Belchertown man pleads guilty to federal firearm offenses

Hampshire County
federal courthouse springfield_302808

BOSTON (USDOJ) – A former federal firearm licensee pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Springfield to firearms charges.

Max T. Gaj, 29, of Belchertown, pleaded guilty to receipt and possession of unregistered firearms, receipt and possession of National Firearm Act (NFA) firearms not identified by serial number, making a firearm in violation of the NFA, selling firearms in violation of state and local laws, and making false entries in, failing to make appropriate entries in, and failing to properly maintain records as required. U.S. District Court Judge Mark D. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Jan. 21, 2021.

Gaj, who was a federal firearms licensee and part owner of Dark Horse Gunsmithing in South Hadley, received and possessed three firearms: a machinegun, a machinegun bearing no serial number and a shotgun. The firearms were not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required by the NFA. Gaj also made a machinegun in violation of the NFA.

In addition, Gaj sold two firearms, a Glock Model 17 pistol and a Glock Model 43 pistol in violation of state law. Gaj also made false entries, failed to make appropriate entries and failed to properly maintained records as required of a federal firearms licensee.

The charges of receipt and possession of unregistered firearms, receipt and possession of NFA firearms not identified by serial number, and making a firearm in violation of the NFA provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of selling firearms in violation of state and local laws provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of making false entries in, failing to make appropriate entries in, and failing to properly maintain records as required provides for a sentence of up to one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Kelly Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine G. Curley of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

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