US v Olofson - Cliff Notes Version

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Zedicus, Jul 5, 2008.

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  1. Zedicus

    Zedicus Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Ok, this is the Cliff Notes Version of the 88 Page Topic on AR15.com concerning US v Olofson.
    Located here: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=6&t=507483

    Ok, Commonly Known Facts First.

    • Rifle (AR15) was Loaned to Kernaki
    • Rifle Doubled/Tripled twice at the range and Jammed after each
    • Police Confiscated the Rifle claiming it was a Machinegun
    • BATFE Raided David Olofson’s Home after being notified by local PD.
    • BATFE Claimed the 20+ Year old Olympic Arms AR15 had been modified to fire Full-Auto
    • BATFE Disallowed Defense Experts from examining the rifle except from a distance (approx 6 feet)
    • BATFE claimed that a 5 second video of a BATFE FTB Agent Firing a rifle full-auto was proof
    • BATFE claimed M16 Bolt, Carrier, or Hammer in an AR15 = Machinegun
    • BATFE claimed and I Quote “Malfunctions can be classified as illegal Machineguns because they are not Specifically Exempted in the law”
    • When asked if that applied a Double Barrel Shotgun that fired both barrels in one trigger pull the BATFE answered “Yes”
    • BATFE Blocked Defense and Judge from Information that would have been beneficial to the Defense’s Case Claiming it Was “Privileged Tax Information” which It was Not
    • BATFE Ignored a Federal Judge’s order to Produce Documents requested of them
    • BATFE Claimed Prior “Dropped Firearms Charges” against mr Olofson made mr Olofson a “Convicted Felon” (old case over Legal Open Carry that was thrown out) Illegally in possession of Firearms
    • BATFE charged mr Olofson with “Illegal Transfer of a Machinegun”

    It should also be noted that the BATFE admitted to “Paying” mr Kernaki (guy who borrowed the rifle) to Testify (why?), who was caught Perjuring himself on multiple occasions during his Testimony.


    Now on to the Nitty Gritty, the Documents that you “Haven’t Seen”.
    Local PD Report

    2nd Local PD Report | Pt2

    Mr Kernaki’s Afidavit/Statement | Pt2

    The Warrant

    Logof Evidence Seized | Pt2 | Pt3 | Pt4 | Pt5

    Make note that mr Olofson reported that the electronics were dropped off “INSIDE” his house while he and his family were out and the doors were locked, when they got back the doors were unlocked and open, and the electronics piled in the main room.

    BATFE Criminal Complaint Form:
    Pt1 | Pt2 | Pt3 | Pt4 | Pt5

    BATFE NFA Search Paperwork

    BATFE FTB Report
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v51/cloverleaf762/Soverign Stuff/57.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v51/cloverleaf762/Soverign Stuff/58.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v51/cloverleaf762/Soverign Stuff/59.jpg

    Discovery Requests

    2nd Discovery Request (BATFE Ignored the first)

    Motion to Compel Discovery (BATFE Still Ignoring Requests)

    Motion to Compel was denied on claims by the BATFE that it was “Privileged Tax Information” which it is not.
    (Proven here http://www.nfaoa.org/documents/ATFmemoTaxInfo6103.pdf )

    Motion to Dismiss

    Motion for Acquittal

    THE Document the BATFE Removed from their own Website

    Kelly Harris
    David L Olofson | Pt2
    John Horkan
    Patricia A Olofson
    Michael R Berg
    Cadance M Olofson | Pt2



    e-mail the BATFE Claimed was proof David Olofson was Dealing in Firearms without an FFL


    Len Savage Interview mp3

    Live Fire Interview with David Olofson

    Lou Dobbs on US v Olofson
    Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 | Video 4


    I hope you appreciate this, I typed it all out instead of going out to watch the fireworks.
  2. Tom488

    Tom488 Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    New Jersey
    Some points of clarification:

    - Witness's name is Robert Kiernicki
    - Police originally just took Kiernicki's name and info., and let him leave. After speaking with the local BATFE office, they were told to confiscate the rifle.
    - BATFE FTB originally declared the rifle to be "just a rifle", as it only fired semi-auto. BATFE agent Keeku asked that the rifle be re-tested, this time with commercial .223 ammo, which has a softer primer. Then, the rifle hammer-followed, and fired automatically.
    - The statement about a malfunctioning double-barrel shotgun being a machinegun was made by the AUSA, not the BATFE.

    Overall, excellent job compiling a summary of the last, what, 18 months of this case.

