Customers make the difference in cracking illegal gun purchasing - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Customers make the difference in cracking illegal gun purchasing case

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Customers at a local law enforcement gun shop help make a crack in a straw purchasing case.

This Smith and Wesson rifle just hit the shelves, when a shooter killed when a shooter killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary.

With the gun control debate heating up, manufactures choose only to sell the guns to law enforcement.

So, when customers at Town Police Supply in Collinsville started seeing this rifle for sale online. They knew something wasn't right.

"It's suppose to be an exclusive and we are the only ones in the area that have them," retail manager, Kary Manion says. "We were trying to find out who else is selling them and where they were getting them from."

Manager Kary Manion says the rifle doesn't have to be sold to law enforcement any more, but for four or five months after the tragedy, they had to follow strict guidelines.

"At the time you had to be law enforcement or military, active or retired or fire and ems," Manion says.

Manion says the customers who pointed out the guns were for sale online, ultimately helped make a crack in a case.

It led to federal charges against one Rocky Mount Police officer, James Slate. and competing gun shop owner, David Hasksins, who made the straw purchases.

That means they bought the guns claming it was for them and then resold them.

Now, employees at the police supply are on high alert making sure history doesn't repeat itself.

Manion says they are thankful their customers gave them the heads up, because a gun in the wrong hands, can lead to a lot of heart-ache.

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