OGALLALA, NE – February 7, 2013 - An Ogallala, NE man, Anthony Reyna, was found to be in possession of a stolen firearm on Thursday. He purchased the shotgun a week ago from a man believing that the man needed to sell his gun to pay for living expenses. Mr. Reyna purchased the weapon for $250. On February 4th, 2013 Mr. Reyna was involved in a motor vehicle accident that totaled his Jeep. As a result he found himself in need of some extra money and decided to sell the shotgun, advertising it on the popular western Nebraska radio program Swap Shop on KOGA/KMCX in Ogallala, NE. An off duty Ogallala police officer responded to his ad and went to his home to examine and potentially purchase the gun. This is when things turned sour for Mr. Reyna. The officer called dispatch from his cell phone and checked the gun’s serial number and discovered that it was stolen. Another officer was dispatched to the home to investigate the incident. Upon arrival the officer questioned Mr. Reyna about the weapon and the individual who sold it to him. Mr. Reyna then invited the officers to search his home for stolen property. After three hours of searching the home and checking the serial numbers of the other weapons owned by Mr. Reyna and finding no stolen property the officer informed him that unless he could find the man who sold him the gun, he would be charged with possession of a stolen firearm, a Class I felony. Further, they asked him to attempt to contact the man again and attempt to purchase another firearm. Mr. Reyna refused, as he does not know how to contact the individual.
This situation, unfortunately, highlights one of the problems facing law enforcement and law-abiding citizens alike. Without a national registry of weapons, a way to track private sales of firearms, and the prevalence of private gun sales most private citizens have no way of knowing if a firearm is stolen. Mr. Reyna now faces, potentially, a Class I felony which in the state of Nebraska would cost him his right to vote and his right to bear arms. Mr. Reyna has cooperated with authorities fully and was not placed under arrest or detained. Mr. Reyna, who is unemployed, now faces the very real possibility of being charged with a crime for doing something that he believed, was completely legal and the legal expenses associated with his defense. While he has not been formally charged Mr. Reyna, as you can imagine, is very concerned about the future. As of the time this article was published, he has not been able to contact or find the individual he purchased the firearm from.
Attached to this iReport is a recording of my full interview with Mr. Reyna.
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