LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas woman made her initial court appearance yesterday for allegedly lying on a federal form to make a straw purchase of a firearm, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Chandra Bridges, 26, was charged with one count of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna Youchah scheduled a jury trial on May 17.
According to allegations in the indictment, on or about September 26, 2019, Bridges falsely represented to a Federal Firearms Licensee that she was the actual buyer of a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 caliber pistol. But in fact, she was acquiring the firearm on behalf of another person.
If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty Bridges faces is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Sokolich is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the ATF when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.