    Something else I want to clarify for those who haven't followed this case from the beginning, and may be a little confused (as I saw in the other thread). There are three versions of "the story" here:

    Story 1, as told by the BATFE, says that an illegally-modified machinegun was loaned to Kiernicki, who fired it at the range, was discovered by the police, who turned it over to the BATFE, who prosecuted Olofson for transferring (but not manufacturing) an unregistered MG.

    Story 2, as told by the defense, says that the AR-15 came from Oly Arms with some M16 components, and the BATFE at the time said this was OK. Due to wear, the AR-15 was experiencing a malfunction known as "hammer-follow", a highly dangerous condition that caused the rifle to fire more than one round per pull of the trigger. Defense argued that a previous case (US v Staples) said there must be INTENT to convert a firearm to a MG, and there was no intent here - it was simply a malfunction.

    Story 3, as told by Olofson, was that when the rifle went from his hands to Kiernicki's, it had a DPMS AR-15 semi-auto FCG in it, which Olofson had replaced himself after the other DPMS FCG in the rifle wore, itself having been replaced by Olofson when the original Oly FCG started exhibiting signs of wear and malfunction. Somewhere between that time, and the time the Berlin PD discovered Kiernicki firing the rifle in "bursts", somebody swapped out the FCG with M15 parts. Whether Kiernicki did it on his own, or whether he was prompted to do so by others, is known only to Kiernicki.

    So, why did defense go with story #2, and not story #3? I don't know. Maybe they felt they had a better shot at winning with #2 than #3. Maybe they thought #2 was less work for them, than #3 (these were PD's, after all). Maybe possibly pointing the finger at their own government (who pays their salaries) didn't sit too well with them.

    For many reasons, I believe Mr. Olofson. It just doesn't make sense that he would modify his AR-15 in that way, knowing how dangerous it was. He certainly spent enough time with M16's and M4's to know that to operate properly, they needed an auto sear - not just an M16 FCG. I think he was a thorn in the backside of the local BATFE office, and they saw an opportunity to nail him - and nail him they did. Not only is he serving 2+ years in federal prison, and not only has he now lost his 2A rights forever, the BATFE now has a legal precedent established that ANY firearm that they can make fire more than one round per pull of the trigger can be considered a machinegun.

    Think about that for a minute.... imagine you're no longer on someone's Christmas card list. They decide to confiscate your rifle, "just to check it out". During testing, they remove "something" (I won't say what - don't want to give anyone any ideas), and the rifle hammer-follows, and spits out two rounds. Guess what? You get to go to prison.

    And don't tell me it can't happen. There's another thread over on ARFCOM about a guy in NC, who's neighbor heard him shooting his firearm, and called the cops, claiming he heard "automatic fire". The PD showed up with a BATFE agent, and asked the guy's girlfriend (who was the only one home at the time) if they could "look around". Being intimidated, she said "yes". They took his firearm, and sent it to the FTB to be tested. Fortunately, he wasn't on anyone's poop-list, so they returned the firearm (after something like 8-10 weeks, mind you), and said, "it's a semi-automatic". It could VERY easily have gone the other way, so don't think for a minute "Naw, that could never happen - not to ME".

    Yes... yes, it can.
  3. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

    Jul 19, 2004
    Thank you for compiling this.

    Maybe this will help shut up all the idiotic government sycophants who want to witch-hunt this man without knowing all the facts. These people took the BATFE Agent's extremely biased affidavit and "ran with it" as concrete case-closed type proof. Which is why we have that ugly, illogical and shameful thread going on at the moment.

    I'm not saying Olofson is clean. But we can clearly see the government is being predatory and unfair. That alone should bring their entire case under question. Maybe Olofson is shady, but that's irrelevant, all that matters is FACTS. And no such facts exist to corroborate the absurd allegations made. One of which is that he's an unlicensed manufacturer of firearms. Do you people realize that the BATFE's position is that every single AR-15 kit assembler is a FELON? That your garage workbench is a "manufacturing" center or station. That having 1,000 rounds is somehow indicative of something negative. That talking about the private sale of firearms through email correspondence is somehow dealing in firearms.

    Do you people realize that by the BATFE's standards in this case, the entire THR Buy/Sell Firearm's forums are criminal in nature? And that THR private messages, emails and the such in selling firearms privately to people within your state is acting as an unlicensed dealer and that you are all FELONS????????

    In America, we do not put people away because of railroading in kangaroo courts.

    It is utterly outrageous that the BATFE and the Court prohibits independent inspection of the rifle. He has a right to challenge the evidence of the government. That is being denied.

