Hey, there! Log in / Register

If you're acquitted for possession of an illegal gun, you can't be convicted for possession of a loaded gun for the same incident, court rules

The Massachusetts Appeals Court today overturned the conviction of a Dorchester man whom a jury found guilty of possession of a loaded firearm without a license after acquitting him of illegal possession of a gun and ammunition for the same 2012 incident in Dorchester.

In its ruling, the court said that a loaded-firearm conviction is predicated on a illegal-possession conviction, that legally, you can't have the former without the latter.

The ruling describes the incident at a festival that led to the man's arrest:

An unknown passerby stopped a Boston police officer, stated that "a man had a gun," and pointed to a small group of black males, which included the defendant, walking down the street away from the parade. Officers then began to follow and surveil that group. At one point, when the defendant was near a parked vehicle, one of the officers, who was on the opposite side of the street, observed the defendant, who was walking at a fast pace, "[s]low[] down a little bit" next to the vehicle, and heard a noise that, based on his experience, was consistent with a gun hitting the pavement. The two other males from the group were about ten to fifteen feet away from the defendant at that time. After stopping the group to ask questions, the police canvassed the immediate area. A loaded firearm was recovered from beneath the parked vehicle, and the defendant was arrested.

In its ruling, the court said that the law on loaded firearms was clearly meant as a way to additionally punish somebody convicted of possession of a gun, because it includes the phrase "shall be further punished" by additional time behind bars after a person is convicted of simple illegal possession.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Complete ruling104.98 KB

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

Seems mutually exclusive. I'd be curious to know how he was acquitted int he first place.

up
Voting closed 0

>possession of an illegal gun

change to "illegal possession of a gun." Guns don't break the law, people do.

up
Voting closed 0

And the father of the 8 year old child in Westfield, MA who accidentally killed himself with an UZI, that his father gave to him, can take great comfort in that.

The gun didn't kill the child.

The father did.

up
Voting closed 0

There are no accidents with firearms only negligence*

*unless you're a cop, then you're special n'stuff

up
Voting closed 0

The father didn't give him the gun actually, the gun show did and the gun show organizer was subsequently charged with manslaughter.

The Uzi was not charged with any crime and while present at the trial it plead the 5th.

up
Voting closed 0

Yes, the people that gave the eight year old the uzi were actually charged with manslaughter.

No different than if the father handed the kid the keys to the car and said take it for a ride and the child died in a car accident--would you blame the car or the father?

up
Voting closed 0

I think it depends if the possessor is prohibited from possessing any gun vs. if the gun is prohibited from being possessed by anybody. Illegal possession of an illegal gun, illegal possession of a gun, possession of an illegal gun.

I would consider the lack of a license to not connote a prohibition on owning a gun, more a precondition. Someone who doesn't have a license can legally obtain a gun, they just need to obtain a license first; someone who the court or law has told "you are not allowed to possess a gun under any circumstances" is prohibited: even with a license they are not allowed to possess one.

up
Voting closed 0

Now you're just making stuff up. If you read the ruling the charges are clearly stated and they don't use the term "illegal gun" because there is no such thing. The law APPLIES TO PEOPLE'S ACTIONS not objects.

There's no such thing as a gun that "is prohibited from being possessed by anybody." Whatever you have in mind, imagine the police arrest that person and take possession of the gun--oh wait, now the police are breaking the law! The ATF arrests the police--oh wait, now the ATF is breaking the law too. See that's stupid. Doesn't exist.

up
Voting closed 0

Does it exist? Or not?

up
Voting closed 0