Wichita gun dealer says scam artists using his identity

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- A Wichita gun dealer is warning consumers about scam artists he says are using the identities of licensed firearms sellers to try to trick people out of money.

Marlon Knapp, owner of Knapp Weaponry, said Thursday the scammers are using his Federal Firearms License and claiming to be him in advertisements posted to the website armslist.com. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the attempted scam, Knapp said.

"What we and the ATF think is that they're just trying to get money," he said. "It's a pure scam."

The scam artists are taking advantage of a strong demand for firearms and ammunition, Knapp said.

"What they're doing is they're advertising desirable firearms at ridiculously low prices," he said.

For example, a rifle listed on armslist.com by someone claiming to be Knapp was advertised at $900. Knapp says the gun is worth about $2,000.

"When they're contacted, they give my name, my Federal Firearms License information and pretend to be me," Knapp said.

KAKE News sent an e-mail to the seller through the Contact Seller feature of the online listing, but the message has not yet been returned.

The federal licensing information is easy to access. It is a public record posted to the ATF website. Knapp is frustrated the information is being used to try to trick consumers.

"Especially if someone does get caught by this scam," he said. "Our name is associated with it and that puts a stain on our record even though we had nothing to do with it."

Though investigators are certain no guns are even part of the bogus listings, Knapp said anybody who falls for the scam could find himself or herself on the wrong side of the law.

"This person has offered to ship guns directly to individuals in another state, which is against federal regulations," Knapp said. "If the person accepts the gun, now they've violated federal law and they also face a penalty."

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