Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Years After Sale, Handgun Haunts Ex-Owner in Court

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Joe7cri, Aug 15, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Joe7cri

    Joe7cri Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    New York
    I saw this on the internet and thought it should be posted, maybe I should have put it in L&P, not sure. I sure do feel bad for the seller.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9C0DE7DC1739F935A25751C1A9669C8B63


    Years After Sale, Handgun Haunts Ex-Owner in Court

    By DIRK JOHNSON
    Published: December 16, 2000
    On the day in October when a police officer was shot to death here, Terry Walker was 70 miles away.

    But Mr. Walker, a 49-year-old cook, has been jailed on charges of involuntary manslaughter, even though there is no evidence that he knew the killer, Ljeka Juncaj, who shot himself to death after the slaying of the police officer, Chris Wouters.

    The charges stem from Mr. Walker's failure to file the legal forms several years ago when he sold the handgun that wound up in the hands of the killer.

    Criminal justice experts say the case is an extraordinary attempt to hold a gun seller responsible for the ultimate use of the gun, even if the weapon changed hands several times before it reached the killer.

    Macomb County prosecutors say the charge against Mr. Walker should send a message to gun owners about the dangers of improperly transferring weapons.

    But gun rights groups and other conservatives say the prosecution is an unfair use of gun laws to blame a man who had no real connection to the shooting.

    ''This is a real stretch,'' said Mitch Pearlstein, the president of the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative research organization in Minneapolis. ''It reminds me of these cases we're seeing now of landlords being held responsible for the misbehavior of their tenants.''

    Advocates of gun control, meanwhile, say the case demonstrates the importance of the laws on transferring guns. If the gun had been properly registered, they say, it would be less likely that the weapon would have fallen into dangerous hands.

    Nancy Hwa, a spokeswoman for Handgun Control in Washington, defended the notion of a ''chain of responsibility that the gun industry and gun owners bear for their product.''

    Mr. Walker, in an interview this week at the Macomb County Jail, said he was shocked when police officers arrived at his home in Capac, Mich., last month and arrested him.

    ''I remember hearing about the shooting of the cop, and I feel bad for him and his family,'' Mr. Walker said. ''But I had nothing to do with it.''

    Eric Kaiser, a prosecutor in the case, said it was ''not relevant'' whether Mr. Walker knew the killer, nor did it matter how many times the gun might have changed hands after Mr. Walker sold it.

    ''If I have a stick of dynamite and I hand it to you, it might be eight people later before something happens,'' the prosecutor said at the arraignment. ''But it doesn't matter. The damage has been done.''

    Criminal justice experts say prosecutors have recently become more likely to file charges against people who supplied guns used in crimes.

    The Colorado man who supplied the guns used in the Columbine High School shootings, Donald Manes, was sentenced to six years in prison. And the gun dealer who sold two guns used in the rampage by a white supremacist in Illinois was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

    As much as 40 percent of all gun sales occur in the secondary market, without a licensed gun dealer, said Phil Cook, a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

    Only a handful of states, including Michigan, require buyers in these private sales to file purchase permits with law enforcement authorities, he said. Even in those states, Mr. Cook said he believed that a relatively small percentage of gun buyers complied with the registration laws.

    In the case of Mr. Walker, Judge John Chmura of State District Court has told prosecutors and defense lawyers to file briefs in January about whether the matter should go to trial. Until then, Mr. Walker is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond. People in his hometown have taken up a collection for his legal defense.

    Mr. Walker could face up to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charges. He has also been charged with illegal possession of a gun as a felon. Mr. Walker was sentenced to probation in September for embezzling from a former employer.

    The maximum penalty for failing to properly record a gun sale is $100 and 90 days in jail.

    Timothy Barkovic, the lawyer for Mr. Walker, said his client was being made a scapegoat. Mr. Barkovic said the police officers failed to search Mr. Juncaj while arresting him on drug charges at his home on Oct. 11. A search would have found the weapon and averted the killing, he said.
     
  2. orangelo

    orangelo member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm sure they can find some police officers and departments in michigan that had weapons they sold/lost used later in crimes. Maybe they should string up the entire police force and state government on manslaughter charges.

