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Old August 18, 2009, 09:39 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
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Scienter Requirements and 1994 AWB

Looking at the 1994 ban, it appears you would have to know (or at least be reckless in that regard) that your firearm was not lawfully possessed prior to 1994. Looking at that from a prosecutorial standpoint, it seems that would make it difficult to obtain a conviction under the 1994 ban.

It also looks like it will be a difficult obstacle to overcome in future bans as well. Thoughts?
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Old August 19, 2009, 01:25 AM   #2
Tom Servo
Join Date: September 27, 2008
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The BATFE has been known to stretch things in order to make a case. I'm trying to recall the case in which duct tape was used to "prove" that a defendant's rifle could be rigged to fire full-auto.

I imagine we'd be down to the "definition of 'knowingly.'"

It could be argued that Randy Weaver had no scienter when he shortened two shotgun barrels. He could not have been sure they would have been fitted to guns that wouldn't meet the 26" overall length requirement.

It could also be argued that his instruments were not accurate enough to spot that the barrels were 1/4" too short. Yet, the result was the same.

(I don't want this to veer off into ATF bashing or arguments about Ruby Ridge. It's just the first example that came to mind.)
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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