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Pot + Gun = Extra Jail Time? LEO's??

tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
edited September 2005 in General Discussion
In today's K.C. Star newspaper on page B-2, there was a news story titled " Illegal arms sentence". It told a story about a 36 yearold man named Richard S. Robinson, a Clinton County man once "suspected" of hoarding military weapons and explosives. In Feb. federal authorities raided his 20 acre property near Cameron, MO after receiving tips that Robinson had sold guns, ammo, a silencer and a bullet proof vest to drjug suspects. (my comment here is that they were only "suspects") However he was initially charged with possessing unregistered machine guns. But in May he plead guility to a single count of "being a drug user in possession of a firearm".

Recently he was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on the above mentioned charge which he plead guility to.

I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the many different ways to get into trouble with the law in regards to being a gun owner. But this story surprises me. Robinson wasn't charged as a "dealer" of drugs while using a firearm nor was he charged with using his firearm in a crime involving drugs (or anything else). He was merely charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm.; Marijuana to be specific.

Now with my job, even if I wanted to I could not use illegal drugs because I would get caught and lose my job. But the way this story appears to me here is what could happen. Say my wife and I invite another couple to our house for a social evening. Say the other couple whips out a Marijuana joint and says let's give it a try. Say I was willing to try a few hits and, for whatever reason, the law kicks in my door at that moment and catches me with the joint in my hand. Say they search my house and find my one gun I own stashed in my closet ( A Lorcin .25 semi auto) and they charge me with being a "drug user in possession of a firearm".

Or say a buddy and I are at the range shooting and just before we leave we smoke a joint. We hit the road with the guns in the trunk and for some reason get stopped by the law. They find the Marijuana in the car and my .25 semi-auto in the trunk. Do I get charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm?

Just wondering.

4lizad

Comments

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    joker5656joker5656 Member Posts: 5,598 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    well u can be charge with a firearm and drugs (think but not sure its federal crime to have both on u) now that said if they catch u with weed or any other drug it gives them the right to search your property, so as long as he can prove he wasn't doing anything illegal like selling stuff to blackmarket, and considering the sentence he got, they couldn't prove anything illegal, except that he was a user in possion of a firearm. the sentence sounds kinda of low if u ask me but different laws in different state, wounder how many priors if any, cause 18 months sounds like a short sentence.

    but my question to u is how much weed did he get caught with to begin with, is selling a silencer against the law without transfer papers, what type of explosive's and where the military weapons gov. property?

    if above is military property and explosive was say ex.-dynomite well then there all illegal to own. even if he had a permid to own the explosive he still would have to have it in a stored secured location/building

    no more no more no more no more
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    tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    Well, the news story didn't tell how much weed he had but it must have been a fairly small amount or surely he would have been charged with more than just being a "user" like maybe a dealer or some such.

    And keep in mind that all the other alleged "charges" were apparently not proven in court as the ONLY thing they got him on was a user in possession of a firearm.

    4lizad
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    joker5656joker5656 Member Posts: 5,598 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    to me sounds like first offender, so he got to plead down to a lessor charge

    no more no more no more no more
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you're caught with a gun. . .anywhere on your property. . .and drugs. . .anywhere on your property. . .you're bleened.

    Doesn't matter if you are a raging alcoholic. . .or chain smoke Camels like they're going out of style. Got a gun and puff a doobie. . .you're toast. Another casualty of the war on drugs.
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    SperrySperry Member Posts: 5,006 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Friend had a fly-over by State/DEA.
    Saw three plants.

    Charges:
    Manufacture [felony]
    Distribution [felony, but let them prove it]
    Firearms [can't possess if you have a felony ... duh, the conviction was not rendered. Horse before the cart?]

