Man who was subject of raid now selling his firearms

Shelley Martin, the wife of Bill Martin, holds a civil war era gun which is one of 150 guns be sold at an auction.

The “Infamous Bill Martin” will auction off more than 150 of the guns the Mesa County SWAT team and federal investigators seized more than a year ago, according to a flier from United Auctioneers.

Martin said with law enforcement making public how and where his family stored their guns, in a secret room below his home and business, A-1
Repossessions, it makes sense to “just get rid of the problem.”

“Anyone that wanted guns knows where to get them,” Martin said, citing local law enforcement’s court filings.

Officers from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided his Fruitvale home in November 2007 on a report that Martin, a convicted felon, owned guns.

After the raid, however, the U.S. Attorney for Colorado and the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office dropped their cases against Martin, clearing the way for the Sheriff’s Department to return Martin’s guns to his family. Martin said the raid and subsequent legal tussle robbed most of his collection of its “flavor” for him.

“I like ice cream, but I don’t like my face being shoved in it,” Martin said.

Jeff Jones, a sales manager with United Auctioneers, said the auction will take place Dec. 20 at 3090 Interstate 70 Business Loop with the guns out for inspection at 11 a.m. and a 1 p.m. auction.

The sale, according to the auction flier, will include guns from the Civil War and World War II and a wide variety of shotguns, rifles and pistols.

Martin said his family plans to keep several guns, including some heirlooms, at his home and business.

Though most of Martin’s guns will leave his hands, he said his legal fight will continue.
Martin said he plans to file a civil lawsuit in a Denver federal court to recoup his legal fees and seek damages for violations of his civil rights.


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