Five things to know about California’s gun laws in 2018
A former Roseville-based firerams dealer, accused of substituting law enforcement officers’ names in place of his own to sell dozens of handguns, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to identity theft and illegal sales of firearms.
Joseph John Deaser IV, 49, who operated Capital Gun Club in Roseville, was charged earlier in May in connection with an alleged scheme in which he circumvented California law by making “straw purchases” using the names of a half-dozen law enforcement officers, according to court documents and a news release by McGregor Scott, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California.
Deaser is set to be sentenced Aug. 22. He faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the firearms sale, in addition to a mandatory, consecutive 2-year sentence for aggravated identity theft, according to the news release.
Court documents say the alleged scheme ran from December 2014 to April 2018, involving six different California officers who had been involved in legitimate transactions with Deaser.
“The purpose of the scheme was to obtain new non-roster handguns using the identities of sworn peace officers that Deaser would subsequently sell to individuals who were not sworn peace officers, and who were, therefore, prohibited by California law from purchasing new non-roster handguns directly from an FFL (federal firearms licensee),” the charging document stated.
Deaser initially faced 10 counts – including two of mail fraud and six of making false entries as a federal firearms license dealer. He allegedly used officers’ names, but his own fingerprint, on transaction forms.
“Deaser also placed his fingerprint – almost always his middle finger – on the state firearm transaction forms in the box designated for the ‘Purchaser’s Right Thumb Print,’ ” the U.S. Attorney’s Office news release said.