For Immediate Release
Friday, April 7, 2017
, United States Attorney
G.F. Peterman, III
Contact: Pamela Lightsey
Local Firearms Dealer Convicted for Possessing Unregistered Destructive Device
Field Division: Atlanta Field Division
G.F. Peterman, III, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Mark Mann, owner and operator of Mann's World, LLC d/b/a The Rifleman, was convicted by a jury in federal court on April 6, 2017, of illegal possession of a destructive device, a Finnish Lahti 20mm anti-tank rifle, before the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, United States District Judge, in Macon, Georgia.
The evidence showed that Mark Mann was the owner and operator of Mann's World, LLC d/b/a The Rifleman, a local gun dealership. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received a referral from the previous owner of the anti-tank rifle that Mark Mann illegally possessed the weapon after two checks from Mann's business account, issued to purchase the weapon, were returned for insufficient funds. A resulting search pursuant to a warrant of Mann's World, LLC on December 30, 2014, resulted in the discovery and seizure of the gun. Weapons such as machine guns, sawed off shotguns, or weapons of larger than fifty caliber cannot be legally possessed unless the possessor registers them with the ATF. Upon checking records, it was found that this destructive device, being a weapon of larger than fifty caliber, was not registered to Mr. Mann, who had used his status as a firearms dealer in order to circumvent this law.
Mr. Mann will be sentenced in approximately 60 days. He faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
"A Federal Firearms Licensee, such as Mark Mann, is someone who is trusted to know and follow the law regarding firearms, especially when dealing with dangerous instrumentalities such as this weapon, an anti-tank rifle, which is far more powerful and capable of far more destruction than weapons available to the general public. Mr. Mann chose to violate that trust and now must bear the responsibility for that choice," said United States Attorney Peterman.
"The ATF' s involvement in securing this guilty verdict is a prime example of the successful use of federal laws to confront, engage and eliminate criminal activity. Criminals must understand there are serious repercussions for those who violate federal law, and that regulatory enforcement and law enforcement personnel will contribute all necessary time and effort to ensure that these individuals are brought to justice," said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt.
This case was investigated by the Industry Operations Investigators and the Criminal Enforcement Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly S. Easterling and Michael T. Solis prosecuted the case for the Government.
Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney's Office, at (478) 752-3511.