DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Iowa

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Kevin E. VanderSchel
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rachel J. Scherle

Sure Shot Gun Store Owner Bradley Ries Sentenced to Prison for Federal Firearms Violations

DAVENPORT, IA – On August 30, 2017, Bradley James Ries, 51, the owner of the Sure Shot Gun Shop in Clinton, Iowa, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger to two consecutive six-month prison terms for the transfer of a firearm without a National Instant Criminal Background Check, and knowingly making a false statement required by firearms law, announced United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel. Ries will serve one year of supervised release following his imprisonment, to include an additional six months of home confinement, a $5,500 fine, and a $50 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund. At sentencing, Judge Goodgame Ebinger emphasized these violations were more than just bookkeeping errors, and were knowing violations of federal firearms laws.
On December 20, 2014, Ries submitted a firearm transfer request using the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). Licensed dealers are required to have purchasers fill out Form 4473 prior to submitting a NICS request under federal firearms regulations. Knowing the purported purchaser was a felon, Ries failed to have the purchaser fill out a Form 4473 for the firearm purchase. Although NICS denied the transaction, Ries called and informed the felon he could purchase firearms. On February 4, 2015, a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent contacted Ries and requested the required Form 4473 transaction. Ries falsely claimed gun bluing chemical was spilled on the form.
In April of 2015, ATF conducted a federal firearms compliance inspection at Sure Shot and noted several violations. In September of 2015, ATF held a warning conference in Des Moines and again discussed these violations with Ries.
On November 4, 2015, Ries sold a Taurus Circuit Judge .45/.410 caliber rifle to a prohibited person. Ries transferred the firearm prior to obtaining sale authorization from NICS. NICS denied the purchase based on the buyer having a no contact order, which prohibited this buyer from purchasing firearms under federal law. When contacted by an ATF agent on or about December 14, 2015, Ries falsely claimed the firearm transfer to this buyer involved a Remington 870 20-gauge shotgun. Ries also faxed certain pages of a purported Form 4473 for an apparent Remington 870 20-gauge shotgun purchase by this buyer, but the form’s information was false.
In January of 2016, Ries directed the prohibited buyer of the Taurus Circuit Judge .45/.410 caliber rifle to provide false information to the ATF. In February of 2016, after being warned by an ATF agent it was a federal crime to make a false statement to the agent, Ries again falsely stated this buyer wanted to purchase a Remington 870 shotgun and was upset when the transaction was denied. In April of 2016, after a search warrant at Sure Shot, Ries admitted he had lied to federal agents.
As part of his plea agreement, and as ordered by the District Court as a supervised release condition, Ries agreed to: surrender his Federal Firearm’s License (FFL), and to not reapply for a FFL, or serve as a responsible person or officer of any federal firearm’s licensee; not apply through any individuals or corporations presently holding any listed licenses, through the officers or directors of such corporations, or through any surrogates acting on behalf of any entities or individuals holding the license; and, not to deal in firearms or obtain employment with a business whose primary business is the sale, distribution, use, or firing of firearms following the surrender of his FFL or aid, abet or otherwise conspire with others to actually or constructively possess firearms or ammunition.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.
Kansas City Field Division