Meridian man guilty of illegally selling guns

Posted at 4:57 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-20 18:57:24-04

Steven Clyne, 70, of Meridian, was convicted Friday by a federal jury of dealing firearms without a license and making false statements when purchasing guns, according to Acting United States Attorney Rafael Gonzalez. 

Clyne was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 11, 2016.    

Evidence presented at trial showed Clyne engaged in the “repetitive purchase and resale of firearms for profit from January, 2013 to November 12, 2015,” according to a news release from Gonzalez’ office. 

During that time, Clyne purchased hundreds of firearms from licensed firearm dealers and then resold those firearms to others after increasing the price, the release said.

Clyne sold the firearms at gun shows and even in a parking lot without identifying the purchasers or conducting background checks to ensure the purchasers were not prohibited from possessing firearms. Numerous firearms sold by Clyne were recovered at various crime scenes in Idaho, California, and other locations, the release stated.

On November 12, 2015, law enforcement agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched Clyne’s home with a federal search warrant.  ATF agents located approximately thirty guns at his residence. 

He admitted to agents that he purchased guns, increased the prices, and then resold them.  During the investigation, Clyne sold firearms to undercover ATF agents. 

On one occasion, according to reports, an agent telephoned Clyne and asked to purchase two handguns.  Clyne agreed to sell the handguns, and told the agent he would purchase the handguns later that same day. 

When Clyne purchased the guns from the licensed firearm dealer, he falsely stated he was the actual buyer of the handguns -- knowing that he was actually acquiring the guns on behalf of another person. 

“Federal firearms laws are intended to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” said Gonzalez.  “This case is an example of what happens when someone engages in the business of selling guns for profit, and doesn’t abide by the basic requirements of obtaining a license and conducting background checks.” 

Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2017, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.  The crimes of dealing firearms without a license and making false statements when purchasing firearms are each punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.