A British couple gets arrested for possession of a suppressor.   The proper thing for the AUSA to do here is to exercise discretion and not bring charges.  A grand jury should refuse to indict.  These aren’t people who belong in jail.

I’d say they’d make a great Second Amendment case in order to chip off part of the National Firearms Act, but their not being American citizens would needlessly complicate things.

Does anyone from the Brady Campaign want to come on and defend this application of our “reasonable common sense gun laws?”

8 thoughts on “Outrageous”

  1. If nothing else, it’s a matter of courtesy.

    OK, they didn’t grok US law and made a mistake. Fine. It happens (just watch Americans in the UK try to drive rental cars…they shred the UK-equivalent of the vehicle code with the whole ‘left is right’ nonsense.)

    I would hope, and expect, that if an American overseas committed some silly, victimless crime, that the host government would have the common sense to say “Oh, yeah, your mistake and we can’t be having that, but have a nice day and enjoy the trip.”

    The AUSA can get a conviction though, and that brings up the batting average. To hell with decency!

  2. Are you kidding? It’s obvious that these two are dangerous international assassins!!! They belong in Gitmo!!! (Wait, we’re closing that…)

    Actually, I’d like to see this go to trial, and hopefully shed light on the relaxed view of suppressors in the UK (and other parts of the world.) Now that we’re banning the construction of firing ranges near dwellings by using noise ordinances, suppressors would be an idea that just might—if handled CAREFULLY—appeal to both sides.
    But in a nation obsessed with James Bond movies and other assorted Hollywood spy-vs.spy crap, pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.

  3. Ignorance is no excuse …

    However, that suppressors are regulated by the NFA is incredulous. A friend from New Zealand claims that it’s often just a matter of courtesy to the neighbors to use a suppressor.

    But speaking of ignorance and forgiveness … recall the woman from Memphis, who possessed a carry permit from TN? She wanted to go to the observation deck of Chicago’s Sears Tower only for the metal detector to light up on account of her revolver. She was, of course, dumbfounded when security said her license was no good here.

    No charges were filed, and her handgun shipped back to her some time later.

    Chicago has one hell of a lot of laws regarding firearms, but seems they are rarely enforced. Better to repeal the laws than not enforce them … and better to repeal all or portions of the NFA.

  4. “A grand jury should refuse to indict.”

    But that’s an impossibility with the way modern courts are run. What group of people would refuse to indict after being instructed by a judge that all that matters is what the law says, and they are not supposed to decide based on whether or not the law is reasonable.

  5. “Ignorance is no excuse” is an old, and I think outmoded, argument. In the days of common law, when an average person could understand and know the laws, that was a fine way to say “sorry, you really should have known!”

    Now, look at the bookshelves (plural) taken up by the CFR and USCA. You mean to tell me that it’s reasonable that I, or anyone else, *know* all that law and be able to abide by it? Nonsense!

  6. When the American inventor Hiram Percy Maxim (1869 – 1936) got a patent in 1902 for his “Maxim Silencer”, which was the first of its kind to be mass-produced for commercial sales in history, he wasn’t thinking of assassinations or any of the other types spy movie nonsense in popular culture today. He simply wanted to make firearms more pleasant to shoot in recreational settings. After all, his own father, Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840 – 1916), had already suffered severe hearing loss during his life, mostly from his work to invent the machine gun and mechanized “flying machines”.

    The idea of quieter firearms apparently soon caught on with the shooting public in America too, and even then-President Teddy Roosevelt himself was known to have purchased several “Maxim Silencers” for his own personal use while hunting.

  7. Hal: you brought up an excellent point there. I’ll bet that the people in Congress who drafted the NFA back in 1934 had never even experienced shooting a firearm with one of Maxim’s silencers, or anything like one, for that matter.

    These legislators quite likely were under the false impression that the concept and the invention of this particular firearm accessory could make a firearm’s discharge completely silent, which is the furthest thing from the truth, of course.

    I’m unsure whether there were lobbyists in Washington DC back in the early ’30’s like there are today. Hiram Maxim’s silencer company surely could have used some back then though, in order to set Congress straight on the realities of silencers, and their benefits to society in general.

  8. “but their not being American citizens would needlessly complicate things.”

    How so? If terrorists in Gitmo can be afforded full rights of citizens – than I think there is precedence for a British couple to receive the same.


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