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Posted: 2/9/2006 8:42:14 AM EDT

Talk about getting your facts wrong....at the least the Brady campaign 'tard fell for it

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/illinoisstatenews/story/21A115E7CF1C712B862571100019A71D?OpenDocument­


Machine gun charge in Illinois is challenged
By Michael Shaw
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/08/2006

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS

The attorney for a decorated Illinois State Police sergeant charged with illegally possessing a machine gun said Wednesday that he is mystified by the charge against his client.

Tom Keefe, the attorney for Sgt. James Vest, 39, of O'Fallon, said the M4 submachine gun in question was registered to the state police and used by Vest to train other officers.

In addition, the regulations state that for an off-duty officer, "any authorized firearms will be stored in the trunk or the glove compartment of the assigned department vehicle or in the officer's residence," according to Keefe.

"These facts are critical," said Keefe, who is representing Vest along with renowned Belleville lawyers Bruce Cook and Clyde Kuehn. "That rifle was owned by state police. (Vest) is a heavily decorated 18-year veteran. He has commendations coming out of his ears."

The debate has gone public, with 10 Metro East police chiefs issuing a letter Tuesday recommending leniency for Vest and two other police officers accused in the case. The chiefs' letter prompted a response from Ed McNally, the U.S. attorney prosecuting them. McNally's statement says he respects their views, but noted that "several of these chiefs have had to personally make the difficult decision to investigate criminal cases in which their own officers were charged."

The fact that the U.S. attorney has spoken out about a pending case is unusual. And it prompted Keefe to speak out Wednesday.

"Ordinarily I wouldn't say anything," said Keefe, adding that the door was opened with the U.S. attorney's comments.

Under federal rules, anyone who can pass a background check, pay $200 and file the proper forms can legally purchase one or convert one to automatic fire. Even a ban on "military style" assault weapons lapsed in 2004.

So it's no surprise that some are puzzled by the charges - and the possibility of prison time - for three Illinois State Police troopers accused in federal court of illegally possessing machine guns. Since police officers should easily pass background checks, the crime looks like a mere oversight.

"If that's what happened, it's a lapse in judgment," said John Shanks, director of law enforcement relations for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, of the registration process.

Keefe's statements, however, appear to be at odds with court documents indicating that Vest said he bought his M-4/M-16 in 1998 in California.

Both a machine gun and a submachine gun fire a steady stream of bullets with the trigger depressed. A machine gun is heavier, sits on a mount or tripod and is often belt fed. A submachine gun is smaller and often fires pistol ammunition.

The defense lawyers representing the two other officers, Special Agent John Yard, 36, of Collinsville, Senior Master Trooper Greg Mugge, 51, of Jerseyville, as well as Dr. Harold Griffiths, 69, of Spaulding, Ill., did not comment Wednesday. Griffiths allegedly lent one of the weapons to a trooper who said he test-fired it and gave it back.

Yard was arraigned Wednesday in federal court, where he and the others have pleaded innocent of the charges. Yard is accused of borrowing a weapon, rather than owning one.

Although they were indicted by a grand jury on the same day last month, the three cases appear to be unrelated.

The charges carry maximum 10-year prison terms.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:43:53 AM EDT
Weren't they also caught with forged paperwork?

Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:46:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Weren't they also caught with forged paperwork?




According to the original reports yes the paper work from the department on department letter head was forgged.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:47:29 AM EDT
So did the officer who borrowed the weapon know it had been obtained illegally?
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:52:22 AM EDT
story itself has been posted last month www.jobrelatedstuff.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=428817

This story is an update with an emphasis on the misconstrueing of the machine gun laws.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:53:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Weren't they also caught with forged paperwork?




Yes. But that wouldn't fit the picture of innocence they are trying to paint here. Remember: "Four legs good. Two legs bad." Some animals are more equal than others.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 8:58:13 AM EDT
And so the cover up begins...........
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:00:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BangStick1:
And so the cover up begins...........



