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Old December 2, 2009, 12:18 AM   #118
JohnKSa
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Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,428
Quote:
It is the attitude that has been expressed time after time that it is just fine to arrest someone that is actually within the law...
Sure it is. If the appearance of breaking the law is there (as in my self-defense shooting analogy) and there is no evidence proving innocence then it is fine (advisable in fact) for the police to make an arrest.

The alternative is that the police can't arrest anyone as long as there's the slightest doubt existing that they might be innocent. Can't arrest that guy for having a machine gun because he might own it legally. Can't arrest that guy for shooting someone because it might have been self-defense. Can't arrest that guy for taking that car because he might be a repo man.

That's pure craziness. Police don't arrest based on guilt or innocence, they arrest based on the circumstances. If you appear to be breaking a law that justifies arrest then you will get to take the ride unless you can prove that you are innocent.
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Of course it is illegal to possess ALL firearms unless you follow certain administrative procedures (background check, ID check, etc., depending on applicable state laws, some being more restrictive than others).
No it's not except in a few states and in those states you could expect to be required to show your registration if you show up at a range with a firearm or if you encounter an LEO. The laws you refer to relate to the transfer of guns through FFLs but there are, in most states, other legal ways to acquire guns.

The possession of a firearm at a shooting range by a person over 18 does not present any appearance of illegality.
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I disagree with the assertion that there is a crime being committed...
No one's saying a crime is being committed. They're saying that there is the APPEARANCE of a crime being committed (as in my self-defense analogy) and in the absence of evidence to suggest otherwise there is probable cause for an arrest.
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I disagree with the assertion that ... the mere possession of an NFA weapon constitutes probable cause.
I don't really understand what you mean. If you mean that you don't think that's how it SHOULD be then I understand. If you mean that you don't think that it really constitutes probable cause then you are simply mistaken. It does and there's really no legal basis to believe otherwise.
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I guess my confusion comes in at why there is probable cause for an arrest in the case of an NFA weapon, and there isn't in the case of any other weapon, which you must also meet certain criteria to possess.
Because NFA items are illegal to possess without the proper paperwork while most firearms in most states are legal to possess at a range without any paperwork whatsoever. I don't see how that can possibly be confusing.
Quote:
The car analogy keeps being brought up, paper work and all. LEO's don't stop everybody, the assumption exists that motorists are operating the vehicles legally right? If not then we would have license checks on every state road everyday, forcing us to produce our paperwork.
The point is that they CAN stop everybody on the road and ask for a drivers license. The fact that they don't do it EVERY day is no evidence that they can't. In fact occasionally they actually do.

Yes, it's a reasonable analogy. If you are operating a vehicle on a public road a police officer can stop you and ask to see your license. If you don't present it you will very likely get to take a ride in the back of his nice cruiser.
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It has been claimed here several times that possession of a title 2 weapon is prima facia evidence (self-evident from the facts) that a person is doing something illegal. There must be some law, regulation or court ruling that says this is so.
You are clearly aware of the laws that make it illegal to possess NFA items without the proper "paperwork". If a person is in possession of NFA items and doesn't have or won't show the paperwork then he is presenting every appearance of breaking those laws and has given an LEO sufficient reason to arrest him and confiscate his firearms.
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I disagree. A person with an NFA weapon is not obviously breaking the law any more than a person driving a car on a public road is.
It's somewhat different, but the point remains that an LEO can stop anyone on a public road and ask to see their license (paperwork) and may arrest them if they fail to comply. Similarly an LEO can ask a person possessing NFA items to prove that they possess them legally and arrest them if they fail to comply.
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Has the ATF ever denied authorization to transfer or make a title 2 weapon when the person properly submitted the forms? As far as I know, they can not or will not deny authorization to anyone who is not a prohibited person. If authorization is a very routine matter, then why would mere possession be evidence of a crime?
Because the law says it's a crime if the possessor doesn't have the proper paperwork. It doesn't matter how easy to the paperwork is to acquire, if you don't have it/won't show it an LEO has no alternative but to believe you are breaking the law and has justification to make an arrest.
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