November 23, 2020

Man with mental history pleads guilty to lying on firearm purchase background check

A Mississippi man pleaded guilty Thursday to lying on a federal background check form as he attempted to purchase a handgun at a pawn shop in October.

Christian Matthew Storey, 27, of Byram, pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Tom S. Lee to attempting to acquire a firearm by making fraudulent statements on a federal background check form, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

On Oct. 18, 2018, Storey attempted to purchase a firearm from a pawn shop in Jackson, Mississippi. Storey had previously been judicially committed for mental treatment in 2016 by the Chancery Court of Hinds County. He was subsequently treated and discharged from a mental hospital in Mississippi.

Storey, in an attempt to purchase a 9mm pistol, completed and signed ATF Form 4473 while at the pawn shop as part of the federally required background check process. One question on that form asks a firearm purchaser whether or not they have ever been committed to a mental institution. Storey fraudulently checked “No” as to that question and then signed the form certifying that his false answer was correct.

The firearm purchase was denied after the National Instant Criminal Background Check System rejected the purchase due to Storey’s previous commitment for mental treatment. Under federal law, it is unlawful for a person who has been involuntarily judicially committed to either possess or purchase a firearm.

Storey was charged in a federal indictment on January 8, 2019 with one count of making a false statement in an attempt to acquire a firearm and one count of giving false information to a federal firearm licensee.

He will be sentenced on July 11, 2019, by Judge Lee, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine on the first count and a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine on the second count.