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Press Release

Oshkosh Man Sentenced for Unlawfully Buying a Firearm for a Juvenile who featured it in an Instagram Post with the comment “Revealing New School Shooter Gun”

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on January 15, 2020, U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach sentenced Hunter C. Nicholson (age: 19) to 30 days’ imprisonment and 3 years’ supervised release after Nicholson pled guilty to Making a False Statement to a Federal Firearms Dealer, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(a)(6).

On June 17, 2019, the resource officer for the Oshkosh Area School District alerted the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department that 16-year-old “Juvenile Male”—an Oshkosh North student—posted an Instagram video of someone shooting an assault-style rifle, accompanied by the following comment: “Revealing new school shooter gun.” As a result of the post, Winnebago County deputies questioned Juvenile Male and seized the firearm—an Anderson Manufacturing, Model AM-15, 5.56-millimeter rifle with a Magpul pistol grip. Deputies also recovered two ammunition magazines for the rifle and several rounds of ammunition.

Juvenile Male told deputies that he posted the video and made the comment, but said that he meant it as a joke. Juvenile Male admitted that Hunter C. Nicholson bought the rifle for him at a federally licensed firearms dealer in Oshkosh. During the transaction, Nicholson completed the federally required ATF Form 4473 and falsely answered that he was the actual purchaser of the firearm. Deputies and ATF agents subsequently interviewed Nicholson, who admitted making the unlawful purchase and false statements when he bought the firearm for Juvenile Male.

Making a false statement to a federal firearms dealer is a felony punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years’ supervised release.

This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The Project Safe Neighborhoods’ strategy brings together all levels of law enforcement and community resources to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life in all our neighborhoods.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see

This case was investigated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tim Funnell and Farris Martini.

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For Additional Information Contact:

Public Information Officer Kenneth Gales 414-297-1700

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Updated January 16, 2020