    May be overturned. State police trespassed across neighbor's property while accessing plants on foot. federal funds used to execute a State warrant.
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    JamesRKJamesRK Member Posts: 25,670 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    SEC. 2. ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING A DRUG CRIME.
    Section 924 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
    (1) by redesignating the second subsection (f) and subsection (g) as subsections (g) and (h), respectively; and
    (2) by adding at the end the following:
    `(i) Whoever, during and in relation to a drug crime (including a drug crime which provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which he may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, possesses a firearm, in addition to the punishment provided for such drug crime, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 15 days and not more than 2 years, and shall be fined not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000, and if the firearm is a machinegun, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for 15 years. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction under this subsection, such person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 15 days and not more than 2 years, and shall be fined not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000, and if the firearm is a machinegun, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for 30 years. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall not place on probation or suspend the sentence of any person convicted of a violation of this subsection, nor shall the term of imprisonment imposed under this subsection run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment including that imposed for the drug crime in which the firearm was possessed. No person sentenced under this subsection shall be eligible for parole during the term of imprisonment imposed herein.'.

    MCsig01.jpg
    The road to hell is paved with COMPROMISE.
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    tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Sperry
    Friend had a fly-over by State/DEA.
    Saw three plants.

    Charges:
    Manufacture [felony]
    Distribution [felony, but let them prove it]
    Firearms [can't possess if you have a felony ... duh, the conviction was not rendered. Horse before the cart?]

    May be overturned. State police trespassed across neighbor's property while accessing plants on foot. federal funds used to execute a State warrant.


    I am hoping that the law would not be so unfair as to charge you with a felon possessing a firearm if you were not guilty of being a felon untll the recent arrest in which they caught you with weed and a firearm.

    Like you said, putting the cart before the horse. If true, ain't fair nor honest. Course, that don't mean it's not legal to charge you that way.

    4lizad
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    tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by JamesRK
    SEC. 2. ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING A DRUG CRIME.
    Section 924 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
    (1) by redesignating the second subsection (f) and subsection (g) as subsections (g) and (h), respectively; and
    (2) by adding at the end the following:
    `(i) Whoever, during and in relation to a drug crime (including a drug crime which provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which he may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, possesses a firearm, in addition to the punishment provided for such drug crime, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 15 days and not more than 2 years, and shall be fined not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000, and if the firearm is a machinegun, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for 15 years. In the case of a second or subsequent conviction under this subsection, such person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 15 days and not more than 2 years, and shall be fined not less than $2,500 and not more than $10,000, and if the firearm is a machinegun, or is equipped with a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for 30 years. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the court shall not place on probation or suspend the sentence of any person convicted of a violation of this subsection, nor shall the term of imprisonment imposed under this subsection run concurrently with any other term of imprisonment including that imposed for the drug crime in which the firearm was possessed. No person sentenced under this subsection shall be eligible for parole during the term of imprisonment imposed herein.'.

    MCsig01.jpg


    Well, yeah JamesRK if the situation is pretty straight-forward. But what if the subject is merely sitting on his living room couch smoking a joint and his guns are locked up in the bedroom. In that case does the subject actually "possess" the firearm while committing the crime of smoking the joint? Or what if the firearm is locked in the car trunk as the subject drives down the road smoking a joint?

    I mean at some point, even if the subject owns guns, if he doesn't have them close at hand, how can he be charged with possession?

    How far away do the gun have to be before the subject can avoid being charged with possession? Locked in the basement, at a friends house, locked in a gun safe, ??

    4lizad
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    JamesRKJamesRK Member Posts: 25,670 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I guess it's up to the judge, but so far I think most (or all) have decided if it's in the house or car you possess it. A neighbors house might work. I really don't know.

    MCsig01.jpg
    The road to hell is paved with COMPROMISE.
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    boeboeboeboe Member Posts: 3,331
    edited November -1
    Stupid war against drugs, has been fought for how many years? If anyone is upset about the USA not winning a war, it's the war on drugs that is useless.

    GBLogo-170x60.gif


    MEMBER SINCE 10/24/1999.

    To err is human, to moo is bovine.
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    dcinffxvadcinffxva Member Posts: 2,830 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Virginia's answer

    18.2-308.4. Possession of firearms while in possession of certain controlled substances.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act (? 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 to simultaneously with knowledge and intent possess any firearm. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony and constitutes a separate and distinct felony.

    B. It shall be unlawful for any person unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act (? 54.1-3400 et seq.) to simultaneously with knowledge and intent possess any firearm on or about his person. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony and constitutes a separate and distinct felony and any person convicted hereunder shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years. Such punishment shall be separate and apart from, and shall be made to run consecutively with, any punishment received for the commission of the primary felony.

