No jail but big fine for Alberta store owner convicted of illegal gun sales

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, the Crown stayed the remainder of the charges against the father

The owner of a southern Alberta hardware store who admitted to selling guns and ammunition to people who did not provide a valid firearms acquisition licence has been given a conditional sentence and fined $20,000.

Dean Dan Sommerfeldt, the 60-year-old president of K & D Implements Ltd. in Cardston, was sentenced on Monday in Lethbridge after pleading guilty in September to four charges.

Sommerfeldt and his 33-year old son, Todd, originally faced 19 counts that were laid in 2017 after undercover police officers bought guns and ammunition from the store as part of a firearms trafficking investigation.

The senior Sommerfeldt pleaded guilty to three counts of transferring weapons or ammunition without authority, and one of contravening the Firearms Act related to the storage, handling and display of firearms.

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, the Crown stayed the remainder of the charges against the father.

All charges against his son were also stayed, although he has been prohibited from owning or possessing any firearms for the next four years.

Court heard that police seized more than 1,000 guns, a million rounds of ammunition, thousands of firearm primers, gunpowder and other material used in making bullets.

In April 2017, an undercover police officer paid Sommerfeldt $90 for 1,000 rounds of ammunition and was not asked to provide a valid purchase and acquisition licence, known simply as a PAL, or any other form of identification. Gun buyers in Canada must have a PAL before firearms and ammunition can be acquired.

On another date, the officer bought two shotguns and at no time was asked for the licence or other ID.

A second undercover officer purchased a rifle with a PAL made out to a different name. He told Sommerfeldt it was his friend’s PAL and the sale was completed.

Officers also noted there were firearms displayed that were not locked and had chains dangling from the trigger guards within easy reach of customers. They also noted handguns without trigger locks were being kept in an unlocked display case.

The Crown had sought a one-year jail term followed by several conditions. The prosecutor argued that anything less than actual custody would fail to dissuade other dealers from doing the same thing.

In passing sentence, Justice Dallas Miller said although Sommerfeldt displayed exemplary behaviour in the community, including a 35 years as a Scouts leader, he “outright broke the law.”

The judge said the offences could have had catastrophic consequences if the guns and ammunition had ended up in the wrong hands.

Sommerfeldt faces a curfew and several restrictions on activities outside his home, including not leaving the province or visiting his recreational property.

He is also prohibited from owning any firearms for five years and must forfeit any goods seized by police during their investigation, including the items sold to the undercover officers.

Most of the guns, ammunition and other material seized have since been returned to the accused through a third party and will be sold by consignment at a Lethbridge gun store.

Sommerfeldt did not comment outside court but his lawyer, Frank Llewellyn, said he feels the ends of justice have been met.

“We’re quite happy the matter has been resolved. This family has undergone a terrible ordeal and they are glad it’s at an end,” he said. (LethbridgeNewsNOW, CTV Lethbridge)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Mat program not quite ready to open its doors

Committee hopes to bring people out from the cold with overnight shelter program

Ponoka County writes off quarter of a million in taxes

Bankrupt energy companies hitting county financially

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

Most Read