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Constructive possession tossed by jury

A jury acquitted a man on a possession of a silencer charge. It looks like he had one of the MPX style brakes:

Sees defense was he possessed muzzle breaks (sic) that reduce gun recoil, not silencers that muffle the sound of gunfire, Betras said.

A U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives expert testified that only a tube had to be placed over the devices to create silencers, but a defense expert witness contradicted that, Betras said.

9 Responses to “Constructive possession tossed by jury”

  1. Other Steve Says:

    That brings the total of “contrcutive intent” cases where the ATF will “get you” if you have the potential to make an NFA item but don’t do so to…… still zero.

    So of course the gun owners will keep repeating it as a fact.

  2. dittybopper Says:

    Maybe, but in the mean time this guy had to spend thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of dollars to defend himself. And it’s *ALWAYS* a roll of the dice when you’re in front of a jury. ATF doesn’t have to win the criminal case if they can bankrupt you in legal costs. Is that not punishment enough?

  3. MattCFII Says:

    I know of a least two cases. Albert Kwan that avoided an unregistered machine gun but did get convicted of an unregistered SBR since he owned at least one VP70 with the stock. I can’t confirm right now, I have also heard he actually had a registered VP70 machinegun (adding the stock to this makes the pistol 3 round burst) and a standard VP70 that wasn’t SBRed/machinegun. It does sound like they were really after him for some kind of involvement in a murder of a prosecutor and this is what they got to stick. The unregistered M14 machinegun charge failed because the ATF did a lot of work to make it full auto.

    There was also the case of the guy selling the SP89 with a stock to undercover police in Florida:
    https://blog.princelaw.com/2009/9/1/florida-man-arrested-for-constructive-possession-of-an-sbr/

    Also I sure there is several supressor cases that I can’t recall as well, including that recent solvent trap guy.

  4. MattCFII Says:

    Ok, first the background on the one that Uncle just linked and got off, you can see the brake:
    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/08/30/ebay-silencer-arrest/
    IMO, that is definitely more of a shakey grounds for BATF (but then I think Sig should have won their case)

    Two other solvent trapsl arredts, can’t find convictions/pleads now:
    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/09/19/faces-10-years-prison-illegally-making-selling-silencers/

    http://www.guns.com/2017/01/27/company-has-solvent-trap-line-shut-down-by-atf/

  5. F�z Says:

    “ATF doesn�t have to win the criminal case if they can bankrupt you in legal costs. Is that not punishment enough?”

    Agreed. But am thinking that if ATF loses two or three or nineteen of these, they’ll stop bringing them. That means ‘we’ have to ‘win’ two or three or nineteen.

  6. richard Says:

    I wouldn’t buy one of these brakes unless I truly didn’t care if I went to jail and/or had a bundle to spend on legal fees and/or had some organization who would foot the legal bill, or was dumber than a post. ATF has no motive to stop if they lose 1 or 2 or 20 or 10,000 times, because YOU AND I pay their legal fees. They win…unless the courts begin to make individuals at ATF personally responsible for the costs.

  7. justaguy Says:

    Simple Solution, we need to make individuals prosecuting DA’s liable in the same way officers can be held liable. Or doctors.

    The biggest issue with the legal system today is lawyers have crafted an environment that allows them to be dicks without any repercussions.

    Its time Lawyers are held accountable for thier misdeeds.

    Imagine if you could sue a lawyer for bringing a suit against you just to fuck you over (yeah yeah I know you can sue for malicious litigations… but that is damn hard to prove and nearly impossible against the gov)

    Its time we bankrupted shity DA and Lawyers. The art of legally fucking people over needs to be a lesson in pain.

  8. Lyle Says:

    Tar and feathers?

    Anyway, there’s no place in a free society for a government organization set up specifically to oppose a basic human right, to make the exercise of that right as painful, complicated, expensive and dangerous as possible.

    All this talk about technical issues and lawyer tricks is happening only because we have a rogue government bureau, set up by Progressive Marxists, dedicated to violating a constitutionally enumerated right. Get rid of them and there’s nothing left to argue over, except how to best make a suppressor, how to reduce the cyclic rate of your Uzi, etc.

    We’ve put up with this horseshit for far too long already. In 2034 it will have been 100 years of official, nationwide violation, with decades of sneak violations prior to that.

    As far as I’m concerned then, the only discussion should be about when and how we’re to going get rid of the BATFE. We can discuss the issue of WHY we put up with it for so long, and HOW we fell for it so easily as a society back in 1934, once we’ve taken care of the problem.

    We can’t just shut them down, thank them for their service, and send then into the real world to fend for themselves though, because there is the matter of justice (plus most of them wouldn’t know how to fend for themselves). We’ll have to forgive an awful lot of transgressions, being as their primary job has been to violate the second amendment, but there are some things they’ve done which go far beyond the Pale. Fast & Furious comes to mind, for one thing, and there have been many others.

  9. Ron W Says:

    @Lyle, very well said! According to the 10th Amendment, the Federal Government may do NOTHING without delegated powers. There are NO powers delegated to the Federal Government for the ATF, alcohol, tobacco or firearms!