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Thread: United States v. Olofson

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    Regular Member crackersillo's Avatar
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    United States v. Olofson

    Hello all,

    I ran in to this old news story as i was browsing online. I would like to start an intelectual debate and know what you'all think about it.

    PRISON TERM FOR 'BROKEN GUN' CASE ENDS

    A man convicted of transferring an unregistered machine gun after his loaned gun fired a burst of bullets and jammed has been released from his 30-month prison term to begin rebuilding his life, according to supporters.

    Gun Owners of America confirmed today that David Olofson was released.

    “David Olofson has been subjected to a gross miscarriage of justice,” the organization’s announcement said. “What happened to Olofson could happen to any American who owns a semi-automatic firearm.”

    “It didn’t matter the government had repeatedly failed to replicate automatic fire until they replaced the ammunition with a softer primer type. It didn’t even matter that the prosecution admitted it was not important to prove the gun would do it again if the test were conducted today,” the magazine said. “What mattered was the government’s position that none of the above was relevant because ‘[T]here’s no indication it makes any difference under the statute. If you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun."
    http://mobile.wnd.com/2011/04/289181/

    “No matter what the cause.”
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 04-07-2016 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Rule #11 violation - reduced to Fair Use Quote & reformatted

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    Regular Member Have Gun - Will Carry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackersillo View Post
    Hello all,

    I ran in to this old news story as i was browsing online. I would like to start an intelectual debate and know what you'all think about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Original news story

    "... If you pull the trigger once and it fires more than one round, no matter what the cause it’s a machine gun."
    “No matter what the cause.”
    What happened to David Olofson is BS... A travesty of justice... Perfect example of why "zero tolerance" policies are stupid and don't work... Crap like this simply should not happen in an ostensibly free country, but it does...

    And unfortunately, it's now the way the Injustice System in our country functions. How pathetic.

    Not to mention scary.
    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” - John Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Experience? Experience means political success, which means (today) Democrat or Republican. And it is precisely these professional politicians who have become corrupt and unrepresentative of the American people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    What happened to David Olofson is BS... A travesty of justice... Perfect example of why "zero tolerance" policies are stupid and don't work... Crap like this simply should not happen in an ostensibly free country, but it does...

    And unfortunately, it's now the way the Injustice System in our country functions. How pathetic.

    Not to mention scary.
    I don't think the law was ever meant to be passed as a zero tolerance policy, I believe the application was ment to be used with common sense.

    if it fired multiple rounds, jammed, and then he cleared it, put it back in it's carrying case and stopped using it, then that eliminates the intent to use it as a machine gun, or have it fire as such, visiting a gunsmith to figure out what the problem is is also evidence to the lack of intent to commit a crime.

    the judge and the witnesses/enforcement officers are not using common sense, they are just looking for a conviction with the prosecuting attorney

  4. #4
    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Incredible, and a blatant miscarriage of justice.

    I was attending an AR-15 class at the NRA Range. As the last live-fire exercise the instructor lined the class up and told us to load a 30-round magazine and, on command, fire as fast as we could (while controlling the muzzle -- he wanted us to experience how fast the AR could cycle and still remain on target). After my first 9 semi-auto-fired rounds, my AR went full auto for about 4 rounds and then stopped. I fired another several rounds semi-auto and the AR then went full auto for another three rounds. The instructor had me make the AR safe and advised me to take it to my gunsmith.

    After I explained the above situation to my gunsmith, he examined the trigger group and discovered that the hammer pin had broken and worked its way loose enough to cant the hammer in such a way that it could not catch the sear and kept firing until it had vibrated back into position. Replacing the hammer pin took about 5 minutes and my AR has not malfunctioned since.

    The point of my story is that a firearm has to be DESIGNED as a machine gun in order to BE a machine gun. Just because a firearm part breaks and the firearm malfunctions does not make it a "machine gun." This is what happens when prosecutors who are ignorant of firearm construction and operation try to apply the law.
    Last edited by JamesCanby; 04-12-2016 at 02:15 PM.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    Please supply a cite of federal law or ATF regulation that backs that up.
    How about you provide a cite to refute his opinion.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    I think, OC, that the reason for gutshot requesting a cite is because in a court of law, opinions, aside from the judges, mean jack squat.

    the fact we have a human who's opinion can preside over law, common sense, and someone's life essentially is, IMO what is broken in this system.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    26 USC 5845(b) Machinegun
    The term ‘‘machinegun’’ means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.
    Malfunction is not excluded.

