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 Post subject: MA gun law question
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:47 pm 
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MA law states a year in jail if convicted of carrying without a licence. Doesn't mantion anything about if the gun is capable of firing a round.

So now we have this bozo walking around either brandishing or claiming to be carrying to intimidate someone and the charge of carrying may not even be made because the gun cannot be fired?

If I show a note to a bank teller saying I have a gun (and don't even have one, never mind a broken one), and give me your money, that's armed robbery. Why would the law be so flexible with the weapons possesion as described in the story?

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles ... 973753.txt

Quote:
MANSFIELD - A verbal exchange outside a Route 106 convenience store Sunday has resulted in weapons and assault charges against a local man.

William J. Bradford, 26, of 163 Rumford Ave., Apt. 103, in Mansfield, was arrested around 9 p.m. Sunday outside Tedeschi's convenience store after he exchanged words with a customer at the store, who notified police, according to police.

The 22-year-old man told police he believed Bradford had a handgun and felt threatened after the two exchanged words outside the convenience store.

Officers Jeffrey Denner and Jeffrey Bombard arrested Bradford after they found a handgun in his jacket pocket during a subsequent investigation.

Bradford was charged by police with unlawful possession of a firearm and assault by means of a dangerous weapon. However, the firearms charge may be dismissed after the gun is tested, police said.

Police removed a clip from the gun, but say further testing is needed to determine whether it can actually fire ammunition.
Bradford's arraignment was postponed by agreement and he was ordered held in jail without bail until today.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:10 pm 
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The 22-year-old man told police he believed Bradford had a handgun and felt threatened after the two exchanged words outside the convenience store.


This is the more troubling statement, IMO. BELIEVED the guy had a handgun. With no indication as to WHY he believed that.

So if I get into an argument with somebody, and get mad, I can call the cops and claim that I believed the other guy had a gun, and I felt threatened because of that belief?

More info is needed, but something smells bad.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Kevin, I don't know. But it occurs to me that the law may be "flexing" to cover the bank robbery situation, i.e., it could be something specifically written that otherwise would not be classified as armed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:53 pm 
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This all comes about because of the mess that are the gun laws... especially in Massachusetts. Under chapter 140 of 1998, things got outrageously strict. Not for criminals... oh no... for lawful gun-owners. (OK, I'll get a very large extension ladder and climb down from my soap box...)

Anyway, because of the way the laws were written, they essentially created instant criminals out of anyone that had a starter's pistol and a myriad of other non-functional "firearms" and "ammunition". (And FYI, "firearms" and "ammunition" are specific terms in Massachusetts that have specific legal meanings which aren't exactly what you'd expect...) So... To "fix" this "oversight" certain sections were rewritten to keep the police from arresting people at track meets and kids playing cowboys 'n indians... Those "re-writes" created even more confusion and more of a mess, but they did "fix" the original problem (forgetting for a minute all the other issues they've caused).

Now we have someone who "carries" a fake without a license. They can't be charged with brandishing any more than the starter at the track meet or the kids playing even if they intimidate or threaten someone with it. Blame the stupidity of "gun control".

On the other hand, there have been kids who've been criminally charged for taking a black magic-marker and coloring the orange tip (required by law BTW) of a toy "gun" because it specifically states in the law that thou shalt not do that so that one of the privileged is unable to discern that what thou holdest is a toy... Still, it's done by kids (and, granted, others) all the time. RARELY do true criminals get charged with that violation.

TECHNICALLY, under the law, if the "firearm" could be made to fire a round, whether it actually safely can or not... then it is a "firearm".

FYI:

OC spray is considered "ammunition" in Massachusetts and you have to have a permit for it.

It is a felony under MGL for an unlicensed person to possess "ammunition". "Ammunition" also includes "components", IE: spent shell casings. So... When the boy & girl scouts go shooting for the first time, they become instant felons if they even pick up a spent .22 casing as a souvenir... as we did when I was a kid. Also, you see people walking around with belts, necklaces, key-chains, etc. made from spent casings... unless they're licensed, they're felons. So many people don't own "firearms" so they don't even care about "those laws, which are for criminals" (wrong, but :roll: ...) and they don't even realize that it effects them too.

In other words... Don't get me going... :cry: :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:00 pm 
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thanks panther. knew I'd get some reasoning behind this story.


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 Post subject: Legal opinion
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:46 pm 
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http://criminal.altmanllp.com/lawyer-at ... 45328.html

Quote:
For instance, if the court finds that the search that unearthed the gun was unconstitutional, then the case is usually dismissed. Another potential defense is that the gun was not operable. That statute may be changing in the future, but currently, you cannot be prosecuted for carrying a broken or otherwise inoperable gun. The experienced lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP have successfully represented many defendants in gun and weapons cases. We are known for working aggressively and strategically for our clients.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Quote:
Police removed a clip from the gun, but say further testing is needed to determine whether it can actually fire ammunition.


First it is not a 'clip' but a magazine.

Second....did the 'removed clip' have ammo in it?

Some reporters have no business reporting gun related news.... :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Thanks Van.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:27 pm 
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A pleasure. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Atty Altman
Quote:
What are the mandatory sentences for gun charges?

