For Immediate Release
Las Vegas Man Charged for Illegally Engaging in the Business of Manufacturing Machine Guns Without a License
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Jayson Michael Babbitt, 35, of Las Vegas, was charged today by criminal complaint with engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, illegal possession of a machine gun, and making a machine gun in violation of the National Firearms Act, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Ray Roundtree of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Babbitt made an initial appearance on the complaint this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah.
According to the allegations contained in the complaint, beginning on or about June 2019 and continuing through September 2019, Babbitt illegally manufactured AR-15 style fully automatic rifles and offered them for purchase in the Las Vegas area. In July 2019, during a controlled purchase, Babbitt sold two fully automatic rifles, one short barrel and one long barrel, for $4,200 to an undercover buyer. Babbitt claimed to have manufactured the machine guns himself in his home with a “jig” using 80% lower receivers, blocks of aluminum, and M-16 machine gun parts to finish the firearms. Babbitt referred to the guns as “Ghost Guns” since the firearms did not have serial numbers so the firearms “would not exist in the eyes of the ATF.” Babbitt also showed the undercover buyer a video of himself test firing the firearms. On September 3, 2019, Babbitt sold an undercover buyer an additional three AR-15 style machine guns for $6,000.00. Babbitt told the undercover buyer that he planned on buying a machine that would allow him to make the gun parts easier and quicker. Babbitt was taken into custody by law enforcement after the September 3, 2019 sale. Babbitt admitted to manufacturing the machine guns he sold at his residence. A search warrant was executed at Babbitt’s residence where the “jig” was located as well as parts used in the manufacture of firearms. ATF Firearms Technology Criminal Branch tested the machine guns purchased in July 2019 and found that the firearms are operable and meet the definition of a “machine gun” under the federal National Firearms Act, Title 26, United States Code Section 5845(b).
A complaint contains merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the ATF. Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa Cartier Giroux and Stephanie Ihler are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide program by the Department of Justice that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, the Department announced the reinvigoration of PSN. For more information about PSN, visit www.justice.gov/usao-nv.