The Olofson Firearms Case: An Army Reservist and Innnocent Man, Imprisoned Because His Rifle Malfunctioned, is Denied Justice. Will You Be Next?
For those who are not familiar with the Olofson Firearms case, David Olofson is a U.S. Army reservist who was tried and convicted by the U.S. government on the charge of “transferring an unregistered machine gun” after he lent his 20-year old AR-15 rifle to a friend, Robert Kiernicki, and it malfunctioned on a shooting range, emitting multiple rounds and immediately jamming three times in a row, which aroused suspicion that the rifle was an automatic weapon. Someone called the police, who then called the BATFE. Olofson was convicted in July, 2008 and sentenced to 30 months in prison. He appealed, but the Seventh Circuit upheld the conviction, accepting the U.S. government’s absurd argument that any gun that fires more than one shot per trigger pull, for any reason, even a malfunction, is a “machine gun.” See this write up by David Codrea.
clip from 2008
Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes writes Pro Bono Amicus Brief in Support of Olofson’s Appeal to the Supreme Court
Olofson then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Olofson’s excellent brief, submitted by William J. Olson P.C., Attorneys at Law, can be found at their web site: http://www.lawandfreedom.com
Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, and fellow Second Amendment attorney David T. Hardy (http://armsand thelaw.com), working pro bono (for free), submitted an an Amicus Brief to the United States Supreme Court in support of Olofson’s petition for writ of certiorari (see the below embedded PDF). That amicus brief was submitted on behalf of the Montana Shooting Sports Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
The amicus brief was written with the crucial assistance of firearms expert Len Savage, who helped explain to the Court all the many ways that any semiautomatic firearm can malfunction and fire more than one shot per trigger pull, for a multitude of reasons, such as broken parts, dirty parts, defective parts, improper ammunition, etc. In fact, as the brief points out, even a double barrel shotgun or a revolver, such as Grand-Dad’s old six-shooter, can malfunction and fire more than one shot per trigger pull, and are thus “machine-guns” under the government’s absurd definition.
Justice Denied to One Innocent Man, and Gun Owners Everywhere Put at Risk of Becoming “Instant Felons”
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declined to review the Olofson case. As usual, the Court gave no explanation for why, merely issuing an order denying the petition.
David Olofson, husband, father of three, Army Reservist, Innocent man, with his wife and kids during a recent prison visit. Can there be any more blatant example of how broken our legal system is? Of a denial of due process? Of the law turned into a predatory weapon against the liberty of the people? And where was the amicus brief of the ACLU?
Now, millions of gun owners are at risk of becoming instant felons every time they pull the trigger. As the Amicus Brief makes clear, any and all semiautomatics can malfunction and fire more than one shot per trigger pull, for a multitude of reasons. The below amicus brief is highly recommended reading so you can know just how absurd the government’s position is, and how it threatens the liberty of every shooter. There is no way for a shooter to ever completely prevent the chance of such a malfunction, which is very common on firing ranges (commonly known as a “double,” or a “string”). So, every time you shoot, from now on, you too could become an “instant felon” and can be railroaded into prison, just because your weapon malfunctions.
Here is a copy of the brief.
NOTE FROM STEWART:
I did not charge a dime to write this amicus brief. I felt it was my duty to do all I could to help, and it was a matter of honor for me to not charge anything. The same is true for attorney David Hardy and firearms expert Len Savage. They also were glad to help, no charge.
However, it still cost the Montana Shooting Sports Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League $1,000.00 in printing and filing costs (40 copies of the amicus brief for the Supreme Court alone). So, if you can donate to the Montana Shooting Sports Association to help cover those costs of fighting the good fight, please do so by visiting their site here and clicking on the donate button in the upper left corner.
As you may know, the Montana Shooting Sports Association has been on the front lines of many 10th Amendment and Second Amendment state legislation efforts and cases. The latest example is the made in Montana gun bill and accompanying litigation. So, even though the Supreme Court denied cert in this case, when you help cover the costs, you enable the MSSA to fight another day in other battles.
Please Donate to the Olofson Family Relief Fund
Also, while money cannot replace a husband and father who has been unjustly taken from his family, the Olofson family has lost their breadwinner. Please help to make sure that David Olofson’s wife and kids don’t also lose the family car or the roof over their heads.
Please consider sending what you can, as often as you can, to the Olofson Relief Fund, which is administered by Larry Pratt and Gun Owners of America. Here is the GOA statement:
David Olofson has been subjected to a gross miscarriage of justice. What happened to Olofson could happen to any American who owns a semi-automatic firearm.
He was convicted of knowingly transferring an unregistered machine gun — a standard semi-auto rifle which fired two three-round bursts and then jammed. Gun owners call that a malfunction. The federal government calls it an easy way to get a felony conviction. Olofson was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.
David Olofson is an information technology professional with a wife, three children and a mortgage. Until his conviction, he was also in the National Guard.
The Olofson Relief Fund has been set up to allow concerned Americans to help the Olfoson’s make their mortgage and (their one) car payments while Dave is unable to work.
If you decide to make a monthly contribution to the Olofson Relief Fund, your credit card will be charged monthly for the amount you have indicated. This will continue until Olofson is out of prison — or you notify us to discontinue the charges. You may also choose to make a one time donation.
Gun Owners of America is acting as the agent for the fund. All moneys collected will be transferred regularly to the mortgage and car loan holders. These contributions are not tax-deductible.
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