ATF conducts day-long raid of Overland pawn shop

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OVERLAND, Mo. – Dozens of federal agents conducted a day-long raid at a pawn shop in Overland on Thursday.

About 30 agents and investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showed up at Piazza Jewelry and Pawn around 10 a.m. They left more than eight hours later.

The agents loaded a U-Haul truck with potential evidence from the business. The items confiscated could soon be made public, depending on what a judge decides.

“Through the court process, eventually everything becomes public record and it will be disclosed at that time,” said John Ham, an ATF spokesman.

Ham said that could come next week.

Agents did not say what they were looking for inside the business. However, you got an idea as to what agents and investigators consider illegal when you learn about the responsibilities the bureau has in regulating the gun industry and enforcing firearms laws.

“Making sure the required paperwork is done. Making sure the required background checks are completed,” Ham said. “Making sure that guns are being sold to people who are eligible under federal (law).”

Convicted felons cannot purchase guns. Overland police assisted the feds by keeping potential customers from entering the store, which was closed for the day.

Nathaleen Criss said she worked at the pawn shop until about a year and a half ago. She said the business is a popular place to purchase firearms.

“They sell quite a bit of guns here,” she said. “Main bulk of their sales.”

She estimated gun sales were as much as 80 percent of all purchases at the store. The manager at the shop declined to comment. No one was arrested or charged during the search.

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