Indictment in Vegas Shooting

Dave Hardy has details on the indictment. A man is being charged with selling armor piercing ammunition without a license, and then selling it to the Vegas shooter. My guess on the reason they charged 922(a)(7) and (a)(8) rather than (a)(1)(B) is that for (a)(1)(B), which is the law that says if you engage in the business of selling ammunition, you must have an FFL that allows you to do so, is that they don’t have to prove “engaged in the business” for (a)(7) and (a)(8). All they have to prove is that you manufactured an “armor piercing” round or manufactured and sold one and you did not have a license to do so.

I’m speculating a second motivation based on Dave Hardy’s comments. We all know the whole “armor piercing” ammunition deal is a huge amount of bull. ATF has a great opportunity to cement its preferred interpretation of “armor piercing.” What better context to use than an awful shooting where neither juries nor judges will have any sympathy for the defendant. As I’ve noted before, the current laws and ATF’s interpretations about what armor piercing ammunition is are a great hinderance to adopting “green” bullets that do not contain lead, as many alternative metals are illegal. The shooting sports can be squeezed between two anvils:

  1. You may not use lead bullets or bullets containing lead because it is a menace to people, the environment, puppies and kittens; everything it touches.
  2. You may not replace lead with a host of other cheap metals, like steel, because then it magically becomes “armor piercing” and a menace to manhole covers and all else that is lightly armored.

Bad news if they win using the theory that bi-metal core bullets are armor piercing, a hostile administration could effectively end us with the squeeze I have just described.

16 thoughts on “Indictment in Vegas Shooting”

  1. Hence the need I mention over and over that our side refuses to understand: we need to quit merely stalling the anti gun political movement and instead work with the specific goal of vanquishing it.

      1. National Reciprocity.

        Normalization of our gun culture, especially in the blue states will do more long term to destroy the irrational fears stoked by gun controllers than anything else.

        I want to see an NRA Convention in Manhattan with 100,000 people carrying, and the news media stuttering when nothing happens. Especially after they all stroll over to NBC, ABC, CBS, NYT, and CNN to have a peaceful armed demonstration. I want to hear the folks in NJ, MD, and DC asking their legislators why if those hicks from Kansas and Georgia can carry in their cities, why can’t they?

  2. This also speaks volumes to the myth that “If you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about”
    If they want to get you they will find a way. There are so many laws/regs that selective enforcement is now the order of the day.

  3. I can’t help but wonder: did the Las Vegas shooter even *use* any of this “armor piercing” ammo that was allegedly produced? Or is this charge merely being brought up because this man just happened to sell ammunition to the shooter, which any ammunition seller is going to do regardless, because the Las Vegas shooter showed absolutely no signs of criminal intent?

    I can’t help but think that this charge is rotten to the core.

  4. This just reminds me that the people who were saying “see! obvious coverup!!!” wrt “person of interest in the case” were … well, as wrong as I said at the time.

    “They found someone else to prosecute for a tangentially related thing, to look good”, nothing to do with the shooting itself particularly.

    (re. Alpheus’ question, well, I mean, we’ll probably found out.

    It sounds like M855/SS109 “standard AR ammo” from the description, and if he bought it and used ARs, which he did, he probably used some.

    It naturally would make exactly zero real difference in effect in context.

    But “we turned out something arguably criminal while investigating this other thing” isn’t actually “rotten”, as such.

    Just irrelevant to the main crime.)

    1. To be fair, I don’t necessarily intend to mean that the legal case here is rotten (although, given the ambiguity of just what the term “armor piercing” means, and what the BATFE is trying to make it mean, I can’t help but think it is) — the law itself is rotten as well.

  5. It actually sounded like he had one of those BS tables at a show with the “super zombie killing ammo” with the magic colored tips.

  6. Reading the indictment documents indicates he was selling homemade reloads using black tip/silver tip AP rounds and didn’t have an FFL10 to do so.

    Not illegal to possess the bullets. Not illegal to load the bullets you possess into working ammo for your own personal use. Illegal to sell it.

    This is a vanilla “manufacturing ammo and selling it without a license charge”. All we’re arguing about is which FFL he lacked. FFL07 for standard ammo, FFL10 for armor piercing.

    The guy was stupid enough to put silver tips into handloads and selling them. Anyone selling handloads without a license can land this charge. Minor molehill, not a mountain. Nothing more that they had evidence someone did something stupid and illegal and decided to make an example of him.

    I’d pick up the same charge if I loaded up some run-of-the-mill .308, got a table at my local gun show and tried to sell them.

  7. This is where Trump could really cement his pro-gun bona fides. The ATF is an executive agency and therefore completely under his purview. He could direct them to narrow “armor piercing” into a sensible definition again. Generally speaking, while he’s in office, the ATF should take a favorable stance toward gun owners and the Second Amendment and he should make it clear to the director that is the expectation.

    1. AP has a pretty specific definition under Federal law already, doesn’t it? How does the ATF get to stretch that?

      1. The BATFE has declared some rifle calibers as “handgun ammunition” which is where most of the stupidity comes in.

        1. Declared, or noticed that people (T/C, usually) sold handguns in that caliber?

          I’m laying this square on Congress for having the idea, and making it law, that “some ammunition is Just For Handguns Because Obvs. That’s How Guns Work”.

          As long as Congress makes laws that have nonsense assumptions, we can’t avoid nonsense outputs.

  8. News Reports showed he had a Website selling the ammunition.

    The best way to resolve the issue is to change the laws. Not the easiest way, the best way. Executive orders only last as long as we have Republicans in the Presidency.

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