Three Williamson County family members pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and making false entries regarding the disposition of firearms, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“Alan Hassler, 49, Brian Hassler, 52, and Michael Hassler, 45, all of Franklin, Tennessee, and co-owners of Franklin Gun Shop, a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) in Williamson County, Tennessee, were charged in September following a federal regulatory inspection by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF),” said a DOJ release.
According to that release, the Hasslers failed to account for all of the firearms in their store during a 2016 regulatory inspection. It found the same in 2020. When it returned in July of 2021, there were 144 firearms that the ATF says could not be accounted for.
The government says that the Hasslers then attempted to cover for the crime.
“In many cases, the Hasslers would take a completed, legitimate 4473 form —from a prior purchase — and would add one or more of the missing firearms to the form to make it appear to regulators that these firearms had been purchased as part of that original transaction,” according to the DOJ. “The goal was to deceive the ATF into believing that the firearms were not missing but had been sold. Subsequent interviews by the ATF with multiple customers identified on these fraudulent forms established that these customers had not purchased the firearms attributed to them.”
The ATF says the men were charged in part due to the Gun Control Act of 1968, which the ATF says “regulated interstate and foreign commerce in firearms, including importation, ‘prohibited persons,’ and licensing provisions.”
ATF’s Nashville Division elaborated.
“ATF’s core mission is to protect the public from violent crime, particularly crimes involving the use of firearms,” said Marcus Watson, Special Agent in Charge. “An essential part of this mission is ensuring that federal firearms licensees comply with applicable federal laws and regulations, particularly the implementing regulations of the Gun Control Act. This FFL committed numerous violations with the intentional disregard of their known legal duty and with plain indifference to their legal obligations. The ATF remains committed to ensuring public safety and compliance and enhancing the traceability of firearms.”
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