TriggerFinger






BlogRoll

From the Barrel of a Gun
Lurking Rhythmically
Random Nuclear Strikes
Daily Pundit
Borepatch
Only Guns and Money
Mostly Cajun
Massad Ayoob
The View From North Central Idaho
Armed and Dangerous
Hell in a Handbasket
View From The Porch
Patterico
Guns, Cars, and Tech
Alphecca
Legal Insurrection
Irons in the Fire
Volokh Conspiracy
Snowflakes in Hell
Shot in the Dark
MArooned
Power Line
Michael Bane
Reason
The Smallest Minority
Publicola
Sharp as a Marble
The Silicon Greybeard
3 boxes of BS
Saysuncle
Alphecca
Of Arms and the Law
Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives
Infodancer
Speculative Fiction
GunBlogBlackList
John Lott
Confiscation
IRS Scandal
Monster Hunter Nation
Right to the Armed

Most Popular

Featured Posts


Subscribe to Atom Feed

Tweets by @TriggerBlog


Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

Categories

FeedBoomershoot 2008 
FeedPolice Abuse 
FeedBoomershoot 2009 
Feed1st Amendment 
FeedCapital of the Free World 
FeedIllegal Mayors 
FeedBorder Control 
FeedFirearms 
FeedJury Nullification 
FeedHeller 
FeedCivil Rights 
FeedChicago Gun Case 
FeedWaco 
FeedParker 
FeedBenghazi 
FeedProperty Rights 
FeedAffirmative Action 
FeedZero Tolerance 
FeedSupreme Court 
FeedGeorge W Bush 
FeedVictimization Period 
FeedFalse-Flag Ops 
FeedConcealed Carry 
FeedSocial Security 
FeedConfiscation 
FeedGun Buy-Back 
FeedLibertarian Party 
FeedINDUCE Act 
FeedFree Speech 
FeedConstitution 
FeedArms Control 
FeedAssault Weapons 
FeedAtkins 
FeedDrug War 
FeedBudgetary Insanity 
FeedGoverningByConsent 
Feed2008 Elections 
FeedGilmore v Gonzales 
FeedBoomershoot 
FeedRegistration 
FeedTerrorism 
FeedImmigration 
FeedStand Your Ground 
FeedKonie v LA 
FeedLawsuits 
FeedBeretta 
FeedGovernment 
FeedMillion Mom March 
FeedFair Trial 
FeedBATF 
FeedEconomics 
FeedPrivacy 
FeedTrigger Locks 
FeedActivism 
Feed4th Amendment 
FeedAir Travel 
FeedSelf-Defense 
FeedCurrency 
FeedSamuel Alito 
Feed.50 Caliber Rifles 
FeedMiller 
FeedCampaign Finance 
Feed2004 Elections 
FeedEnvironment 
FeedLegal Filings 
FeedGun Show Loophole 
FeedThe Case of the .50-Caliber Felony 
FeedBean 
FeedAnti-Gun 
FeedCryptography 
FeedTaxation 
FeedCopyright 
FeedWiretaps 
FeedFast and Furious 
FeedEminent Domain 
FeedS1805 
FeedLiberty 
FeedMicrostamping 
FeedSchool Shootings 
FeedSurveillance 
FeedDMCA 
FeedCourt Rulings 
FeedHandguns 
FeedWesley Clark 
FeedDefensive Gun Use 
FeedMcDonald v Chicago 
FeedBrady 
FeedMedia Bias 
FeedHomeschooling 
FeedEmerson 
FeedRuby Ridge 
FeedRFID 
FeedSoftware Patents 
FeedRepublican Party 
FeedSeegars 
FeedBan 
FeedSilveira 
FeedIntellectual Property 
FeedArming America 
FeedMichael Badnarik 
FeedIRS Scandal 
FeedMilitia 
FeedPatriot Act 
FeedCAPPS-II 
FeedBackground checks 
Feed5th Amendment 
FeedEducation 
FeedArmed-Pilots 
FeedBallistic Fingerprinting 
Feed2nd Amendment 
FeedHiibel Case 
FeedFair Elections 
FeedSmart Guns 

We got 'im, boys!


