White Supremacist Collected Huge Arsenal


A white supremacist was inadvertently caught by federal agents with a massive arsenal of weapons and ammunition and a list of names of Jewish and black leaders. Inadvertently because they had no idea he had them, they were tracking him for illegal counterfeit sports jerseys.

Federal agents were tracking Ohio resident Richard Schmidt’s imports of counterfeit sports jerseys when they stumbled upon his arsenal of 18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof body armor. Besides the arsenal, he had lists of Jewish and black leaders in Detroit, MI. He is also an ex-felon who killed a Hispanic man and wounded two others 24 years ago.

Yet before December, no one even noticed that Schmidt, 47, was amassing weapons illegally, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Instead, federal investigators zeroed in on his sports memorabilia shop around September 2011, tracking his shipments of knock-off jerseys from China for over a year before they discovered the cache of firearms.

“I can’t tell you how he got all those guns and ammunition,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach told the Plain Dealer. “It’s not that I won’t tell you; it’s that I can’t. This is somebody who should never have had one gun, one bullet. But he had an entire arsenal.”

Schmidt is technically banned from possessing a gun for the rest of his life. In 1989, he pulled a gun on three men during a traffic argument, killing one man and wounding the other two. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served 12 years in prison.

Scott Kaufman, the head of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, was spooked after discovering he was on Schmidt’s list. “For a convicted violent felon to amass an arsenal with 40,000 rounds of ammunition with no red flags popping up is problematic,” he told the Plain Dealer. “No matter where you stand on the gun issue, it makes you wonder. The moment I saw my name in this guy’s notebook, I freaked out.”

I can tell you how he got the guns and ammo he isn’t allowed to have — gun shows, which don’t have to do background checks.

Comments

  1. says

    Now look, Ed, this is the price of Liberty. If a few people who are not me die, well, we just have to put up with that. Guns don’t kill people; people with guns kill people. Gun crime is like the tides; no law can stop or even minimize it. The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun, providing the good man draws it first and is a better shot and isn’t mistaken for a bad man by another good man with a gun. And how dare you politicize this! We can’t discuss this now, since emotions are so raw so close to [most recent mass shooting]. Plus guns make loud noises and make me feel like a man.

  2. says

    I wonder if Stan Solomon’s name was in his notebook.

    18 gunz, 40K rounds of ammo? That’s a pisshole in an iceberg. If he was serious he’da had a track mounted A-10 Warthog.

    “Plus guns make loud noises and make me feel like a man.”

    Unintentional notsnark for a lot of teh gunzloonz. If you read their descriptions of what goes on at the firing range (or better yet, first person accounts of guys like Chris Kyle*–America’s self-reported deadliest sniper**) they read like Patriotporn at it’s best.

    * Author of “America’s Deadliest Sniper”–10 “best” quotes, here:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/02/10-of-the-best-quotes-from-slain-seal-chris-kyles-book-american-sniper/

    ** Who is now dead, himself, as a result of being shot by a vet with PTSD while doing some male bonding/psych rehab at the gun range.

  3. Michael Heath says

    Scott Kaufman, the head of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, was spooked after discovering he was on Schmidt’s list. “For a convicted violent felon to amass an arsenal with 40,000 rounds of ammunition with no red flags popping up is problematic,” he told the Plain Dealer. “No matter where you stand on the gun issue, it makes you wonder.

    Mr. Kaufman is seriously uninformed. The GOP is no way committed to keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons. Their current policy positions effectively promote felons enjoying easy access to guns and ammo, where they have enough votes to obstruct any effort to reform our gun control laws in a manner that reduces such access.

  4. francesc says

    Excuse me to point at something collateral but

    “White Supremacist…Detroit…shipments of knock-off jerseys from China”

    Soo… is there any coherent wingnut in the US?

  5. says

    Cue wingnuts arguing that the simple solution to this problem is that Kaufman buy a gun, therefore far right terrorists aren’t a problem (and aren’t terrorists).

  6. says

    So in this country, you can amass tens of thousands of rounds of ammo without the authorities knowing a damn thing about it, but if you try to buy too much Sudafed, the entire DEA is on your ass.

    Just think about that for a second. We regulate our decongestants more stringently than our guns. It’s mind boggling.

