Missouri gun store owner accused of illegal firearm sales

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

It seems that over the last year or two, everyone has been trying to put the blame for so-called gun violence on your corner gun stores. They seem to think that these stores are all just selling guns to anyone and everyone, regardless of the law.

That’s not true, and we’ve been defending these stores ever since President Joe Biden started making rumblings of blaming them.

However, I’m also realistic enough to acknowledge that there are bad actors everywhere. There’s no group that doesn’t contain them, and gun store owners aren’t unique in this regard. I have enough intellectual integrity to acknowledge that some may do bad things, like this one in Missouri:

Federal prosecutors announced the 15-count indictment of 74-year-old James Antonio Skelton of Kaiser. The indictment was handed up on Dec. 14, but wasn’t unsealed and made public until Tuesday.

The indictment accuses Skelton of using his business, Skelton Tactical in Osage Beach, to illegally sell firearms by allowing customers to purchase firearms on behalf of another person, allowing that person to avoid a background check and having information about them recorded. Federal law requires firearms licensees to certify the purchaser is the actual buyer.

Of course, this is a straw buy and is highly illegal. Often, people with an ounce of intelligence will conduct such a buy in a manner that prevents their detection, but sometimes they just don’t care.

And yes, some gun stores don’t seem to care all that much either.

Now, it looks like Skelton has a trial ahead of him, followed by possible incarceration. Judging by his age, it could be for the rest of his life, regardless of what the actual sentence is.

And for what? A few extra bucks?

Meanwhile, if Skelton did what he’s accused of–innocent until proven guilty and all that–then he’s done more to hurt gun rights in the state than any anti-Second Amendment advocate could have.

Remember that the activists love to use crime statistics to justify their jihad. They ignore the way criminals get guns and focus on using crime statistics to try and restrict gun ownership for the rest of us.

Skelton is alleged to have fueled this criminal underground by allowing illegal gun sales.

Yet, over time, those sales would have led to more restrictions that would have restricted his other sales to a greater degree. Even if he were only motivated by self-preservation, making these sales was a stupid move. Allegedly.

Now, he’s facing prison time. If he did this, I don’t feel sorry for him. Yes, I oppose pretty much every gun law in the books, but if they’re on the books, this isn’t the way to change that.

Instead, he’s made life just that much more difficult for the rest of us. The only saving grace is that Missouri doesn’t seem to be the least bit interested in listing to the anti-Second Amendment types these days. Thankfully.

But these kinds of things also get used nationally, and there are plenty of lawmakers there who are more than willing to use these crimes to strip our rights.

May 27, 2022 1:15 PM ET