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Police Arrest 2 Men at Timonium Gun and Knife Show

The pair allegedly responsible for selling illegal, high-capacity magazines.

UPDATE (4:12 p.m.)—Two men were arrested over the weekend after allegedly selling illegal high-capacity magazines at the Timonium Gun and Knife Show, according to Baltimore County police.

John Heilmeier, 57, of Cumberland, VA, and Richard Summers, 64, of Waldorf, MD, both face firearms charges after an undercover officer observed the sale of what police said was a 30-round magazine.

Read a description of the investigation below.

The detective witnessed the sale on Jan. 11 during the gun show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds,  according to a statement released Wednesday by the Baltimore County Police Department. Both men were taken into custody at the show and were later charged with misdemeanor offenses related to gun-related transactions.

UPDATE (6:05 p.m.)—Gun show spokesman Neil Kravitz said the police version of events were "not exactly true." 

Kravitz explained, "the guy sold a magazine that was pinned," to only hold 20 rounds by manufacturing settings, although the magazine could be manipulated to hold 30. Kravitz said Heilmeier got himself into trouble by demonstrating to an undercover officer how to disable the mechanism, that would allow for added ammunition. 

"This is a very old trick," Kravitz said. "People use this to increase or decrease the number of ammo a magazine can hold." 

Kravitz described the three components that comprise a magazine: the shell, the spring and the follower (or "stop"), which prevents bullets from falling down into the bottom of a magazine.

"To make it meet state law, they [the manufacturer] put in the stop," Kravitz said. "John [Heilmeier] has been doing gun shows a very long time. ... He knows better than to sell a high-capacity magazine in Maryland." 

Kravitz said Heilmeier's tenure at the gun show stretches back at least 10 years. Heilmeier labeled his wares as 20-round magazines. And at the time of sale, that was accurate, according to Kravitz.

In Maryland, it is illegal to sell, trade or barter for a magazine that can hold more than 20 bullets, although it is not illegal to own one, according to Kravitz. 

"It's one of the loopholes in the law," he said. 

The item in question, as well as 121 additional allegedly illegal magazines, were seized by police, according to the police news release. 

"He started out with a magazine that meets the law to the letter," Kravitz added. 

However, when the undercover detective asked if the mechanism "stopping" the bullets could be disabled, Heilmeier reportedly demonstrated to the officer how, Kravitz said. 

"John should have known better and he knows that," Kravitz said. 

There hasn't been an incident "like this," committed under the watchful eye of the gun show's organizers (Appalachian Promotions) since its inception in 1989, according to Kravitz. He conceded that there have been instances of people selling guns out of the trunks of their cars in the Timonium Fairgrounds parking lots.

Police announced the arrests Wednesday afternoon, three days after the Gun and Knife Show concluded. 

“It is critical to have effective laws regarding high capacity magazines,” Police Chief James Johnson said. “And it is equally important for those involved in the sale of firearms and related equipment to conduct their business in a responsible and law-abiding fashion. These laws are in place to protect public safety, and violations such as this endanger the community.”

Johnson and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced in December that the county was making tougher gun laws a priority in 2013.

"This shows our commitment to public safety regarding existing firearms laws in Maryland," polices spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton said. 

Trials for Heilmeier and Summers are scheduled for May 14. Both men face up to three years in jail and/or a fine up to $5,000, Batton said. 

Police said charges are pending for the customer who they said purchased the illegal magazine. Police are withholding the name of the customer until a full investigation can be completed.

The Investigation, according to police (4:45 p.m.)—

An undercover detective witnessed two customers at the Timonium Gun and Knife Show ask for a magazine that would fit a .223 caliber AR-15 rifle.

It was a common question on the day, with many customers stock piling ammunition and assault rifles (and accessories) following talk of an assault rifle ban at state and federal levels.

The vendor allegedly sold the customers what appeared to be an illegal 30-round magazine, police observed.

Police interviewed the customers and determined that the item purchased was illegal to own in Maryland.

Undercover detectives went back to the same vendors and asked to purchase specifically a 30-round magazine.