  7. says

    18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition

    If they’re .22s that’s actually not much of an arsenal. It’d be about $3,000 worth of stuff.

    I doubt very much that that’s what it is, but I wanted to raise the point in order to encourage skepticism about law enforcement’s habit when announcing this kind of thing. I frequently examine the pictures of “guns seized at drug bust” photos (e.x. chosen semi randomly from google images http://wkrn.images.worldnow.com/images/11893880_BG6.jpg ) and see a couple .22s and some decrepit saturday night specials described as ‘military grade weapons’ Uh, huh. In fact that picture I just picked has something that looks suspiciously like a sheridan air pistol (lower right) I couldn’t find it but I saw one picture one time that had a gun I KNOW was an airsoft (because of the top of the magazine feeder)

    Just, please, don’t take “he had an arsenal” from law enforcement unless Colin Powell presents the evidence. The cops are not hesitant to try to make the case that a large quantity of something legally owned is, um… very naughty. Now, in the OP article, the guy’s a felon, so yeah it’s all illegal and – by definition – illegally obtained. Trust law enforcement, but verify. No – wait – what did I just say!!?!?!? Don’t trust law enforcement farther than you can spit Vladimir Putin, but verify.

  8. Matrim says

    @Marcus #9> I couldn’t find a comprehensive list, but reporting indicates multiple AR-15s as well as some Ruger and Sig semi-automatic handguns. That’s the beginnings of a respectable arsenal. Perhaps we’ll learn more once they release a full report of the investigation.

  9. says

    Marcus:

    What you say is true of some LE agencies, not all of them. The whole, “MY bust is bigger than your bust!” has been going on since the first plowshares got beaten into swords. It will be interesting to see what happens if the ATF or FBI decides to go all Ruby Ridge on Chief Kessler in Gilberton, PA.

    Matrim:

    Be careful when you say, “arsenal”; gunzloonz (Marcus Ranum is not one of those) will peevishly tell you that “an arsenal” is a manufactory or a collection of firearms held by a gummint. They just haz teh “collections”. That they are completely full of shit will not in any way lessen the volume of their screeching.

  10. weaver says

    First of all, 18 guns isn’t a “massive arsenal”.
    40 thousand rounds sounds like a lot, but for active, competitive shooters, it’s not really that much – particularly if much of it is in .22LR, which is frequently purchased a thousand rounds at a time.

    Second, enough of the “gun shows don’t have to do background checks” crap. Any licensed dealer at a gun show – the vast majority of those that sell guns at these shows – still are required to perform regular background checks. The only sales at gun shows that don’t require checks are those between individual citizens – private sales, whether at a gun show or at a person’s house, do not require background checks.

  11. kantalope says

    Is it weird that it is easier for the felonz to buy guns at “not gunshows ( I assures ya) than it is for felonz to vote?

    And 40,000 bullets is ok for competitive .22 shooterz – um ya – this guy totally seems like the competition shooter type. He’s all wearin his lucky jersey, spending hours regulating his breathing (not mind you, regulating imports or exports), prolly found all those weponz ina tree when he was rescuin a kittah.

  12. Chris Adam-Connor says

    @12 Wow, Weaver, this is quite interesting.

    So, the first thing you say is 18 guns isn’t a “massive arsenal” well, that’s rather quaint. I figure if I have 18 PCs I don’t have a “massive arsenal” I merely have 17 times more than the average person would ever require. I guess I can see why you’d so vehemently defend that.

    Except this isn’t an average person. This is a felon Neo-Nazi who already murdered someone and shot two others, as well as having a list of Black and Jewish leaders. Wonder why.

    40 thousand rounds isn’t much for competitive shooters. That’s good to know. Where exactly is a murdering felon who isn’t supposed to own a single gun going around for competitive shooting, do you think? Lots of peaceful, illegal, neo-nazi, Olympic team hopefuls? I can only hope you’re trolling at this point, or you’re beyond screwed in the head.

    So, “Gun shows do require background checks… except when they don’t!”

    Yeah, no shit, imbecile. That’s the point. It’s called a loophole. Do you know what that is? Have you never heard it referred to once? This is inane, worse than a child.