    If you notice, most of the nonsense demonizing Olofson are allegations. Very few are factual.

    I'm saddened by the fact that so many Americans, particularly members of THR which I hold to a higher standard of reason, are so willing to accept the position of the government and of an agency that has clearly proved to be acting in a predatory and essentially unlawful manner in convicting Olofson.
  4. H088

    H088 member

    Jun 1, 2008
    Gotta love a government which persecutes its own soldiers, you also gotta love the people who support the government and help them in the proccess.......
  5. Zedicus

    Zedicus Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Only things I could find that were factual were trivial at best.
  6. Jguy101

    Jguy101 Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Salem, Oregon
    After reading this, you know something's wrong with the country.

    My God.
  7. Zedicus

    Zedicus Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    This Just Ripped my Guts out...


    July 4th, the Anniversary of the berth of the USA, which after following this case, and several others, topped off by this message, I find myself thinking that "America" no-longer exists, nor has it for quite some time.
  8. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Wow. I was totally ignorant of all of this.

    Thanks, Zedicus, for all of that info.

  9. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    Jeezis, what a cluster-fork. I can't imagine how...hopeless Mr. Olofson and his family must feel right now.

    This country, as great as it is....is really, really screwed up sometimes. The people responsible for this man being behind bars should be ashamed of themselves.
  10. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

    Jul 19, 2004
    I'm wondering where all the people attacking "Sans Authoritas" and others in the locked thread about Olofson are to back up their arguments in this thread, where the original post has factual documents to verify or debunk them???

    Seems that when proof is displayed, things go mysteriously quiet.

    The truth has that effect. I don't favor confrontation or flame wars. The silence bears testimony in itself, and it is preferable to noise.


    One thing I wonder about this case is who from the range called the police? I read it was a range officer, but not certain. What kind of rat is that person? Who would call the police if they heard or saw a double + jam? Talk about big brother society. Your own countrymen ready to drop a dime on you. Scary stuff. I by no means am suggesting that people ignore blatant illegal activity, however, this is one case where there's significant doubt about illegal activity and it should really be left up to the BATFE to go out and find the full-auto criminals themselves. Not to invite them to persecute a rifle malfunction. That's what happens when citizens participate in police-state activism and invite an over-zealous agency to get involved. People who are legally innocent go to prison due to jury ignorance of complex firearm issues and outrageous prosecution/BATFE bias in describing the weak evidence they have.

  11. JWarren

    JWarren Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    MS and LA

    -- John
  12. ProficientRifleman

    ProficientRifleman Member

    May 3, 2006
    So... write him a letter and tell him he has your support.
  13. Reddbecca

    Reddbecca Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    All I said was that if Olofson really had illegally modified his gun, as the affidavit had stated, then it would've changed the entire story. It just grew out of hand from there.
  14. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    The Mid-South.
    I would spend $10 right now if it will go into a fund to pay for a legal team to prove that this guy was a victim of a government out of control.

    Another branches of the govt. has previously made random and arbitrary rulings to justify the existence of over-bloated bureaucratic power. It happened to a buddy of mine.

    And I've only been a gun owner (in a practical sense) since last October.

    Could a very select group organize such a fund?
    A large group of people helped airshow pilot Bob Hoover win his Airman's Medical back years ago when two FAA 'twats' watched him at an airshow and decided that the FAA should be able to ground somebody if they wanted to. They even had a shrink exam created for the purpose. Some of you have seen Bob at airshows over many years. He shuts down both engines with high energy and then does either a loop or a roll, lands in his 'glider' and rolls out in front of the reviewing stand.

    Let's clarify the point.
    Knowing that career aerobatic pilot B. Hoover was helped in a different way by a large movement, despite that fact that no felony or other crime was involved, why not help the guy in prison in Minnesota with lots of resources? Innocent until proven guilty...Maybe the NRA is working on this, but how about a grass-roots campaign to truly expose to the light of day the slime which inhabits a law enforcement agency of the US government?
  15. Macpherson

    Macpherson Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    What I want to know is when is the appeal? Obviously this is a terrible situation for Mr. Olofson, but I could also see this turning into a big win, since sooner or later a higher court is going to look at this and :cuss:. Ruling will be reversed, charges dropped, and Mr Olofson will be looking at a big fat check from the ATF. He should ask special agent Keeku to hand-deliver it :neener:
  16. PaladinX13

    PaladinX13 Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Seems like a rehash of Staples v. United States, 511 U.S. 600 (1994)... he'll prevail in court eventually on the legal issue. Issue isn't the law or government- which are mere tools of humans, just like another one we hold so dear- but their use and application. Demonization isn't particularly productive. Though press pressure can make the eventual sanctions (after Olofson's win) sting that much more if the stink strikes to their ability to enforce rather than some philosophical anti-law position of no meaning to them.
  17. Zedicus

    Zedicus Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    He (mr Olofson) said several times before that he will settle for nothing less than the Disbandment of the BATFE, he couldn't care less about money.

