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Old May 5, 2009, 11:16 AM   #1
Inspector3711
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Malfunctioning AR case

Three news stories got me amped up yesterday.

First there is the guy back east that let his friend borrow his AR for a range day. After functioning normally all day it proceeded to fire several rounds in a row in short bursts. The owner of the rifle has already served 10 months in a federal prison for owning an illegal "automatic" weapon. The supreme court upheld his conviction yesterday. If your rifle has a malfunction you can go to prison.

Second is another supreme court ruling that an immigrant who used someone elses ID to get a job did nothing illegal because the prosecutor can't prove that he knew who's identity he had stolen. This only applies to immigrants from what the news story conveyed. This opens the door for any immigrant to steal someone's identity legally if he can just cover up that he knows who the person is that he stole the identity from.

Third is a local one here in Washington state. Our governer (Chris Gregoire) has approved a bill that gives convicted felons the right to vote as long as they make regular payments on any fines they owe the government. In the past a convicted felon could vote only after they finished their sentence and paid all their fines. If the new bill passes, a murderer or rapist can vote from prison as long as they make regular payments on any fines they still owe.

I'm still shaking my head on all three of these stories. I'm wondering where we're headed in this country. It sure seems like the wrong direction to me.
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Old May 5, 2009, 11:44 AM   #2
vranasaurus
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Quote:
First there is the guy back east that let his friend borrow his AR for a range day. After functioning normally all day it proceeded to fire several rounds in a row in short bursts. The owner of the rifle has already served 10 months in a federal prison for owning an illegal "automatic" weapon. The supreme court upheld his conviction yesterday. If your rifle has a malfunction you can go to prison.
If you are talking about the story I think you are there was no malfunction.
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Old May 5, 2009, 11:57 AM   #3
hogdogs
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Yes the case of the AR is very old. it also appears the owner was a radical trying to recruit for a "militia" or some such. He was known for "tinkering" with guns in ways frowned upon by folks who prefer to stay within the law...
The law is very clear that a machine gun is one that fires "More than one round with each pull of the trigger" no lee way or wording for "unless it is a malfunction" harsh but true...
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Old May 5, 2009, 12:40 PM   #4
Inspector3711
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In any case... The report on CNN last night was that the gun fired one round at a time for several hours and then suddenly started firing bursts. They also eluded tto the fact that the prosecution still has not proven that the gun was tampered with. They did question the mans past history.

I'm adding this a bit later as I remembered the whole story:

The report was that he is being convicted of a malfunction of the firearm and that the prosecution has yet to prove that he had knowledge that the rifle would fire in a fully automatic manner. In short, he was convicted of a federal crime without any evidence to support that he had knowledge of the problem. This verdict was released the same day that it was decided that immigrants are off the hook if they don't know who's identity they are stealing.
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Last edited by Inspector3711; May 5, 2009 at 12:57 PM.
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Old May 5, 2009, 12:59 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
In any case... The report on CNN last night was that the gun fired one round at a time for several hours and then suddenly started firing bursts.
This has been pretty well covered here. Here is a good thread covering the facts of the case: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=335832

Quote:
Second is another supreme court ruling that an immigrant who used someone elses ID to get a job did nothing illegal because the prosecutor can't prove that he knew who's identity he had stolen.
Not exactly. The immigrant in question had purchased an ID from someone so he could work in the United States. He was charged with identity theft because the ID maker had stolen someone's real identity. The Court ruled that the immigrant could not be charged with identity theft unless the prosecutor could demonstrate intent (i.e. that the immigrant knew he was using someone else's real identity).

Getting your legal analysis from the mainstream media is like getting your firearms information from them... probably not the best way to be informed about either subject.
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Old May 5, 2009, 01:06 PM   #6
vranasaurus
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Quote:
The report was that he is being convicted of a malfunction of the firearm and that the prosecution has yet to prove that he had knowledge that the rifle would fire in a fully automatic manner. In short, he was convicted of a federal crime without any evidence to support that he had knowledge of the problem.
Since the AR15 in question had a third selector position I doubt that he didn't know it was there since he probably put it there.

There was testimony at his trial that he told the man he loaned the gun to that it had the third position. That to me is proof that he knew about the ability of the AR15 to malfunction.

His modification of the AR15 is what landed his in jail, not some BS malfunction.
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Old May 5, 2009, 01:30 PM   #7
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Since the AR15 in question had a third selector position I doubt that he didn't know it was there since he probably put it there.

I believe you are right ! I am sitting here with one of my AR's and it only has 2 positions, safe, and BANG !

If there was a "third" position it did not get there by malfunction.

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Old May 5, 2009, 03:44 PM   #8
zukiphile
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Getting your legal analysis from the mainstream media is like getting your firearms information from them...
Bart is spot on. The combination of honest ignorance and the drive to put entertaining zing into a story make it almost 100% likely that a general media source will not be giving you an accurate read.

On the rare occassion you have a story covered by a competent attorney (Jan Crawford Greenberg on the News Hour comes to mind), you often are still dealing with someone trying to compress elaborate reasoning and complex facts into a short segment. Just think of the benign shortcuts in explanation you might take with a newcomer to arms, just so you do not overwhelm with detail.
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Old May 6, 2009, 11:11 AM   #9
Glenn E. Meyer
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I think that covers it. Thanks to those who gave the issues some clarity.

Glenn
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