"The vendor told the detective that he could not say '30-round magazine' because he was in Maryland, but assured the detective that he could buy the magazine that he was looking for," according to a police news release.

Baltimore County police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton said it was John Heilmeier who spoke directly to the undercover detective.

The detectives purchased two magazines, which were labeled as holding 20 rounds although further examination showed that each magazine could actually hold 30 rounds.

Police arrested the vendors and seized 121 additional illegal magazines from the stand.

Related Content:

  • Timonium Gun Show Gets Boost From Talk of Assault Rifle Ban
  • Leaders Call for Increased Gun Control
  • Cardin Calls for a National Discussion on Gun Control Following Newtown School Shooting (blog)
  • Huff Favors 'Gun Safety' Not Control
  • Nearly 500 Guns Surrendered in Baltimore After Newtown Shooting
  •  (blog)
  • County Police Chief Joins Call For Stricter Gun Laws
  • Stop Pretending That Guns Are Not The Problem (blog)
  • Baltimore County Offering Free Gun Locks
CP January 17, 2013 at 07:02 PM
"people" is also mentioned in the 2nd. people = folk - nation - public - populace - population.
Honeygo Hal January 17, 2013 at 07:24 PM
JoeBlob signs into the knuckledraggers' club again. You will get all of the benefits to which you are entitled. You said JJ Jr. was in a mental ward, and thus needed a background check. That's what YOU said. Thus, a simple inference that you believe that any mental imbalance is grounds for more than a background check for gun ownership. JoeBlob, JoeBlob - nothing beats a JoeBlob. Your CopyPasta gets old and boring. You paste in the same links on any and all related topics. Very little independent debate or thought, just CopyPasta.
Sanchez January 17, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Frank, did YOU read the EO's? Can you explain any of them and what one or more would have prevented Adam Lanza for committing his crime? Did Obama need an EO to appoint the head of the ATF? Does Obama have the power under his EO's to force doctors to discuss anything with the government that is between the doctor and the patient? It will be very interesting to read your coherent comments and explanations of these questions.
Let FREEdom Ring :) January 17, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Responsibilty-n- respect lies in the hands of whoever is holding the gun.
Honeygo Hal January 17, 2013 at 07:33 PM
JoeBlob - The discussion is about guns and gun violence - you brought clubs and hammers into it to compare them to people killed by guns. Who brought the red herring into the discussion? And while ANY murder of a child is very tragic, someone running through a school (or a theater) and killing any number of SOMEONE ELSE'S children is usually considered a more heinous crime than victims of domestic struggles. Get your head screwed on straight, JoeBlob. You're a disgusting mess.
Honeygo Hal January 17, 2013 at 07:39 PM
No, he gets to be the Men's Restroom monitor at Board Meetings. Wayne Ross is his backup.
FIFA January 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM
CP, you have gone from ignorant to stupid, go back to school, fool.
Let FREEdom Ring :) January 17, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Amen girlfriend! well stated! this world loves to remain ignorant because ignorance is used as an excuse for irresponsibility.
Let FREEdom Ring :) January 17, 2013 at 08:11 PM
"Why are we so afraid of being wrong, even when faced with facts?The Boston globe wrote: "Most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas, and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence. In reality, we often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts..."
Gun Owner January 17, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Holton, what is your plan to oppose tyranny? Have you pre-surrendered like Frank and his ilk? Sanchez sorry about the confusion, my apology.
Sanchez January 17, 2013 at 09:32 PM
I asked the other day just what exactly is an "assault weapon" and the regulars answered in their typical childish insulting ways. "Even Defining ‘Assault Rifles’ Is Complicated" From the bastion of right wing buffoonery, the New York times. "One obstacle President Obama may face in proposing a new federal ban on assault weapons could lie in the use of the term “assault weapon” itself. The label, applied to a group of firearms sold on the civilian market, has become so politicized in recent decades that where people stand on the gun issue can often be deduced by whether they use the term. " http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/us/even-defining-assault-weapons-is-complicated.html?hp&_r=1&
Sanchez January 17, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Apparently Frank does not have the capability to respond to simple questions.
Native January 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM
LOL, you're absolutely right CP! Typical libs aren't they?
