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Brits: Welcome to America --now go straight to jail

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Thin Black Line, Dec 17, 2008.

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  1. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1336840.html


    I'll let the article and some emphasis speak for itself.

    One question, though, do they teach mens rea in law school anymore?
     
  2. N003k

    N003k Member

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    Unbelievable...I can't blame them for not wanting to come back after that, and why the heck is the prosecuter calling a silencer a 'firearm' last I knew it didn't fire a think, ESPECIALLY not when it's designed for an airgun...
     
  3. subknave

    subknave Member

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    That is just rediculous. A FELONY for not filling out a form properly. I looked at the form and it didn't have any questions about firearms and the questions asking about value seem geared toward commercial business not gifts. Think they would have been charged with a felony and spent all that time in jail if it had been a bottle of wine or expensive handbag they had not put on their forms? If they had brought them for their own use and were taking them back with them (theres another nightmare scenario) they wouldn't have needed to declare them at all.
     
  4. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    The US Attorney's Office should have allowed the unlawful importation charge to stick and should have added a posession of a non-registered NFA item charge as well as a posession of a firearm by a non-immigrant alien/prohibited posessor charge as well. The customs charge they were allowed to plead out to sounds like malarchy. If they landed in North Carolina, the local DA should have looked into posession of weapons of mass death and destruction charges against them too.

    Detchable airgun silencers are considered firearm silencers and fall under the NFA, because it is possible for them to reduce the report of some gunshot, even if just for 1 shot- and they may be attached to a firearm. If they did even 5 minutes of research, they would have known that.

    They did not lack mens rea, the term knowingly as it pertains to NFA violations has been defined in case law as pertaining to knowledge that the item was posessed/ what it was- something they admitted. The can't claim they did not know that registration was necessary.

    The law might be wrong, but it is the law none the less.
     
  5. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    Given that they didn't have to register it in their home country they can
    probably claim that they did not know registration was necessary here.
    After all the UK is normally so much more restrictive than we are. ;)

    However, I'd like to focus on the first part of your statement: so under NFA,
    all that is required is possession of the undeclared untaxed item rather than
    any intent to use it in a violent crime against another human being?

    So is this really just about tax evasion rather than violent crime?
     
  6. Clint C

    Clint C Member

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    quote:
    Immigration officials stepped in with an order to keep them locked up, superceding the judge.

    Yeah hold these two guys that are legit, but don't worry about the 500,000 illegle aliens from Mexico that are ruining our economy everyday.

    I understand these guys broke some laws, and we want to be very cautious about who is bringing what into our country, but they new after 24 hours these guys made a mistake and were not terrorist.

    Kocher clearly states she wanted to make examples out of these two. What a bunch of c&^p from a women that is a nobody trying to be somebody.

    Probably a hunter hater also.
     
  7. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    ...

    confirms my feelings towards visiting the US ever again.

    Of course the great nature and the chance to have fun at a range
    is tempting - but i don´t wanna be under a prosecution, that
    cannot differentiate between good people and gangsters.

    the "LAW" always seems to be a dictatorship of regulations,
    when you look at how it is handled in the US.
     
  8. Old Guy

    Old Guy Member

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    As an ex resident of England, and now a Permanent resident of the US of A, and a gun guy! I never would have made that mistake, the first thing they should have done was scream blue murder to the British Consulate, then shut up!

    Like all law-abiding people from everywhere, they talk too much.

    And the DA thought they were guns, silly xxx

    But the law is the law!
     
  9. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    Yes, this is how we treat every visitor from Europe. That's why millions end up coming here each year.
     
  10. taprackbang

    taprackbang member

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    People like YOU are the problem with America.

     
  11. subknave

    subknave Member

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    Saying the LAW is the LAW really makes no allowance for the court system. The judicial systems entire purpose is to determine anong other things if the law is applicable in the case before it and if the law meets the requirements of the constitution. In this case the Judge basically said let them out on bond and the federal immigration service (with no justification mentioned) said detain them in jail. (Heil Homeland Security) Now lets say the shoe was on the other foot and you were going to visit a friend in england and taking a lovely stuffed and mounted pheasant (or anything else not illegal in the US and prohibited in England). When you got there you were detained and searched and arrested for importing prohibited items. What do you think our government would do? Frankly I think it was way overreacting. Confiscate the "Illegal" goods and send them on their way. It seems to be just another case of Law Enforcement getting themselves in a tizzy without the facts and then trying to justify it with extreme charges.
     
  12. sendarope

    sendarope Member

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    Hello? Intended for "air guns" are they talking about the fake silencers for the airsoft line of guns? Air guns make almost no noise. There is no law against fake silencers...not yet anyway.

    What am I missing?
     
  13. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Really when was the last time a violent crime was commited with a silencer, Besides in The Movies??
     
