This blog has covered the insane level of corruption in the NYPD pistol permit division. Described by one former officer as a bribery machine.

Simply, to get a pistol permit in NYC, it was may issue with lots of requirements.  The police knew that the wealthy and well connected wanted gun permits and the wealthy and well connected could pay handsomely for the privilege of a permit.  The whole system was corrupt as fuck.

The NYPD pistol permit scheme isn’t the only one like that.

The Hughes Amendment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 prevented the private purchase and registration of new machine guns.

The only way to obtain a post 1986 machine gun was to be a dealer or manufacturer of destructive devices with a special occupancy tax.

To be an FFL SOT isn’t cheap and it requires jumping through a lot of hoops.  It’s also not may issue.

You can see where this is going.

Some people engaged in bribery with law enforcement to obtain FFL SOT as an end run around the Hughes Amendment.

They had a “business” as a dealer but didn’t actually do any dealing.

The dealer samples they acquired were treated like a personal collection and were used to make YouTube videos and Instagram posts.

The thing is, the ATF doesn’t take kindly to this.

North Carolina and North Dakota Police Chiefs and Federal Firearms Licensees Indicted for Conspiracy to Illegally Acquire Machineguns and Other Firearms

A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging five defendants with a conspiracy to illegally acquire machineguns and other regulated firearms. Charged in the indictment, which was unsealed yesterday are: Sean Reidpath Sullivan, age 38, of Gambrills, Maryland; Larry Allen Vickers, age 60, of Charlotte, North Carolina; James Christopher Tafoya, age 45, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Matthew Jeremy Hall, age 53, of Four Oaks, North Carolina; and James Sawyer, age 50, of Ray, North Dakota.

According to the 26-count indictment, Hall and Sawyer were Chiefs of Police in Coats, North Carolina and Ray, North Dakota, respectively. Sullivan was the owner and operator of Trident, LLC, located in Gambrills, Maryland, and was also an Intelligence Analyst with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations. Sullivan and Trident were Federal Firearms Licensees (“FFLs”) and Special Occupational Taxpayers (“SOTs”), which allowed them, in certain circumstances, to possess, import, manufacture, and deal in fully automatic firearms (machineguns) and other regulated firearms. Tafoya and Vickers owned and operated firearms related businesses in New Mexico and North Carolina and were also FFLs and SOTs.

The indictment alleges that, beginning in at least June 2018 through at least March 2021, the defendants conspired to acquire machineguns and/or other restricted firearms, such as short-barreled rifles, by falsely representing that the firearms would be used for demonstration to law enforcement agencies, including the Coats Police Department and the Ray Police Department. The indictment further alleges that Hall, Sawyer, and other conspirators signed law letters with no expectation that the weapons would ever be demonstrated to their respective law enforcement agencies.

The defendants allegedly intended to impermissibly import into the United States and resell the machineguns and other firearms for profit or to keep for their own use and enjoyment. Sullivan allegedly submitted the false law letters to the ATF seeking to import the machineguns and other restricted weapons. Once the firearms were received, Sullivan allegedly kept some of the machineguns and other restricted weapons and transferred some of the weapons to Vickers, Tafoya, and other conspirators.

In addition to the indictment, Larry Vickers pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in the conspiracy to import and obtain machineguns and other restricted firearms and admitted that he received some of the imported machineguns and other weapons. As detailed in his plea agreement, Vickers kept some of the machineguns and other restricted weapons in his personal collection and transferred other machineguns and restricted weapons to other FFLs and third parties. Vickers also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions against a foreign firearms manufacturer between July 2014 and March 2021, in the Southern District of Florida.

Yes, that Larry Vickers.

And I can tell you with absolute assuredness, he’s not alone.

A lot of popular YouTubers who make lots of money shooting machine guns and other destructive devices have done the same.

Making a monetized YouTube video isn’t what an FFL SOT is for.

I’m going to be honest, fuck them.

Two things can be true at the same time.

Thing one:

The Hughes Amendment is a giant load of bullshit.  The NFA is an unconstitutional load of bullshit.  Law abiding American citizens should have the right to buy machine guns without jumping through federal hoops.  I want to make gun laws great again, like in 1934, when a man could walk into a gun store and buy a Colt Monitor and walk out with it.

