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Discussion Starter #1
OK, here is the actual title of the article: Feds seek to keep guns seized after West Texas mass shooting

But, the owner of the firearms was not the one responsible for the shooting. He had sold a firearm to the shooter in a private sale.
The civil forfeiture complaint filed last week states Braziel spent years buying, selling and building guns without a license, and in 2016 sold an AM-15 rifle to an Odessa resident with the initials “S.A.”

The case is against the seized firearms, not Braziel, and there is no record of a criminal case against him.
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“The criminal investigation involving Mr. Braziel is ongoing,”
Ok, so he "may" have been illegally manufacturing and selling firearms outside of what is allowed for occasional sales by any citizen. But, they don't even have enough information to charge him with a crime. Seems an overreach to me to seize a persons property without at least enough to charge with a crime.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hear you. The article says the investigation is ongoing, so maybe there is more to it.
The article says the government is asking the court to "grant the government permanent possession" of the firearms. All this without even charging him with a crime let alone a conviction. I can understand that if they believe there is the likelihood someone has committed crimes that taking possession of the evidence is warranted. They have had his weapons for almost a year and still have not charged him with a crime. If they can't make their case in a reasonable amount of time, sure, let them go to court to request additional time to make a case to show good cause to continue holding those weapons during the investigation. But, to ask to take the weapons permanently w/o a conviction is a clear violation of the constitution.

FWIW: I don't know the facts of the case, but it could very well be that he was illegally selling firearms. The problem is that the law is vague. Any citizen can sell a gun they own. But, w/o a license you cannot be "in the business" of selling firearms. There is no objective standard to determine that.
 

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Asset forfeiture has been flawed and problematic for quite some time now. I understand the investigation is ongoing but without charges there should be no confiscation, let alone forfeiture. It is a travesty of justice.
 

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Absent conviction, the government should not be allowed to keep anything.

Innocent until proven guilty is a bedrock of our Justice System and without conviction, a person is innocent in the eyes of the law.
In a perfect world! But the Feds do it all of the time. Read some of the stories of them seizing bank accounts, one has a better chance if you are guilty! Feds Seize Family Grocery Store’s Entire Bank Account - Conservative News & Right Wing News | Gun Laws & Rights News Site Feds Steal $35K From Small Grocer's Bank Account Despite Finding "No Violations" To Justify the Grab
 

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The article says the government is asking the court to "grant the government permanent possession" of the firearms. All this without even charging him with a crime let alone a conviction. I can understand that if they believe there is the likelihood someone has committed crimes that taking possession of the evidence is warranted. They have had his weapons for almost a year and still have not charged him with a crime. If they can't make their case in a reasonable amount of time, sure, let them go to court to request additional time to make a case to show good cause to continue holding those weapons during the investigation. But, to ask to take the weapons permanently w/o a conviction is a clear violation of the constitution.

FWIW: I don't know the facts of the case, but it could very well be that he was illegally selling firearms. The problem is that the law is vague. Any citizen can sell a gun they own. But, w/o a license you cannot be "in the business" of selling firearms. There is no objective standard to determine that.
18 United States Code 921 (a) 21 covers that.
 

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Asset forfeiture laws need to be updated to prevent the glaring abuses that are happening from happening. Not knowing all the particulars in this case, I can't say that this is an outright overreach.

However, with no charges being filed after an entire year, let's be realistic here, that's enough time where innocence has been shown. Innocence being such where no charges can be brought at a bare minimum. The property should be returned.
 

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Civil forfeiture has long been a reality. No surprises here.
 
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Overreach? This isn't some oligarchy where the Constitution can be pushed aside and the rights of everyday citizens can be at the whim of the powerful elite............Well is it?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
18 United States Code 921 (a) 21 covers that.
Yes, but the text of that section is not objective. For example, the part relevant to a dealer states
. . . a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;
At what point does a person pass from a hobbyist who "occasionally" sells guns for profit to someone doing it "as a regular course of business"? Is it more than X guns a month/year, more than $X dollars a month/year, or something else? It seems it would be completely arbitrary. The article didn't mention how many firearms he sold. Maybe it was his "business" or maybe he only did it occasionally and the gov't is making a point of going after him because one of them was used in a high profile crime. Based on the fact that they searched his house almost a year ago and have not filed charges, I would guess something closer to the latter.
 

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I hear you. The article says the investigation is ongoing, so maybe there is more to it.
God help the guy if he ever got ticketed for jaywalking--blatant disregard for law!
 

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I have a feeling much is missing from that article.
 
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18 U.S.C. 921 (a) 22
(22)The term “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” means that the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection: Provided, That proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism.
If I buy AR lowers and parts and sell them all as complete rifles that is not improving my collection. Is that being in the business? That may be for a jury to decide. If I do it on a regular and repetitive basis, that is definitely being in the business. So the questions of the day (and probably the ongoing investigation ) are,
1) How many lower receivers has he bought?
2) Over how long a period?
3) How many are still in his possession?

If he bought three over ten years and still has two of them, that is not a big deal. If he has bought fifty and still has two he likely has a problem.
The article does not describe the guns the government is looking to seize. If they are all identical or nearly identical ARs good luck claiming a collection. If they are evolutionary variants from the original to current production you might have a chance.
 

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From the local TV station where the story started,
“Between approximately April 2013 and October 2017, Braziel purchased ninety-four (94) firearms from at least four separate FFLs [federal firearms license holder]. None of these firearms are classified as curios or relics. Of the ninety-four (94) firearms, seventy-one (71) are presumed to have been sold by Braziel.”
 

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Doesn't seem they have much if he hasn't been charged, but I suspect that he will be soon enough - prosecuting gun owners get people re-elected these days.
 
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