Woonsocket man prohibited from obtaining firearms charged with lying on firearm purchase application


An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha today announced that a Woonsocket man has been charged in Third Division District Court in Warwick with providing false information in connection with the attempted purchase of a firearm, following an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

On January 17, 2024, investigators from the Office of the Attorney General arrested Wilfredo Navarro (age 30) and charged him with one count of providing false information while attempting to secure a firearm.


As alleged in the complaint, on November 11, 2023, the defendant attempted to purchase a Sig Sauer P365 semi-automatic handgun from Big Bear Hunting & Fishing in Glocester and was subsequently denied after a National Instant Background Check System (NICS) check returned results flagging that the defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm.


Upon investigation, investigators found that the defendant was arrested on December 20, 2022, by the Woonsocket Police Department and charged with domestic breaking and entering, domestic simple assault, and domestic disorderly conduct. This case (P2-2023-0834ADV) is currently pending in Providence County Superior Court and the Court issued a no-contact-order between the defendant and the alleged victim in August 2023.


Under federal law, certain individuals are restricted from possessing a firearm, including individuals who are subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Additionally, federal law prohibits any person under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition. These laws inform two of the questions on the federal gun purchase application.


As alleged, the defendant lied on his federal application by denying that he was currently subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner. The defendant also allegedly lied on the application by denying that he was currently under indictment or information for a felony, or any other crime which a judge could impose a possible sentence of more than a year.


“As alleged, this case is an outstanding example of our gun laws and our investigators working as intended to protect Rhode Islanders,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Ensuring that those who are charged with violent crimes, including and especially those of a domestic nature, don’t obtain guns is critical to keeping our communities safe from gun violence. I want to thank the investigators from this Office’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation Unit for their exceptional work here.”

The defendant is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on May 1, 2024, in Kent County Superior Court.