    C. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, use, or attempt to use any pistol, shotgun, rifle, or other firearm or display such weapon in a threatening manner while committing or attempting to commit the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution, or the possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or Schedule II of the Drug Control Act (? 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 or more than one pound of marijuana. A violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony, and constitutes a separate and distinct felony and any person convicted hereunder shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. Such punishment shall be separate and apart from, and shall be made to run consecutively with, any punishment received for the commission of the primary felony.



    18.2-308.1:5. Purchase or transportation of firearm by persons convicted of certain drug offenses prohibited.

    Any person who, within a thirty-six consecutive month period, has been convicted of two misdemeanor offenses under ? 18.2-250 or ? 18.2-250.1 shall be ineligible to purchase or transport a handgun. However, upon expiration of a period of five years from the date of the second conviction and provided the person has not been convicted of any such offense within that period, the ineligibility shall be removed.



    Ride Hard, Live Free, Never Surrender.
    J.S. Mosby
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    joker5656joker5656 Member Posts: 5,598 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    LEGALIZE WEED!!!!

    no more no more no more no more
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    tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    Good info above with the exception of exactly what does it take to be in "possession" of the firearm?

    For example, in KS/MO if you put your baby in the car seat and you both drive to the store to get some milk, and you lock the baby in the car for even 2 minutes and go into the store you can be charge with child endangerment because YOU ARE NOT IN POSSESSION OF THE CHILD.

    Based on that, it would seem unfair to charge a guy, sitting on his home couch smoking a joint, with illegal drug possession AND firearm possession if for example his firearm was locked in his car trunk which was parked in the garage.

    Just doesn't seemto be the fair and honest way to enforce the law.

    4lizad
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    hughbetchahughbetcha Member Posts: 7,801 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When you purchase a firearm you are required to state that you are not addicted to drugs or alcohol. I think evidence that a person is a regular user of marijuana would be probable cause to believe that person is addicted and that the person lied on the application to purchase the firearm.
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    dcinffxvadcinffxva Member Posts: 2,830 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    TR,

    The possession aspect of it is one that will be decided in the courts. That is one of those things that has been debated for hundreds of years now. It would depend on what circumstances led up to your property being searched in the first place. For example, if the officers recieved a call that a person matching your description was brandishing a gun from his vehicle, and they give your tag. The officers show up at your door, and you answer it with a joint behind your ear, and a pile of weed on a Led Zeppelin album cover as you sort the seeds out. This would be "probable cause", and you are getting locked up.

    If, when asked about the gun, you said it was in the trunk, then most likely you will catch both charges. That way the prosecutor has some leverage against you when you try and plea bargain.

    In reality though, it is all going to just come down to what a jury will decide, and they are way too unpredictable to have any hard and fast rules.

    Ride Hard, Live Free, Never Surrender.
    J.S. Mosby
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    boeboeboeboe Member Posts: 3,331
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by hughbetcha
    When you purchase a firearm you are required to state that you are not addicted to drugs or alcohol. I think evidence that a person is a regular user of marijuana would be probable cause to believe that person is addicted and that the person lied on the application to purchase the firearm.


    There is no such thing as a physical addiction to pot. That is well established. People can get addicted to Star Trek, Dominoes, Sex, Guns, etc, etc. Addicted to Marijuana? Far less likely than a person getting addicted to nicotine, gambling, alcohol, Excedrin PM, Chinese food, coffee, self gratification, etc, etc. Get real.

    GBLogo-170x60.gif


    MEMBER SINCE 10/24/1999.

    To err is human, to moo is bovine.
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    hughbetchahughbetcha Member Posts: 7,801 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by boeboe
    quote:Originally posted by hughbetcha
    When you purchase a firearm you are required to state that you are not addicted to drugs or alcohol. I think evidence that a person is a regular user of marijuana would be probable cause to believe that person is addicted and that the person lied on the application to purchase the firearm.


