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Posted: 8/28/2004 3:34:24 AM EST
I am known to my co workers and friends as "one of those gun guys". As the expiration of the awb approaches more of them have brought this up in converstation. Most of them dont know which end of a gun is dangerous, let alone the difference between a fixed/collapsable stock or the difference between a comp/flash hider.

Rather than attempting to expalin the above I simply tell them that if the AWB were a useful crime fighting tool, our ATF would have actually used it to prosecute some violators. I remember reading an article in a gun magazine about this.

Does anyone know the number of people prosecuted for violating the AWB of 1994? I cant remember the exact figure, but I do remember it was very low.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 3:46:40 AM EST
Several threads here have quoted the number at ONE.
Not sure if that's true or not, but I certainly haven't heard of any.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 3:48:11 AM EST
I don't think there have been ANY convictions using the AWB, for JUST the AWB. I think all the AWB convistions were just tacked onto worse convictions.

ie: Find a drug operation and find post ban guns with naughty colapsable stocks and add 10 years to some drug related sentences.


I think.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 4:29:48 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 5:10:45 AM EST
Here is the only one I know of:
http://www.constitution.org/2ll/bardwell/us_v_starr.txt

And the other posters are correct - it was tacked on to a drug charge.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 5:36:47 AM EST
We need to put the 1994 AWB into context. The "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994" was a HUGE piece of legislation. It contained 116,537 words and covered everything from assault weapons to how much a public school could spend on a pencil. The section WE care about, Section 110101 "Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act" (AWB), is only 1,629 words long. This is the section that deals with "evil features" and "high capacity ammunition feeding devices" etc. And this is the section that goes bye bye in 2 weeks.

So, if the question is how many persons have been charged with violating Sec. 110101, the answer is ZERO.

Where the confusion arises is when people cite prosecutions that REFERENCE Sec. 110101. Once this law took effect, government entities (Federal and State and Local) used the definitions contained within it to write other laws. For example, the State of Washington might have enacted a law that made it illegal for a drug dealer to possess an AW within 33 feet of a school on Sundays. Or another Federal law was signed that made it a crime to give an AW to an 8 year old who attended a day care center that received Federal funds. The list goes on and on. Are these violations of the AWB? No. Are these violations that USE the AWB as a reference point? Yes.

I have asked acquaintances at Justice and in the US Attorney's office to check if there has ever been a person prosecuted for simple violation of the evil feature section of the AWB. The answer always comes back as no. This makes sense if one thinks about it. For one thing, most people have no clue what the AWB is. Just because everyone here on ARFCOM (and other internet forums) know all the details and police ourselves religiously doesn't mean that everyone else does. All of us constantly see illegal assault weapons at gun shows, on gun broker and at gun stores. Pick up any issue of Shotgun News and look at the ads for uppers or kits. They all say "available in pre or post ban configuration". Look at the collapsible stocks that are sold by the thousands. Do you really think that every upper sold with a flash hider or folding stock is going on a genuine pre-ban lower? Of course not. IF the US Attorney WAS prosecuting people there would be tens of thousands of people behind bars by now.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:13:18 AM EST
Starr is the only prosecution I am aware of too.

A few have been charged (Like Larry in the RENO bust), but not prosecuted yet.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:24:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 7:25:37 AM EST by ark-and-spark]

Originally Posted By OODA_Loop:
Here is the only one I know of:
www.constitution.org/2ll/bardwell/us_v_starr.txt

And the other posters are correct - it was tacked on to a drug charge.

Made it hot.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:36:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Starr is the only prosecution I am aware of too.

A few have been charged (Like Larry in the RENO bust), but not prosecuted yet.



Larry WAS NOT charged with with an illegal AW violation.

I'm not flaming you Renegade, not at all. This is just an example of the misinformation that is floating around out there.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 9:30:22 AM EST
I thought Larry's situation was more of to many firearm transactions/transfers without being a licensed firearms dealer?