    Don't forget to try Walmart for selling the car battery to the shooter, and Exxon for selling gas to him which enabled him to be mobile. Then they can go after McDonalds because the shooter once obtained sustenance there.
     
  3. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    6,717
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Maybe this will spark some movement to get some bad laws repealed. This is a concrete example of why such laws are just too dangerous to have around.
     
  4. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Wait! Michigan doesn't have "registration"!

    Or so they say. Michigan requires purchasers of handguns to obtain a purchase permit, and then to present the purchased handgun to law enforcement for a "safety inspection." That's how they got the law passed -- by claiming that it wasn't "registration." This case is a perfect example of why gun registration laws are a really bad idea.

    Unfortunately, it's also an example of why you should ALWAYS FOLLOW THE LAW IN YOUR JURISDICTION, even then the law is stupid and arguably unconstitutional. Failure to do so can result in a lot of misery.

    Are there any gun rights or civil liberties groups willing to step up and handle this guy's defense, or at least mount an attack on the "safety inspection" law in Michigan?
     
  5. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    Garland, TX
    1. Thanks for the reminder about being careful where I live (or even visit).

    2.
    Both of these dealers broke laws in selling to the individuals directly responsible for committing these crimes. In other words, they violated laws already on the books.
     
  6. Phenom

    Phenom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    266
    What a crock of s--- :mad: Any "gun" can be properly registered and still easily be used in a crime. Firearms get stolen all of the time, registered or not.
     
  7. creitzel

    creitzel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    South East Michigan
    Michigan's "safety inspection" is indeed a pistol registration. The inspection consists solely of the clerk recording your name, and the serial #/make/model of the gun.

    Personally, I'd love to see the registration go. It makes buying a pistol a pain (have to make a couple trips to the police station, along with the trip to the gun shop to get the gun). However, getting rid of it now, would probably be a very long and hard battle. As far as I know, all of the LEO's and most of the general populace here in Michigan support it.

    I think it's a bit late for that. That article is from 2000. I'm searching now to see if I can find more information on the outcome of this.

    Edited to add: I've been searching on the web for the past half hour or so. I can't find anything more than the original story, and some forum posts from around the time that the incident happened. I'll continue my search when I get home from work.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  8. GSPKurt

    GSPKurt Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Trenton, Florida
    Has the NRA commented or stepped up with counsel on this?:scrutiny:

    I just noticed the date, too. Disregard.
     
  9. Joe7cri

    Joe7cri Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    212
    Location:
    New York
    Oh, I'm sorry for posting, didn't see the date either, I thought this was current.:eek:
     
  10. panzermk2

    panzermk2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    393
    Funny thing about paperwork. Awhile ago I read somewhere that the BATFE lost 3500 Dept. guns including sub-machine guns and just wrote them off.
    How come they can get away with that and CA is going after that guy?

    That’s rite double standard the Government can kick your door and kill your family because the got the wrong address and get away with it.

    You on the other hand are a serf to them and subject to their whims
     
  11. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,542
    Really? I lived there briefly in 1990 (from January to September).

    I had to carry every one of my handguns downtown (Flint) and register them.

    Some ignorant govt employee had to write down each serial number and log it in.

    That's not registration?
     
  12. Creeping Incrementalism

    Creeping Incrementalism Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    984
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    It's been my experience that in smaller gun arrests that when charges are dropped because they were BS to begin with, you never hear about it again. I think it's because the arresting agency calls the media to announce their big bust, but don't call again when the charges get dropped because evidence was improperly obtained, or for other embarassing reasons.
     
  13. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    2,503
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    [sniff, sniff]

    Smell that? It's called "sarcasm."

    If you actually read my post, you'll see that I was making the point that Michigan does indeed have handgun "registration." They claim they don't, but they do. They call it a "safety inspection" but anyone with half a brain realizes that is just newspeak for "registration."
     
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    They say all kinds of stupid, irrational, anti-logical things, but they're wrong.
     
  15. Haymaker

    Haymaker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    The Bearflag Republic
    Darn!

    This is Not Right!:fire: :cuss:
     
  16. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,960
    Location:
    Gainesville, Fl
    Wow, this is a blatant display of partisanship.

