FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – The owners of a gun store in Franklin have pleaded guilty to federal charges that include obstruction of justice and making false entries regarding the disposition of firearms.

In September, Alan Hassler, 49, Brian Hassler, 52, and Michael Hassler, 45, all of Franklin, and co-owners- owners of Franklin Gun Shop, were charged after a federal inspection revealed the gun store violated record-keeping regulations. 

The Department of Justice says the inspection, which was conducted in 2020, found that hundreds of firearms, out of the more than 10,000 in Franklin Gun Shop’s inventory, were unaccounted for in the business’s internal records. 

U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin says proper record-keeping is an essential requirement that all Federal Firearms Licensees must follow.

“Proper record keeping is an essential requirement of all Federal Firearms Licensees,” said U.S. Attorney Wildasin.  “When the firearms record-keeping process breaks down, the resulting implications can be disastrous and hinder law enforcement’s ability to properly investigate gun crimes or keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals and disqualified persons.

Over the course of a year, the DOJ says hundreds of unaccounted-for firearms were located within the business, but as of July 2021, about 144 firearms could not be located. 

Court records show the Hasslers then provided fraudulent documentation to the ATF in an attempt to account for the missing firearms. According to the DOJ, the three men tried to deceive the ATF into believing that the firearms were not missing but had been sold.

After conducting multiple interviews, the ATF determined multiple customers who were identified on the fraudulent forms never purchased the firearms that were attributed to them.

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The Hasslers have surrendered their Federal Firearms License and if the courts accept their plea, all three men will serve a term of three months of home detention and two years of supervised release.

Sentencing for the three gun store owners is scheduled for May 25, 2023.