In a story which probably hasn't received as much media attention as it should, gun store owner Timrek Lensog is on trial after authorities discovered he was selling illegal, dangerous guns to customers. One customer, Maya Ragnom, who purchased a firearm from Lensog was sadly killed when the firearm exploded as she attempted to use it.
Ragnom attempted to purchase firearms from other gun stores in the area but was turned down because they were unwilling to sell her the guns without a background check and a waiting period. One of those stores referred her to Lensog's store.
Even though a number of Lensog's customers had complained over the years to authorities about being injured after purchasing illegal and dangerous firearms, no one at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had investigated Lensog's store for more than a decade because proponents of gun rights in ATF leadership positions feared that inspecting gun stores would lead to a lack of access to firearms and the inability of citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.
If the ATF would have inspected Lensog's store they would have discovered that Lensog consistently committed a number of violations including selling firearms and ammunition to felons, failing to record information on ATF forms, failing to comply with waiting period laws, and storing loaded firearms out in the open.
While gun control advocates have howled at FOXNews for not giving the trial any air time, gun rights advocates have pointed out that Lensog is an extreme outlier among gun store owners. Instead they've pointed towards gun laws, background checks, waiting periods, Lensog's cheap prices and the lack of access to firearms as the reason Lensog was able to stay in business for so long.
The National Rifle Association leaders have claimed that if poor people were allowed more access to firearms and Pennsylvania didn't have such strict gun laws that individuals looking to purchase guns (like Ragnom) would have gone to more reputable gun sellers in the area.
The NRA is also fighting numerous state legislative efforts which would require gun stores to be inspected on an annual basis and meet certain requirements regarding how guns are stored, who is allowed to sell guns and how background checks are done. They claim that if these bills pass at the state level then more gun sellers like Lensog will spring up as reputable gun stores will close because they won't be able to meet the cost of the new requirements.
The trial is set to continue next week as a number of Lensog's former employees (including one employee who started working at the store when he was a 15-year-old high school student) will testify to his dangerous and unorthodox method of selling firearms.