The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 21, 2012, 10:40 PM   #1
MTT TL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Quadling Country
Posts: 1,801
Not Guilty of Making an illegal Firearm by Mental Defect?

I must admit, this case has me baffled. Here is a man, clearly mentally ill, who makes gun in which to kill himself then calls a a suicide hotline as a last grasp. They take him to the hospital for treatment and then

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...R_story_1.html



Quote:
Shortly after Duvall was released from the hospital, he found himself in trouble again. This time with the law.

Duvall, who served in the Navy and lives outside Roanoke, now faces four federal counts related to manufacturing and possessing the homemade gun, which could lead to a 40-year prison sentence.
So I was wondering. If he is crazy enough to get locked up in a mental hospital is he crazy enough to get relieved of the charges that lead up to him trying to make good on his mental state?

For the record the guy is a combat vet with the first Gulf War and Somalia to his record.
__________________
Proxima est Mors, Malum Nullum adhibit Misericordiam
MTT TL is offline  
Old February 22, 2012, 08:36 AM   #2
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,377
I don't understand the charges. It is legal for anyone who is not a prohibited person to make ("manufacture") a firearm for their own, personal use. Since that is not illegal, how can they charge him for it?
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old February 22, 2012, 09:20 AM   #3
Willie Sutton
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066
State Law likely is the issue.

Can't say what the law is there, but if it's like NJ, you need a license to manufacture a firearm, even if for personal use. Federal Law might be OK with it, but under State Law it might be a criminal act.


Willie

.
Willie Sutton is offline  
Old February 22, 2012, 11:19 AM   #4
Don H
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2000
Location: SLC,Utah
Posts: 2,705
Federal charges, eh? It's possible that the firearm he manufactured is a SBS or SBR. There's a few other possibilities, including that he's a prohibited person.

MTT TL, some people who are "crazy" are quite functional and rational in areas other than that of their illness.
Don H is offline  
Old February 22, 2012, 01:30 PM   #5
vranasaurus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 16, 2008
Posts: 1,175
http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/304757

According to this article they charged him with manufacture and possession of a destructive device.

From reading that it appears that the device was designed to be deadly only to the person setting it off. Probably made to kill himself.
vranasaurus is offline  
Old February 22, 2012, 05:21 PM   #6
MTT TL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Quadling Country
Posts: 1,801
Quote:
Federal charges, eh? It's possible that the firearm he manufactured is a SBS or SBR. There's a few other possibilities, including that he's a prohibited person.

MTT TL, some people who are "crazy" are quite functional and rational in areas other than that of their illness.
I agree, although that does not seem the case here. His depression seems to have interfered with his ability to have a "normal" life.

He was also carrying on campus which is against the rules, as well as trespassing.
__________________
Proxima est Mors, Malum Nullum adhibit Misericordiam
MTT TL is offline  
Old February 22, 2012, 05:26 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,773
The man needs help, not jail. Sometimes our system is really frigged up.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is online now  
Old February 22, 2012, 05:58 PM   #8
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 15,686
Wait to see what happens. Competent defense and experts could handle this, it would seem.

However, being mentally ill is not sufficient - you have to meet precise standards for such a defense. Don't know the federal rules - probably easy to find.

Typically:

1. Know right from wrong.
2. Be aware of the consequences of action.

There are other and different versions.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...05_Feature.htm
Being an Academic Shooter
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...11_Feature.htm
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old February 23, 2012, 07:10 PM   #9
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
Being a vet since 1995 didn't keep him from piling up convictions.

He has been convicted of public intoxication, DUI and destruction of property between 2006 and 2010.

But who knows how many breaks he's been given already by the system and the local cops. Maybe they just finally got tired of his way of doing things. I know they're tired of cops being killed in Blacksburg and Montgomery County. The last one was in December, so I imagine they take a very dim view of disturbed people with guns on campus.

John
VPI Class of '72
johnbt is offline  
Old February 23, 2012, 07:14 PM   #10
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
http://m.roanoke.com/mapp/story.aspx?arcID=304757

In his backpack he had "a crude, homemade gun fashioned from a piece of steel pipe, a shotgun shell and a nail rigged as a firing pin."
johnbt is offline  
Old February 24, 2012, 11:41 AM   #11
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,440
No (fed law) about making a gun for your own use, Legal gun that it.

Now if it was a smooth bore pipe to use shotgun shells, under federal law, wouldn't it have to be a certain length, w/18 inch barrel.

