A Baltimore man is being held without bail in Harford County after allegedly making threats against the government and a Harford County judge while trying to purchase a firearm last week, according to court records.
Michael Earl Basham, 42, of the 2700 block of Reese Street, is charged with two counts of perjury on an affidavit required by the government and four counts of attempted possession of a non-regulated firearm.
A concerned citizen called Bel Air Police June 4 about a man, later identified as Basham, who was “expressing his displeasure about the government while attempting to purchase firearms” at Dick’s Sporting Goods in the 500 block of West MacPhail Road in Bel Air, according to charging documents.
When officers arrived at the store, Basham was walking away from the firearms counter, calling the store manager a “fascist and communist” after he was denied the purchase of two firearms, according to the documents.
Officers spoke with Basham outside in the parking lot to check his mental status and he said he was unhappy about having to sit in a courtroom all morning, only to have District Court Judge Mimi Cooper postpone his case, which “wasted his day,” he told the officers, according to court records.
According to online court records, Basham was scheduled to appear in court June 4 on traffic-related charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol, negligent driving, failing to drive on the right half of the road when required and speeding. He said the store had no right to deny his purchase of firearms, since he was not a felon, according to charging documents.
Officers spoke with managers at Dick’s, who said Basham completed the necessary forms to buy a firearm. Other witnesses said Basham said, “I will not be happy until I buy a gun or two,” according to charging documents.
Police received a call the same day from Top Gun, an independent firearms dealer in the 2800 block of Belair Road in Fallston, where Basham had attempted to buy two firearms: a rifle and a shotgun.
Basham, who was reported in court records to appear disheveled, filled out an ATF form while his sales receipt was being written, according to charging documents. While waiting for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Basham joked that the government was infringing on his rights, court records state.
When the background check system’s results were delayed, Top Gun employees explained that Basham could get his weapons once the check results were received. Basham called the store the next day on June 5 asking if the “delay” was cleared and was told nothing had changed, and he would be notified when he could pick up his firearms.
Through a check of various databases, it was determined Basham is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because of a conviction on Nov. 28, 2001, of concealing a deadly weapon, according to the charging documents.
He was arrested June 6 on a warrant on the perjury charges issued the day before, court records state. He was taken to Harford County Detention Center and is being held pending a hearing, according to online court records. A lawyer was not listed in court records.