Krystopher DiBella was catapulted into the national spotlight after he sold two guns, a Bushmaster and a Sig Sauer pistol, to Nancy Lanza. These two weapons were later used during the Sandy Hook shooting spree. But it was not these two weapons that landed DiBella in hot water — it was a third weapon that DiBella sold to an undocumented immigrant without forcing the buyer to answer questions about his citizenship. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives currently requires Connecticut arms dealers to ask those questions.
This week, DiBella pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum one-year prison term, five years' probation and a fine of up to $100,000, but as part of the plea deal, the prosecutors will recommend that the judge sentence him to 16 months of probation. DiBella will also not be allowed to apply for a Federal Firearm License in the next three years.
DiBella took his employer down with him. The store’s Federal Firearm License, which allows the store to sell guns, was revoked following an investigation into the store’s records. Authorities discovered that DiBella had a history of making deals under the table, and in fact transferred guns several times to people who did not answer legally mandated questions about citizenship.
This case puts gun dealers in a sticky situation. Ultimately, every person is responsible for his own actions, so a rogue employee is the biggest culprit in an illegal gun sale. On the other hand, employers are at least partially responsible for what goes on in their establishment, especially in a place like a gun store where employees might be tempted to take bribes in order to circumvent the law.
Do you think that the government made the right move by revoking the store’s license, or do you think that they are casting blame on the wrong people?