    This was apparently the 3rd time the BATFE has gone after him, first time over some trumped up charges by a BATFE Snitch in the late 80's (case was dropped), second was over Legal Open Carry which was thrown out of court by the judge, and now this.
  18. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    There are more than a few folks on this board who are really sick and tired of SA hijacking every thread and turning it into a soapbox for his anarchist drivel.

    With that said: A bunch of what was posted in the locked thread didn't jive, like Olafson's selling of guns on Ebay. Ebay hasn't allowed gun sales on their site for years.

    The letter of reprimand from a Major General to an enlisted threw up a big red flag for me. This is why they have Majors, LTC's and COL's for.
  19. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Fantastic summary; thank you, but here are the parts I'm having trouble with:

    The proper response is to object strenuously, file motions, requests for re-hearings, interlocutory appeals, etc. Did he just have a terrible lawyer, or what? Sure he's going to appeal as he should, but I'll just note that *IF* these facts are true as reported, then his appeal will be one of the easiest ever won. Because on the first one - preventing the defense from fully examining the rifle - that's a fundamental violation of the accused's rights - tantamount to refusing to let you confront the witnesses against you, a constitutional right. So if he doesn't win on appeal, that tells me that these facts are not being properly conveyed here.
  20. Dumpster Baby

    Dumpster Baby Member

    Jan 6, 2008
    Kansas City MO
    Knowing what the BATFE can and will do in cases like this, it's fundamentally suicidal to take an AR-15 with a 3 position selector and a known history of hammer following out to the range. Taking an SKS with a sticky firing pin and a history of slam firing out to the range is suicidal. Taking anything with a known history of doubling, slam firing, or hammer following out to the range is suicidal.

    Olofson and friend are basically idiots, and got themselves into a totally preventable legal jam. They very foolishly invited The Man into their lives.

    I hope the conviction is thrown out on appeal, for prosecutorial misconduct if nothing else. I hope that a valid firearm testing protocol comes out of this mess.

  21. Tom488

    Tom488 Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    New Jersey
    Motions were filed... motions were denied. He had a public defender.

    All the documents are posted in the 88-page thread over on ar15.com. Yes, they're true.

    It's only Kiernicki's testimony (that he mostly recanted on cross, by the way) that says Olofson told him about the 3rd position, and the fact that it jammed after firing in that position. Olofson maintains that he never told Kiernicki about a 3rd position, because when he transferred the rifle, it had a DPMS 2-position selector in it.

    Again - don't make the mistake of taking everything the government has laid out at face value.
  22. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    The pdf appears to a document dated 18 August 1980, about a request for transactions between 1935 and December 31st, 1935. What was the intent of the motion?

    I am not a lawyer, and I don't quite understand the discovery phase. I thought that the judge could compel the revelation of documents by the prosecution (or the defense). If the judge decided that what was being requested was relevant, wouldn't the judge have compelled discovery? If the judge did not compel discovery, why not?

    What did the judge say about all that?

  23. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    Actually, the case doesn't show that at all - Mr. Olofson was not convicted of manufacturing or possessing a machine gun. Even if he did not modify the weapon (which seems doubtful), once he knew that the weapon was capable of firing more than one round, he broke the law by transferring it to another person. The transfer was clearly not lending to a friend - Mr. Olofson repeatedly claims that he did not know "the kid" very well.

    Mr. Olofson told Robert Kiernicki that the weapon would in fact fire in select fire mode - though it might jam after doing that. So there is no doubt that Mr. Olofson knew that the weapon was capable of firing in select fire mode.

    The transfer is what got Mr. Olofson in trouble. So if you have a weapon that fires more than one round when the trigger is pulled, you need to get it repaired before you transfer it to someone else. Even if it's really the aliens from Area 51 who really put the M16 parts in it. :)

  24. unspellable

    unspellable Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    Has it happened before?

    It's my understanding that in the Waco case the government never allowed the defence or any one else to examine the so called "full auto" firearms.
  25. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

    Dec 5, 2005

    I didn't think that they could refuse the defense from examining the rifle... I mean, you have to be allowed to confront your accusor and the "rifle" in this case was as much an accusor as the BATFE.
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