In April 2017, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes announced the formation of a paramilitary wing of the western chauvinist group: Fraternal Order of the Alt-Knights (FOAK). It was designed for direct action and violence and directed by Kyle Chapman, nicknamed Based Stickman.
Chapman has had several run-ins with the law. In 2008, he was arrested by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau (ATF) as a convicted felon on illegal firearm possession and illegal firearms sales.
Chapman eventually pleaded guilty to one charge of felon possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 63 months in prison. FOAK collapsed in 2018 amid mounting legal troubles with Chapman and the group’s participation in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
But it appears that some of the paramilitary aspects of the organization are staying with the Proud Boys, particularly when it comes to selling firearms.
Some members of the organization have become accustomed to ghost weapons, which are harder to track and easier to evade stricter state and federal laws.
The Daily Dot has spotted several Proud Boys in several states who have either been arrested for illegally selling guns or are currently selling gun parts and kits online.
Ghost Guns are firearms that can be built from kits, often 3D printed, that can be purchased online. They’re popular with people who want to bypass background checks and are often untraceable as the parts don’t have serial numbers.
The weapons were increasingly used in mass shootings and by domestic terrorists. A ghost gun was involved in a mass shooting in Santa Monica in 2013 that killed five. The attacker was denied a gun license in 2011 and instead bought the parts online and made his own. A ghost gun was also involved in a shooting at Rancho Tehema that left five dead. This shooter was instructed to turn in his guns three months before buying gun parts online and manufacturing two more assault rifles.
Although Proud Boys have been arrested and charged with selling ghost guns, none have been implicated in the use of one in a crime.
The recovery of ghost weapons from crime scenes has increased tenfold since 2016, according to ATF.
A raid has recently begun. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently signed Senate Bill 1327. The bill authorizes a private individual to bring a civil suit against gun manufacturers and sellers, including ghost guns.
The Biden administration also added new regulations.
Licensed dealers are required to provide serial numbers on split receivers that can be used to craft a ghost gun. Ghost guns, Biden’s executive order announced, should “remain covered by our sane gun laws.”
Manufacturers are also required to conduct background checks, as they do when selling finished firearms. The new rules will come into effect on August 24, 2022.
But in the meantime, ghost guns are thriving, and many websites and companies are catering to this market. Including one by a well-known Proud Boy.
One such company, PrivilegedUSA, is owned by Sacramento Proud Boy Brandon Revering.
Revering sold gun parts both on its website and on eBay. He is licensed as a dealer by the ATF under his company Lone Wolf Weaponry. Documents filed with California reveal Revering as the owner of Privileged USA. Documents filed with the ATF show Privileged USA is authorized to sell firearms under the Lone Wolf name.
When approached by Lone Wolf for comment, Revering didn’t answer questions about the sale of ghost guns, instead asking the reporter if she was “Jewish.”
Prior to the announcement of Biden’s executive order, website screenshots taken in April showed that PrivilegedUSA’s website had more frames, receivers, parts and kits for sale than actual completed firearms.
Sometime between late April and early May, listings for some of the 80% recipients were removed.
At the time of this writing, there were still viewable listings for Glock gun parts on the PrivilegedUSA. These parts include barrels, butts, uppers and trigger housings with ejectors.
According to the ATF, an “80% receiver” is used “to describe a frame or receiver that has not reached the stage of manufacture to qualify as a ‘frame or receiver’ under federal law.”
Last month, Revering’s eBay store had 17 listings for parts and kits.
EBay does not permit the sale of firearms, firearm receivers, or firearm making kits.
The site didn’t respond to specific questions about Revering’s account, but said it was “committed to maintaining a safe and trusted marketplace.”
Revering’s eBay store now appears to have been removed after the Daily Dot came forward.
Revering’s connections to the Proud Boys are obvious. PrivilegedUSA offers its services for building local Proud Boy websites on a website called POYApparel, which hosts the stores of many Proud Boy chapters. The contact phone number for the POY Apparel site is also the same as that on PrivilegedUSA.
POYApparel was offline at this time.
Revering has also been spotted wearing Proud Boy attire at several Proud Boy rallies, including her Fall Love Fest in San Pedro in 2021.
Revering also recently drew attention to himself for harassing guests at a drag show in woodland, California.
At one point during the melee, he was filmed calling the restaurant owner a “groomer” through his megaphone.
Drag shows and pride events have increasingly become targets for far-right extremists, and the Biden administration has warned of increasing threats to the LGBTQ community as far-right figures have fomented panic over fallacious “grooming” fears.
A proud non-Revering boy recently brought a gun to a drag queen story lesson in Sparks, Nevada, where several children were in attendance.
But Revering isn’t the only Proud Boy to have sold gun parts.
Proud boy Jonathan M. Cuney was sentenced to 87 months in prison on December 2, 2021 for unlawful possession of firearms, including “ghost guns,” and ammunition, according to a DOJ press release. In the press release, Cuney allegedly “manufactured” guns, admitting he bought gun parts online and assembled them into handguns, rifles, and silencers with no serial numbers.
Cuney has since appealed the verdict.
Federal agents seized guns from two different storage units rented by Cuney in East Greenbush, New York, and Humboldt County, California. The items confiscated include 4,250 rounds of ammunition, five machine gun conversion kits, two completed ghost guns, at least 10 firearms, 12 silencers and kits to complete 10 more silencers, five pistol part kits, and an assorted quantity of weapon parts and kits.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Cuney was once legally licensed by the ATF through a company he owned called Armaments International, LLC.
While licensed as an arms dealer in 2015, he was also prosecuted by Preet Bharara, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, for transporting and selling firearms with “defaced” serial numbers.
According to the DOJ press release, between April 2013 and July 2014, Cuney “personally erased firearm serial numbers and sold 22 of those firearms, including to an undercover special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.”
Another proud Cedar Rapids Iowa boy, Raven Damien Burkhow, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on November 6, 2020 for drug trafficking and selling ghost weapons. Specifically, “Burkhow sold the informant an unserialized gun, also known as a “ghost gun,” with a silencer and a machine gun with an integrated silencer.”
According to court documents, Burkhow had tattoos showing his affiliation with the Proud Boys.
During a raid on his home, authorities seized several firearms – including machine guns, a sawed-off shotgun, a pipe bomb, thousands of rounds of ammunition and 13 silencers. They also seized $177,720 in cash and six bars of gold.
Burkhow also attempted to appeal his case, although those efforts were dismissed.
Whether the new Biden and California rules will have an impact on the Proud Boys and their members selling ghost guns remains to be seen.
Read more about the Daily Dot’s technical and political coverage
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/proud-boys-ghost-guns/ Proud Boys members sell ghost guns online