    Birds of a feather flock together. Somehow, you defend all the actions of a neo-Nazi who has previously murdered people, has a huge collection of illegal guns and 40,000 rounds of ammunition for the illegal guns, who supports China and erodes the American economy through buying and selling bootleg, illegal goods and to top it all off has a completely, normal, quite un-suspicious list of Black and Jewish leaders as a member of a group of espouses violence towards those groups.

    So if you find that somehow normal or defensible, you simply need to look in the mirror and weep.

  13. kyoseki says

    Marcus Ranum

    I wanted to raise the point in order to encourage skepticism about law enforcement’s habit when announcing this kind of thing.

    Don’t forget the “rocket launchers” that the LAPD acquired in a gun buyback last year.

  14. kyoseki says

    The problem with the phrase “gun show loophole” is that the real problem (a lack of background checks on private sales) is not specific to gun shows, additionally, it confuses the issue by suggesting that the gun shows themselves are somehow exempt from background check legislation, which they’re not.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I heard bleating about the “gun show loophole” when the Glendale city council voted to ban the Glendale gun show earlier this year, despite the fact that ALL firearms transfers in California are subject to background checks regardless of whether they’re by licensed dealers or private parties (and despite the fact that the Glendale gun show was really little more than antique guns and beef jerky).

    It should really be termed the “private party transfer loophole”, although even then, “loophole” is a bit of a stretch since that implies people are using the law in a way not envisioned by it’s framers, which isn’t really the case.

  15. DaveL says

    I can tell you how he got the guns and ammo he isn’t allowed to have — gun shows, which don’t have to do background checks.

    Highly unlikely. First, ammo purchases don’t require a background check in Ohio – he probably bought all that stuff from mainstream retailers. Regarding the guns themselves, surveys of incarcerated criminals regarding how they obtain their guns show that gun shows ranks near the bottom of preferred methods, below even buying them outright from licensed dealers (not all felons have been caught before). Far more important are the illegal “street” sources (mostly selling stolen merchandise) and straw buyers.

  16. freehand says

    kantalope@13Is it weird that it is easier for the felonz to buy guns at “not gunshows ( I assures ya) than it is for felonz to vote?

    In many states, it’s easier for felons to buy weapons than it is for many qualified voters to vote

  17. Doug Little says

    weaver @12,

    First of all, 18 guns isn’t a “massive arsenal”.

    When you have more guns than golf clubs it constitutes an arsenal.

    40 thousand rounds sounds like a lot, but for active, competitive shooters, it’s not really that much – particularly if much of it is in .22LR, which is frequently purchased a thousand rounds at a time.

    So by that logic they shouldn’t have anymore than 2000 rounds at any one time, going to the ammo store 40 times seems a bit excessive.

  18. D. C. Sessions says

    In many states, it’s easier for felons to buy weapons than it is for many qualified voters to vote

    Well, duh! — which is more dangerous to society, a few firearms or a slave uprising honest radical public officials?

  19. AsqJames says

    Isn’t the take home from this that commercial interests trump public safety? The NFL, NBA, NHL, etc and Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc will be constantly pressuring the feds to crack down on counterfeit sportswear. Gun manufacturers and retailers don’t want the transaction costs of gun sales to increase, and most of them don’t give a toss whether they’re selling to felons or not anyway.

  20. Matrim says

    @democommie #11>
    ar·se·nal
    ˈärs(ə)-nl/
    noun
    1.
    a collection of weapons and military equipment stored by a country, person, or group.

    I don’t care what gun nuts may think. It constitutes an arsenal by definition. :p

    @weaver #12> Ah, so gun shows require background checks…except for the people that don’t. Got it. *rolls eyes*

  21. sundoga says

    Matrim and Chris Adam-Connor, you’re deliberately misreading what Democommie said, so stop lying. The problem is NOT gunshows. Professional dealers MUST do the background checks for ALL sales.
    Private sales, on the other hand are not regulated throughout much of the US. THAT is the problem, and those sales can take place ANYWHERE.

  22. ragarth says

    The white supremacist guy should get locked away.

    That said, the above people are right that 40k ammo isn’t actually all that much to have stockpiled. The price of ammunition fluctuates significantly based on the price of copper and also the government’s current military actions, therefore people who do a decent amount of target shooting will often buy in bulk to save money. I, personally, have never amassed 40k ammo because I have far less disposable income than the average person, but I do know people who do because they like to buy enough ammo for the whole year–it saves them money.

