Last week a jury found 68-year-old Jackie Don Burke guilty of one count of unlicensed sale of firearms. According to Burke's own records he sold 135 firearms in 14 months, because if you're gonna do it then why not do it big?
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One of those firearms was a pistol the Rowlett resident sold to an undercover ATF agent. His background check involved asking the agent for a driver's license and apparently not much else.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Burke claimed he was selling guns from his personal collection (which is legal), but his screen-printing business had a sign out front that said he was "in the business of selling guns."
The jury had a lot of trouble trying to suss out this distinction. In court documents they twice asked U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn for clarification on being a "dealer," which finally prompted her to write back, "Remember you may use common sense as you consider the evidence and the charge."
Burke is out on bond until sentencing on May 24, facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. At the trial, Burke kept insisting to the jury that he is "too old to go to jail."