AG points to Glocester attempt to purchase in support of federal gun law

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PROVIDENCE – The state Attorney General’s Office cited a failed attempt to purchase a weapon at Big Bear Hunting & Fishing in Glocester as an example of federal gun regulations, “working as intended.”

Attorney General Peter Neronha announced that a Woonsocket man has been charged in Third Division District Court in Warwick with providing false information in connection with the attempted purchase of a firearm, following an investigation by his office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives.

According to Neronha, on Wednesday, Jan. 17, investigators arrested Wilfredo Navarro, 30, and charged him with one count of providing false information while attempting to secure a firearm. Navarro allegedly attempted to purchase a Sig Sauer P365 semi-automatic handgun from Big Bear Hunting & Fishing on November 11, 2023, and was denied after the National Instant Background Check System returned results flagging him as prohibited from possessing a firearm.

“Upon investigation, investigators found that the defendant was arrested on December 20, 2022, by the Woonsocket Police Department and charged with domestic breaking and entering, domestic simple assault, and domestic disorderly conduct,” noted a release on the arrest. “This case is currently pending in Providence County Superior Court and the Court issued a no-contact-order between the defendant and the alleged victim in August 2023.”

Under federal law, certain individuals are restricted from possessing a firearm, including those who are subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner. Additionally, federal law prohibits any person under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition.

Neronha’s office noted that the laws inform two of the questions on the federal gun purchase application.

Navarro is accused if lying on the application by denying that he was currently subject to a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner. He also allegedly lied on the application by denying that he was currently under indictment or information for a felony, or any other crime which a judge could impose a possible sentence of more than a year.

“As alleged, this case is an outstanding example of our gun laws and our investigators working as intended to protect Rhode Islanders,” said Neronha. “Ensuring that those who are charged with violent crimes, including and especially those of a domestic nature, don’t obtain guns is critical to keeping our communities safe from gun violence. I want to thank the investigators from this Office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation Unit for their exceptional work here.”

Navarro is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Wednesday, May 1 in Kent County Superior Court.

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