A Fulton County judge shot down an imprisoned Macon gun dealer’s effort to stop Georgia revenue officials from selling what he claims are millions of dollars in collectible firearms to settle nearly $126,000 in back taxes.
Mark Mann, whose Mann’s World LLC owns The Rifleman gun store in Macon, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison in July for illegally possessing a Finnish anti-tank gun.
In September, Mann’s World filed a petition in Fulton County Superior Court saying state Department of Revenue agents seized nine “museum quality weapons” with an appraised value of more than $50 million the month before.
Among the weapons reportedly seized from the store’s vault were a Colt M16 once handled by President John F. Kennedy and appraised for as much as $50 million, according to the petition. Several of the other guns, including a Colt Thompson M1, three Colt AR15s, a Colt 639, two Armalite AR15s and a Harrington & Richardson M16A, are worth in excess of $1 million.
The petition asked the court to enjoin the Department of Revenue to prevent the state from selling or improperly storing the “priceless historic museum articles,” and require they be “appropriately packaged and stored in a climate controlled environment” so they cannot be touched.
In response, the office of Attorney General Chris Carr argued that the petition was barred by sovereign immunity and that Georgia law prohibits the filing of an injunction seeking to halt the collection of taxes.
The state’s brief, filed by W. Wright Banks Jr., Alex Sponseller and Lynn Chen, also argued that Mann’s World had not exhausted other administrative remedies necessary to appeal a tax levy.
On Nov. 6, Judge Henry Newkirk dismissed the gun shop’s petition, ruling sovereign immunity barred any action seeking injunctive relief unless such immunity was specifically waived by constitutional or statutory authority.
Newkirk’s order did not reach the state’s other arguments.
Mann’s World’s attorney, Alexander Repasky of Marietta’s Repasky & Repasky, said he was unaware of Newkirk’s order when contacted by the Daily Report, and noted there had been no hearing.
Repasky said he would need to review the order before commenting.
A spokeswoman for Carr’s office declined to comment.