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7th Circuit: Man’s offense level for selling gun was properly increased

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the 60-month sentence imposed on a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a gun who sold the weapon to a man who was also prohibited from possessing a gun. The judges held that the District Court properly increased Darnell Jackson’s offense level because he committed separate offenses.

Jackson took a Ruger pistol his friend purchased and sold it a couple weeks later to David Dircks, whom Jackson knew to be an illegal user of drugs. Jackson, Dircks and others were later indicted, with Jackson charged for unlawful possession of the pistol as a convicted felon. Jackson pleaded guilty to the charge without a written plea agreement. At sentencing, his offense level included a four-level enhancement under 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) for transferring the firearm “with knowledge, intent or reason to believe that it would be used or possessed in connection with another felony offense.”

The court found the transfer of the gun facilitated the commission of a felony by Dircks, whose gun possession was prohibited under federal law. Without the enhancement, Jackson’s sentencing range would have been 33-41 months.

Last year, in a nonprecedential decision, U.S.A. v. Jones, 528 F. App’x 627, 631-32 (7th Cir. 2013), the 7th Circuit concluded that the enhancement applies when a defendant guilty of being a felon-in-possession has transferred the firearm to another prohibited person. The court has now adopted the rationale in Jones as binding precedent.

Jones argued that his transfer of the pistol to Dircks wasn’t “another felony offense” separate and distinct from the possession offense, and so the enhancement shouldn’t apply. He argued that his conduct was “simply the firearms possession or trafficking offense” that would be excluded under the enhancement. He also claimed that had he been charged with possession and transfer of the pistol, the two charges would have been grouped at sentencing and treated as a single offense when calculating his offense level, so there would not be “another felony offense” to trigger the enhancement.

“If we were to agree with Jackson that a second conviction for transfer of the gun would take the section 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) enhancement off the table, then we would be saying that the Guidelines would, in practice, treat one’s unlawful possession and transfer of a firearm to another prohibited person no differently than simple possession of the gun. That would be both illogical and contrary to the spirit of the grouping rules,” Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner wrote in United States of America v. Darnell Jackson, 13-1496.

“By selling the Ruger pistol to Dircks, who like Jackson was prohibited from possessing a firearm, Jackson transferred the firearm in connection with a felony offense separate and distinct from the possession offense of which he was charged and convicted. Consequently, the district court properly increased Jackson’s offense level pursuant to section 2K2.1(b)(6)(B).”
 

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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