Thanks,
Ron
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 9:57:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 10:28:14 AM EST by spookyspiff]
There have been numerous prosecutions for 18 U.S.C. Section 922 (v) and/or (w). If you ask an attorney to do a simple lexis search you will see what I'm talking about. It is true that they are almost always tied to drug/gang prosecutions. For one of the more interesting cases, see:

United States v. Spinner, 332 U.S. App. D.C. 1 (1998)

BTW, that case seems to refute the assertion that it is incumbent upon the owner/possesor of the assault weapon in question to prove that it is not an illegal assault weapon.

Cheers!

edited to add: Hey this is kinda interesting. But see:
United States v. Hayes, 68 Fed. Appx. 432

Some guys in NC were selling "assault weapons" at a flea market without a FFL (i'm guessing for profit/as a business, at least in the govt's eyes). They were arrested for operating without an FFL and then their sentences were enhanced because they were dealing in assault weapons. The kicker? The weapons were probably all preban and the govt even conceded that. But for sentencing enhancement purposes, the court said it didn't matter about preban/postban status, just the features. I call BS. BTW, no drugs involved. AND, they sent a dying 80 something year old man to federal prison for nearly 4 years. Nice. Arrests occured in 2002, decision is from '03.

Do note that even this case was not a simple possession of an AWB. And if it had been, it wouldn't have even been a successful prosecution. Just an interesting (read "whacked") use of the AWB!

Link Posted: 8/28/2004 10:38:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By rickinvegas:

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Starr is the only prosecution I am aware of too.

A few have been charged (Like Larry in the RENO bust), but not prosecuted yet.



Larry WAS NOT charged with with an illegal AW violation.

I'm not flaming you Renegade, not at all. This is just an example of the misinformation that is floating around out there.



What was he charged with then? That article clearly said he was charged/indicted for at least 2 firearms related offenses.

If not him though, than others were. Or is that whole article that was posted here inaccurate?
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 11:26:18 AM EST
I don't think the Feds actively sought to try anyone for AWB violation. There was a good chance it could have been ruled unconstitutional.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 11:38:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:

Originally Posted By rickinvegas:

Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Starr is the only prosecution I am aware of too.

A few have been charged (Like Larry in the RENO bust), but not prosecuted yet.



Larry WAS NOT charged with with an illegal AW violation.

I'm not flaming you Renegade, not at all. This is just an example of the misinformation that is floating around out there.



What was he charged with then? That article clearly said he was charged/indicted for at least 2 firearms related offenses.

If not him though, than others were. Or is that whole article that was posted here inaccurate?



Charged with a "firearms related offense"? Yes. Charged with anything to do with an illegal assault weapon? No.

Take another look at the article. All that was mentioned were issues about transfers of weapons.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 11:55:52 AM EST
I am personally aware of one prosecution under the AWB in the Southern District, the matter was pled out and it was a seller of AWs not a possessor or pvt citizen.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 12:15:37 PM EST
I believe some drug dealers in Alabama got busted with a folding stock SKS. Apparently it was illegal somehow.

CRC
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 3:11:42 PM EST
There was one bust here in Wisconsin several years ago...but it was a person who really pushed his luck, "manufacturing" pre-ban type...get this...SKS's ! And selling them at gun shows. Was he ever convicted? Don't know...as of 9/11 the ATF have bigger fish to fry, and off the record they will tell you thay haven't even thought of a prosecution, (unless connected to a drug bust )for years. None the less, till the AWB sunsets, let us abide in the law. Just my .02...
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 4:52:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2004 4:52:48 PM EST by RS_Coyote]
I know of one guy that had a gun shop in B&I shopping center in Tacoma, WA. that got busted. I know his fist name is Ted and it was about six years ago. The rumor was he had a post ban SKS with a folder on her. I heard he got out of the pen about a year ago. I knew Ted from a country dance bar. And spoke to him often. Till one day one of his closer friends said the feds hauled him off for the evil SKS. If anyone knows what really happened to Ted you may correct me.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 7:41:22 PM EST

I believe some drug dealers in Alabama got busted with a folding stock SKS.


The rumor was he had a post ban SKS with a folder on her


If these SKS's still had the 10 round fixed mag on them then they were not charged with violating the assault weapon ban. They were probably charged with violating 922(r) says that it is illegal to use imported parts to build a weapon that wouldn't be approved for import, and 922(r) isn't going anywhere.
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