How is it a coverup?
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:08:56 AM EDT
TELLING THEM THEY CAN'T HAVE IT AND MAKING A LAW THAT SAYS THEY CAN'T HAVE IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! learn it, live it. The last time the US Supreme court ruled on a RKBA case they said that it was ok to make a short barrel shotgun illegal because "it was not something you would normally find in military service" You mean even the supreme court knew that the the RKBA applied to a citizen militia, yep, and with that ruling they heavily insinuate that it's ok for said citizen militia to HAVE military firearms. If an M-4 isn't military style what the fuck is? Cover up or whatever, this prosecution is unconstitutional and illegal.


[/rant off]
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:16:16 AM EDT
We should all be pitching in for the DEFENSE fund!
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:19:43 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:21:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
TELLING THEM THEY CAN'T HAVE IT AND MAKING A LAW THAT SAYS THEY CAN'T HAVE IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! learn it, live it. The last time the US Supreme court ruled on a RKBA case they said that it was ok to make a short barrel shotgun illegal because "it was not something you would normally find in military service" You mean even the supreme court knew that the the RKBA applied to a citizen militia, yep, and with that ruling they heavily insinuate that it's ok for said citizen militia to HAVE military firearms. If an M-4 isn't military style what the fuck is? Cover up or whatever, this prosecution is unconstitutional and illegal.


[/rant off]



Common misreading of Miller. Miller limited its holding to the issue of judicial notice. Judicial notice is a rather obscure doctrine whereby the courts can take notice of obvious facts so as not to waste the juries time with evidence on them. Judicial notice, for instance, can be used for such facts as "5th Avenue intersects with Main Street." In Miller, the lower court simply issued a short ruling saying the NFA violated the Second Amendment, but didn't state why. The Supreme Court said that there is no evidence that SBS are militia weapons, and that it is not appropriate for the lower court to take judicial notice that they are. The Supreme Court sent it back down so they could have a trial on the matter, but the case went away shortly thereafter.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:22:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BangStick1:
And so the cover up begins...........




Probably not a cover up, but let's see if there is preferential treatment by the court. If an individual were in the same circumstance, and said it was an "oversight", what would happen to him?

Stupid friggin law.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:22:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
TELLING THEM THEY CAN'T HAVE IT AND MAKING A LAW THAT SAYS THEY CAN'T HAVE IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! learn it, live it. The last time the US Supreme court ruled on a RKBA case they said that it was ok to make a short barrel shotgun illegal because "it was not something you would normally find in military service" You mean even the supreme court knew that the the RKBA applied to a citizen militia, yep, and with that ruling they heavily insinuate that it's ok for said citizen militia to HAVE military firearms. If an M-4 isn't military style what the fuck is? Cover up or whatever, this prosecution is unconstitutional and illegal.


[/rant off]



Common misreading of Miller. Miller limited its holding to the issue of judicial notice. Judicial notice is a rather obscure doctrine whereby the courts can take notice of obvious facts so as not to waste the juries time with evidence on them. Judicial notice, for instance, can be used for such facts as "5th Avenue intersects with Main Street." In Miller, the lower court simply issued a short ruling saying the NFA violated the Second Amendment, but didn't state why. The Supreme Court said that there is no evidence that SBS are militia weapons, and that it is not appropriate for the lower court to take judicial notice that they are. The Supreme Court sent it back down so they could have a trial on the matter, but the case went away shortly thereafter.

Ok but with the state of things, not invalidating it is in a way, validating it.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:25:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:

Originally Posted By happycynic:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
TELLING THEM THEY CAN'T HAVE IT AND MAKING A LAW THAT SAYS THEY CAN'T HAVE IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! learn it, live it. The last time the US Supreme court ruled on a RKBA case they said that it was ok to make a short barrel shotgun illegal because "it was not something you would normally find in military service" You mean even the supreme court knew that the the RKBA applied to a citizen militia, yep, and with that ruling they heavily insinuate that it's ok for said citizen militia to HAVE military firearms. If an M-4 isn't military style what the fuck is? Cover up or whatever, this prosecution is unconstitutional and illegal.


