Slippery Rock firearms dealer faces federal indictment

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By Amanda Klein | August 8, 2018

A gun dealer in Slippery Rock has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges that from September 8, 2017 through April 15, 2018, he sold firearms without conducting the required background check of the buyer and made false statements on federal firearms forms.

According to an affidavit prepared by a federal investigator, William Midberry, 37, of Slippery Rock, who operated the Slippery Rock Outfitters gun dealership, made false entries onto federal firearms purchase forms and also wrote fraudulent authorization numbers, that he told authorities he received from the state police that authorized the purchases.

A unique number is given by the Pennsylvania Instant Check System, run by the state police, each time a firearms dealer conducts a background check before the sale of a firearm. The number is required to be written on the purchase form.

An auditor with the Pennsylvania State Police told the investigator that Midberry’s account that permitted him to conduct background checks on potential buyers was suspended in September of 2017 for non payment of fees, the filing said.

The affidavit also alleges that during an April 27, 2018 audit conducted by U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, Midberry was unable to account for a silencer as well as two firearms that he received from wholesalers.

Also, records from four wholesalers show that Midberry received 19 firearms that are either unaccounted for, or were not listed in his inventory, as required under federal law.

If convicted of the charges Midberry faces a maximum sentence of not more than two years in prison, a fine of not more than $200,000, or both.

Amanda Klein can be contacted at amanda.klein@grantstreetnews.com

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