In 2005, federal authorities uncovered a raft of violations at Kesselring Gun Shop that put the public at risk, including not knowing the whereabouts of 2,396 guns. Yet it was eight years before the ATF took away the shop’s firearms license.
BURLINGTON, Skagit County — For more than 65 years, Kesselring Gun Shop has been a firearms fixture in the Northwest, arming hunters, target shooters and police from one of the largest inventories on the West Coast.
Until surrendering its federal firearms license last October, the family-owned gun store also may have been the worst gun retailer in America.
It was nearly a decade ago when inspectors with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) first visited the sprawling gun store — three flat-roofed white buildings clustered on a gravel lot along Old Highway 99, some 70 miles north of Seattle. There they discovered that 2,396 guns — including hundreds of assault-style rifles and handguns — were either stolen, lost or unaccounted for.
Unable to show inspectors the required paperwork about who had the guns, Kesselring’s owners were hindering police efforts to trace any guns found at crime scenes, putting the public at risk.
“Stunning,” said James Zammillo, a former ATF deputy assistant director, placing Kesselring’s lapses in national perspective. “That is just an incredible number.”
Skagit County gun shop may have been worst in U.S. | Local News | The Seattle Times
This is in my neck of the woods. This is unreal that it happened, let along that it took the ATF so long to step in.