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Feds, Fresno PD Celebrate Arrest of Bakersfield Gun Shop Owner
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 6 months ago on
November 1, 2023

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Federal agents and Fresno police say they’ve taken a big-time illegal firearms dealer off the street.

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced the arrest of Joshua Ruic Kimball, 40, of Bakersfield, at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

According to authorities, more than 100 firearms traced to Kimball have been seized during crime investigations since 2021.

Undercover Agents Made Buys at Shop: DOJ

In addition, undercover agents met with Kimball at his Bakersfield gun shop, Show Off Sports LLC, and bought a short-barreled rife and several silencers. According to federal prosecutors, Kimball did not perform background checks and other documentation required by law for the purchases.

“Under the guise of operating a legal firearms shop, Kimball was selling firearms in bulk without recording transactions through the ATF or complying with state background check or waiting period requirements,” Talbert said. “Over one hundred firearms traced to his operation have been recovered at crime scenes throughout the district, California, and other states. Our office is grateful for the strong federal, state, and local partnerships that made this investigation successful.”

Said Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama: “These guns will no longer pose a threat to our community, and the individual responsible for their distribution will be held accountable. I commend the Central Valley Crime Gun Task Force, a collaboration between the Fresno Police Department and the ATF, for successfully conducting this large-scale and complex investigation.”

Registered Federal Firearms Dealer

According to ATF records, Show Off Sports is at 4253 Renfro Road in Bakersfield and has a type 07 license to sell firearms through June 1, 2025. That type of license allows the shop to manufacture and deal in firearms “other than destructive devices.”

Types of federal firearms licenses

Kimball’s Arraignment

Kimball is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in federal court in Bakersfield.

If convicted, Kimball would face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for illegally trafficking in firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Fresno Police Department investigated Kimball. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert L. Veneman-Hughes and Stephanie M. Stokman are the prosecutors.

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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