FFL Faces 8 Years In Prison For Stolen Lahti Anti-Tank Gun

Why are some FFL owners stupid and lazy? Mark Mann, owner of Mann’s World LLC and Rifleman gun shop in Macon, Georgia is facing 8 years in prison for violating NFA and ATF laws. Mark Mann is disabled in that he has impaired vision. However that is not an excuse for ineptitude. Back in 2013 the ATF performed their routine inspection. They found discrepancies in their log book. Just a scant 103 firearms that were not reported to the ATF.

On top of all of that, Mark was in possession of a Lahti L-39 and was trying to sell it for $10,000.

The problem is he never transferred the rifle to his FFL. The owner of the Lahti claims that the two checks he was paid with had bounced. The Lahti L39 is considered a destructive device so it needs to be transferred accordingly just like a grenade launcher. According to the ATF, since the Lahti was not registered/transferred it was considered stolen. So Mark will lose his FFL and faces 97 months in prison.

You can read more about Mann and his problems here.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Trey

    A lot of these guns came in the county before they were considered destructive devices and have been floating around since. Although we may not know the full facts of the situation, it is likely that this gun was never registered. There is one on display at the J.M. Davis gun museum in Claremore OK. It is quite the beast.

    • PK

      If it had only been overlooked as NFA and never registered in the amnesty, it would have at the very least been in the A&D log. He took it in to attempt to sell it, but didn’t log it in at all. That’s not incompetence, that’s malice.

      • I wunder

        You think he would of had enough sense to not store guns he hasn’t logged at his store. Especially Nfa items!

        • PK

          Or, even better, you’d think he’d have the sense to obey the law since FFLs get checked regularly for compliance, and SOTs enjoy a fine toothed comb.

          Truly, all he had to do was log the item in and get a F3 going from the seller to himself if registered, or simply say “I can’t sell this for you/buy this from you, it’s illegal as it was never registered.” There was very little financial gain to be had by doing what he did, had he gotten away with it entirely. He probably wouldn’t have been found out, had he not stiffed the seller with bounced checks!

          Personally I’m not too surprised that he broke the law with a DD, after finding out that he had over 100 transactions either improperly logged (then tried to falsify/destroy records) or firearms entirely absent from the A&D but on the premises. Willful negligence of that magnitude is astounding.

    • Jim_Macklin

      Clint Eastwood made a movie in which a 20mm Lahti was used to blow open a bank vault. It would make a hole, but it wouldn’t blow the door open.
      But it was one of the sort of things that made Congress pass stupid laws.

      • marathag

        Oerlikon 20mm. Lahti used the 20mm Solothurn, a little more powerful.

      • milesfortis

        Thunderbolt and Lightfoot was released in 1974. That’s 6 years after GCA ’68 classed ‘over .50cal’ as Destructive Devices.

  • SGT Fish

    The guy made a lot of bad choices. and passed up a few very forgiving plea deals to try to fight this case. And it sounds like his crack-pot lawyer told him they would never send him to jail because he is legally blind. play stupid games, win stupid prizes

    • PK

      “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes”

      This, right here. FFLs are scrutinized, as he well knew. To ignore the log discrepancies, to not comply with the regulations after having them pointed out repeatedly, after being given chances to correct things without getting in trouble… that’s just moronic.

      • SGT Fish

        not only an FFL, but a SOT as well. You know the inspections are coming.

        • PK

          Well, that’s just absurdly dumb. As an SOT he knew better. No excuse whatsoever to avoid transfer to the FFL if papered, and reject the purchase/consignment if not papered.

          This type of “whoops we had an NFA item not in the A&D but on premises” does happen, and it gets corrected and possibly fined. But that, along with it being 100+ title 1 guns out of the A&D, along with no transfer taking place to the FFL? That’s intentional.

          • commonman

            Actually my opinion is that this IS clearly criminal. Pretty obvious. If he thought he would get away with this he shouldn’t be over seeing any firearm transactions and should in fact be a prohibited owner.

          • PK

            I agree, it was very much intentional. You don’t accidentally forget to log over 100 firearms, accidentally try to forge records and destroy the (incorrect) originals, accidentally never log or file a form for a DD, and accidentally write bad checks.

        • feetpiece _

          Mouthbreathers are one bad life choice away from criminal activity. I knew an SOT that liked to leave his suppressed 10″ M4 in his unlocked beater suburban.

          • Oregon213

            Say what you will about the ATF, but there is a significant risk to the public and LE when NFA items go for a walk. There was an SOT a few years ago who got into the meth (like you do) and put some guns into circulation to pay some debts. I turned up a bunch of guns during a search of a parolee’s trailer a few weeks later. Included in the stash – a great condition full auto UZI out of the guys shop.

