Jury Convicts Jefferson City Man, Joshua Michael Lehman, of False Information in Two Attempts to Purchase Firearms

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) A Jefferson City, Missouri, man has been convicted by a federal jury of providing false information in two unsuccessful attempts to purchase firearms.

Joshua Michael Lehman, 35, was found guilty on Monday, Dec. 9, of two counts of making false statements in a federal record provided to a licensed firearms dealer.

Lehman attempted to purchase a Ruger 9mm pistol at Bob’s Guns on Dec. 29, 2017, and attempted to purchase a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun at Dunham’s Sports on Feb. 15, 2018.  In each instance, Lehman claimed, in a federal firearms transaction record, that he had not been adjudicated to be mentally defective and committed to a mental institution, which he knew was false.

Both purchases were denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) because Lehman had been civilly committed as mentally defective.

On March 20, 2018, Lehman’s mother (through an attorney) contacted the Cole County Sheriff’s Department because she believed her son was a danger to others and had been attempting to purchase a firearm.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Missouri deliberated for approximately 40 minutes before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough, ending a one-day trial.

Under federal statutes, Lehman is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.