Gun Store Owner Indicted for Manufacturing Machine Guns and Marijuana Use


Michael James Gesty, owner of Black Wolf Weapons/Spartan Armory in Tucson, Arizona, has been indicted on 9 counts relating to the illegal manufacture of machine guns, allowing straw purchasers to buy weapons, and possession of firearms and ammunition by a drug user, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

I have met the owner and several employees, but was not impressed, and did not do any business with them.



Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


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  • Nater

    It seems like the drug charge was just thrown on there. The guy is manufacturing illegal NFA weapons, machine guns at that, and allowing straw purchases. Sorry, but smoking pot everyday seems really trite compared with that.

  • peter

    this store opened just a few years ago too.

  • Josh

    Throw the book at them i say, we don’t need this kind of trash.

  • Ian

    The marijuana is irrelevant. 9 counts of what exactly? Is this actually making an illegal machine gun or were they selling parts kits? And why were you “not impressed” by them? I read all of your posts and follow this blog closely as I enjoy seeing the new products etc. But I have to say that this is not good journalism. It’s actually leaning more towards “politics” than actual firearms.

    • Andrew (European Correspondent)

      Ian, I was turned off by their attitude towards and handling of firearms.

      The information you’re looking for – well, everything that’s been released to the public – can be found at the newspaper link. There’s a US Attorney’s Office press release, but all of the relevant information is in the newspaper article.

  • Axel Nordberg

    What’s a “straw purchaser”?

    Why were the machineguns manufactured? Did he misinterpret the rules, intended to keep for himself or was he aiming to supply criminals?

    • Andrew (European Correspondent)

      Axel,

      A straw purchaser is someone who buys firearms for someone who cannot legally buy them.

      According to the newspaper link provided, he “instructed and helped others to make several fully automatic machine guns.” I do not know if this is true or not – he has simply been indicted.

  • Sian

    Big question for me is, is this an honest bust, or is it ATF trying desperately to justify their actions?

  • David
  • Flounder

    It seems like this could be the first of many crackdowns by the ATF. I say this because the ATF’s screw up with letting guns across the border has been well publicized and they could be much more strict than they have been before because of that debacle.

    As for the weed charges I think they are just throwing them in there because if for some odd reason he didn’t go down for the illegal NFA items they could still get him for drugs. but maybe i’ve been watchin too much law and order.

  • Martin (M)

    I sure hope the ATFs case is rock solid. With their recent actions making the whole agency look like a clown carnival, especially in this neck of the woods, this dealer may actually get off.

  • I lived in Tucson and was familiar with Black Wolf Weapons. They stole their website code from the legitimate good guys at Black Weapons Armory (also in Tucson) so explicitly that BWA’s name still appeared in the BWW website code. The other co-owner (who I won’t name here) is a total douche, as well. They would downplay PMAGs as being overrated to sell the poly mags they had in stock. When they gave me a t-shirt, I made sure it only ever saw service as a rag in my apartment- I would NEVER have promoted them.

  • 032125

    I have no problem with “illegal manufacture of machine guns” which shouldn’t be illegal in the first place, or the marijuana use, which shouldn’t be illegal either. The “possession of firearms and ammunition by a drug user” law is just another example of shogun prosecution where they throw as many charges as possible hoping one will stick, which is an outrageous distortion of justice and the presumption of innocence.

    I’d have to know who exactly the straw purchases went to to make any moral judgement on those sales, but if the intended recipients were ineligible for breaking laws as arbitrary and unconstitutional as these, then frankly I don’t give a damn.

    “An unjust law is no law at all” – St Augustine

  • howlingcoyote

    The (nazi ) gun control act of 1934 is illegal. Fdr just copied Nazi Germany which at the same time banned guns and gold-claiming only the state could own them and not the citizens-off to the concentration camps with them. This is also what the evil U,N, is planning to do to the USA and Hillary is going along with it-as long as the U.N. approves gay marriages!
    I’m surprised they didn’t say he was a major arms supplier and a major drug dealer. Well, I guess the atf wasn’t able to “plant” anything (yet)

  • I’m with Sian, 032125, and Howlingcoyote. This is all garbage, I’d just about be willing to throw money in the pot. Maybe this guy is dirty, I don’t know, but I do know the BATFE is. Maybe it is a legitimate bust, but the timing does seem a bit suspicious.

  • Simon_the_Brit

    032125, would it worry you if criminals/terrorists make machine guns ?

    Would it worry you that people who smoke dope make and use machine guns ?

    I wouldn’t want to be on a range that has intoxicated/drunk shooters (with or without machine guns) nor would I want to be near shooters who are under the influence of drugs.

  • Nater

    @howlingcoyote

    The National Firearms Act was passed in June 1934. Hitler was not Fuhrer until August 2 1934. He had been Chancellor for two previous years, but he wasn’t ‘Der Fuhrer’. Furthermore, the Nazis only passed one firearms related law on record, it prevented Jews and other ‘non-citizens’ from owning firearms. The Weimar Republic had already passed extensive gun control legislation to prevent the Nazis and Communists from arming themselves. The famous, and false, quote regarding Hitler and the banning of firearms is always dated as 1935, anyway.