If it fit in his back pack, then it seems to me it would have been an illegal or sawed off shotgun.

Wasn't there, just guessing.

Brings up another point. The FBI runs the Hazardous Device School at Huntsville AL. This is the only civilian LE bomb disposal school in the US.

One of the things they taught us, was how to make a water cannon, which consist of noting but a short piece of pipe with an end cap, there was a hole in the end cap for the fuse/wire, and a 12 gage shell was fired in the pipe. It was a 12 gage shell full of BP and water is poured down the barrel held in with a proteolytic (rubber).

How is that any different then what this guy did?
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is online now  
Old February 24, 2012, 10:05 PM   #12
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
According to today's Washington Post lead editorial, the pipe was 8 inches long.

I need to find the link to this. May I write a new headline for the editorial?

WASHINGTON POST SUPPORTS CONCEALED CARRY WITHOUT A LICENSE because he wasn't hurting anybody.

Okay, here it is

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...YWR_story.html

"Virginia originally charged Mr. Duvall with carrying a concealed weapon without a license — a misdemeanor that carries a possible 12-month sentence and $2,500 fine. Even this charge seems uncalled for, given the circumstances and the fact that Mr. Duvall never threatened or attempted to harm anyone else"
johnbt is offline  
Old February 24, 2012, 10:30 PM   #13
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,323
Quote:
According to today's Washington Post lead editorial, the pipe was 8 inches long.
OK, that would be it, then. He made a "sawed off shotgun". The fact that it was a zip gun (or something out of the FM on improvised weapons) just means it is a lot cruder than a hack-sawed Remington. Still a sawed off shotgun, by virtue of its size, smooth bore, and taking a shotgun shell. NFA category weapon. Clearly.

Now, as to his mental state, depression isn't going to be remotely usable. In fact, I have never heard of using the insanity defense for ANY "posession" charge. I guess you would have to be able to proove that he "knew" it was against the law to have it, but didn't "understand" what illegal meant?

I mean, how many times have we all heard that ignorance of the law is no exuse? You not knowing owning X is illegal does nothing to change the fact that you own X and it is illegal. Sane or insane, if they proove you own it, and proove it is illegal, you're guilty. Slam dunk.

Now, not knowing its illegal (or perhaps being insane) might have an effect on the penalty applied to the conviction, but you will be convicted.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 24, 2012, 10:47 PM   #14
Willie Sutton
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066
"How is that any different then what this guy did?"

The fact that "Law Enforcement" can break the law anytime they like and that "we the people" cannot?


Willie

.
Willie Sutton is offline  
Old February 24, 2012, 10:57 PM   #15
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
Quote:
One of the things they taught us, was how to make a water cannon, which consist of noting but a short piece of pipe with an end cap, there was a hole in the end cap for the fuse/wire, and a 12 gage shell was fired in the pipe. It was a 12 gage shell full of BP and water is poured down the barrel held in with a proteolytic (rubber).

How is that any different then what this guy did?
Well, if I were a lawyer trying to defend the practice of making a "water cannon" of the type you described, I'd probably start off by arguing that the slug of water isn't a "projectile" under the ATF rules, which would mean that the water cannon isn't a "firearm" by their definitions.

Of course, and obvious problem with my idea is that with a pipe and a shotgun shell full of blackpowder, there would be nothing keeping you from loading the pipe with gravel or something similar, instead of water.
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old February 25, 2012, 10:55 AM   #16
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,310
I am thinking that in order for an insanity plea the defendant would have to have been mentaly adjudicated (sp?) at the time he was found in pessesion of the said device. The fact that he volintarily surrendered himself for psyciatric evaluation, and was released on his own accord without being court ordered to a state mental isntitution will kill any attempts for an insanity plea.

Also if he does give a plea of insainity and the cour accepts it. He then has surrendered his 2nd amendment rights anyway.

Now if he had been on some type of medication that he was having a bad reaction to there would be a temporary insanity plea. As far as if he had not been, then went to seek help, and showed signs of improvement while taking medication, and showed to be stable enough to be released he may have a defense.

On a side note. I have seen veterans turned away from VA care that stated they were suicidal, and wanted to die. (I was standing right next to them when they said it, and were turned away. I had to take them to the emergency room of a hospital, and have a doctor call the judge who then issued a court order for them to be treated.)

He does have some things he can use as a defense if he has a good attorney. Though it will take some doing, and a symapthetic jury. I am also sure a mental competence test will be doen before any hearing.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.

Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; February 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old February 25, 2012, 01:10 PM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,773
What ever happened to discretion?

How about the guy was desperate, nearly killed himself, gave no indication of wanting or attempting to hurt anyone else, we get him help and the problem is solved?

If he had almost killed himself with Tylenol, shall we nail him to the wall because "it is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with it's labeling."?

How about the next guy who contemplates calling the hotline and then remembers this story and figures, "Oh, hell no. I'm better off dead."?

I lose more hope for our future every day.
Brian Pfleuger is online now  
Old February 25, 2012, 02:07 PM   #18
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,323
While Suicide is seldom a crime (other than in the eyes of the church, etc.) simply because there is no living perpatrator to prosecute, attempted suicide is a crime in many jurisdictions.

And it always involves one's mental state. Generally, forced help is the penalty for that particular crime, rather than jail time.

But that is a different issue than making and posessing an illegal firearm.

One is not a prohibited person due to mental state until adjudicated one through due process. Based on that the information in hand so far, the charge must be "manufacturing and possession of an NFA weapon" without proper prior govt approval.

And for that, I don't see how any mental state defintion would be involved.

yes, the poor guy is in a bad way. He needs help more than jail. One would hope the legal system will take that into account. But it doesn't change the fact that he broke the law.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old February 26, 2012, 04:57 PM   #19
dogtown tom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 1,524
Quote:
kraigwy .....Brings up another point. The FBI runs the Hazardous Device School at Huntsville AL. This is the only civilian LE bomb disposal school in the US.

One of the things they taught us, was how to make a water cannon, which consist of noting but a short piece of pipe with an end cap, there was a hole in the end cap for the fuse/wire, and a 12 gage shell was fired in the pipe. It was a 12 gage shell full of BP and water is poured down the barrel held in with a proteolytic (rubber).

How is that any different then what this guy did?
Seriously?
It's no different than LE having LEGAL access to short barreled rifles, shotguns machine guns, destructive devises, etc. without each officer having to obtain a tax stamp for those items.....its an authorized official use.
Federal law clearly exempts LE & military from certain aspects of the National Firearms Act.....this is why LE can get post '86 machine guns when civilians cannot.
__________________
Need a FFL in north Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me.

$20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)
dogtown tom is offline  
Old February 28, 2012, 04:34 PM   #20
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
"What ever happened to discretion?"

They saved his life (according to him), got him off the street (and off the Tech campus where'd he been roaming around armed for a week) and got some leverage on him to get him into treatment.

So now the update.

From today's Washington Post, page B1.

Under an agreement reached in federal court Monday, he will avoid gun charges if he completes court-madated counseling. It seems there's this new thing called "Verterans Treatment Court." If he completes the program the charges will be dropped.

This is the first felony case referred to the vets treatment court, which is modeled after drug treatment courts. He has to show up in court monthly for 6 months to update his progress and then the federal charges can be dropped.

The state charges were dropped some time ago because the feds wanted the case.

Isn't this what everybody wanted, for the man to get treatment? Not a suggestion to get treatment, but ordered to get it?
johnbt is offline  
Old February 28, 2012, 05:29 PM   #21
MTT TL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Quadling Country
Posts: 1,801
Quote:
Veterans Treatment Court
I had not even heard of this till today. They need to step very carefully with this as the potential for abuse is awful; however I can't fault the idea as it seems an apt solution in cases... just like this one.

The upside seems tremendous.

http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/2018...atment-courts/

Quote:
Isn't this what everybody wanted, for the man to get treatment? Not a suggestion to get treatment, but ordered to get it?
I don't know what the recidivism rate is but I wish him luck with his issues. Since his problems appears chronic he will need it.
__________________
Proxima est Mors, Malum Nullum adhibit Misericordiam
MTT TL is offline  
Old February 28, 2012, 05:31 PM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,773
Sounds like a fair solution.
Brian Pfleuger is online now  
Old February 28, 2012, 06:53 PM   #23
B.N.Real
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Posts: 4,083
The fact that the guy was going to commit suicide is important.

He needs psychiatric help.

If putting him in jail for a year or two saves his life because he gets treatment,I say jail him.

Otherwise he could go off and kill your family.

Think of this guy as already dead and you'll understand that everyday he's lived after the attempt is a good one-in jail or not.

He needs help and he should be forced to get it.

There is no freedom in killing yourself or someone else God forbid because you were messed up in the head.
B.N.Real is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12211 seconds with 7 queries