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Gun Dealer Not Guilty

Las Vegas Tribune, Dec 24, 2004


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Last May, federally licensed gun dealer Danny Peterson was arrested for two felony counts of relating to the sale of guns. Peterson, a regular exhibitor at gun shows had worked the "Las Vegas Gun Show" in January.

Eight agents spent three days canvassing the January show. They made a total of three arrests.

A female and two male BATF agents targeted Peterson's booth. During testimony, the female agent, who made contact with Peterson earlier in the show, denied being a part of the meeting during which firearms were purchased. A video shown to the jury revealed her presence. Peterson was charged with 'Knowingly Making False Entry Into Records' and 'Unlawful Selling of a Firearm to out-of-state Resident'.

Peterson's attorney, Robert Glennen III, presented a defense, which included accusations of entrapment by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) agents.

Entrapment, as a matter of law, requires a showing that the government furnished the opportunity to break the law, and that Defendant was not predisposed to violate that law.

Additionally, the BATF agents committed four felonies in order to perfect a gun transaction with Peterson. It is unlawful for a resident from another state to purchase a firearm in Nevada. The female BATF agent, who pretended to be marrying a Nevada resident BATF agent, told Peterson she wanted to purchase three guns as wedding presents for her Nevada husband. Peterson told her earlier that day that the Nevada fiancée would have to purchase the gun because it was meant for him. The BATF then brought in a third California agent to actually exchange the money for the three wedding presents. In order to purchase the guns, the agents also falsified two documents.

The video of the transaction reveals Peterson specifically telling the agents he would only sell them guns, "As long as it's legal." He also specifically asked the Nevada agent if he was purchasing the guns, to which the Nevada agent stated 'yes'.

On December 15th, a federal jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty on both counts. Peterson, 46, never had any run-ins with the law. He has held a Federal Firearms License to sell guns for fifteen years.

Peterson's attorney, Robert Glennen, commented, "All the new terrorist laws are making it tougher to see justice done in cases like this. Luckily, the jury believed Danny Peterson, and did the right thing by acquitting him."

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