    That is just ridiculous speculation. Most guns used in crime are obtained through illegally means that have no connection to registration. A registered gun is just as easy to steal or obtain through deceit as an unregistered gun.

    The reasonability should be on the criminal that committed the crime and the system that allowed him back into society if he had previous violent crimes.

    I also find it funny that Libs talk about “responsibility” when everything they support is a way to abandon personal reasonability in favor or being cared for by a nanny state. How about doing away with welfare, minimum wages, abortion, drug rehab instead of prison, and other cherished Lib beliefs and demand that people take responsibility for their own actions?

    This is just stupid logic. If an object is inherently dangerous than there is an obvious risk associated with its use that divorces the seller of personal liability. As for the idea that # of sells doesn’t matter, how about holding the original owner of a car responsible when the 5th person down the chain of ownership uses it to rob a bank or commits an acident related DUI? This is just stupid because it assumes that the mere sale of an item is THE causal link responsible for the outcome. This takes causal responsibility away from the person that used the item by treating them as if they had absolutely no voluntary free choice in the event.
     
  17. LAK

    LAK Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,487
    A fear along these lines has been instilled in some people in order to discourage them selling privately whether it been at loophole shows, or classified ads etc.

    If it was a legal requirement he file paper for the sale, then he should have been charged accordingly. Otherwise, this is just another perversion of the law and justice - and the judges that allow such cases to progress beyond the first hearing need to be impeached or other avenue of removal by the legislature.

    ---------------------------------------------

    http://ussliberty.org
    http://ssunitedstates.org
     
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,566
    First, anyone who expects reason or balance from the NYT on gun control is in cloud cuckooland.

    Second, this is so old I would like to see the outcome, not the original story.

    Third, the man who sold the gun was a felon who could not legally own the gun in the first place.

    Fourth, as a felon, the Supreme Court has ruled that he cannot be prosecuted for not registering the gun, since to register would be self-incrimination. He can be prosecuted for an illegal sale.

    Fifth, those who say that they have the right to sell guns without caring who they sell to, and on principle won't even ask the buyer for ID might take the story as food for thought. It is rare that such a sale will get the seller into trouble, but it can happen, and a charge of accessory to murder one is not something to look forward to just to make a few bucks or kiss off the law. If a prosecutor really wants to nail someone, he will find a way.

    Sixth, the story also shows that no matter what some folks think, guns can be traced, even through many hands.

    Jim
     
  19. RioShooter

    RioShooter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    626
    Location:
    Brownsville, TX
    I did some research, and discovered that when Walker sold the gun he was not yet a felon. I'm still looking for final outcome.
     
  20. strambo

    strambo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,730
    Location:
    Oregon
    +1
    Because I am a responsible person, I do check ID and make sure I know who I'm selling to and write a receipt with the guns serial #. It is no one else's business and won't matter unless I get a knock on the door from the police years later like this guy. I do want to know I'm selling guns to responsible people. Firearms may be easy to get for criminals, but they aren't gonna get them directly from me.
     
  21. Kramer Krazy

    Kramer Krazy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    925
    Location:
    Easley, SC
    Just another excuse to never sell a gun.........I've only ever gotten rid of one gun.....I traded it for a 1983 Husqvarna WR-430 dirtbike that a local police officer owned......I really wish I still had that Colt. :(
     
  22. Punkermonkey

    Punkermonkey Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    IE, CA
    According to the Macomb County Circuit Court home page

    I am unable to find any information relating to the original charge of manslaughter for Mr. Walker however he did plead guilty to "WEAPONS-FIREARMS-POSSESSION BY FELON" 750.224F. If you are interested, this is the link to the court report.
     
  23. one-shot-one

    one-shot-one Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
    texas
    Michigan nuff said.
     
  24. Ryder

    Ryder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    2,433
    Location:
    Mid-Michigander
    Nuff said about what? The seller has no responsibility to do anything after the transfer. It is the buyer's responsibility to follow up with the police after the sale in Michigan.

    If the buyer he sold to had the required police issued permit the seller is free and clear. No two ways about it.
     
  25. Eightball

    Eightball Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    4,257
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    And thus begins the primary argument of stupidity. REGISTERING GUNS TARGETS LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, NOT CRIMINALS!!!!!!!!:fire:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page