  14. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    ..just uneducated - don´t know it better - personal employed by gov´t
    and given police-rights.

    They repeat "it´s the law" till they have absolutely no
    wisdom, initiative or common sense left to actually evaluate
    what their own senses take in.

    i´d feel much safer in an arab medina amidst quran-students
    than in the presence of customs or police officers in america.

    The problem is: If someone ( a mass of people) follows a doctrine
    beyond their own wisdom or belief - then you are like the taliban yourself.


    ( big part of the reason that US inner & foreign politics
    are picked on in the rest of the world)
     
  15. Seenterman

    Seenterman Member

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    Just a quick question about these silencers. First off are they even made of metal or plastic? Second could they be attached to a firearm? Would they actually reduce noise on real firearm?







     
  16. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    silencers for air guns are quite popular over hear and do have an effect on a rifle thats up to the limit 12feet per square inch pressure anymore and its a firearm so a fire arms certificate needed
    in fact silencers or moderators are not a problem for most weapons in the UK
     
  17. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    It's the absence of rational thought in cases like this that drives me up the wall. "The law is the law" is about as weak-minded an excuse to go berzerk as anything there is.

    Customs form? Under $100 value, so no red-tape crime. Legal item in source country? Okay, confiscate if illegal here; "Sorry, but you can't bring that into the U.S." Intent? Easy enough to check out their story about the purpose of travel, with a few phone calls.

    Supercede a judge? That's really constitutional, isn't it? It's supposed to be that law enforcement tells a prosecutor who then explains it all to a judge who then rules and the prosecutor and law enforcement folks obey the judge.

    Paranoid bureaucracy run amok. Sounds a lot like some African backwater thugocracy.

    Art
     
  18. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    We don't have a justice system, we have a legal system. If people could go through the vasrious legal codes that govern our nation and pick and choose which laws they want to abide by we would likely end up in a state of disorder pretty quickely- even if people chose only to break laws that were universally considered Mala Prohibita.

    I respect your sentiments Art. However, I have to wonder, would we be thinking the same if they were Columbians busted at some port of entry for brining a little bit of cocaine to give to their American friends that they were coming to visit. After all, personal use quantities of that (and most other) drugs are legal in Columbia and our drug laws just punish a victimless crime. I hope this helps you understand where I'm coming from.

    The Constitutional duty of the federal executive branch (which the US Attorney's office is a part of) is to enforce the laws of the United States. That leaves them with, in my mind, an obligation to attempt to prosecute people for the offenses they have allegedly committed.

    Of course, if they had decided to go to trial, and their lawyer brought up a good 'the law is bad' argument there is a chance that the jurors would have engaged in some nullification by jury. Contrary to what you may believe based on the rest of my post, I do have some belief in jury nullification, and there is a chance that I would not have voted to convict them if I was on their jury.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  19. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    correct. But that's somewhat off topic.


    If every single law in the united states was rigourously enforced, we'd all be sitting in jail. Every last one of us.
     
  20. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 Member

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    Pistols are legal in most states over here..How do you think the customs authorities would react if you were caught "importing' a pistol into the UK? IIRC silencers are considered a firearm.
     
  21. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    You think thats cute, try putting an SKS into a modern stock without replacing a few foreign components with identical american made components. Hellooooooo federal charges.

    Isn't the law fun?
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    [sarcasm]
    Given the propensity of federal law enforcement to Wacoize "compounds" under Ruby Ridge Rules of Engagement over allegations of improper paperwork on gun parts (usually citing anonymous snitches with no knowledge of what's legal or illegal), those British scofflaws got off easy.
    [/sarcasm]

    They actually sound like me: gun laws that punish people for owning 'bad' objects more severely than some people are punished for DOING bad acts, and federales who enforce those laws with no sense of porportion or justice, tick me off.
     
  23. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

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    All we need is the cholera outbreak.
     
  24. withdrawn34

    withdrawn34 Member.

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    Come on guys, they were obviously terrorists, just like the five year old clutching a water bottle - watch out for those water bombs, you know? And that woman with the hair gel in her suitcase, definitely an al qaeda member!

    I think we should just kill everyone who tries to board an airplane - I mean, if they're not there to blow up the plane, why else are they there!? God bless america!
     
  25. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    This is Grade A for Absurd.

    In the first place, suppressors for air guns are in a gray area as far as NFA is concerned. Now, with the new .17 caliber rimfire ammo, it's going to be pretty hard to pass an detachable suppressor as not NFA, but that is another point.

    The point is, most sensible Customs officials understand that some people don't have a solid grasp of foreign laws. They might seize an item, or require that it be held in bonded storage until you take it back with you, but this is absurd.

    And for the record, it is NOT illegal to bring arms into the United States. You do have to have your paperwork in order. See the ATF web site for details and conveniently downloadable forms.
     
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