[/rant off]



Common misreading of Miller. Miller limited its holding to the issue of judicial notice. Judicial notice is a rather obscure doctrine whereby the courts can take notice of obvious facts so as not to waste the juries time with evidence on them. Judicial notice, for instance, can be used for such facts as "5th Avenue intersects with Main Street." In Miller, the lower court simply issued a short ruling saying the NFA violated the Second Amendment, but didn't state why. The Supreme Court said that there is no evidence that SBS are militia weapons, and that it is not appropriate for the lower court to take judicial notice that they are. The Supreme Court sent it back down so they could have a trial on the matter, but the case went away shortly thereafter.

Ok but with the state of things, not invalidating it is in a way, validating it.



The problem is not Miller. The problem is a bunch of activists in the majority of circuits created a "collective rights" doctrine out of whole cloth starting in the 60s. There is no S. Court precedent supporting gun control.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:25:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:33:07 AM EDT

Under federal rules, anyone who can pass a background check, pay $200 and file the proper forms can legally purchase one or convert one to automatic fire.


The author must still be living in 1985.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:50:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
TELLING THEM THEY CAN'T HAVE IT AND MAKING A LAW THAT SAYS THEY CAN'T HAVE IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! learn it, live it. The last time the US Supreme court ruled on a RKBA case they said that it was ok to make a short barrel shotgun illegal because "it was not something you would normally find in military service" You mean even the supreme court knew that the the RKBA applied to a citizen militia, yep, and with that ruling they heavily insinuate that it's ok for said citizen militia to HAVE military firearms. If an M-4 isn't military style what the fuck is? Cover up or whatever, this prosecution is unconstitutional and illegal.


[/rant off]



Common misreading of Miller. Miller limited its holding to the issue of judicial notice. Judicial notice is a rather obscure doctrine whereby the courts can take notice of obvious facts so as not to waste the juries time with evidence on them. Judicial notice, for instance, can be used for such facts as "5th Avenue intersects with Main Street." In Miller, the lower court simply issued a short ruling saying the NFA violated the Second Amendment, but didn't state why. The Supreme Court said that there is no evidence that SBS are militia weapons, and that it is not appropriate for the lower court to take judicial notice that they are. The Supreme Court sent it back down so they could have a trial on the matter, but the case went away shortly thereafter.



Better re-read miller Dusty is spot on, the only reason the court wouldn;t and couldn't rule for miller(remeber no one was there to represent him and argue his case) is because "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. "

IF it would have been shown that it did fit that criteria, then the courts would have most likely ruled in Millers favor and ruled the NFA in regards to that spesific type of weapon unconstitutional in the least if not ruled the NFA unconstitutional as a whole.

We can easily prove that a M249 or M240g or an M4 for M16 or any number of other guns would fit into those criteria set forth in that paragraph. All it would have taken in 39 was for somone to argue the case for miller.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:56:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Under federal rules, anyone who can pass a background check, pay $200 and file the proper forms can legally purchase one or convert one to automatic fire.


The author must still be living in 1985.



That's what jumped out at me, as if it was that easy. Like I said, the Brady Bunchers fell for it
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:04:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By markm:
We should all be pitching in for the DEFENSE fund!



A defense fund for criminals? No thank you. A fund to overturn the machine gun ban, yes.

If a civilian had been caught with a new automatic weapon obtained with forged documents, would we be having this conversation? No. But a cop? Oh, laws don't apply to cops.

FXXk them.

I have to obey the law.

They have to obey the law. I don't give a rats ass if it is a good law or not, work to overturn it. But if you break the law, you go to jail.

