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Louisiana Gun Shop Owners Found Guilty for Illegal Sales

The owner of Dave’s Gun Shop and his wife sold hundreds of firearms without conducting background checks

On December 1, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana announced that Jeremiah Deare, the owner of Dave’s Gun Shop in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Sarah Fogle, his wife, had been found guilty of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. While Dave’s Gun Shop had a valid Federal Firearms License (FFL), Deare and Fogle did not — yet they sold hundreds of firearms from their home and at gun shows without following applicable laws.

To learn more about the firearm supply chain and how gun dealers across the U.S. have helped arm criminals, click here.

An August 2019 compliance inspection at Dave’s Gun Shop uncovered several violations, including one instance of failing to complete Form 4473, the firearm transaction record; 67 instances of failing to accurately record when a gun left the store’s inventory; 62 instances of failing to accurately record when a gun entered the inventory; two instances of transferring firearms without first receiving a response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS); 111 instances of inaccurately completing Form 4473; and missing firearms.

These violations can make it easier for guns to fall into the wrong hands — including traffickers and those prohibited from owning firearms — and prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from being able to trace guns that end up at crime scenes.

A month after that inspection, Deare and Fogle attended a warning conference with ATF personnel and acknowledged his responsibilities as a federally licensed gun dealer.

But court documents reveal that between August 2019 and February 2021, Deare and Fogle purchased large quantities of firearms from estate sales, among other sources, under the guise of adding them to their personal collections before selling them at gun shows in Louisiana and other neighboring states — without keeping records of the transactions or conducting background checks, as required by law.

According to an August 2021 indictment, Deare and Fogle purchased 81 firearms — including 54 “military rifles” — for $20,000 in cash in July 2020 without entering a single gun into Dave’s inventory. Over the next several months, the couple sold numerous firearms at gun shows in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi without logging the guns into and out of Dave’s inventory, completing Form 4473s, or conducting background checks. Deare also failed to report when customers purchased two or more handguns within five consecutive business days to the ATF, as required by law, on at least four occasions.

The indictment includes a list of 606 firearms and 13 bump stocks Deare and Fogle must forfeit. During the trial, 246 firearms seized from the couple’s home were brought into court for the jury to inspect. Many of the guns still had their price tags attached.

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