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Thread: Could we use a civil RICO suit...

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Washington state has preemption which reads as follows:

    RCW 9.41.290State preemption.
    The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.
    As I read this, enactment of such a law is expressly forbidden, against the law.

    There's a laundry list of cities and counties that have enacted illegal weapons laws since preemption came about.

    Could we use a civil RICO lawsuit against ALL cities and counties that have enacted these types of illegal laws since preemption?

    RICO has been used against the government and law enforment agencies. It only requires two qualifying acts in ten years. The fact that the local governemts have read each other's laws and enact similiar language may qualify them as a single enterprise.

    Elected officials are subject to RICO. Obstruction of justice happens when they create these laws and when prosecutors decline to prosecute them.

    Code:
    RICO provides that an enterprise may be composed of "any union or group
    of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity."
    So how about a lawsuit against every WA city/county with illegal gun laws?

    There's tons of stuff about RICO out there, here's one:
    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/lit08.htm

    and another:
    http://www.fsu.edu/~crimdo/rico.html

    SNIP:

    Organized crime (racketeering) is conceptually defined by RICO as a pattern of racketeering activity committed by an individual or group either as part of an enterprise or against an enterprise. A pattern of racketeering activity is defined as committing two of the listed predicate acts within a ten year period. The two acts are expected to be related (have similar purpose or similar results) (Bradley 1980 862-868). The original 24 federal felonies considered racketeering activities included murder, intimidation of witnesses, kidnapping, obstructing justice, counterfeiting, theft of interstate shipments, white slavery, embezzlement of pension funds, certain federal drug offenses, bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. In 1984, obscenity was added as a predicate act (18 U.S.C. Section 1961 1 a Supp. III 1985). An enterprise can be either illegitimate or legitimate, making it possible for a legitimate business to be subject to forfeiture because its owner has committed a crime in the course of its operation. In addition, the distinction between the pattern of racketeering activities and the enterprise can on occasion represent a form of Catch 22 (Bradley 1980 854). The enterprise can be defined solely by reference to the pattern crimes themselves. A pattern of racketeering activities is the enterprise. Such cases have led Lynch (1987a 661) to conclude that RICO is best categorized as "the crime of being a criminal."

    NOTE:
    The crime of obstruction of justice includes crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials in general. It is misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the conduct of the office. Most commonly it is prosecuted as a crime for perjury by a non governmental official primarily because of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors and attorneys general however commit obstruction of justice when they fail to prosecute judges and other government officials for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.


  2. #2
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a long one from RICO's organized crime intention. It sounds feasible, on its face, but I would tend to say the cost to do it would be extreme. And, as it would be in Federal Court, the question of qualified immunity for the state offices would certainly play. It would probably be cheaper to just get on the AG's back about forcing him to take action, writ of mandamus would apply, and I believe it is completely defensible in this case.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Can you imagine the fallout from such a case? Not just in weapons law - everywhere. If prosecutors actually enforced the laws against governmental malfeasance? :shock:

    Any attorneys out there with RICO experience? If this were feasible I'd contribute a cash and fund-raising time.

  4. #4
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    Perhaps try it against the local government in Philadelphia first... that should be a slam-dunk.

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