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Former owner of Stag Arms and the company fined and sentenced for machine gun violations

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BRIDGEPORT–The former owner of Stag Arms, as well as the company itself, has been sentenced and fined after pleading guilty to possession of a machine gun not registered to the company and failure to maintain firearm records.

Mark Malkowski, of Farmington, was sentenced to two years of probation and a $100,000 fine. The company has been ordered to pay a $500,000 fine.

“This is the first time nationwide that a major firearms manufacturer has been convicted of a felony and had its license revoked, effectively forcing the company to be sold to new owners,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly. “Stag displayed a systemic and egregious disregard of federal firearms regulations. The company was unable to account for hundreds of semi-automatic rifles and possessed over 60 unregistered machine guns.”

Stag Arms was based in New Britain.

The company released a statement on the ruling:

Mark Malkowski and Stag Arms, LLC, which is now under new ownership,  were sentenced today based on a resolutions they had reached with government officials stemming from an investigation that related primarily to the company’s recordkeeping. Mr. Malkowski reiterated that he believed that public safety was never compromised by the violations and was pleased that today’s proceeding puts this issue behind him and Stag Arms allowing them to focus on the growth and success of the new company. As previously reported, Stag Arms is now under new ownership as part of the White Wolf Capital LLC group. Mr. Malkowski is currently a consultant in the firearms industry.

It is against the law for private citizens to own machine guns manufactured after 1986, and machine guns produced by companies must be marked with a serial number and registered to the ATF. Stag Arms did have a license to produce machine guns, but was found to have 62 of those guns and receivers registered to another entity or not registered at all, or had serial numbers scratched off. You cannot be in possession of a machine gun registered to someone else.

In addition to those 62 guns, ATF investigators found that more than 3,000 gun receivers –the part of the gun that includes the trigger and firing mechanism–were not properly registered or documented, violating the National Firearms Act and making them susceptible to theft or loss.

“By properly marking and serializing firearms, accurately maintaining records in conformity with the Gun Control Act and properly registering firearms, gun manufacturers act as the first line of defense in ensuring that firearms are traceable and do not fall into the wrong hands,” Daly said.

Furthermore, federal prosecutors said Stag Arms could not account for 200 guns, meaning they are lost.

“We don’t know where they are, whether they were stolen, whether they’re on the streets, or whether they’re in the wrong hands,” Daly said.

Since the investigation began in 2014, the company has been forced to be put up for sale since Markowski now cannot get a license for the manufacture of machine guns. Stag Arms was sold via an independent third party and is under new ownership.

Markowski has agreed to agreed to never own or manage a firearms business again.