B.C. gun shop shut down amid gang tie allegations
The owner of a suburban gun shop accused of smuggling high powered weapons into B.C. is now permanently out of business.
Port Coquitlam, B.C., city councillors voted unanimously Thursday night to revoke the business licence of Sureshot Tactical and Hunting Supplies, saying the shop is a public safety risk.
Owners Shahriar Tavazoie, 41, and Maryam Behagh, 33, were charged in early March with possession for the purpose of weapons trafficking, possessing a prohibited firearm, smuggling and importing a prohibited device.
Tavazoie's lawyer, David Payne, asked for a 60 day suspension to allow the business to sell off the remaining guns and other products inside -- but the city refused.
"Our communities are concerned about 22-year-olds running around that are related to gangs that have fire arms below their seat going after people for whatever reason. My client has nothing to do with that," Tavazoie told the council.
Police believe Tavazoie is connected to the growing gang trade in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.
RCMP raided the business and the couple's Surrey home in February, seizing automatic weapons and 64 magazines of armour piercing bullets.
"There's no legitimate reason why anyone would have that ammunition," said RCMP Superintendent Bill Ard. "It has single purpose and that's to penetrate armour it's used by armies for that purpose."
Tavazoie and Behagh still face charges alleging they knowingly imported and smuggled banned firearms and ammunition that they planned on illegally selling.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Rob McKee and files from The Canadian Press