LAWTON MAN SENTENCED TO 27 MONTHS IN PRISION FOR SELLING FIREARMS WITHOUT A LICENSE
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Joseph Scott Gray, 41, of Lawton, Michigan, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for being in the business of selling firearms without a license, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. Gray was charged in a two-count indictment in January, 2010. The first charge alleged that he engaged in the business of selling firearms without a license between October 15, 2008 and July 31, 2009. The second charge against Gray was that he sold a gun to a felon in violation of federal law. Both offenses are federal felonies.
Gray went to trial on the charges on September 20, 2010. After a four-day jury trial he was convicted of selling firearms, but acquitted on charges that he knowing sold a firearm to a convicted felon.
Gray’s sentence was imposed by Chief U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney. Judge Maloney denied Gray’s plea for a sentence of probation, and explained that a prison term was necessary to demonstrate that Gray’s crime was as serious one. Judge Maloney explained that all federal firearms license holders are obligated to find out if the people attempting to buy their guns are felons or other prohibited individuals that are a danger to the community. If potential buyers are forbidden to have guns, people in the business of selling guns are responsible for preventing the sale. Judge Maloney explained that because Gray knew about but ignored the licensing requirement, his business presented a serious threat to the effort to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.