That depends on a variety of factors, including who is possessing the gun, where it is being possessed, and what the defendant is doing with it.

Using a gun in conjunction with another crime such as kidnapping or robbery can often increase the penalty. In fact, kidnapping carries a state prison term of up to 10 years on its own, but kidnapping with a firearm carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in state prison.

If you are convicted of a repeat offenses, that can carry a stricter sentence as well, depending on the number of convictions. The fourth offense is punishable by 15 years in state prison and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

The Massachusetts' sentencing structure for gun charges is complicated and exacting, but our defense attorneys are skilled at fighting gun charges or getting the charges reduced.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Here's a question, Kevin...I'm sure panther will like this one:

You have a class two LTC and you carry and store many guns at home where you live with your wife[who doesn't have a license to carry, not even an FID card]...

When you leave the house, locking all your guns, and your wife is now home alone alone....is she technically in possession of guns without a license?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:33 am 
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she is not. you have fulfilled your legal obligation to secure then when not under your control. no different than no one being home at all.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:04 am 
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Good answer, Kevin :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:07 am 
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Panther wrote:
if the "firearm" could be made to fire a round


What does "could be made" mean here?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:15 pm 
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mhosea wrote:
Panther wrote:
if the "firearm" could be made to fire a round


What does "could be made" mean here?


Well... Basically it means that there was a case where an old, rusty, POS pistol, chambered in an obsolete caliber, was carried by a man as a "just in case for show for self-defense" (knowing that in 99.999% of cases, merely showing a firearm will stop an attack)... BUT, having mentioned it to a member of the local constabulary in Massachusetts (who he must have mistakenly thought was just fine to do since it was "inoperable"), the man was arrested and charged and the local PD, along with help from the illustrious folks at the BATF(E), took that less than useless hunk of metal, cleaned it up, rebored the barrel, MADE the caliber of round that was needed and... it fired.

Man was charged under Bartley-Fox (which is a mandatory 1-year, but is usually the first thing that gets bargained away when a real criminal is "negotiating" with the DA). Fortunately, some-what wiser heads prevailed, a deal was struck for a misdemeanor for something (sorry, don't know what...), the man moved out-of-state (as fast as he could to get away from this place), and that was that. Evidently, that local officer (and others in that town) simply didn't like the guy (probably because he was politically active and opposite politically from those in power there) and if the "wiser heads" had NOT prevailed he probably would have ended up a guest of the Commonwealth for a year with a felony conviction and the accompanying loss of rights.

So... While I am generally a supporter of police, military, etc.... Having people that I know and love and trust who have been or are in those fields, I am also a realist. There are simply some things that I won't discuss with my brother (the cop) or my sister (the fed) or my brother (now retired from the USAF) or friends who are LEO, military, or other. Why? Because you never know who is going to pull a "Dudley Do-Right" on you and put you in cuffs because they don't like something you've said or done. While they MAY agree with what I say or do, they may not as well. It is only after carefully "feeling" someone out who has that discretionary power which they can wield over me that I discuss certain things. I know plenty of LEOs, military, etc who agree with my positions on things. I also know plenty who wouldn't hesitate to arrest their mom if she were to voice those same positions!

Case in point: I once used a completely legal tactical folder to open a box. It just so happened that it was in front of a few off-duty LEO friends. I had one of them grab it out of my hand and start lecturing me about how it was illegal for me to own it. Of course, I was able to explain how every incorrect "violation" he was claiming was not the case. Others there thought it was amusing, but he just got angrier. Finally, one of the other LEOs told him to give it a rest and that was the end of it. I printed off the relevant statute and gave him a copy... along with my purchase receipt showing that I had legally bought the knife (retail) in Massachusetts. However, with that and some other incidents where LEOs are incorrect on the laws, I wonder how many innocent people have been caught up in their overzealousness.

Also, on an episode of COPS, they were following a PD in Massachusetts around. They detained a couple of guys who were parked in a parking lot and talking and searched them. There were SO many violations in what the officers did that I could write a book, but... one of the guys was licensed and was carrying. Even with his license, they confiscated his gun (because they said it was a kind that was illegal for civilians to own... I have two of them and that's not true), told him that it was illegal for him to have a hi-cap magazine for the pistol (also not true as the guy informed them that it was pre-1998 and was legally grandfathered, but they insisted there was no such thing... I carry pre-ban hi-caps as well), and finally the coup-de-grace was the fact that he was carrying Winchester Black Talon Hollow-point rounds! (They told him that those were illegal for civilians to own, they're not... wanna buy a box, I have plenty in a couple of calibers) Thoughout the ordeal they kept threatening to arrest him and only stepped up their threats as he continued to explain their errors. They told him that IF the stuff was legal he could pick the stuff up at the station on Monday (it was a Friday night). Essentially they left him disarmed for the weekend. I was pretty upset at the entire show, but a little note was included in the closing credits that said the guy was legal and got his stuff back the next Monday. Personally, I think the LEOs should have been fired, charged, and made to pay the guy compensation... but that's just me...

Caveat Emptor...


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