            Still feel pretty lucky that worked out the way it did. My partner and I were carrying Sig 220s, so we had a whopping 50 rounds between us, and we were deep in the boonies with spotty radio cover. He had three mags loaded up for the UZI alone…. could have been a bad day.

            ATF guys hammered the SOT and made sure the parolee’s charges all went federal.

          • Ben Pottinger

            I doubt it. I’d say in most cases a “NFA item” (if we mean MG in this scenario) actually *reduces* your risk. He isn’t any more likely to hit you with the first round then he would be with a semi-auto uzi yet he is *VASTLY* more likely to expend the next 24-29 rounds into the air above your heads. Then, in about 3 seconds he is going to be totally out of ammo and probably sucks at mag changes. Now you guys have a solid 5-10 seconds to put a stop to him without him returning any fire.

            The Hollywood shootout *looked* scary but even covered in body armor and fighting against police unprepared and untrained for such situations (unlikely to happen now days with so many officers carrying AR15s) they still didn’t manage to kill anyone and both died. Fat lot of good the equivalent of a LMG (beta drums, etc) did for them.

            I personally think the NFA needs abolished. I’d probably stop my complaining with suppressors removed from the NFA, and the registry for MGs reopened simply because that would let me have most of the toys I want and I’ve been through the NFA process a few times already. But the whole “20,000$ MG thing” is broken and IMO illegal.

          • Scott Connors

            I knew one who liked to drive around with a live M60 GPMG in the gun rack of his Toyota pickup truck. I could always tell when he was in town because the number of cop cars on the road quadrupled.

  • PK

    Absurdly poor choices for an FFL. You’d think the A&D log could at the very least be kept up to date.

  • rychastings

    while I agree this ffl is quite stupid, I dont quite see why there is so much sympathy for the ATF in the comments here.

    • Joshua

      Because the FFL dealer is a shiester. It even says the checks bounced that he paid to the owner of the gun

      • Hoosier Steve

        The best thing I can say for this guy is to wonder if he had a very dirty employee taking advantage of him.

    • PK

      I don’t see any sympathy for the government, nor sympathy for the former FFL holder.

    • BillyOblivion

      There’s no sympathy for the ATF here, there’s just zero sympathy for FFL.

      If you disagree with the law as it is you have moral choices:

      1) Shut up and follow it.
      2) Speak out against it and follow it.
      3) Speak out against it, break it and when caught go to jail and legally fight not to be declared *innocent*, but to have the law declared to be wrong.

      #3 used to be called “Civil Disobedience”, and the part at the end where the cops cracked you on the head with a stick and drug you to jail was part of the process.

      Nowhere in that list is “keep your mouth shut and break the law, then try to avoid prison”.

      I personally believe that you should be able to own any weapon you can carry, hold or drag (I am a bit on the fence about shoulder to air missiles and ICBMs, and think that it’s probably legitimate to make people who want to own nuclear weapons or nerve gas get a license).

      But right now that’s not the law. The law is you document and log your sales and transfers. And yeah, we’re all human and a little discrepancy here and there is understandable. I’m not sure 103 entries not made and two bounced checks are “little”.

      • I wunder

        But it is entirely possible to break the law and keep your mouth shut. Short of being a real criminal, idiot, or ffl, the chances of being caught are minimal. How many thousands of “solvent traps” do you think are out there? How many Lowes/Autozone builds that are never shot in public? It is obviously happening or the parts wouldn’t still be selling and the how to books would be out of print. Hardware store subguns aren’t exactly exclusive to Brazil and Australia. I aamnot advocating that anyone adopt such behaviour, just being realistic.

        • Porty1119

          I’m fairly sure that a couple guys affiliated with a friend of mine were building exactly what you describe. Those guys gave me a bad feeling and I don’t associate with them.

          There is a lot of stuff that flies under the radar. The circumstances under which any of it would be found are very unlikely if the owner/manufacturer is otherwise law-abiding.

          • I wunder

            It is true. It is unlikely for the average non criminal or ffl to get caught without major negligence. You made a wise decision to not be involved with those folks. Whether or not you do it on your own is one thing, as you can control exposures and risks taken with contraband by yourself. The other guys however, you can’t control. They are one dumb move away from being caught and turned on you for a plea deal. I think that a prudent man would undertake possession of nfa contraband alone.

    • Malthrak

      I dont think anyone is sympathetic to the ATF here.

      However, it also appears like this is a guy who basically went above and beyond to repeatedly go out of his way to poke the bear in extremely stupid and amateurish ways.

      Don’t mistake a lack of sympathy for this guy with sympathy for the ATF.

  • rychastings

    while I agree this ffl is quite stupid, I dont quite see why there is so much sympathy for the ATF in the comments here.

