Stewart Deadline Extended Again


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Bubbles
September 29, 2004, 09:20 AM
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/04a176.htm

Yesterday the government was granted another 30 days on their extension to file their appeal to the USSC. The new deadline is now November 7th.

This is just idle speculation on my part, but...

What if the Feds are waiting to file until they see the results of the election? It's already common knowledge that several USSC justices will be retiring soon. What if they're waiting to file until they find out whether these replacements will likely be pro-RKBA or anti-RKBA?

If Kerry wins, the Feds file and hope that at least one pro-RKBA justice on the USSC is replaced before the Stewart case is heard. If Bush wins, they don't file at all.

Again, just idle speculation...

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bamawrx
September 29, 2004, 10:24 AM
Purhaps the opposite is true.

Werewolf
September 29, 2004, 10:38 AM
Mightn't someone explain what this case is about and why it is important. The link tells nothing...

Bubbles
September 29, 2004, 11:46 AM
Mightn't someone explain what this case is about and why it is important. The link tells nothing...

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=102402

ctdonath
September 29, 2004, 03:43 PM
Case summary:
Gunsmith Bob Stewart was convicted of, among other things, possessing a machinegun he apparently made entirely from scratch and of his own unique design. Incredibly, the 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals overturned this conviction on grounds that the machinegun in question had not moved in interstate commerce and thus was not subject to federal law 922(o) (outright ban on new machineguns).

Upshot is that, apparently, anyone in the 9th Circuit's jurisdiction can now legally make their own machinegun. There are, however, nuanced questions which remain unanswered (is a homemade auto-sear in an AR15 ok, or does the whole thing have to be made from scratch? must it be registered with the BATF under NFA law? does the ruling apply only to Bob Stewart and his unique case, or is everyone freed from 922(o)?). The BATF has thousands of applications to build new machineguns, but apparently has no idea what to do with them and does not want to approve them.

Looks like the federal prosecutor in the case has decided to appeal the verdict, and is stalling for time. Interestingly, the Supreme Court has not rejected the case outright. Considering the approach taken, this is purely an "interstate commerce" issue, not RKBA; a SCOTUS ruling could be very curiously worded.

FWIW: Bob Stewart was (before this incident) a convicted felon (likely a case of entrapment + poorly-advised plea bargain) who manufactured & sold unfinished .50BMG rifle kits (requiring just enough effort to finish that the BATF did not consider them rifles). He could be considered the father of the current .50BMG craze by making such rifles affordable (contrasted with the >$8000 Barrett 82). BATF dramatically raided his business and home, and found several firearms of debatable ownership, plus the aforementioned homemade machinegun. AFAIK, all charges except machinegun possession were dropped, and he was convicted (later overturned as noted above) on the one charge. His 5-year sentence was later compounded by a 20-year sentence for what he allegedly said (rumor from another prisoner) he would do to the convicting judge when released.

ctdonath
September 29, 2004, 03:56 PM
Upshot of the appeal:
The 9th Circuit reversal of Stewart's conviction overturns 922(o) in the 9th Circuit's jurisdiction (several states including CA and WA). The prosecutor is stalling to appeal the ruling.

If the appeal succeeds (SCOTUS frequently reverses 9th Circuit rulings), 922(o) is restored and effectively nothing changes.

If the appeal fails (which is likely why the prosecutor is stalling for time - bad mojo for him if he loses this), 922(o) would likely only apply to interstate transfer of machineguns. This would:
- make MG manufacture and transfer legal within many states (just don't move it outside the state)
- a related ruling deemed 922(o) renders NFA void re: post-'86 MGs, so no $200 transfer tax on legal intrastate post-'86 MGs
- BATF decrees AR15 autosears are the MG, so homemade LightningLinks - and hence full-auto AR15s - would be cheap, easy and legal (subject to state law and no interstate transfer)

FYI: IANAL.

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