The law is not based upon inference. The law is based on the deed and the intent through means, motive, and opportunity.
Exactly how do you establish intent if not by inference? Mind-reading helmet? Only convict where the defendant clearly states that it was his intent to do the illegal act?
From his deeds
, the jury may infer
that Mr. Copeland acted knowingly (<- intent). To put it another way, Mr. Copeland's deed of avoiding the show's rule that all sales go through an FFL, may cause some jurors to determine that his motive/intent was to complete the illegal sale and not do anything that would have sidetracked it.
I don't understand what your point was is attempting to make the distinction you stated.