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Posted: 5/21/2003 8:01:41 AM EDT
Has anyone ever been charged and prosecuted under the assault weapon ban?
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 8:33:18 AM EDT
Not that I know of. But I would not want to be the first, That's why I don't try it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:18:10 AM EDT
Me neither! Penalties are far to severe for my tastes. Good question though, I'd be interested in hearing some cases too...
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:23:14 AM EDT
Less than a handfull...
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:38:35 AM EDT
I don't have any figures or stats, but yes, a large number of people have been charged, however they usually 'deal' the charge away as part of plea bargaining. As for prosecuted, I've only heard of a few.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:10:24 AM EDT
From what I understand they usually plead down to a minor weapons infraction such as unlawful posession (which is not bad in some places, 7-10 yrs in others), unlawful useage or storage or some other, much less serious crime. After giving up the weapon in question, and any tools or jigs used to make a weapon illegal. Figure on them melting most of this stuff down for slag. Figure also on losing any parts you have that fit said weapon as 'accessory evidence siezed in association with the primary evidence' or some such :) Don't mess with this (not that you said you were thinking of doing it).
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:28:53 AM EDT
There have been a few, but most were caught and charged with a list of crimes, not just a simple adjustable stock on a postban rifle. There have also been a few cops who have been charged/ prosecuted.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:33:23 AM EDT
I have heard of a few instances of LEO's being charged after leaving the force under less than 'honorable' conditions. They were quickly charged with posession charges on weapons they'd probably had for years while in the force... You can fill in the blanks, I'm sure.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:44:43 AM EDT
There have been some LEOs caught playing games ordering and reselling weapons out here. But IIRC they got them on State charges. You do see the occassional case where a dealer in arms or "collector" gets busted and the AWB part of the charges is just a fraction, the Feds get them on NFA charge and AWB but the big clang comes from the NFA infractions. When your talking 150 counts why worry about 5 or 6 more? Considering that in most states you can get post ban items that are pretty much functionally equivalent to the pre-ban, why bother taking the chance? In the states you can't it's state charges so that's what you'll see is state charges and not AWB.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:54:41 AM EDT
Waco?
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 11:54:37 AM EDT
Yeah, AR how could I forget? There were a few there... I'm going off memory but I believe: 1. Full auto conversion to a 50BMG of some sort. 2. Illicit .50 via another violation. 3. Illegal mag conversions. 4. Illegal full-auto conversion (one instance) I think the rest were actually posession charges, and the full auto conversions were actually in violation of the Fed. Firearms Act, not AWB. Oh, there were some folding stock mods that were against AWB, I think.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 12:02:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Stickman: There have been a few, but most were caught and charged with a list of crimes, not just a simple adjustable stock on a postban rifle. There have also been a few cops who have been charged/ prosecuted.
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Pure AWB, this is my recollection as well. Tack on!
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 2:44:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR_Rifle: Waco?
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Originally Posted By javven: Yeah, AR how could I forget? There were a few there... I'm going off memory but I believe: 1. Full auto conversion to a 50BMG of some sort. 2. Illicit .50 via another violation. 3. Illegal mag conversions. 4. Illegal full-auto conversion (one instance) I think the rest were actually posession charges, and the full auto conversions were actually in violation of the Fed. Firearms Act, not AWB. Oh, there were some folding stock mods that were against AWB, I think.
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Waco had nothing to do with violations of the '94 SAW ban. The 51 day seige ended April 19th, 1993... more than a year before the ban went into effect.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 3:17:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FullAutoM4gery: Waco had nothing to do with violations of the '94 SAW ban. The 51 day seige ended April 19th, 1993... more than a year before the ban went into effect.
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Yep, it had everything to do with making the ATF look good after Ruby Ridge. It was, of course, a miserable failure.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 3:38:46 PM EDT
There has never been a documented prosecution for JUST an evil feature. It has only been an add on charge to much more serious ones....you know, a guy robs a bank? Kills a cop? There is a good reason for this: I does not matter WHAT the BATF says in their letters about documenting preban lowers built up before the ban etc. the BATF does not make law! Prosecutors would still have to PROVE that the rifle was not built up before the ban. This could be easy or hard to do depending on the circumstances. If the lower has been sitting in your safe since 1985, there is no way they can prove it. If you bought it last month and the FFL will testify it has been sitting in HIS safe since 1985 then you are in trouble. It goes on and on. I am committed to following the law and I have to this point but the law and a letter from the ATF are two different things!