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    From reading the complaint (cited), it seems that Olofson put a 3 position selector in the AR15 and knew that it would fire multiple rounds with one pull. He modified the rifle with an M-16 selector and was trying to sell it with an ad placed at a gas station. I call "shenanigans"!
    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1407580.html

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    Regular Member Have Gun - Will Carry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    ... Perfect example of why "zero tolerance" policies are stupid and don't work...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ezek View Post
    I don't think the law was ever meant to be passed as a zero tolerance policy, I believe the application was ment to be used with common sense.

    if it fired multiple rounds, jammed, and then he cleared it, put it back in it's carrying case and stopped using it, then that eliminates the intent to use it as a machine gun, or have it fire as such, visiting a gunsmith to figure out what the problem is is also evidence to the lack of intent to commit a crime.

    the judge and the witnesses/enforcement officers are not using common sense, they are just looking for a conviction with the prosecuting attorney
    I didn't mean the law was ever intended to be zero tolerance, simply that it ended up being applied in that way. The ATF decided that they would prosecute him as if it were a ZT policy, even knowing that it was not intentionally modified to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull.

    After all, they need to scare the average American into believing they will be prosecuted for merely wanting a gun to fire full-auto! [/sarc]
    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.” - John Adams

    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Experience? Experience means political success, which means (today) Democrat or Republican. And it is precisely these professional politicians who have become corrupt and unrepresentative of the American people.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Have Gun - Will Carry View Post
    I didn't mean the law was ever intended to be zero tolerance, simply that it ended up being applied in that way. The ATF decided that they would prosecute him as if it were a ZT policy, even knowing that it was not intentionally modified to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull.

    After all, they need to scare the average American into believing they will be prosecuted for merely wanting a gun to fire full-auto! [/sarc]
    hummm olofson has been prosecuted, i do not believe he is scared into believing...

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    Regular Member Whitney's Avatar
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    NFA Items

    NFA Items are no joke. The citation in this case would likely be a "letter ruling" by the BATF, you can not cite a letter ruling as law. Letter rulings are basically crap because they can be changed on a whim.

    If you have dabbled in NFA items you may recall a couple of laughable incidents where the BATF issued a letter ruling claiming a shoestring is a machine gun, and also stated "Chore Boy" pot scrubbers were NFA items.

    NO JOKE ! ATF classifies Chore Boy pot scrubber pads NFA firearms

    I am not convinced Olofson fully understood the ramifications, yet ignorance of the law..........

    If you are altering or manufacturing firearms get into the books and publications the BATF puts on their website.


    ~Whitney
    The problem with America is stupidity.
    I'm not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezek View Post
    I don't think the law was ever meant to be passed as a zero tolerance policy, I believe the application was ment to be used with common sense.
    The danger in any law is not its intent, but how it may be used by someone who only cares about getting a conviction.

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    gutshot - Please supply a cite of federal law or ATF regulation that backs that up.
    It seems that that was done, so to speak, in the op linked article.

    The government even, in Olofson’s case, applied a definition “contrary to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives own definition in a guide to law enforcement,” Titus had argued.
    Did you read the linked story in the op?

    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    I am not claiming that it is true or false, he is. ...
    Then what's your point in asking for a cite? Either his contention is correct, or it is incorrect, there is no "maybe it's a machine gun" option.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    It seems that that was done, so to speak, in the op linked article.

    Did you read the linked story in the op?

    Then what's your point in asking for a cite? Either his contention is correct, or it is incorrect, there is no "maybe it's a machine gun" option.
    https://www.atf.gov/file/55391/download
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTHunter View Post
    [ ... ] ... regardless of the nature or severity of the charges. [ ... ]
    That was Anita Hill's presumption against Justice Thomas, was it not. Not the weight of the evidence but the severity of the offense that demanded charges.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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