Gun ownership == using it in crime, Texas court rules

Steve Schear s.schear at
Wed Nov 12 12:28:20 PST 2003

At 11:01 AM 11/12/2003 -0500, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>Appellant does not deny that the shotgun was a deadly weapon or that he 
>was in possession of it. Rather; he argues that there was no evidence to 
>support the jury's finding that his possession of the shotgun facilitated 
>the associated felony of manufacturing methamphetamine. We disagree. Based 
>on the evidence, a rational trier of fact could find that the shotgun 
>facilitated appellant's [*5]  offense of manufacturing. The officers found 
>the loaded shotgun on the couch near the surveillance television. The 
>evidence was legally and factually sufficient to establish that appellant 
>"used" the shotgun in the sense that it protected and facilitated his 
>manufacturing of the methamphetamine. Gale v. State, supra; Patterson v. 
>State, supra. Appellant's sole point of error is overruled.

This sort of stupidity will likely lead to more un-intended 
consequences.  Those that operate a business and possess firearms, to 
protect the business, will now have to think whether the possession could 
get them substantial jail time if they are also found to be somehow in 
violation of some other criminal statute.  Imagine a liquor store in a 
violent neighborhood.that is occasionally selling to underage kids 
(counterfeit IDs are rampant).  Imagine a drug dealer trying to protect 
their inventory from competitor expropriation.

Some will forego having a firearm present and risk what protection it 
affords.  Others will have to consider an uninvited police visit as a 
personal threat and preemptively open fire.  This and 3-strikes laws are 
not good news for law enforcement.


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