Thing two:

Until the Supreme Court kills the NFA, the law is the law, and gun-tubers (ever or especially retired Special Forces guys) need to obey it.  They don’t have more rights and privileges than the rest of us, and using their YouTube money to bribe their way into getting illegal FFL SOTs to pad their personal collections is breaking the law.  And personally, the way some of them have flaunted the law while the rest of us work so diligently to obey it, I’m looking forward to some schadenfreude if they get fucked for what they’ve done.

If you want a machine gun, and I want a machine gun, use your influence to try and change the law.  Don’t bribe your way into getting illegal machine guns.

Shitty laws that rich people will bribe their way into violating only creates a two tier system of corruption where those who can afford bribes break the law for privileges, and those who can’t afford the bribes have no rights.

Spread the love

By J. Kb

17 thoughts on “Shitty laws and special privileges lead to corruption”
  1. This little indictment COULD be a “lets make an example of these guys” game too. Most(not all), most police forces get lots of federal money to buy toys and can and do buy real new machine guns.. They are owned by the police force. Yes people can, will and do get FFLS and SOTs to abuse them to stroke thier fragile egos… I have both an 07 Manufacturer FFL and an SOT, but I don’t have a youtube channel..

    1. Curby, I’ve got an article about FFLs and SOT coming out tomorrow morning. If you can check it when you can and let me know any corrections that should be made, I’ll update the article with your corrections.
      Thank you.

  2. If a gangbanger ever gets up on charges for a Glock switch, that could be the wedge. Common use, if you believe the news…

  3. J.Kb I get your point. Ok well said. But I additionally believe…… The ATF is sending a national message to the Second Amendment Americans, that they can at any time concoct charges, when it serves their purpose—-to strike fear in the heart of the firearm’s community. IANAL, but it looks to me that Obama-Biden’s ATF strategically selected Vickers and company, who were walking in the legal grey area (which I’m sure many reside) because of they provided the Administration with the greatest Shock Value.

    How many do you believe are operating within a grey area of this law? I went to Vicker’s website this morning and watched a Russian Operations Unit working with Vickers. It certainly doesn’t look as if he was hiding anything. Vicker’s bent the rules a bit, nothing more. Why? Because lots and lots of people are doing it……because they’re Firearms Junkies and indulged because the possibility was there.

    No one died. No one committed any criminal acts against the US. No one was harmed. They just wanted a rare piece of history, because it was available.

    1. How many do you believe are operating within a grey area of this law? I went to Vicker’s website this morning and watched a Russian Operations Unit working with Vickers. It certainly doesn’t look as if he was hiding anything.
      Some time ago, didn’t the BATFE threaten to arrest and charge anyone who taught a non-American to safely handle firearms? Something about “providing military/militia training to foreign citizens”?
      It’s all B.S. Teaching someone to safely handle firearms is not at all the same as providing military/militia training, and if Vickers’ website is any indication, he’s been doing it for some time, possibly to ACTUAL foreign military operatives.
      I’m with J.Kb on this one. The law is the law. If you have enough influence to get special privileges to go around the law, then you have enough influence to get people to try and change the law.
      But then you wouldn’t have fun and rare toys that “normies” can’t get, would you?

      1. Archer fair enough, you make a valid point, as did J kb. The Vicker’s website video was not an American providing training to the Russians, but the other way around, they were demonstrating their training to Vickers. Again a grey area, open to interpretation, and a wise person would not have engaged in such risk.

  4. Is it the law that says making a YouTube video isn’t demonstration or is it atf interpretation?

    Seems pretty wild to me that people who went through the trouble of obtaining a SOT and ostensibly doing all transfers and acquisitions by the book could be charged with conspiracy to obtain and sell machineguns illegally.

    Seems very matt hoover to me. Saying the quiet part out loud re the auto key card. This isn’t own bit can be made into one. We have a SOT so we buy, demo, and sell MGs but also get to have fun with them and hang onto them in the SOT collection for future enjoyment as a fringe benefit.

    Isn’t there also some provision that legslly allows transferring post sample guns to an individual when they close their business?

    To me this all reads like we are charging them with conspiracy to follow the law and exploit it to their benefit!

