Iowa police chief charged with illegal machine gun purchases

Iowa police chief charged with illegal machine gun purchases
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Machine guns are the most tightly controlled weapons in the United States. Between the National Firearms Act and the machine gun ban passed in 1986, it’s virtually impossible for the average American to lawfully buy such a firearm.


But that doesn’t mean some people aren’t getting them anyway.

Law enforcement, though, is generally exempt from the ’86 ban. Police departments can get just about whatever they want when it comes to class 3 devices, but only for the departments themselves. Individual officers, even the chief, generally have to follow the same laws we do.

Or, well, they’re supposed to. Some apparently don’t bother.

The police chief in Adair is facing federal charges for unlawfully obtaining and possessing multiple machine guns.

A federal grand jury in Des Moines has indicted Adair Chief of Police Bradley Wendt.

According to court documents, 46-year-old Wendt exploited his position to acquire 10 machine guns, purportedly for the official duties of the police department. However, he later resold several of those machine guns at a significant profit.

Wendt also acquired 13 machine guns for his Denison-based gun store, BW Outfitters, through false statements to the ATF that the machine guns were being demonstrated for future potential purchase by the Police Department, according to court documents.

It’s alleged that Wendt also exploited his position as the chief to obtain 10 machine guns for Williams Contracting LLC, a federal firearms licensee operated by his friend, 46-year-old Robert Williams, age 46, of Manning.

Williams solicited false documentation from Wendt indicating the Adair Police Department wanted a demonstration of each of the machine guns for future potential purchase by the Adair Police Department.

Between July 2018 and August 2022, Wendt sought to purchase about 90 machine guns for the Adair Police Department, which serves a town of fewer than 800 people.


Well…that’s…that’s something.

Look, I don’t think these kinds of weapons should be banned at all. I think I should be able to order an M240 from Amazon and have it delivered to my home with Prime shipping.

But that ain’t where we’re at. We don’t have laws that permit that, and so I kind of take issue with anyone in law enforcement using their position in order to obtain things the rest of us don’t have a shot in hell of buying.

It’s just disgusting, really.

However, I’m also wondering just how many others in law enforcement have done similarly (allegedly, of course) and just haven’t been caught.

Oh, maybe not on this scale, of course, but I’m sure one or two have helped a buddy get something they ordinarily couldn’t and just haven’t aroused suspicion.

That’s going to happen, though, when you make it difficult for law-abiding people to get certain things, but others can under a handful of circumstances. The connected will continue to obtain these goods while others simply cannot.


The Aristocracy of Pull was described by Ayn Rand a long time ago, and we keep seeing it play out, but it doesn’t always play out legally. This alleged incident is a prime example of how it can happen.

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