Michael Bane, who appears to be an outdoorsy type with a shooting sports program on the Outdoors Channel, also has contacts within the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an organization of firearm manufacturers.  He's used those contacts to good effect, and he has this to say:
FLASH! CNN Violated Federal Firearms Law! Based on my conversations with legal experts within the firearms industry, CNN did indeed violate at least one, and probably two, federal firearms laws in their reporting of the .50 caliber controversy last week. Representatives of the industry are currently in touch with the ATF. More to come.
That's right, folks.  Expert lawyers from the firearms industry are now saying that CNN broke the law.  Better yet, this is not an ATF guy seeing the situation for the first time this morning and firing off a quick response to have Houston look into it.  This is a reasonably considered opinion, by more than one lawyer with expertise in the area, informed and prompted by a fellow blogger who has been following the situation on his own and is thus aware of the full situation as we have developed it over the weekend. 

And those lawyers thought enough of the matter that they are contacting the ATF themselves.  That's serious, folks.  It's not just armchair attorneys and non-attorney bloggers over drinks in the den anymore.

Now we watch the situation develop, and see how the ATF chooses to handle it.

UPDATE:  Welcome, Instapundit readers!  Please feel free to browse the rest of the blog.  Most of what's on the front page is related to the CNN .50 caliber report, but there's quite a bit of other stuff too.  The link above the update describes the full situation with links to all the other blogs (that I know of) discussing this, but that's on the front page too, so feel free to start at the top and scroll to your heart's content.

UPDATE: Michael Bane has another update with more detail.

UPDATE: Since Michael has raised the intent issue, I figure it should be addressed.  As I understand it (and I should reiterate here that I am not a lawyer), there is a common law tradition of requiring ill intent before a criminal law can be violated.  That means it's hard to get in serious trouble unless you deliberately did something wrong.  On the other hand, that's a tradition that isn't necessarily binding, and many laws these days are explicitly intended to apply whether or not ill intent exists. 

I don't see anything in the 1968 Gun Control Act that would require ill intent as a matter of law.  So we're basically in the realm of prosecutorial discretion.  The BATFE can choose not to prosecute CNN's reporters for this, whether they violated the law or not, for what amounts to strategic or economic reasons. 

They have the same options with respect to the seller, but he doesn't have the weight of CNN behind him.  Much easier target, unfortunately. 

As Michael Bane noted, however, lack of ill intent doesn't excuse CNN from the ethical concerns related to this story.  In particular, the ethical concerns related to doing a story on firearms law, in order to advocate gun control legislation, and getting the law wrong.  (Or, at best, deliberately misleading the public about what they were representing as legal).  Not that this is anything new to gun owners; the Assault Weapons Ban was a model of propaganda journalism.

The fact is, gun control laws are a mess of complex, sometimes silly, regulations that do absolutely noting to keep a determined criminal from getting his hands on a firearm.  It took all weekend for a bunch of gunbloggers to figure out if what CNN did was legal or not, and we know the law on this narrow subject about as well as any layman can.  CNN has an expensive legal staff for stories like this, and they missed a detail with months to set up the story.

How can any normal person expect to safely navigate the law just to own a gun or two for self-defense, hunting, or civil defense?  If you make a mistake, the consequences are huge: a federal felony, and forbidden to possess a gun for the rest of your life.  In America, gun ownership is both a right and a duty.  It's time we brought the laws of our Congress back in line with the laws of our Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

UPDATE: Countertop Chronicles doesn't think that intent is a factor here.  Since I try to avoid stepping between dueling lawyers (commenting from the sidelines is much safer), I will quote from him:
The simple fact is that CNN didn't commit a common law crime, where mens rea is an element of guilt. No, instead they violated a statute that provides for strict liability, ir-regardless of intent. Your reading is correct Michael.
As a practical man, I must admit that I doubt the BATFE will actually prosecute anyone at CNN, regardless of what the law says, unless serious pressure is applied to force them to do so.  The question they will most likely be asking is not, "What is the correct reading of the law?" but "What is the reading of the law that will allow us to avoid having CNN as an enemy?"

Justice, however, requires it.  Equal justice, for all: CNN reporters included.

This entry was published 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

comments powered by Disqus

Recent Entries

Most Popular

Featured Entries

Related Categories

If you would like to receive new posts by email:

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. this site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.


This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.