face 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each offense.
The three shotguns picked up by the straw purchaser were part of a lot of three firearms sold by the Duluth, Minnesota Police Department. K____ used a Stoeger in his attack, and a Mossberg 500 and a Yimeng (A Chinese copy of the Ithaca 37) were later found in his car in the parking lot. It is common for law enforcement agencies to sell confiscated and surplus property (including firearms) and use that money to augment the agency budget, usually to pay for additional training and equipment.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass or spree killers, whether or not they were successful in their attempts.