View Single Post
Old October 12, 2019, 11:13 AM   #9
Aguila Blanca
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 13,993
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
I don't disagree with you. People who knowingly and intentionally arm bad guys should be punished in accordance with the law. That said, the press release for charging Joseph Roh is here and it's dated October 2, 2014. The fact that the feds have done their investigation, charged him with manufacturing and selling without a license, but here we are 5 years down the road, and the feds still haven't charged him with transfer to someone he knew or should have known was prohibited from possessing a firearm .... That suggests to me that the feds don't have enough evidence that he did so to charge him.
They can't charge him with that. He sold them unfinished "receivers." The owners of those unfinished parts then showed up at his shop/warehouse, he set the unfinished parts up in a CNC machine, and the owners of the parts then pushed the button to initiate the machining process.

In essence, regardless of the definition of a receiver, it appears that Roh can't be charged with unlawful transfers because at no time did he actually sell (transfer) either a completed receiver or a completed firearm.

And they can't get him on gunsmithing without entering the guns into a bound book, because the customers didn't leave their firearms with him overnight.

In short, the government painted itself pretty deeply into a corner.

From the order (citing Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108 (1972)):

It is a basic principle of due process that an enactment is void for
vagueness if its prohibitions are not clearly defined. Vague laws
offend several important values. First, because we assume that man is
free to steer between lawful and unlawful conduct, we insist that laws
give the person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to
know what is prohibited,
so that he may act accordingly. Vague laws
may trap the innocent by not providing fair warning. Second, if
arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement is to be prevented, laws
must provide explicit standards for those who apply them.
From the order:

The plain conclusion is that the finished receiver is not a firearm.
Here, the converse is true: ATF is reading out of the regulation express requirements for a receiver. That is not reasonable.
The Court finds that Roh’s activities with respect to the production of
finished receivers were not within the scope of the statute or the ATF regulatory definition.
Therefore, Roh did not violate the law by manufacturing receivers. The Court further finds that with respect to manufacturing receivers, the statue [sic] and regulation are unconstitutionally vague as applied here. No reasonable person would understand that a part constitutes a receiver where it lacks the components specified in the regulation.
So we're back to the antiquated notion that people should be able to read and understand a law if the .gov wants to be able to prosecute failure to comply with said law. It's often held to be axiomatic that ignorance of the law is not an excuse for violating it. If that's to be true, then IMHO it stands to reason that when I can find and read a law, I should able to understand what the words say, and I should be allowed to proceed on the basis that the words mean what they say. This is just another case of the government saying, "Oh, that's what we said, but this is what we meant."
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
1911 Certified Armorer
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Page generated in 0.03227 seconds with 8 queries