News and Press Releases

Germantown Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court
Admits to Dealing Firearms Without a License From His Home

February 1, 2010

Memphis, TN - William Arnold, 63 of Germantown, TN, pled guilty today in United States District Court to violating Federal gun laws announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.  He pled to Dealing Firearms without a License and to Unlawfully Selling a Firearm to an Out of State Resident.  Both charges carry up to five years in prison.  Arnold also agreed to forfeit 289 firearms that were seized from his Germantown residence.

According to testimony in Court and to documents filed with the Court, in October 2004, agents employed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), received information that William Arnold was dealing firearms from his house located at 2341 Windy Oaks Drive, Germantown, Tennessee.

As part of the investigation, ATF agents utilized confidential informants and undercover agents who purchased sixteen firearms from Arnold at his residence.  During all of the transactions, Arnold had multiple firearms displayed throughout his home.  Throughout the course of the two and a half year  investigation, Arnold frequently placed ads in the Commercial Appeal advertising firearms of different makes and models.

In December, 2006, ATF agents met with Arnold at his home.  Agents informed Arnold that if he continued to buy and sell firearms, it would be necessary for Arnold to submit an application for a Federal Firearms License (FFL).  Agents explained to Arnold the importance of having a license for someone who sells firearms on a consistent basis.

Federal Firearms License Holders are required to perform background checks on purchasers of firearms.  They are required to maintain paperwork.  They are forbidden from selling a firearm to a prohibited person.  Federal law forbids certain categories of people from possessing firearms.  For instance, Federal law prohibits convicted felons, fugitives from justice, drug addicts, illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged individuals, mental defectives, domestic violence convicts, and those subject to a restraining order from possessing firearms. 

Within one month of the meeting, Arnold continued to sell firearms to undercover agents.

In May, 2007, ATF agents, with the assistance of the Germantown Police Department, executed a Federal search warrant at his home.  They observed numerous firearms on display.  Rifles and shotguns were lined up against walls. Pistols were displayed on the bed, tables, and dressers.  Agents seized 289 firearms.  He was subsequently charged in a Federal indictment in July 2008.

Arnold is set for sentencing on May 3, 2010, before United States District Judge Bernice Donald. 

The case was investigated by ATF and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Gilluly and Justin Bailey.

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