Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wisconsin man convicted on unusual weapons charge: another 2nd Amendment case looming?

CNN’s Lou Dobbs reports today (Saturday May 17) about a disturbing potential Second Amendment related case from Wisconsin. David R. Olofson, who had served a tour in the Army with an honorable discharge and joined the reserves, bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with M16 parts, and somehow transferred or loaned it to someone on a firing range in Wisconsin. The rifle malfunctioned, and fired up to six rounds in two squeezes of the trigger. The federal government and ATF prosecuted him for violating the “assault weapons ban” or machine gun weapons ban, and he was sentenced to 30 months in prison this week in a federal court in Milwaukee. However, observers in the case maintain that the weapon would have been illegal only if it had auto-seer, which it does not have.

The case has been appealed. There were some questions about past charges in the defendant’s military and civilian record, but he has never been convicted of a felony or weapons offense.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story by John Diedrich about the sentencing May 13, here. Search the paper online for subsequent stories about his background, and watch CNN and other media outlets for details of this story to appear.

In Washington DC, the District of Columbia’s handgun law is now before the Supreme Court, as has been covered on this blog.

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