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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

Friday, November 17, 2017

Janesville Man Charged with Dealing Firearms Without a License

Gregory J. Haanstad, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on November 7, 2017, Gary Schroeder, of Janesville, was indicted by a federal grand jury of dealing firearms without a license and transferring a firearm to an out-of-state person.


The indictment alleges that Schroeder, 65, engaged in the business of dealing firearms without a license from at least April 2014 until at least January 2017. According to the indictment and other documents filed in court, Schroeder sold hundreds of firearms at gun shows in Wisconsin and elsewhere and displayed signage at the shows advertising that he did not collect taxes on his sales or conduct background checks on his customers. Revenue from Schroeder’s gun sales appears to have exceeded $100,000.


As part of the investigation, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives executed a federal search warrant at Schroeder’s residence.  Among the items seized by the agents were:

  • 52 firearms;
  • Over 200 handwritten receipts documenting the sale of firearms to about 200 customers;
  • Records showing gun sales revenue of more than $100,000;
  • Sales records for approximately twenty out-of-state customers;
  • Approximately 1,000 business cards advertising “Gary Schroeder: Buy and Sell Guns”; and
  • Dozens of ATF forms 4473 bearing Schroeder’s signature immediately below a sentence that reads, “I further understand that the repetitive purchase of firearms for the purpose of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal firearms license is a violation of Federal law.”


According to documents filed in court, a number of firearms sold by Schroeder were later involved in separate crimes. 


“Federal law requires gun dealers to obtain a license and to conduct background checks on their customers,” said United States Attorney Haanstad. “The principal purpose of those requirements is to prevent guns from falling into the hands of dangerous people. When someone circumvents the license-and-background-check framework by engaging in the business of unlicensed dealing, that person increases the threat to public safety. The United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice are committed to countering that public safety threat as a part of its broader strategy to combat violent crime.”


If convicted, Schroeder faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of supervised release of three years, and a maximum fine of $250,000. The United States has also sought to forfeit all of the firearms found in Schroeder’s home during the search warrant execution.


An indictment is a formal method of charging an individual with a criminal offense.  The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations.  Schroeder is presumed innocent until and unless the government establishes his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


 The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Taibleson.



For additional information contact:   

Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig (414) 297-1700

Updated November 17, 2017