    I always laugh at people afraid of the UN. It’s an instrument of the United States. There have been very few times where the United Nations has actually seriously opposed anything that the United States government has wanted to do. The only one I can actually think of is the invasion of Iraq in 2003. If the UN is evil, the US is evil. The UN is the political counterpart to the economic (World Bank, IMF) and military (NATO) instruments of the US. It isn’t quite as US-centric as those organizations, but it’s close. I also find it hilarious that the Left is terrified of the IMF and World Bank, while the Right is terrified of the UN. They’re part of the same structure.

    Also, anything such as you’re talking about would have to be approved by Congress. They can barely come to agreement on how to keep the US from defaulting on it’s loans. The chances of them ratifying something that is unconstitutional are for the present time practically zero.

    Lastly, what does gay marriage have to do with anything?

  • Komrad

    @howlingcoyote
    read the top left:
    “Firearms, not politics”
    and the description:
    “I want this blog to appeal to a worldwide audience and so I will focus on firearms and shooting rather than country specific politics.”

    so you can GTFO with your UN/NWO “durr taekin ma’ raitghs” BS
    one of the reasons I love this blog is because there was (until now) no idiots spouting far-right talking points and propaganda

  • I personally also think the Mfg Machine Guns and Weed charges shouldn’t even be against the law.

    The Straw purchases however worry me and if he’s guilty should punished harshly. There is probably a good reason why the person who ended up with the weapons couldn’t legally buy them.

    I also don’t think there should be any restrictions on what a law abiding US citizen can buy in the way of arms, if you want and can afford a howitzer then you should be allowed to have one.

    What part of “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed” is not clear?

  • Veridical Driver

    Sorry, since the BATFE has actually explicitly instructed certain gun sellers to allow straw purchases to drug cartels, I am highly suspicious about this.

    When a government agency is caught red-handed doing false-flag operations to increase drug violence, and gets our honest law enforcement officers killed, they no longer have legitimacy in my eyes. If it was the FBI who busted this place, I would believe them. I will never believe anything the BATFE says, ever again.

  • Bryan S
  • SMc12

    Straw purchase in Arizona? I thought the ATF encouraged that?

  • Dylan Draper

    are you kidding me??? i was wondering why that place had closed down! this is bullshit. marijuana charges? who cares!!!!!! its a fucking plant for christ sakes. this government of mine does not represent me.

  • Pliskin

    ATF is probably the most corrupt organization in our Government, and thats saying something.

  • Nater

    @Pliskin

    Yes, I think you’re probably right. The BATF is the most untidy pack of little fascists that I’m aware of in this great land. The CIA could probably make a run at that title, though, with all the nasty things they’ve done over the years. That said, they’ve generally done them in other countries. The BATF does them here.

    I personally have no issues with law abiding citizens owning fully automatic weaponry. This isn’t 1970s where the police are all carrying .38s and shotguns. The cops have some pretty serious weaponry these days. Even from a public safety standpoint, I don’t think it’d make a big impact to allow citizens to own post-1986 automatic rifles and machine guns.

    While obviously less than ideal, I’d be happy if they dropped just that. The May 1986 and later ban. I’d gladly pay the tax stamp for a shiny, new select-fire lower receiver. I don’t think I’m alone on that.

  • Jason

    I’ll wait and watch how the court case g

  • Jason W

    I’ll wait and see how the court case goes before commenting on whether he is a criminal or not. I have known many people working for the ATF and they were good people doing their jobs. I believe the Fast and Furious fiasco should show us that there are good people working for the ATF that are willing to risk their livelyhood to do what is right in the name of freedom and sanity.

    Personally, I believe ownership of machine guns should be just like suppressors or shortbarreled rifles. I’m sure we could all live with that even though it may not be “perfect” in the eyes of everyone. As for the pot charges: if the guy had a couple pounds of the stuff sitting next to his illegal machine guns, I could see the case. If he had a dime bag, give him the fine he deserves, not a felony charge.

  • Before 1968 it was legal for all law abiding citizens to have machine guns.
    It’s just another chip taken from our God Given Rights.
    How long till they are completely gone?

  • Nater

    It still is legal for law abiding citizens to own machine guns provided they were manufactured before 1986. The GCA made it illegal to acquire foreign, fully automatic weapons. While obviously unconstitutional, it certainly didn’t make machine gun ownership illegal.

    It wasn’t until 1986 that domestically produced machine guns were outlawed.

  • And they must be bought from a specially licensed FFL, a regular dealer license doesn’t cut it. And there’s the (I believe) $500 tax stamp to buy, and don’t EVER lose your paperwork or your gun becomes illegal and cannot be sold, owned or transferred.

  • Vhyrus

    I know this entry is a bit old but they recently busted an entire family in New Mexico (where I live) for very similar charges, notably the straw purchases. I can tell you I have personally dealt with that family and its gun stores many times and I have no doubt in my mind that the charges are bogus. Most of the locals who know them think the same way. You can check the comments on the news articles for some insight. I believe the ATF is just throwing blindly at anyone on the border to see what sticks, and it has really pissed me off, as well as a good portion of the local community here. I have no experience with the individuals named in this particular article but if it is anything like the people here it could very well be a bum rap.