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

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

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Kenney to announce plan for truckers to get COVID-19 vaccinations in nearby states

Alberta is approaching 25,000 active cases of COVID-19, and there are more than 600 people in hospital with the illness

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

Photo (STAR Catholic Logo)
STAR Catholic School Division declines running pilot on K-6 draft curriculum

The Catholic school board conducted an in-depth analysis of the Education Alberta’s draft curriculum

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr speaks to chamber members over Zoom on April 27. (Screenshot)
MLA Ron Orr fields diverse questions during ‘A Business Conversation’

The Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce hosted A Business Conversation with MLA Ron Orr

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 2,271 new COVID-19 cases, Red Deer cases rise slightly

Across Alberta, there are 666 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 146 in the ICU

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Big truck semi trailer moves on the highway towards sunset
Alberta’s cross-border truckers to be vaccinated at Montana rest stop

2,000 Alberta truck drivers who transport goods across the border will be able to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Montana

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

A wild rabbit grazes in Nanaimo, B.C. in this Feb.2, 2018 photo. Rabbit owners in Alberta are being warned about a deadly virus that was identified in a southern Alberta household last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner
‘Like a flash fire:’ Rabbit owners warned about outbreak of deadly disease in Alberta

The disease is confined to rabbits and cannot spread to humans

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

Most Read