Gun Shop Owner Gets 18 Months In Prison On Machinegun, Other Charges

A local firearms dealer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison on a variety of charges relating to the illegal sale, possession, and manufacturing of weapons.



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On Friday, Feb. 5, U.S. District Court Judge Mark D. Mastroianni sentenced Max T. Gaj, 30, of Belchertown, to one-and-a-half years in prison and three years of supervised release.

In September 2020, Gaj, the co-owner of Dark Horse Gunsmithing in South Hadley, pled 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, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Massachusetts.

Gaj, who was a federal firearms licensee, had been facing up to 10 years in prison on the charges.

In particular, Gaj was in trouble for possessing a machinegun, a machinegun bearing no serial number, and a shotgun that was not registered to him as required. He also made a machinegun in violation of federal law, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

In addition, Gaj sold two firearms, a Glock Model 17 pistol and a Glock Model 43 pistol in violation of Massachusetts law.

Among the agencies that investigated, arrested, and prosecuted Gaj are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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