Illegal Gun Sales Found in Rural Manitoba, but Legal Gun Purchases Pose Problems in U.S.

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A man in rural Manitoba, Canada, has been found guilty of gun-trafficking, allegedly selling guns for hunting out of his hunting and fishing store in Sakgeeng First Nation.

Cory Seymour, 36, had been approached by an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in his store, with the cop pretending to be a hunter with a damaged gun. Seymour then sold the officer a “replacement” without checking to see if he had a license.

The officer was then told by Seymour, “‘Remember, you didn’t get that from me,'” according to the officer’s testimony before jurors last week.

Seymour then sold the officer a “fully function, high-powered firearm” for just $150.

As a result of the sale and the gun-trafficking conviction, Seymour faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison for violating federal law. He will be sentenced later in 2015 but for now remains free on bail.

This isn’t the first time he’s faced trial. In April 2014, Seymour was put on trial after a covert operation alleged that he or one of his employees was supplying guns to a notorious Manitoba street gang, but a judge declared a mistrial, saying the evidence was inadmissible hearsay.

In the U.S., meanwhile, authorities crack down on illegal gun sales, as well. But the number of legal gun sales, like the one that Charleston shooter Dylann Roof completed back in April, make it difficult to weed out potentially dangerous sales.

There are around 54,000 gun stores in the U.S. as of 2014; that number is up 14% since President Obama took office, but down significantly from the 248,155 there were in 1992.

The majority of Americans buy their guns in such stores, many of which cater to the 38 million Americans who go hunting and fishing annually. That’s about the same amount of Americans who go hiking each year, as well.

In addition to gun shops, they can also purchase guns at gun shows, pawn shops, and through a friend or family member.

Guns can also be purchased online; however, the actual transaction must take place at a licensed firearm dealer. All buyers who go through dealers must pass a background check except for those making purchases at gun shows and through friends or family.

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