TRURO — A Truro man is facing a federal charge of illegally selling firearms after being indicted by a grand jury. A continuing investigation may result in additional charges, according to the Truro police.
James P. McNulty, 59, allegedly “offered for sale or sold at least 55 firearms on Cape Cod between January and April 2021,” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office. He does not have a license to import, manufacture, or sell firearms. He was indicted on one count of dealing in firearms without a license.
James P. McNulty, who lives on Morris Avenue and is the subject of the grand jury investigation, is neither the same person as nor related to James J. McNulty, the co-owner of Jimmy’s Hideaway in Provincetown. “I’m not into guns,” said restaurateur McNulty on Monday.
If James P. McNulty is found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Selling firearms is classified as a felony, which means a sentence would involve more time served in a state or federal prison.
Details related to the charge were scant.
While the Provincetown and Truro police departments were both involved in the federal investigation, Provincetown Chief James Golden declined to comment, and local police reports related to McNulty’s alleged firearms dealings are being withheld for now.
Truro Det. Sgt. Steven Raneo told the Independent that his department is conducting its own investigation into possible violations of state gun laws by McNulty. “He may face further charges,” Raneo said. Those would be separate from the federal charge. The police reports will be released when the investigation has concluded, Raneo said.
McNulty was previously arrested on gun-related charges in Truro in 2013. During the service of a restraining order, police ordered him to surrender all firearms and ammunition. According to the police report, McNulty told the officers he had seven guns in his bedroom, but he did not tell police that he had more than a dozen rifles in his basement in crates. McNulty was charged with 18 counts of improper storage of a firearm and one count of possession of an assault weapon. All charges were ultimately dismissed upon the recommendation of the probation department.
Attorney Arnold Lett of West Dennis confirmed that he will represent McNulty in U.S. District Court. He said he has represented McNulty in the past, but not for anything as serious as the firearms charge.
Lett had no comment on the current case. He had not yet discussed the charge with McNulty. “I haven’t had the chance to see the documents yet,” Lett said. There are sometimes delays in getting documents from federal authorities, he said.
U.S. Attorney Rollins and James Ferguson, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division, announced McNulty’s arrest.
The only documents the U.S. Attorney’s spokesperson would make public were the indictment from the grand jury, containing the single charge, and the conditions of his release.
After an initial appearance before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal on Feb. 23, McNulty was released on conditions that include reporting to a supervising probation officer, avoiding all contact with victims or witnesses related to the charge, submitting to any drug testing required by the supervising officer, and not possessing any firearms.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Dell’Anno, of Rollins’s Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the federal case. The date has not yet been set for McNulty’s next court appearance.