    • Joshua

      Because the FFL dealer is a shiester. It even says the checks bounced that he paid to the owner of the gun

    • eqd

      Maybe i’ve missed deleted comments – but what exact verbiage here would you consider to be “sympathy for the ATF”?

  • Kirk Newsted

    I remember when The Rifleman was in its previous location. Mann processed the paperwork on my NFA item. Seemed to be a nice guy then, but that was like 12 years ago.

    • SGT Fish

      a lot of the people that knew him had good dealings with him. this came as a big surprise to most people

  • Kirk Newsted

    I remember when The Rifleman was in its previous location. Mann processed the paperwork on my NFA item. Seemed to be a nice guy then, but that was like 12 years ago.

  • NINJA del TACO

    Ahh the old , “I can’t see, so I write bogus checks for Destructive devices.” Trick

  • datimes

    Legally blind is an interesting phrase. What section of government certifies one as ‘legally blind’? The ophthalmologist of the Surgeon General?

    • Jeremy Star

      Google. It’s hard.

      The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) defines legal blindness as follows:

      Reduced central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in your better eye
      with use of the best eyeglass lens to correct your eyesight; or…

      Limitation of your field of view such that the widest diameter of
      the visual field in your better eye subtends an angle no greater than 20

      (If you have a visual impairment but are not “legally blind”
      according to the SSA definition above, you still may be eligible for
      Social Security benefits on the basis of disability. See the SSA website
      for additional details.)

      • datimes

        Thanks. So one will likely see light, fuzzy images, and color.

      • So, basically the same standards just about every state uses for driver’s licenses?

  • Jeff Smith

    He should have tried the Uncle Leo defense – “I’m an old man – I’m confused!”


  • Big Daddy

    Bad businessman fail, they go bankrupt and/or lose business. Some pull-out of it and become successful. Bad gun dealers fail and many times go to jail. This is one business you must keep records and be legitimate. The ATF gives you a lot of chances to come clean and stay in business. Many times the person keeps doing things incorrectly and they end up losing everything even doing prison time. There’s money to be made if you are legit, a lot of money. Location, location, location it’s a huge thing as with any business.

  • I wunder

    The two ways most likely to land a feller in prison over guns is to be a gang banger type or ffl/sot. If you’re not 150% by the book with your firearms/configurations, getting an ffl is perhaps the dumbest thing a man can do.

  • RavishedBoy

    He didn’t see it coming.

    • Sunshine_Shooter


  • codfilet

    Back in the ’50s and early ’60s, you could buy a 20mm anti-tank rifle mail-order! I still have some old “Guns” magazines from back then that my Dad had. A 20mm German WW2 Solothurn semi-automatic rifle, in the case, with all accessories and 5 rounds, cost $200 then (which was a lot of money then)

    • Porty1119

      That was about $1400 back then. In other words, you could buy two anti-tank rifles for the cost of a SCAR-H.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        No. Calculating inflation, those anti-tank guns cost $13,000 in today’s money, or, a SCAR would have run you $152.39 in 1952.

  • DanGoodShot

    This is one of those things you read or hear of and all you can say is, “why?” Just stupid. I have no pitty for this “blind” guy

  • Dumbasses Gonna Dumbass.

  • Citizen

    How’s it feel ???

  • Stuck_in_Ca√→

    I’d be scared to shoot that thing.

  • bestionkdooley1

    what is a SOT?

    • mazkact

      Class 3 dealer, SOT means special occupational tax and
      refers to the tax due upon transfers of items restricted by the NFA

  • Cannoneer No. 4

    I wonder what will become of that purty Gatling Gun he had up front?

  • Dave

    The Duke:
    “Life is tough. Its even tougher when you’re stupid.”

  • greyghost1

    Screw the law he sent a bad check to a man. For that alone I wouldn’t care if he was beaten to death and his shop burned down. That prison time is something he has coming to him.

  • Cary Starke

    Why be scared of someone holding a Machine Gun that’s blind ? He can’t see ya .

  • disqus_j5Nj3oxoii

    Sounds like a dumbass didn’t follow the rules. Anyone who does this kind of stuff puts stink on all FFLs. Prison is where he needs to be. Both checks bounced, he thought about this before doing it. No sympathy for him.

  • jeromebill7718

    He should have had a company press a barrel liner in it and made it a 50bmg

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    These actions are almost as willfully dangerous as the crimes committed by the BATFE when they illegally transfered firearms to the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico. Mark Mann should spend as much time in prison as the perpetrators of Fast & Furious. It’s called equal treatment under the law.

  • Capn Stefano

    Eliminate the ATF. The laws this man is being charged with are 150% unconstitutional

  • BR549