Two Mississippi County gun shop employees face federal charges

Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 12:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. (KFVS) - According to court documents just unsealed by the U.S. attorney, Richard Givens and Joseph Palmar are accused of allowing what’s known as “straw purchases” at Mr. G’s Gun Shop in East Prairie.

A federal Grand Jury indicted Palmar on two counts and Givens on three counts of violating federal law.

Both men stand accused of knowingly deceiving Mr. G’s Gun Shop on East Main Street in East Prairie by allowing what’s called straw purchases. That’s when someone other than the buyer is allowed to fill out the federal paperwork needed to buy a gun.

Givens is also accused of selling a gun to a buyer who told him she’s a convicted felon.

The U-S Attorney’s office just unsealed several federal documents--which tie sales from that business to more than 100 crimes over the last four years, including 5 homicides.

Now, the two employees stand accused of knowingly violating federal law in sales made just last month.

The case against Palmar and Givens comes after undercover ATF agents using confidential informants made three gun buys at the shop.

On May 18th, 2021 federal documents show Givens sold a 9 millimeter pistol to a woman who told him she’d been in prison. When she asks Givens if the man with her can fill out the paperwork for her, he’s quoted as saying....”yeah, but I don’t need to know it.”

On May 27th, 2021 three undercover ATF agents say Palmar sold them nine weapons-- allowing someone other than the actual buyer to fill out the paperwork.

Court records show Palmar told them he’s a retired state trooper and said Mr. G’s “sells more guns than Academy both in Paducah and Cape combined. About 2,500 a year.”

When one of the undercover agents asks Palmar about store records, Palmar tells them, “....there will be a fire when this place closes. And that’s coming from somebody who used to be on the ATF Task Force.”

Both Palmar and Givens received summons to appear in federal court and are not currently in custody.

We made contact with the owners of Mr. G’s. They tell us they did not know about the sales involved in this case.

The U.S. Attorney’s office will not comment on whether this is still an open investigation.

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