  5. I also only loosely see the connection you are trying to make to the NYC permitting bs. Sure they definitely found a favorable police department to work with, but nothing written here says they bribed these guys to get law letters.
    This makes me wonder how would you have classified the trust/llc route that avoided CLEO sign off back in the day? It seems very much the same thing to me. You can interpret it as some sort of conspiracy to avoid scrutiny by the police and obtain regulated items outside of the view of the law (which is obviously bs). Or you can interpret it as, it is an option available to me that I choose to exploit.
    How do you feel about others? AR pistols? Braces that might slip a little too high? etc. These are all very similar things to this. ATF is big mad people have found ways to do things they don’t want within the letter of the law.
    Let’s not forget ATF still had to approve every transfer and acquisition, its not like they were trying to sneak things past them….
    It seems like more crack downs like we have seen on C&R holders and garage FFLs.
    Also the comment about Glock switches in Chicago is the nut of the matter. The hypocrisy. If I were some felon who unloads my drum mag into a crowd at 3am on a Saturday in Chicago I’m still walking around free for the foreseeable future, but if I try my damnedest to follow the law and enjoy the benefits I can find by squeezing myself between the lines drawn by it, I’ll get the pleasure of being sent through the grinder. The action/inaction by the government is continually sending and reinforcing the message that not following the law is the better option….

    1. I think they are all bad laws. But this goes back to a previous point I’ve made before about guys with transferable machine guns being the most anti “end the NFA” people I’ve ever met. They benefit from the scarcity of machine guns. In this case, they abused the law to be a benefit to themselves and obtain quasi personal machine guns. End the NFA. Don’t let rich youtubers bend or break the law buy things you and I can’t.

      1. Hey 100% with ya there, end the NFA indeed, don’t think that is in contention between us.
        The transferable guys definitely benefit from the scarcity; I don’t really know how they abuse the law to their benefit though. It is written as it is and you as you have said, follow the written law. They can buy and sell transferable MGs, that’s not abusing the law. Many likely have benefit of simply being there at the beginning or having financial backing to take advantage of what is legal; that isn’t abusing the law. I really don’t know what you are trying to get at here other than yea, we have an equal dislike for the guys that want to keep the NFA because they are priced in.
        I am struggling to understand how on one hand you can say never again every 3 posts, but then here you are saying sit back and play the gov game the way the gov wants you to play it, that’s the right way to do it even if other ways to play are just as right. That just seems completely incongruous to me.
        It seems the real issue you have is in fairness and yea I can vibe with that, but like, welcome to life? It pisses me off reallllll bad too. I’m tired of it too. Unfortunately though it seems the best option at this juncture is to accept that the party who is supposed to keep things partial and fair (gov) is not doing its job and has no desire to do so and frequently demonstrates it actually acts against that end, so now it is up to you to make the most of things for yourself and those others you choose to advocate and do for. This is not saying wallow in the misery of the unfairness of life and screw everyone else over to get by/ahead/etc.

        1. Yes, you nailed it. It’s about fairness. I have spent my entire life playing by the rules. So I enjoy watching people who broke the rules get it, even if I don’t like the rule. And if the shit hits the fan that hard, trust me, I’ll have NFA items, taken from loot drops with minimum training.

          1. The point you are missing is, it does not appear they have broken the rules. From what I can see is they certainly have wedged themselves between the written boundaries of the rules, but they have not broken them.
            Isn’t this also the reverse of I’ve got mine and screw everyone else? A they got theirs and I’m not happy about it, screw them. I just can’t get over how this feels like a kid pissed off they lost a game because they didn’t pay attention to all of the rules and lost for it so they are calling it unfair or under protest.
            If they ACTUALLY broke the law and skated for ages because of corruption, its a totally different story. Again though, everything from the article snippet reads like the ATF is attempting to charge them with conspiracy and weapons violations for going through the trouble of acquiring a SOT, demo letters, and acquiring and transferring regulated items all according to the letter of the law? That doesn’t make sense. Either information is missing or there is over zealous agency action.

  6. Corruption…in New York? Color me shocked.

    New York City government, at ALL levels, is the quintessential poster child for corruption.
    They may be more corrupt than even Congress.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.