search
top

Dave Kopel Bleg on Transient Possession

Dave Kopel is looking for some information:

I am asking for commenters who can point to similar cases in the U.K., United States, or elsewhere. For example, a student finds a knife on a playground at school; she picks it up and takes it directly to a teacher. She is expelled for possession of a weapon on school property. I’m not looking only for cases involving weapons.

The case that immediately came to my mind was the case of US v. Baker in the 10th Circuit. Mr. Baker saw a loaded speed loader for a revolver laying on the ground, which had been previously stolen. He took this item into his possession for fear children would find it, intending to turn it over to police. But police stopped him, and found it before he could turn it over. He asked that the jury be allowed to get an instruction about innocent possession, which the panel denied. Looking a bit further, in a case with very similar facts, this would also appear to be law in the 4th Circuit as well. There wouldn’t appear to be an innocent possession exemption to the felon-in-possession statutes, but one wonders whether a felon-in-possession could claim a necessity defense under some circumstances.

7 Responses to “Dave Kopel Bleg on Transient Possession”

  1. anonymous says:

    Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun
    ——————————————————–

    A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for “doing his duty”.

    Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

    Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a “strict liability” charge – therefore Mr Clarke’s allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

    Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

    Full Story
    http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/news/Ex-soldier-faces-jail-handing-gun/article-1509082-detail/article.html

  2. justme says:

    Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun
    ——————————————————–

    A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for “doing his duty”.

    Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

    Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a “strict liability” charge – therefore Mr Clarke’s allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

    Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

  3. justme says:

    Full Story

    x-soldier faces jail for handing in gun
    ——————————————————–
    http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/news/Ex-soldier-faces-jail-handing-gun/article-1509082-detail/article.html

  4. teqjack says:

    Alas, my search skills are not up to finding a cite for what I think would be a good example from California.

    Two gun-wielding robbers hold up a convenience store and force the two employees into a storage room. One thief goes back to the store to start robbing, while the other starts to tie up the employees. Not being terribly bright, he puts down his pistol in order to better effect securing the bonds. The unbound employee gets the gun, holds the robber as the other flees, and calls cops.

    Who went immediately to jail and was on the way to prison – without a trial, yet?

    Yep. Seems the hero was out on parole and “possesion” of a firearm violated the terms, so being returned to prison was an automatic paper-work consequence. And would have been done, had not the case received a prominent place in the local newspaper[s] while he was in local jail awaiting transfer to State prison.

  5. dusty says:

    Do the police get an exemption? They are routinely in possession of stolen goods and illegal narcotics. When they take possession of any property without just and proper cause, they’ve technically stolen it.

top