Michigan gun store owner accused of illegally making assault rifles, converting Glocks into rifles

Hamed Awad facing charge for manufacturing firearms without license, officials say

Hamed Awad and some illegally manufactured firearms at Adam's Gun Store in Flint, according to authorities. (United States District Court)

FLINT, Mich. – Former and current employees of a Michigan gun store owner spoke with federal officials and exposed him for illegally manufacturing assault rifles and converting Glock pistols into rifles, authorities said.

Hamed Awad, the owner of Adam’s Gun Shop in Flint, is named in a criminal complaint that was unsealed Dec. 21 and accuses him of manufacturing firearms without a license.

Awad and Adam’s Gun Shop owned licenses to sell firearms between February and July 2020, but neither had the authority to manufacture them, according to authorities.

Former employee interviewed

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives first started investigating Awad and Adam’s Gun Shop in December 2019 due to other firearm offenses.

On Feb. 21, 2020, authorities spoke with a man who had worked at the gun shop from September 2018 to January 2019, according to court records.

The former employee said he had stopped working at the gun shop because he “felt Awad was doing ‘shady’ businesses practices,” the criminal complaint says.

He told authorities that Awad was selling the Glock rifle conversion kit.

“Based on my training and conversations with other ATF personnel, I am aware that a Glock pistol placed inside a rifle conversion kit with an installed rifle stock is classified as a short barrel rifle and regulated by the National Firearms Act, which requires such firearms to be registered and subject to a tax,” an ATF agent wrote in the complaint. “In addition, when a person places a Glock pistol inside a rifle conversion kit, the person is manufacturing a firearm in an attempt to increase the value of the firearm, and thus, make a profit.”

The former employee told officials that he had approached Awad about the Glock conversion rifles, so Awad pulled them from the shelf.

Awad was also manufacturing AR-15s in his shop, according to the former employee. He said he approached Awad and told him Adam’s Gun Shop didn’t have a manufacturing license.

Second employee interviewed

In June 2020, officials spoke with an Adam’s Gun Store employee who had worked there for about six months. He reported compliance issues at the gun shop and agreed to continue working there to gather information for the ATF.

The employee was paid to continue his employment and provide information, the criminal complaint says.

He told officials in June 2020 that he saw Awad manufacturing multiple firearms for sale. Awad would separately purchase AR lower receivers and AR upper receivers and assemble them at the shop, court records show.

“I know that an AR-15 is comprised of a lower receiver and upper receiver to make a fully functioning firearm,” the agent said in the complaint. “The main components of an AR-15 lower receiver are the body of the firearm, pistol grip, trigger mechanism, and butt stock of the firearm. The main components of an AR-upper receiver are the barrel, bolt assembly, and ejection port. Based on my training and experience, I am aware that the assembly of AR-style rifles from upper and lower receivers and other parts is considered manufacturing firearms.”

The employee told authorities that he had been directed by Awad multiple times to assemble firearms to be sold for profit.

Witness interview

On July 7, 2020, special agents spoke to a woman who admitted she had bought an assault rifle pistol from Adam’s Gun Shop.

The woman said she and her boyfriend went into the store and looked at the pistol together. Her boyfriend had an active personal protection order filed against him and was not allowed to buy or possess a firearm, according to authorities.

He told his girlfriend that he liked the pistol, and when they left the store, he threatened her in order to make her buy it for him, the criminal complaint says.

The woman went back into the shop and bought the pistol by herself.

After the interview, the woman gave ATF agents two guns she had bought for her boyfriend, including a multi-caliber American Tactical Imports Omni Hybrid semiautomatic pistol.

An employee of American Tactical Inc. informed agents that the Omni Hybrid had been shipped to a gun shop in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on May 3, 2018. That store reported that the receiver had been shipped to Adam’s Gun Shop on Dec. 26, 2018.

On March 14, 2020, the receiver was sold by Adam’s Gun Shop as part of a semiautomatic pistol.

“Based on my training and experience, I know it is common practice by firearm manufacturers to receive multiple parts from different companies and assemble them into a complete firearm to sell firearms for additional profit,” the criminal complaint reads.

Illegally manufactured firearms at Adam's Gun Store in Flint, according to authorities. (United States District Court)
Illegally manufactured firearms at Adam's Gun Store in Flint, according to authorities. (United States District Court)

Undercover purchase

On July 16, 2020, an undercover special agent from the ATF bought two AR-15-style rifles from Adam’s Gun Shop, court records show: A Zaviar model Z-15, multi-caliber rifle and a Palmetto State Armory model PA-15, multi caliber rifle.

Both guns were chambered in .450 Bushmaster caliber, officials said. The employee who still worked at the shop told authorities that those guns had been manufactured by or at the direction of Awad.

The special agent said neither Palmetto State Armory nor Zavier Firearms had completed .450 Bushmaster caliber rifles for sale. They both sold receivers, complete upper assembly kits, and complete firearms, he said.

On July 17, 2020, the agent spoke to the owner of Zaviar Firearms, who told him that the model Z-15 multi-caliber rifle had been sold to Adam’s Gun Shop as a 5.56-caliber semiautomatic pistol. He said the gun had been manufactured into a .450 Bushmaster caliber rifle, according to the criminal complaint.

Shipment of guns

Officials received a call from the Adam’s Gun Store employee on July 20. He told them Awad had received a shipment of 50 Anderson Manufacturing AR lower receivers and a shipment of 10 Bear Creek Arsenal upper AR-style receivers.

The employee said Awad started to manufacture the AR-style lower receivers by assembling them with Bear Creek Arsenal upper receivers. Awad told the employee to help him assemble the guns in order to sell them, according to authorities.

The employee sent officials a picture of Awad with the shipment at Adam’s Gun Shop.

Hamed Awad at Adam's Gun Shop in Flint. (United States District Court)

ATF agents believe Awad purchased so many lower receivers so he could manufacture AR-style guns to sell for profit.


Authorities received a search warrant for Adam’s Gun Shop and went to the store on July 27, 2020.

ATF agents said they seized 493 guns, including pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, and receiver/frames. Of those guns, about 50 were AR lower receivers and eight AR upper receivers, court records show.

The criminal complaint concludes there’s probable cause that Awad willfully engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms without a license.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.