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Abrams to go to trial

From a presser by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership: Gun Lobbyist and Gun Dealer Sandy Abrams Heads to Trial for Illegal Assault Weapon Sales, Cited for 900 Federal Gun Law Violations Over Nearly a Decade

I’m not particularly familiar with the case but I do know that Abrams had said that he was investigated and the results of that investigation were violations of a technical nature. Seems people put Y instead of spelling Yes or a buyer listing the wrong county on form 4473. See here and here.

The Brady Bunch notes that he sold illegal assault weapons. Well, there is no assault weapons ban at the federal level and Maryland’s keeps getting defeated, though I think they do have some sort of magazine ban and have additional background checks and waiting periods for weapons classified as assault weapons. I could be mistaken but, hey, I can’t memorize every state’s laws. The Bradies say:

Abrams is charged with illegally selling felon Keith Showalter a Yugoslavian SKS assault rifle, a Bushmaster XM-15 assault rifle (the same model used in the D.C sniper shootings), and a Remington semi-automatic assault rifle. Showalter had been found guilty of violent crimes and had been fined for drug charges, and was barred under Federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm. On February 18, 2007, Showalter fired seven shots from an SKS assault rifle at two Baltimore County police officers. The officers returned fire and killed Showalter. Abrams is also charged with illegal possession of a fully automatic machine gun with a silencer.

The SKS has never been classified as an assault weapon legally or technically. The XM-15 is not an assault rifle and could have been a post-ban model which would mean it was not covered by the AWB. And Remington doesn’t make a semi-automatic assault rifle that I know of (though they do make a semi-auto for hunting) and they do not make a semi-auto that has the features that would have banned it under the federal assault weapons ban.. And none of those are illegal under federal law nor under Maryland law, that I know of. Unless Abrams knew he was selling to a felon, there’s no violation there.

Now, the machine gun and suppressor possession could be an issue. We’ll see. He was a dealer so it is possible that the NFRTR database was in error. It has happened before. A lot.

The Bradies also cite some weapons traced but ATF even states that is useless a measure of crime.

Could be an interesting case to watch the NRA react to. Many dealers would like the NRA to step in and be a watchdog for when the ATF gets a bit overzealous. And Red’s Trading Post is under fire for such technical violations.

I don’t think Abrams will be taken to the woodshed over this one.

Update: Bitter says a lot of claims are likely false.

Update 2: Bitter clarifies in comments that she meant their claims are false regarding funding the legal defense.

Update 3: Turns out, Remington just started making the R-15, which is not a weapon that would have fallen under the AWB. Well, unless it had a collapsible stock.

4 Responses to “Abrams to go to trial”

  1. Bitter Says:

    Not a lot. I didn’t mean to present it that way. I’ll go reframe that. I just mean their comments about funding his legal defense – as though he’d be some kind of civil rights defense fund case or something. That’s misleading and, since the Bradys know that they have such a fund with formal cases, it’s trying to lead the press to false conclusions.

  2. Alcibiades McZombie Says:

    So, they are trying to conflate “semi-auto” with “assault weapon”…

  3. Cactus Jack Says:

    “And Remington doesnít make a semi-automatic assault rifle that I know of”

    Aint you learned yet Uncle? To the Brady Bunch ANYTHING that’s semi-auto is a “assault weapon”.

  4. The Bitch Girls :: More on Abrams Says:

    […] in hard facts.¬† First was the reference to every firearm as an assault weapon (a point that seemed to confuse Uncle).¬† But the next things that really struck me were the references to NRA taking Abrams’ legal […]

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