A crackdown on gun sales at one of Missouri’s largest outdoor flea markets has yielded 1,200 seized firearms, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Indictments accuse seven suspects of selling guns without a license, without keeping proper records, or to a convicted felon. The sales allegedly took place at the Rutledge Flea Market in Knox County, about 150 miles from St. Louis. Some of the guns are believed to have been used in crimes, said Michael Boxler of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
A sample of the seized guns displayed at a news conference yesterday included revolvers, semiautomatic handguns, tactical shotguns, a semiautomatic MAC-11 pistol, the silenced .22-caliber rifle, and AK-47-style rifles. Manager Bob Sands said the market, founded in 1948 to swap guns and hunting dogs, now covers roughly 90 acres – so big it rents out golf carts so the thousands of shoppers can get around. Sands said gun sales are now “a minor part” of the market, which is open March to November. “The majority of (the gun sales) is good ol’ country boys and city slickers that want to trade their guns,” he said. Boxler said that selling a gun at a flea market or a gun show is not illegal. Selling guns as a business, no matter where it is conducted, requires a license. So does possession of certain weapons, including those capable of fully automatic fire or equipped with silencers.