TYR Tactical

Stag Arms Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Violations, Company To Sell

Yesterday, Stag Arms President pleaded guilty to a single felony count of possession of an unregistered machine gun. In the plea deal, Malkowski agreed to step down as well as sell the New Britian, Connecticut-based company in addition to paying a fine of $100,000. Stag Arms not only surrendered its FFL to manufacture, Malkowski will also no longer be able to own a firearms company.

Today, Malkowski is scheduled to plead guilty in US District Court in New Haven to a misdemeanor count of failure to maintain firearms records.

Stag Arms’ issues were first noted during a routine ATF inspection in July 2014 where they found numerous record keeping errors as well as missing machine guns which turned out to be either unregistered or misregistered.  Most of the issues revolve around a failure to serialize receivers which must be accomplished within seven days of manufacture.

Stag Arms issued this statement:

NEW BRITAIN – Tuesday, December 22, 2015 – “Stag Arms, LLC today announced that the company and its founder, Mark Malkowski, have reached a resolution with government officials stemming from an investigation that began last year relating primarily to the timing of recordkeeping during the manufacturing process and compliance with federal firearms manufacturing and registration requirements. Both Stag Arms and Mr. Malkowski cooperated fully with the government throughout the investigation. While both Stag Arms and Mr. Malkowski 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. Mr. Malkowski will continue as a marketing consultant to the business and the industry for a period of time following the sale. Stag Arms takes its obligations to comply with all laws and regulations very seriously and has made comprehensive changes to ensure that similar problems cannot happen again and that best compliance practices are maintained in all of its operations.” 

– Stag Arms, LLC


13 Responses to “Stag Arms Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Violations, Company To Sell”

  1. Mike Nomad says:

    What a shit Christmas present. My understanding is that Stag makes a lot of parts for other companies. Hopefully the ripple effect won’t be too great, and that Mr. Malkowski and the company get through it all ok.

    Please don’t sell to a crap company…

  2. Dellis says:

    My thoughts?……why the hell does a guy who has an FFL license get busted for a auto? Is he or the company not able to own, buy and sell that class?

    This is just odd

  3. SGT_Mike says:

    As the supervisor of a Connecticut city PD’s firearms training unit, I have had extensive dealings with Stag. Our City is currently fighting with Stag to be compensated for numerous failures with our weapons. If you read the news (beyond their own press release above), you will find that there were a variety of reasons why the charges were brought. What I can tell you is that they once were a solid company to deal with, and they were solidly behind CT law enforcement. Sadly, those days are done. And it is us, the customers, left holding the bag on their defective products.

    On a positive note, Geissele stepped up and solved our immediate issue by delivering 60 triggers, literally overnight.

    As an agency that once issued Stag rifles, I can tell you that we will never recommend them again.

    • Dellis says:

      Good to know. Never bought Stag stuff and good to know now I did not send them my hard earned money.

    • Mike Nomad says:

      Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I have a couple of their rifles, and have never had any problems. Yet.

      • SGT_Mike says:

        To clarify my earlier posting, Stag’s customer service was one reason we went with them. I have had more than one rifle fixed and returned to me in the time it takes to drink a small coffee. Literally. Unfortunately, over the years I had to take advantage of their excellent customer service far too many times.

        In the most recent series of events, weapons produced as semi-auto rifles would go “burst” with no warning at all. Several weapons experienced this, including one fired by a firearms instructor / SWAT team sergeant. This occurred during a range event that was filmed. And that is the one that has resulted in a deafening silence from Stag after our initial correspondence and phone calls. I even let them have a copy of the video. 85 weapons were effected. My solution was to replace the majority of triggers with Geissele triggers. Thus far, problem solved. To the tune of $9800.00 from the City. And “crickets” from Stag.

        So for a civilian, recreational shooter, you may never have an issue. For us, the risk in continuing to use the weapons “as is” was unacceptable. For those that are curious, Patrol Rifle officers shoot 2 full 8 hour range days a year and SWAT trains at least monthly. The guns are shot a lot, but certainly well within what one would consider normal use. I’d venture to say many civilians actually shoot more rounds per year than we do.

        • K says:

          Thanks for sharing that story. Very informative!

        • Mike Nomad says:

          Weapons randomly going burst is indeed bad for your business. Yeah, I don’t put that many rounds through them… 400-500 a year. I may have accidentally averted the problem you had: I dropped in a CMC trigger in one of them the day I got it, while the other one came with a Geissele .

          And thanks again.

          • SGT_Mike says:

            No problem. I am in this site multiple times a day and I can’t begin to count the times I’ve learned something from the articles, announcements, and the comments. Glad I had a chance to contribute. And I’d say you are 100% correct that you inadvertently solved the issue before you even experienced it.
            Stay safe

            • z0phi3l says:

              OT but would love to have a sit down with SGT_Mike, as a fellow resident of the glorious state of CT it would be an honor and a very interesting evening picking the brain of someone who has to deal with the special brand of crazy CT has to offer

        • Memorial Rifle Range says:

          I have a slight problem on how you portrayed the cost of retrofit of the rifles here Sgt Mike. I certainly don/t fault you for choosing Geissele triggers they are a wonderful trigger in the Cadillac or Mercedes class of triggers. DPMS or others would have been happy to sell you standard triggers all day long for 20.00 a set or 1700.00 for the 85 rifles, and of the 85 I am certain only a small % were actually bad. You didn’t have a Qualified Armorer so you just decided to replace them all ” Just to be safe”. OK fine, but to replace them with Cadillac’s and say it cost 10 K fix is very misleading to the uninformed.

          • SGT_Mike says:

            Good points. I’ll explain further. I have 3 armorers who maintain certification through Colt. Stag sells rifles with Geissele triggers so the thought was they could have no issues, Warranty or otherwise, with their use. Finally, another PD gave use two Geissele to use the day after the issue described in the initial post and they worked fine.

            Also at least a half dozen rifles were effected spanning three years of purchases. That’s just on the semi to full auto issue. Another 5 or 6 had issues where the triggers wouldn’t reset. There were various other issues. None of which have occured since the triggers were replaced. Our thought was get the best and see if that solves the issue. And it worked. I personally was unwilling to fix only those rifles that had shown issues, thereby endangering civilians and officers alike.

            My main issue with Stag is their radio silence on the issue. Especially given a statment that ” yeah we had some parts out of spec”. For 3 years??

  4. Bob says:

    Possession of an “unregistered machine gun” shouldn’t even be a crime.

    The NFA & ’86 MG ban need to be repealed.