A former candidate for Tangipahoa Parish Council has been accused of selling gear that allows people to turn their pistols into machine guns.
Waylon Givens is scheduled to appear in federal court in New Orleans on Thursday for arraignment.
He had previously announced his intention to run for the District 2 council seat, representing the Amite area. However, on Aug. 24, he announced via his campaign Facebook page that he would be dropping out “because of some issues and opportunities with my business.”
In a campaign announcement published by Action News 17, Givens identified himself as the owner of Givens Firearms as well as the former owner of Loco Java Coffee & Tea in Amite.
According to a bill of information filed last week, sometime around June 2012, Givens sold gun parts that allow a shooter to alter a handgun so it automatically fires multiple shots with a single trigger pull.
The equipment is known as “Glock full-auto conversion kits” or “Lightning Links,” according to the court document.
In July 2014, he lied to federal agents about the kits, the bill alleges. Givens told Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents that he sold multiple kits to a single unknown person, when he actually sold kits to several people who he could identify, the document states.
However, it does not specify how many kits were sold, or to how many buyers.
Givens’ actions violated the federal Gun Control Act, the bill states. He faces one count each of illegal possession of a machine gun and making a false statement.
Though Givens has dropped out of the Parish Council race, he has sought the office before and nearly won a seat in the last election.
In 2011, he reached a runoff and claimed 49 percent of the vote, narrowly losing to Greg Varnado.
Neither Givens nor his attorney returned calls seeking comment Wednesday.
Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.