This is a discussion on prosecution for legal modifications? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by OldVet "Please stop bickering..." This is exactly why I leave forums. you would leave because I asked them to stop personal attacks? ...
What I don't understand is how this thread got so long.
This, like many other legal issues, is not terribly complex or involved.
The only people who make it so are those who refuse to keep matters simple.
Explaining things, justifying thing...feh. If you want to go that way, do it.
Just understand that all the accessories, modifications and enhancements you do to your weapon are in the end going to do almost nothing in comparisin to the benifit equivalent cost in training would do for you.
Most enhancements being discussed run from $150 to $350, roughly.
That's a class & ammo from a local instructor.
Think about it.
Aside from having a stock gun which will allow everyone to focus on who did what rather than with what...you will have additional skill with which to do it, and additional training to rely on so when asked why you did it, you can give an educated response.
Or...you can have a laser & some cool engraving.
Of course buying a Dillon RL550B will save you the price of gun, modifications, and training in practice ammunition very quickly.
Some of us see a sidearm as more then JUST a tool to save your life.
Its like a car or truck. Some people just like stock. You can add stuff that will make your life easier like a GPS or MP3 player instead of a CD player. Better wheels and tires for a truck to aid in traction off road or snowy roads.
Then you have people that want a unique car that add paint, graphics, loud sound system, stickers, motors, roll bars, blah blah blah.
The difference is the car/truck is transportation. If you get into an accident would the modifications of the car/truck come up as a factor? Only if it made the vehicle unsafe. Now logic would say the same for a gun but since people have a prenotion that guns are bad so it may or may not sway a jury.
Under American law the jury should be selected impartial. They have no relation to the defendant or plantiff. They arn't anti- whatever to throw the case. I haven't been selected for jury duty but I guess they ask you questions before selecting you? either way its difficult to have a jury that is neither pro or anti gun. Either one may or may not effect the outcome if the subject of a modified firearm comes into question.
My thought is if you have a reason for your modifications then you have nothing to worry about. If you engrave something on your gun it shouldn't have a factor but just have a reason you spent the money to do it. Even an excuse like "I thought it was neat at the time, but later realize my sidearm is not a show car...its a tool to defend my life." would be better then "uh oh um...I... uh..."
There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I for one fit into the limited to no modifications group. I think one reason I fit into this group is because I have limited funds, I may not have the $ to get the best attorney, so why complicate the situation.
I think all can agree that far more important than what mods are done, the first issue is a justified SD shooting. Next, get a lawyer after the fact.
In general, I would think we can agree that there is not a clear cut example where modifications lead to prosecutions, but we can also agree it could be a factor. There are many opinions on how important this factor is.
To the OP of thread however, there are no clear cut examples.
All these opinions, all these arguments, all this blather, and here is what the OP asked:
"Are there any examples of a legaly modified firearm resulting in prosecution?"
"Are there any examples of a legaly modified handgun resulting in prosecution?"
How many posts out of 10 pages full of them have addressed his questions by providing concrete examples, and how many have just given personal opinion?
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.
Until I see at least half dozen instances I won't even bother with the thought.
I also wonder if some are so tied up in wondering about their potential legal problems that they might get shot before they made a decision.
I do what I think makes me a better shot, my gun more reliable, and easier to operate. Let the lawyers "eat cake."
Yeah, when you get to be Vice Chairman of the Forensic Evidence Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the only non-attorney to ever hold this position you probably don't have a clue what you are talking about.
Further, regarding examples, you don't know how many times this issue have been brought up in cases that were resolved without any public hearings or officially reported results.
Resolved by a discussion with the prosecutor in the old, poorly carpeted back room of the courthouse that used to be the HVAC room...No Official Record.
Resolved in the Judge's chambers when the state & defense can't work it out lacking adult supervision...Same.
Went to trial, issue raised but not appealed after guilty verdict...guess what?
You only hear about examples if the case goes to appeal or an attorney knows to bring in an expert on the issue and has the money to do so.
Guess what? Most lawyers handling criminal cases don't have the funds required to get experts on hand to help them because the client can't pay for it.
You want examples...Well, want all you'd like. Absence of proof is NOT proof of absence.
Modify the guns all you'd like. Criminal defense attorneys need cash... :)
"Absence of proof is NOT proof of absence."
If someone is trying to tell us it is a problem then it is pretty good evidence that it is not a problem. Especially since it has been challenged many times. If it is a problem, then come up with evidence.
Bad things happen to good people. Win or lose, you can be bankrupt and broken after being sued, or end up in prison if you have an Oprah-watching audience and the prosecution whines about you committing a dislike crime. Yes, I had my S&W Sigma trigger lightened because it was too tight and stiff and slow, throwing off my aim and getting the blame. I hope that this does not come back to bite me in the ass, someday.
In 1999, I was a witness to a shooting inside a bar and got involved. High on excitement and adrenlin, I quickly printed a statement on a cop's little note pad. Being a writer, I could have and should have used a computer or a typewriter at the police station, giving me time to edit and think and revise and rewrite. Years later, I was on the witness stand and was shown those very quickly scribbled note paper pages. I had made mistakes and was unsure, etc. I had also been drinking more than thinking at that time. I knew better. Everything turned out right, despite a $5-per-hour security guard being paralyzed for life. An old drunk had left the bar and came back with a gun, wounding four people. Thank God he did not have a modern semi-automatic pistol with him.