Friday, October 22, 2010

How Does a Felon Own Guns and Gun Companies?

Via Bob Owens (@ConfederateYank) comes this stranger than fiction story of a convicted felon who not only has guns and at one time had a concealed carry permit, but has owned three firearms companies. As a felon the man could serve ten years in prison for just touching a firearm. Owens has published a picture showing him holding two pistols.

If all or even most of the allegations made by various sources are true, Lee Franklin Booth should be behind bars. If these allegations are accurate, Booth is guilty of possessing hundreds of firearms, operating three firearms companies that each had firearms inventory, and receiving a CCW permit.

According to the Pajamas Media item, Lee Franklin Booth "was convicted of second-degree kidnapping on September 24, 1981, and was imprisoned from that date until his early release on December 30, 1985." He was also arrested "for communicating threats and simple assault." So how does he acquire Detonics USA Industries, how does he start and obtain a Federal Firearms License for Victory Arms, and then acquire Templar Consulting - a company licensed to build select fire weapons and machine guns?

Owens asks a lot of questions about how state and federal agencies turned a blind eye to these matters. What good are laws intended to keep weapons out of the hands of felons if they are not enforced - or worse - enforced only selectively?

In the interest of fair play, Quoting in entirety from Bob Owens' "Correction and Clarification" item posted 5 NOVEMBER 2010:

On October 22, 2010, Pajamas published an article by Bob Owens about legal restrictions on the ownership of guns and gun companies by felons.

  • The article stated:

“Imagine that this same felon then started another gun company from scratch, and then used that company to acquire a third company that was licensed to build machine guns.”

In fact, the “third company” in question was not, at the time of its acquisition, licensed to build machine guns. That company subsequently obtained such a license.

  • The article stated:

“After the Templar/Victory split, it is suspected that the FFL acquired by Victory was revoked….”

In fact, it appears that the federal firearms license was not revoked. It was not issued in Mr. Booth’s name.

  • The article also suggested that Lee Booth acquired three gun companies. Mr. Booth, through legal counsel, has informed us that he never acquired three gun companies.

In fact, Mr. Booth owned only one gun company, but had substantial involvement in and apparent control over two other gun companies.

  • The article posed the question: “How come a felon owns guns and gun companies?” Mr. Booth, through legal counsel, has cited exceptions to the state and federal laws prohibiting convicted felons from owning guns or controlling gun companies and has stated that he is not prohibited from such activity. While we stand by the original opinion, based on an analysis of relevant statutes and regulations, that Mr. Booth is not permitted to own guns or have control over gun companies, we note here that this issue remains open to legal debate and differing opinions.

Pajamas Media and Bob Owens regret these errors and apologize to Mr. Booth.


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