    There is no such thing as a physical addiction to pot. That is well established. People can get addicted to Star Trek, Dominoes, Sex, Guns, etc, etc. Addicted to Marijuana? Far less likely than a person getting addicted to nicotine, gambling, alcohol, Excedrin PM, Chinese food, coffee, self gratification, etc, etc. Get real.

    GBLogo-170x60.gif


    MEMBER SINCE 10/24/1999.

    To err is human, to moo is bovine.



    Oh wow dude.... I never thought of it from that perspective.. It's like man ,,, what if our whole universe was like, one spec of dirt on the back of this really big fly... and then like.. then there was this really big guy ..and he had a fly-swatter... hey how about some of that Dominos man I'm totally munched out...
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    Da-TankDa-Tank Member Posts: 4,074
    edited November -1
    State and fed. law are very different. Fed law is travsport For sale or transport for distribution of drug. There is NO fed. law forbiding use of maryjane on fed. land (except milatary land)..
    READ the fed. law very carefuly. Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!!![8D]

    Of course I'm out of my mind. It's dark and scary in there.
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    tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by hughbetcha
    When you purchase a firearm you are required to state that you are not addicted to drugs or alcohol. I think evidence that a person is a regular user of marijuana would be probable cause to believe that person is addicted and that the person lied on the application to purchase the firearm.


    Yeah, but in KS and MO we also have private gun sales and no forms such as the yellow 4473 to fill out so therefore no lie told in that case.

    Also, to all who said that it is up to the judge or jury, it is a fact that Richard Robinson will be in the slammer for 18 months for "a drug user (not addict or dealer; user maybe only once) in possession of a firearm". No explanation of how he came to own that firearm (lied on form 4473?) or just how close to him that firearm was at the time of arrest (locked in gun safe, in his pocket, etc??).

    Anybody have first hand experience or observation of similar cases so maybe we can understand this better?

    4lizad
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    SilverkingSilverking Member Posts: 331 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Feds sent Al Capone to prison for tax evasion.

    I have to believe they pursued the drug user with a firearm charge because they really wanted him for bigger crimes they could not prove.

    If he were merely a normal gun collecter he would probably have been left alone in the first place.
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    n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    POSSESS (pa-zes') To have as property,, OWN

    "when you see the enemy, you attack and shoot him down, anything less is just bull shi*
    Baron Von Richthofen (RED BARON)

    yo-yo.gifsmilie_flagge13.gifmittelgr124.gif
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    hughbetchahughbetcha Member Posts: 7,801 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Silverking
    The Feds sent Al Capone to prison for tax evasion.

    I have to believe they pursued the drug user with a firearm charge because they really wanted him for bigger crimes they could not prove.

    If he were merely a normal gun collecter he would probably have been left alone in the first place.


    It's such a weak charge, it has to be part of a plea bargain. It's possible nothing else would stick but the Feds were not going to let the guy go under any circumstances so they offered to drop the investigation if he pleaded guilty, admitted he was a drug user and sought treatment. The Feds get what they want cause the guy can never own a gun again and the guy avoids some Fed jail time.
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    Red223Red223 Member Posts: 7,946
    edited November -1
    wow. Kerry admitted to smoking pot on Mtv's rock the vote. Why don't they put him in jail for 18 months? He has a gun or two.

    Somebody should find out where the Federal District Court is near KC and see if their website has the case so we can read it.
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    tr foxtr fox Member Posts: 13,856
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Classic095
    POSSESS (pa-zes') To have as property,, OWN

    "when you see the enemy, you attack and shoot him down, anything less is just bull shi*
    Baron Von Richthofen (RED BARON)

    yo-yo.gifsmilie_flagge13.gifmittelgr124.gif



    Yeah, well what if you stole my Jennings .25 auto and held up your local 7-11 with it. You did not "own" my gun, but you sure as heck did "possess" it. At least that is what the 7-11 clerk thought.

    4lizad
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    joker5656joker5656 Member Posts: 5,598 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    U know what conspiracy is, its a fedral law that state's 2-3 people i forget but any way when 2-3 poeple or more commit a crime its conspiracy. U ask how long the sentence is, 7yr's FED not county or state but FED. What crime can it be associated with, any crime no matter how big or small.

    no more no more no more no more
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