DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Idaho

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 20, 2017
Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Layman

Meridian Man Guilty of Unlicensed Gun Dealing and Making False Statements to Acquire Handguns

BOISE – Steven W. Clyne, 70, of Meridian, Idaho, was convicted on Friday evening by
a federal jury of dealing firearms without a license and making false statements when purchasing
firearms, Acting United States Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, announced. Clyne was indicted by a
federal grand jury on May 11, 2016.
 
According to evidence presented at trial, Clyne engaged in the repetitive purchase and
resale of firearms for profit from January 2013 until November 12, 2015. Over that period of
time, Clyne purchased hundreds of firearms from licensed firearm dealers and then resold those
firearms to others after increasing the price. Clyne sold the firearms at gun shows and even in a
parking lot without identifying the purchasers or conducting background checks to ensure the
purchasers were not prohibited from possessing firearms. Numerous firearms sold by Clyne
were recovered at various crime scenes in Idaho, California, and other locations.
 
On November 12, 2015, law enforcement agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF) searched Clyne’s residence pursuant to a federal search warrant.
ATF agents located approximately 30 firearms at Clyne’s residence. Clyne admitted to agents
that he purchased firearms, increased the prices, and then resold the firearms. During the
investigation, Clyne sold firearms to ATF agents acting in an undercover capacity. On one
occasion an agent telephoned Clyne and asked to purchase two handguns. Clyne agreed to sell
the handguns and told the agent he would purchase the handguns later that same day. When
Clyne purchased the handguns from the licensed firearm dealer, he falsely stated that he was the actual buyer of the handguns knowing that he was actually acquiring the handguns on behalf of
another person.
 
“Federal firearms laws are intended to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” said
Gonzalez. “This case is an example of what happens when someone engages in the business of
selling guns for profit and doesn’t abide by the basic requirements of obtaining a license and
conducting background checks.”
 
“The illicit trafficking in firearms remains ATF's highest national priority,” said ATF
Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants. “Mr. Clyne's willingness to
operate outside the law directly put his fellow Americans at risk.” Seattle Field Division’s area of
responsibility includes Idaho.
 
Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill
at the federal courthouse in Boise. The crimes of dealing firearms without a license and making
false statements when purchasing firearms are each punishable by up to five years in prison, a
maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
 
The case was investigated by the ATF.
 
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Field Division: Seattle Field Division