I want to know if the forged documents they used to obtain these weapons were ever mailed. Another felony!
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:05:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photoman:

Better re-read miller Dusty is spot on, the only reason the court wouldn;t and couldn't rule for miller(remeber no one was there to represent him and argue his case) is because "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense. "

IF it would have been shown that it did fit that criteria, then the courts would have most likely ruled in Millers favor and ruled the NFA in regards to that spesific type of weapon unconstitutional in the least if not ruled the NFA unconstitutional as a whole.

We can easily prove that a M249 or M240g or an M4 for M16 or any number of other guns would fit into those criteria set forth in that paragraph. All it would have taken in 39 was for somone to argue the case for miller.



I have read Miller several times. The key phrase there is "no evidence." There was no trial. The Court just isn't going to strike down a federal law on a whim, you need to present evidence. If evidence had been presented, it would have shown that SBS were used in WWI for clearing trenches.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:23:04 AM EDT
What most of you are forgetting with this case are the multiple things these guys did to get in trouble. Firstly they forged letterhead and their director’s signature in order to obtain the weapon (fraud). This would be a violation of Federal law. They also violated Illinois stupid law regarding MG's by possessing a post sample weapon by an individual (remember that they obtained it fraudulently). I have MG's only because I pay the government $500 to do so! I only wish that we could own these as regular citizens in other states do. Maybe it will come out for the best, but I doubt it. These guys will probably get off light and everything will go on as usual.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:29:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 10:30:06 AM EDT by Gamma762]

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
Talk about getting your facts wrong....at the least the Brady campaign 'tard fell for it

So it's no surprise that some are puzzled by the charges - and the possibility of prison time - for three Illinois State Police troopers accused in federal court of illegally possessing machine guns. Since police officers should easily pass background checks, the crime looks like a mere oversight.



"oversight"??

from this thread



On Dec. 22, when Illinois State Police agents searched the residence where Griffiths now lives in Spaulding, they found the machine gun, which had been converted illegally to a fully automatic firearm.
The complaint charges that Griffith admitted to having fired the weapon on at least two occasions, He also admitted to having loaned the weapon to Yard in October. Agents seized some other firearms from the Spaulding residence.
A record check revealed that Griffiths had not registered the guns, the complaint said.
Mugge and Griffiths both are accused of owning Colt AR-15 SP1 models, with Mugge's able to fire as an automatic weapon when a piece of metal was inserted and Griffiths' illegally converted to fire automatically.
Authorities said Vest owned a Colt M4-M16 A2E designed to operate as a machine gun. The gun was purchased in 1998 from a California dealer.
Vest, a 16-year veteran trooper, told police that he maintained the weapon at his home and occasionally at Illinois State Police District 11 headquarters in Collinsville.
Mugge, a 21-year veteran trooper, reported he got his weapon from a now-deceased federal firearms licensee in the Harrisburg area sometime between 1978 and the early 1980s.


It's not legal in IL for any citizen, to include a LEO, to privately own a machine gun. And it's not legal for anyone, to include a LEO, to convert a firearm to a machine gun without the ATF approval, paperwork and taxes.

Now, if they want to rescind those laws and regulations, and apply it retroactively to these gentlemen (as well as many others already imprisoned), that's tremendous. I'm sure the men that this US attorney's office sent to prison for owning 1919 parts kits would appreciate it as well. Otherwise, these were law enforcement professionals who were knowingly committing federal and state felonies.

Its a travesty that the current legal situation denies well meaning citizens like these a legal path to pursue their security, hobbies, interests and even training and practice for their employment.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:29:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 10:30:03 AM EDT by Dusty_C]

Originally Posted By P08:
What most of you are forgetting with this case are the multiple things these guys did to get in trouble. Firstly they forged letterhead and their director’s signature in order to obtain the weapon (fraud). This would be a violation of Federal law. They also violated Illinois stupid law regarding MG's by possessing a post sample weapon by an individual (remember that they obtained it fraudulently). I have MG's only because I pay the government $500 to do so! I only wish that we could own these as regular citizens in other states do. Maybe it will come out for the best, but I doubt it. These guys will probably get off light and everything will go on as usual.

