IMG_0259Under North Carolina law, it is illegal to buy and sell black bear parts. So when it comes to commercial trade, you don’t have a right to bear arms.

Or bear paws. Or gall bladders.

Authorities said a Virginia Beach man knew this in 2013 when he made contacts to obtain bear gall bladders, apparently for use in traditional medicine. Turned out that one of the contacts was a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent conducting an undercover investigation into bear part commercialization, and last week the Virginia man pleaded guilty to Lacey Act charges in federal court in Asheville In connection with bear pieces from North Carolina.

According to the documents filed with the U.S. department of Justice:

(The man) illegally engaged in conduct that involved the sale and purchase and intent to sell 18 American black bear gall bladders, 16 American black bear claws, two American black bear paws and approximately 50 pounds of American black bear meat in 2014. (He) further admitted that on three separate occasions—Jan. 6, 2014, March 5, 2014, and Dec. 17, 2014—he knowingly transported or caused to be transported American black bear parts.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of the plea agreement, he has agreed to publish a statement apologizing for his illegal conduct.

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