    The fact that this guy has 18 guns is a big deal, and there’s no excuse for that–he shouldn’t have had a single one–but 18 guns isn’t a big deal if you can legally own firearms and are interested in collecting them. I have 4 fire arms: A handgun (my favorite to shoot on the range), a .22 rifle (cheap plinker), an sks and a mosin nagant. Those last two are classic weapons that I pretty much never shoot, they’re part of a collection I’m trying to build up (I want to get a firearm for each version of the 7.62 ammunition).

    The gunshow thing is also a poor call. Both my mosin nagant and my sks were bought at gunshows. The SKS was fresh out of the ground in Yugoslavia so still covered in cosmoline. In both instances I had to get a background check, both in Texas and Virginia. This is why saying that gunshows are the issue signifies someone who hasn’t actually *researched* the issue, it’s not gunshows, it’s independent gun sellers. The ‘gunshow’ loophole is also the craigslist loophole and the yardsale loophole. Focusing only on gunshows is not getting at the real issue and people advocating for stronger gun control are shooting themselves in the foot (zing) by trying to regulate gunshows when they need to be trying to regulate independent sellers.

  23. says

    @15,16,18 7 25:

    Wrong. Illegal sales of firearms are conducted on a regular and frequent basis in the parking lots adjacent to gunshows, by “private owners” who just have a few gunz to sell from their collections and don’t want to bother with the paperwork or background checks. Nobody has to take my word for it, it’s well documented.

    For prolly the bazillionth time I feel the need to say that I LIKE gunz. I just don’t feel the need to own any and never have. I’ve lived in shitty neighborhoods, travelled alone, been in the scary dark woods and had people actually threaten me. I have never been shot, stabbed or seriously beaten. Few people I know have been shot stabbed or seriously beaten. Those who were shot were shot by idiots with gunz for the most part–idiots who didn’t know how to use them.

    The loophole isn’t IN gunzshowz, the loophole is that there is little if any regulation AROUND the gunzshowz.

    In the instant case, the asswipe’s possession of firearms and ammunition is totally indefensible and, no, it’s not like he might be a LAGO. He’s a fucking criminal.

  24. says

    “The ‘gunshow’ loophole is also the craigslist loophole and the yardsale loophole.”

    Right. I go to lots of yardsales and have NEVER been offered a gun at one of them.

    The reason that gunzshowz are the preferred venue for undocumented gunz sales is because that’s where large groups of people gather who LOVE gunz*.

    * Many of whom also hate Obama, the ACA, the ACLU, people of color, gays and, well, you know where this goes.

  25. ragarth says

    @28 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAY0iMQz2m8

    Hi Observer bias! “Gee! *I* never experienced it so it must not exist!” is the mating call of people who don’t do research. Just because you don’t go to yard sales that offer guns doesn’t mean there aren’t yard sales where they’re offered. I’ve seen yard sales in Texas with firearms for sale.

    Also, the fact that you feel “Many of whom also hate Obama, the ACA, the ACLU, people of color, gays and well, you know where this goes.” is important to say here says a lot more about you than the topic at hand. It adds nothing to the discussion except maybe some theramin sounds from an old ghost movie.

    If these two points are the apex of your argument, I’m not really sure there’s anything for me to gain discussing the issue with you.

    Now, my opinion on the matter is this:
    Independent gun sales need to be regulated as well. A major challenge to instituting universal background checks, however, is the fact that the cost of doing background checks is prohibitive for people doing independent sales. Without instituting an easy and cheap method for an independent seller to perform background checks, you give gun stores a monopoly on all firearm transactions and run a high risk of simply not solving the issue by making the incidence of illegal gun sales rise.

    I also feel that independent gun sales are just a tiny fraction of the issue. Closing it will reduce the incidence of crimes of passion and of gun ownership by mentally unwell people. It will not deter other forms of violent crime. The vast majority of firearms used in premeditated (here covering assault, armed robbery, premeditated murder, etc. ) crimes are purchased illegally ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html ). I don’t know of a good solution for this right now.

    But, I suspect I’m wasting my time speaking to you on this. My guess is that you’re not actually interested in solving the issue, just playing the ‘us’ vs ‘them’ game, as evidenced with your “Many of whom…” line.

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