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 4:14:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rickinvegas: There has never been a documented prosecution for JUST an evil feature. It has only been an add on charge to much more serious ones....you know, a guy robs a bank? Kills a cop? There is a good reason for this: I does not matter WHAT the BATF says in their letters about documenting preban lowers built up before the ban etc. the BATF does not make law! Prosecutors would still have to PROVE that the rifle was not built up before the ban. This could be easy or hard to do depending on the circumstances. If the lower has been sitting in your safe since 1985, there is no way they can prove it. If you bought it last month and the FFL will testify it has been sitting in HIS safe since 1985 then you are in trouble. It goes on and on. I am committed to following the law and I have to this point but the law and a letter from the ATF are two different things!
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I disagree on both points. There was a prosecution of a guy in Westchester, NY. His home was burglarized and 50+ guns were stolen. When the police investigated, they called the ATF due to the number of guns stolen. ATF, while going through the remainder of the guys gun collection, found a postban Colt AR15 with a flash suppressor. He was prosecuted by the New York State (which has a mirror ban to the federal one). He was found guilty, and the judge apologized to him, but told him that he had no choice and gave him 3-5 years in jail. Secondly, in terms of ATF having to prove your lower is preban, that is not correct. The grandfathering provisions is an affirmative defense, meaning it must be pleaded and proven by the defendant once the government has established a prima facie case. So you better be sure you can prove the status of your lower in court if you want to be safe.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 4:27:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen: He was prosecuted by the New York State (which has a mirror ban to the federal one). He was found guilty, and the judge apologized to him, but told him that he had no choice and gave him 3-5 years in jail.
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I dont care what the law in New York is. I live in Nevada.
Secondly, in terms of ATF having to prove your lower is preban, that is not correct. The grandfathering provisions is an affirmative defense
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Again, just because there is a BATF letter running around stating this does NOT make it the law. Also, the the ATF is not the agency that has to PROVE anything. The US Atty does. I sure hope the ATF guy who wrote this letter got a BIG raise because he sure earned it. If you still think this is the case, please give me the chapter reference in the text of the legislation. I have it saved in its entirety and can refer to it anytime.
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 5:03:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2003 5:08:21 AM EDT by shaggy]
Originally Posted By rickinvegas: Again, just because there is a BATF letter running around stating this does NOT make it the law. Also, the the ATF is not the agency that has to PROVE anything. The US Atty does. I sure hope the ATF guy who wrote this letter got a BIG raise because he sure earned it. If you still think this is the case, please give me the chapter reference in the text of the legislation. I have it saved in its entirety and can refer to it anytime.
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Rick - This subject has been covered ad nauseam in this section and in the legal section. The letter you refer to has nothing to do with what Phil is telling you. Under the terms of the '94AWB the burden of proof is on you to prove the gun in question is a preban. That law basically outlaws possession and transfer of [i]everything[/i], regardless of the date of manufacture, that meets the statutory definition of an "assault rifle" and provides a defense that it was a bonafide pre-ban. If the gun in your possession has two or more assault features and accepts a detachable mag, it is illegal to possess and transfer. To win a conviction under the terms of the '94AWB all the govt. has to show is that (a) you did in fact possess the weapon, and (b) the weapon in question had a detachable mag and two or more assault features. There is no reference to the date of production - the gov't doesn't have to prove anything of the sort. To avoid conviction, the burden of proof would then be on YOU to show the gun was a bonafide preban. Whether or not a gun is a preban is a defense to the charge for which the burden of proof falls upon the defendant. The letter you're talking about was an advisory opinion issued by BATF stating that they consider a preban to lose its preban status if it is even disassembled and seperated from the parts which provide its 'preban' features. That is, if you stripped the preban lower out of your preban Bushy and sold it as a stripped preban, it would lose its status. If charged, the buyer would still have to prove it was a bonafide preban, however though the burden of proof would then flip back to the prosecution to show that it was at some point completely disassembled and sold without enough assault features to bring it under the statutory definition of an assault rifle.
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