Why 500? the NFA tax is only 200?
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:38:03 AM EDT
John Shanks is a former cop employed by the Brady Camp to run around and claim gun ownership by non LEOs should not be allowed
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 10:58:07 AM EDT
So, if I some how buy a full auto and not register it, would that just be an oversight since I could also pass a background check. They law should be applied more harshly to a LEO since he should be judged at a higher standered. If they want to change the law to make full auto's legal in IL, I am all for that. However these guys would still have broken the law.

Off topic, P08 if you see this email me about the Taurus PT92 and meeting saturday or sunday.

Thanks Erick
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:04:01 AM EDT
Is breaking an illegal law still breaking the law?
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:05:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:07:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
Is breaking an illegal law still breaking the law?



In the eyes of the court, yes.

Spitting on the sidewalk on Sundays.... If there is a law aginst it, it had damn well better be enforced or repealed. Selective enforcement is even more aggregious than stupid laws, IMO.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:14:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:

Originally Posted By P08:
What most of you are forgetting with this case are the multiple things these guys did to get in trouble. Firstly they forged letterhead and their director’s signature in order to obtain the weapon (fraud). This would be a violation of Federal law. They also violated Illinois stupid law regarding MG's by possessing a post sample weapon by an individual (remember that they obtained it fraudulently). I have MG's only because I pay the government $500 to do so! I only wish that we could own these as regular citizens in other states do. Maybe it will come out for the best, but I doubt it. These guys will probably get off light and everything will go on as usual.

Why 500? the NFA tax is only 200?



The only way to own machine guns in Illinois is to become a Class 3 dealer. This cost $500 per year for your SOT tax status.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:15:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
Is breaking an illegal law still breaking the law?



Many great political thinkers(pre-founding fathers era even), on whos ideas our nation was based, tell you that you have a right, and even an obligation to disobey unjust laws when they threaten your freedom. Laws are unjust when they become destructive to the ends which government is instituted for, being the security and freedom of the people they serve.

-Ben
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:19:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By efpeter:

Originally Posted By markm:
We should all be pitching in for the DEFENSE fund!



A defense fund for criminals? No thank you. A fund to overturn the machine gun ban, yes.

If a civilian had been caught with a new automatic weapon obtained with forged documents, would we be having this conversation? No. But a cop? Oh, laws don't apply to cops.

FXXk them.

I have to obey the law.

They have to obey the law. I don't give a rats ass if it is a good law or not, work to overturn it. But if you break the law, you go to jail.

I want to know if the forged documents they used to obtain these weapons were ever mailed. Another felony!

+1 million!!!!
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:20:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
So did the officer who borrowed the weapon know it had been obtained illegally?



Doesn't matter does it? It is illegal to borrow a full auto. Any full auto has to be in the posession of the owner at all times. So if the officer had it without the owner there, he was in posession of an illegal MG. You can't even take it in to a gunsmith for repair unless you fill out paperwork and get the aproval of ATF.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:23:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RockHard13F:

Originally Posted By Dusty_C:
Is breaking an illegal law still breaking the law?



Many great political thinkers(pre-founding fathers era even), on whos ideas our nation was based, tell you that you have a right, and even an obligation to disobey unjust laws when they threaten your freedom. Laws are unjust when they become destructive to the ends which government is instituted for, being the security and freedom of the people they serve.

-Ben

And to back up your statement, if all un just laws were followed, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WOULD STILL BE UNDER THE CROWN TODAY!
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:24:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 11:27:15 AM EDT by Drewcoolness]

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:

Both a machine gun and a submachine gun fire a steady stream of bullets with the trigger depressed. A machine gun is heavier, sits on a mount or tripod and is often belt fed. A submachine gun is smaller and often fires pistol ammunition.



Which would make an M4 a semi-machine gun? It shoots rifle rounds but isn't mounter on anythign or belt fed. Oh wait I forgot it's an assault rifle

sounds like they are trying to make it sound worse to anyone who doesn't know exactly what an M4/M16 is...
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