- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Ten men accused of illegally selling firearms at a southeastern Alabama flea market have been arrested, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives started investigating gun sales at Sadie’s Flea Market near Dothan, Alabama after federal agents were informed of the questionable sales, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama George Beck told the Dothan Eagle (http://bit.ly/1r7uK14).

The market’s organizers weren’t involved in the firearms sales, which date back to at least October 2013, Beck said.

Undercover informants made purchases as part of the investigation. More than 200 guns and 500 rounds of ammunition were seized in the operation, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

“We’re not targeting guns or people’s right to bear arms, but we’re trying to protect it,” Beck told the newspaper. “It’s so that law-abiding citizens can own guns.” He added that the investigation is meant to uphold federal laws aimed at protecting Second Amendment rights.

“One of those rules is a person is prohibited from knowingly selling a gun to a felon. That rule is important to protect the citizens because we don’t want guns to get into the hands of those who have committed serious crimes,” Beck said.

The men who are charged in the investigation range from 27 to 84 years old, and are from Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Nine of the 10 are charged with knowingly selling guns to convicted felons and four have also been charged with selling firearms without a license. Some of the men charged in the case are also convicted felons, which prohibits them from legally owning firearms.

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Information from: The Dothan Eagle, http://www.dothaneagle.com