Stag Arms, LLC of New Britain pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Hartford's federal court to violating federal firearms laws.
In May, federal authorities investigating the local gun manufacturer confiscated more than 100 assault rifle parts from the New Britain facility after finding some 3,000 without serial numbers, which can be illegal, according to a complaint filed in federal court.
In a statement, Stag Arms' founder Mark Malkowski said he "believe that public safety was never compromised, they have agreed to enter guilty pleas and to pay significant fines, because doing so is in the best interests of the company and its employees. Mr. Malkowski has also agreed to transition the business to new ownership and is in advanced talks with a potential buyer."
Malkowski will continue as the company's marketing consultant following the sale.
According to the complaint, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "discovered numerous violations of federal firearms laws and regulations" while carrying out a compliance check at Stag Arms in New Britain in July and August of 2014.
About 3,000 firearm receivers stored at 119 John Downey Drive in New Britain did not have serial numbers, the complaint alleges. At least 136 parts at 515 John Downey Drive, Stag Arms' other facility, lacked serial numbers and may have been blank for a matter of years.
Federal law requires all firearms to be stamped with serial numbers at the time they are manufactured. Without serial numbers, guns can't legally be moved from the facility where they're made.
According to the complaint, Stag Arms manufactured the parts at 119 John Downey Drive and transferred dozens to 515 John Downey Drive while they were still blank.
The owner of Stag Arms told authorities the parts lacked serial numbers because the employee tasked with stamping them was on vacation, according to the complaint. Agents went back a week later to find the serial numbers were still missing.
The ATF returned in September and confiscated some 100 parts, according to the document. Federal authorities have now issued an order compelling Stag to forfeit the confiscated guns.