Randy Goodwin, of Acton, Maine, needed to earn some extra money to support his five children. So, he decided to sell guns. Randy, a law abiding citizen with no criminal record, bought guns from a licensed dealer in Waterboro and sold them through the pages of the classified bulletin Uncle Henry's.
Between September 2009 to January 2010 Goodwin sold almost 100 handguns to Joseph Burns, of Lynn, Massachusetts, a convicted felon. Soon after these sales several guns traced to Goodwin were seized by police during arrests in Lynn.
At his sentencing hearing, Goodwin told the judge he did not know he was breaking the law and that he lives in fear that one of the guns he sold has been used to commit a violent crime.
"He had to know that something was wrong," said Judge D. Brock Hornby, "Even though he didn't know his conduct was illegal. All of the warning bells should have been going off."
Judge Hornby sentenced Goodwin to three months in prison, two years of probation, and ordered him to participate in community service by speaking publicly about state and federal gun laws.
Maine law allows for the private sale of guns where there will be no criminal background check run on the buyer and no records kept of the sale. Uncle Henry's, the publication where Goodwin sold his handguns, frequently runs half page ads from Project Safe Neighborhood that detail federal gun laws and clearly state that these laws prohibit you from selling a gun to someone who lives out of state or is a convicted felon.
Massachusetts strictly regulates the sale of guns. As a consequence, the trafficking of firearms between Maine and Massachusetts is a significant problem.