Firearm Possession-Vehicle

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Firearm Possession-Vehicle

Postby Alan K » Thu Sep 12, 2002 3:42 pm

I am reporting this case because of the profound interest in gun carry cases that I have seen in several of these forums such as in Van Canna sensei’s self-defense forum.

This was a Massachusetts Appeals court case and I have only a synopsis of it.

Facts Synop:

Defendant is stopped after a high speed police chase, was tried and convicted of unlicensed possession of a firearm which police found in the vehicle.

Defendant appealed on the ground that the state did not offer evidence that the defendant had knowledge of the gun.

He also appealed on the grounds the judge wrongly permitted the LEOs to testify that the vehicle was stopped because it was wanted for an armed robbery on Providence, Rhode Island.

The SJC found (1) the jury “could reasonably infer from the evidence that the defendant had knowledge of the gun and also the power and intent to exercise and control over it.” and (2) no substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice resulted from the trial judge’s erroneous decision to permit police officers to testify that the vehicle was stopped because it was wanted in connection with an earlier armed robbery in Providence, Rhode Island.

The caveat in this case to our fellow MA’s (among other things) is not to leave a gun in your vehicle nor allow a non Class A permitted person to drive the car. A proper stop for a MV violation could, under certain facts, result in a conviction.

Example: LEO: “Is that your gun on the floor?” Wife (driver answer’s) “Oh no that’s my husbands”

LEO: “Do you have a permit to carry?” Answer: Oh no, I never even touch his gun when he leaves it in the car.”

Based on the above case, it is the jury which decides by reasonable inference that the wife, in my example, had knowledge and control.

I am sure that the readers could come up with plenty of scenarios.

There are plenty of innocent mistakes which can be interprated as a violation of the tough statute in this state.

The name of the case is Commonwealth v. Valentin.

Alan K
Alan K
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Framingham, MA USA

Firearm Possession-Vehicle

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sun Sep 29, 2002 3:36 pm


How are you doing my friend. Feel free to assign me any topics that you do not have time for.

Your stuff is greatly informative.

Now the "Leaving Unattended in a Motor Vehicle" also applies to Longarms. THis will be a bit of an inconvenience for hunters wishing to stop at a local restaurant instead of brown bagging.


"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"

[This message has been edited by JOHN THURSTON (edited September 29, 2002).]
Posts: 2449
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 1998 6:01 am

Firearm Possession-Vehicle

Postby Alan K » Mon Sep 30, 2002 3:12 pm

Hi John:

Consider yourself a contributor and I welcome you to this forum at any time.

Your background as a lawyer, historian and martial artist gives you the insight to publish on this forum, anything you feel is of interest or necessity to the Martial Arts or the martial arts practitioner.

One thing that we really need in this forum is the reporting of cases relating to self-defense with or without the use of "weapons".

I have noted that in many of the forums, such as those moderated by Van and Bill sensei, and recently by Roy sensei, hypothetical scenarios evolve wherein responsibility, guilt or negligent conduct is the underlying theme.

I try to report actual Appeals Court and SJC cases in the above areas as well as constitutional rights and issues.

Case reporting, IMHO will give the reader an insight as to the reasoning in each case, the law discussed in these cases including dicta.

Anything you can do to contribute to case law reporting, or for that matter, anything you wish to contribute relative to historical law or modern law and weapons including the general areas of liability or self-defense would be most appreciated.
Alan K
Posts: 493
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2000 6:01 am
Location: Framingham, MA USA

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