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CNN 50 Caliber Rifle Update

Michael Bane updates that his contacts are telling him there is little chance the ATF will move against CNN due to lack of intent to break the law. Countertop doesn’t think the ATF will do anything to CNN but doesn’t think it’s right:

If they violated it, they are guilty. Its an open and shut case. Either the facts are there, or they are not (I still haven’t seen the video, so I don’t know). However, for an ATF agent to suddenly claim that “intent” matters is simply incredible. I wonder if we can get them to put that in a written opinion?

Note to self: It may be OK to break gun laws as long as I don’t think I am. It’s a pity I spent all that time and effort learning those gun laws so I don’t break them when I could have just remained ignorant and gotten away with something.

6 Responses to “CNN 50 Caliber Rifle Update”

  1. Kristopher Barrett Says:

    Were any state laws broken?
    Hmmmm ….

    Many states have laws on the books duplicating the GCA ’68 regs, or requiring people to conform to federal regs.

    And the ATFE has, in the past, had local prosecutors pursue weapons charges.

    Would it be possible to get Georgia or Texas state authorities interested in this?

  2. Xrlq Says:

    Countertop is off base; of course intent matters. To the IRS, intent is the difference between sending you a bill for unpaid taxes and siccing the DOJ on you to offer you a few years in Club Fed. To the ATF, or to any criminal prosecutor, it’s the difference between who technically can be prosecuted and who should be. If the ATF throws the book at Griffin et all, they’ll do the same to everyone else who innocently stumbles across a technical violation of an arcane federal law. Is this really what the gunnies want?

  3. markm Says:

    xlrq: From what I’ve heard, that’s what they already do….unless you’re one of the privileged classes. You want to change that, make the privileged classes feel the pain.

    OTOH, a letter from the BATF saying that they won’t prosecute CNN for an innocent violation of complicated regulations might help the next ordinary citizen caught in their web for a mistake in filling out paperwork…

  4. Kristopher Barrett Says:


    If us mere peons get caught in ANY violation, the ATF will seize the weapons, and prosecute.

    They also spend a great deal of time at gunshows creating “conspiracy” cases by asking folks at table stupid sounding questions about machineguns.

    The one thing they generally don’t do is prosecute felons with firearms. Apparently they cannot be bothered to spend money on this.

  5. The Comedian Says:

    Mens rea matters most of the time, but strict liability crimes can be committed simply by performing the proscribed act, regardless of intent.

    That said, I don’t know what, if any, mental component is contained in the statute that was alleged violated.

  6. The Comedian Says:


    ‘alleged’ should be allegedly.