Holton F. Brown January 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM
It might bre noted in many states a doctor must report gunshot wouns, child sexual and/or physical assault and patients that may be present threats to others .. and .. in some states a lawyer must report to authorities any plan by a client or others to break a law and/or influence witnesses, jury members or court officials in a case or any other action ..
Rocco Rotondo January 18, 2013 at 02:09 AM
I am getting the hell of this post. I am tired of reading about gun lover nuts hiding behind the second amendment that makes no sense to me. It shoud be repealed and get it over with once and for all.
Holton F. Brown January 18, 2013 at 05:03 AM
you know gang .. as some of you file posts declaring "you" wqant to have guns to overthgrow the guv-mint .. a Secret Service/ATF/Marshalls/NSA/FBI/CIA task force is collecting and cataloging all you ISO's for future reference .. and assigning beds and dog food bowls in those repatriotation camps in new mexico ..( actually, my sources say it's actually in wyoming) ....but the ones that hate hispanics and moslems will get Gitmo)...enjoy, enjoy ... by the way .. i'd love to see Sheriff arpao take on a few companies of Marines
DHAMMER January 18, 2013 at 01:02 PM
This was a setup,and it is practiced at every Gun Show,the Magazines are manufactured with blocks which make them legal to sell because of the limited capacity.The Police have even taken out the People who sell tazers which are less deadly and have prosecuted them.The Police Department has a Job and it should be getting the Damn Drugs and Drug Dealers off the Damn streets and stop filling up their ticket books and setting up innocent people.It's getting to the point we can't even protect ourselves or our Property because the Police sure can't do it.
Buck Harmon January 18, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Now THAT sounds like conspiracy theory...
Buck Harmon January 18, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Also...In the event that government would openly turn against citizens the Marines would stand down...they also swore the oath to uphold and protect the Constitution.. Our Armed Forces would never turn against Americans if things got really serious..
CP January 18, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Good riddance!
CP January 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Why should anyone have to be careful of what they say? Your post just proved why we need the 2nd Amendment. Free speech shouldn't land you in jail. No one should fear any Gov agency. The Government should fear its citizens.
CP January 18, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Your post is the reason we need the 2nd Amendment. No one should live in fear of their government. The government should fear its citizens.
Lea Ann January 18, 2013 at 08:15 PM
I agree Darrell, there is much more to fear out there every day on the "real streets" with "real criminals" then to bust two 60 yr old men selling a magazine. Not much of a threat there I guess.
Honeygo Hal January 19, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Well don't you think they should spend some time trying to keep the drug dealers from getting expanded magazines in the first place? Or do we wait to confiscate them at a crime scene? Just Sayin'
Buck Harmon January 19, 2013 at 08:19 PM
The drug dealer's control perceived law enforcement....they actually own a portion, and our government provides weapons to the drug cartels...this arrest at the gun show was nothing more than a silly show of odd police behavior at it's best...no citizen is any safer as a result and taxpayers will foot the prosecution tab...pretty lame..
Doug January 20, 2013 at 03:22 AM
The man who had only 7 rounds in his gun http://conservativevideos.com/2013/01/the-story-of-a-man-who-only-had-7-rounds-in-his-pistol/
Doug January 20, 2013 at 03:25 AM
Multiple sheriffs in some sothern states say they won't be enforcing Obama's silly "feel good" laws. Good for them. They won't let them enforce federal immigration laws, so why should they be enforcing this crappolla ?
Captain Cook January 21, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Frank, save nicks farm and the unborn with a beating heart - oh, i forgot, liberals don't look at murder of babies as a problem - it "choice" to kill! Dream of those dead babies frankie...
David Kennedy January 21, 2013 at 09:43 PM
What can be said about people who want to desecrate the second amendment for the citizens of USA.. JUST AS LONG AS THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO JUST LIKE A LIBERAL MINDSET 'DO WHAT I SAY NOT AS I AM ABLE TO DO.
TONY MEDEIROS March 28, 2013 at 01:43 PM
for what? Guns, mags, assault rifles do not kill people. Making them illegal for law abiding citizens to own is not only against the 2nd Amendment but stupid. The only way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

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