Investigators: U of M Professor Went on Illegal Gun-Buying Spree

August 29, 2017 10:20 PM

A high ranking professor and department head at the University of Minnesota is facing charges for going on an illegal gun buying spree.

The purchases would have been perfectly legal, except Massoud Amin is under felony indictment.

That should have banned him from buying guns.

Aminis the director of the Technological Leadership Institute at the University and is considered an expert in cyber security.

He's won numerous teaching awards, written studies, appeared on magazine covers and his expertise was even used in a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS story back in August of 2014.

According to a criminal complaint, however, Amin was charged with seven gross misdemeanors earlier this month. Each charge carries a sentence of up to a year in jail.

Investigators say Amin – who his attorney describes as a gun hobbyist – bought 14 handguns from seven separate gun shops across the metro in a two-and-a-half-week span this summer.

He was under a felony indictment at the time, accused of providing fabricated financial documents in his divorce.

Yet that first gun purchase came just six days after he was charged with forgery.

"If you've been charged with a felony, you would have to answer yes to that on the form," Clay Brisbin, General Manager at Bill's Gun Shop, said.


Bill's Gun Shop is one of the locations Amin purchased a firearm.

Brisbin said anyone who tries to buy a gun must fill out a federal document called a Firearms Transaction Record.

One of the questions on the form reads "Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony?"

Court records show Amin checked "no."

"If you lie on this form, you are essentially committing a felony in and of itself," Brisbin said.

Amin told  5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the allegations are totally false.
His attorney, Christopher Madel, later sent a statement say his client will "prove his innocence in court."

Amin's employer, the University of Minnesota, was unaware of the charges against him, according to a spokesperson.

They said he is still an "active member" of the faculty.

The firearms Amin purchased were seized when investigators executed a search warrant on July 19, however, they left the guns he already owned.

Filling out the federal firearms form is only one step in the gun-buying process.

In addition, retails do an FBI background check, which should indicate if the buyer has been convicted or even charged with a felony.

Amin's attorney tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he did have a permit to carry, but would not comment on whether or not it was valid.

New this year in Minnesota, the permit to carry is enough to bypass the extra background check at the point of purchase since permit holders have already been screened.


Ryan Raiche

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