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Posted: 10/14/2001 5:20:26 PM EDT
Interesting case for any law buffs- i'd like to hear some interpratation on it as it relates to AR15's. U.S. v. Cecil, 457 F.2d 1178 (8th Cir. 1972)- Brief summary- Black Panthers had a young Negro guarding the door to their house with a sawed-off shotgun. Cop sees it, and proceeds to take action... There were many facets to the case (Like, apparently the cops used the shotgun weilding young man as a human shield as they entered the house- lol - ) but... The main point of the case is this. The whole thing stemmed from the cop seeing the sawed off shotgun. Since posession is otherwise legal with the proper tax stamps- can he assume that the young man was in violation of the law based on his mere sight of the weapon? The court said Yes, he can. The defense argues that seeing the weapon alone wasn't just casue- since such weapons can be legally posessed. One could argue that he looked young- which gives cause to the cops to proceed, since someone who looks that young couldn't possibly legally own such a weapon in the first place. But, his age can't be determined from sight alone either (Anyone ever seen the "Barely Legal" porn magazine?) It was a prob-casue issue. So... as this relates to AR15's- Cop sees you with an AR walking out of the house, loading your car for a range day. According to the findings of this case, he has cause to kick in your door, becasue the AR "might" be a full auto. Remember. According to the findings of this case, the mere sight of the weapon itself was cause to believe it was illegal. Although the weapon in this case would otherwise have been classified under the realm of teh NFA, whereas an AR can be purchased as a title 1 firearm, the ideal remains the same. Opinions wanted. I'm presenting this case in my Civ class.
Link Posted: 10/14/2001 5:25:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/14/2001 5:37:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: The SB shotgun is visually verifiable at a reasonable distance, the nature of the AR is not. Given the ratio of FA to Semi-only ARs, PC is much harder to construct.
View Quote
But SBS's aren't illegal in all circumstances. While the cop can visually verify it, it doesn't mean he is verifying anything illegal.
Link Posted: 10/14/2001 5:45:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/14/2001 6:15:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/14/2001 6:34:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/14/2001 6:31:30 PM EDT by shaggy]
To be honest, I haven't read the case, but I don't think I need to to answer this one. Possession of a SBS, like a machinegun, is illegal unless approved by the Secretary of the Treasury and registered to the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). From a casual inspection, it is impossible to tell if the weapon in question has been so registered. Do they have PC to detain you and take you into custody? Probably, until you can show your possession is not illegal (and obviously, there is PC in the 8th Circuit). It is somewhat analogous to the situation with "pre-ban assault rifles". If you have a firearm which meets the statutory definition of an assault rifle, you're in violation of the law and can be taken into custody. It is up to you to prove your possession is legal because the gun was an assault rifle (with the statutorily defined features) prior to 9-13-94. OTOH, absent a sear hole, or a barrel under 16", it is impossible to tell if an AR15 must be registered to the NFRTR by a casual inspection (without opening it up).
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