Shotgun Incident Worsens for Kerry
New legal research by gun-law expert Alan Korwin indicates that merely accepting a gift shotgun from a private party out of his home state would be a five-year federal felony for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for President [see United States Code, section 922(a)(9)]. Giving him the gun would also be a felony [922(a)(5)].
National news reports picture Kerry proudly holding the gift in Racine, West Virginia, during a Labor Day celebration. Bringing the gun back to his home state would be an additional five-year federal felony, under the massive and bewildering federal gun laws, as previously reported by Bloomfield Press.
The shotgun, identified in published reports as a semiautomatic Browning, was actually a semiautomatic Remington model 11-87 (as pointed out by TGZ). News reports suggesting it was a gift from Remington would be an illegal donation from a corporation to a candidate, and the value of the shotgun would exceed campaign donation limits as well.
In a statement published in Gun Week, Remington CEO Tommy Millner denied any involvement with the gift, saying,
Reportedly outraged at the implication of an illegal gift, Remington rushed the release a public statement denying any association with the gift, saying, "Remington Arms Company has made no endorsement of any presidential candidate. This endorsement and presentation by the UMWA was made independently of the Remington Arms Company and the Company did not coordinate with or endorse the actions of the union."Rest assured, we were neither aware of this presentation in advance nor in any way supportive of its intent to support Senator Kerry. In fact, the Company remains amused by ongoing photos of Senator Kerry shooting without either ear or eye protection while discharging a firearm.
A local of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) represents workers at the Remington plant in New York where the highly regarded shotguns are made. UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts presented the gift according to Gun Week.
The greatest news error however appears to be that Mr. Kerry may have not accepted this gift, despite so many reports to the contrary, which cast the Senator as a pro-gun politician.
Reporter Matt Drudge had previously noted that Kerry introduced a bill which would have outlawed this particular sporting shotgun, because it is semi-automatic and has "any characteristic that can function as a grip."
Dave Workman, senior editor at Gun Week, contacted Washington, D.C.-based Kerry campaign spokeswoman Kathy Roeder, who said the shotgun was, "returned to the person who bought it," and that the gun is still in West Virginia. This reportedly took place immediately after all the photographs were taken of the Senator holding the gun. The actual current location of the shotgun is not known.
According to Workman's report in Gun Week, "Roeder acknowledged that Kerry could not legally have accepted the shotgun and taken it with him, anyway, under existing gun-control laws." It is not clear whether Roeder and the Kerry campaign were aware of this when the stories of the gift and photos were taken and widely circulated.
Questions as to Kerry's intent, in leading the media to believe he was in fact a gun supporter, by smiling and gladly receiving the shotgun gift, are unresolved as this Bloomfield Press news release was posted.
This places many news outlets in a difficult position. If they all retract their stories that Kerry accepted this gift, it will harm the image they conveyed of Kerry as a gun-friendly candidate, seen as necessary to win states like West Virginia. Al Gore lost largely democratic West Virginia (and Tennessee and Arkansas) in 2000 due to the gun issue, according to many observers.
News outlets are known to sometimes be reluctant to retract stories. If the media refuses to retract the stories, or if the Kerry campaign fails to issue a correction, then all the published articles and photos stand as evidence that the candidate committed the felony offense. Additional information is posted at the Bloomfield Press website, gunlaws.com, under the blue News Accuracy button.
In an effort to help smooth the waters, nearly 3,000 news outlets nationwide are being notified of this situation by Bloomfield Press. The public is encouraged to send this report to their local newspapers and broadcasters. It is hoped that the media will contact Kerry directly, and either retract the story, or confirm their account. Did John Kerry, in fact, receive a gift of a fine Remington shotgun?
If Kerry did accept the gift as widely reported, and as a legal matter, his transfer of it back to an unidentified person in West Virginia, without involvement of a licensed dealer, an FBI background check, and with no paper trail, may also be a felony.
Gun-law expert Korwin is again calling for calm, as these unbelievably confusing laws are sorted out, so the democratic candidate for president can continue his effort to attain the highest office in the land.
Contact: Alan KorwinAgain, I implore the public to have patience. If the democratic candidate for president cannot figure out the gun laws, how on earth could mere gun owners be expected to do the same. Kerry deserves the same leniency we would all expect to receive. This is America, where we're all treated equally under the long arms of the law.
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Korwin has an ego the size of Montana, but he's okay… friend of Mark Moritz'. Met him signing books at the SAF booth at SHOT '04.