For more than a year, Joseph Roh illegally manufactured AR-15-style rifles in a warehouse south of Los Angeles. His customers, more than two dozen of whom were legally prohibited from possessing a firearm, could push a button, pull a lever, and walk away a short time later with a fully assembled, untraceable semi-automatic weapon for about $1,000, according to court records. Roh continued his black-market operation despite being warned in person by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he was breaking the law. But five years after raiding his business and indicting him, federal authorities quietly cut a deal with Roh earlier this year and agreed to drop the charges. Why? The judge in the case had issued a tentative order that, in the eyes of prosecutors, threatened to upend the decades-old Gun Control Act and “seriously undermine the ATF’s ability to trace and regulate firearms nationwide.” A case once touted by prosecutors as a crackdown on an illicit firearms factory was suddenly seen as having the potential to pave the way to unfettered access to one of the most demonized guns in America. Federal authorities preferred to let Roh go free rather than have the ruling become final and potentially create case law that could have a crippling effect on the enforcement of gun laws, several sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Each requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case and its possible implications. Under US District Court Judge James V. Selna’s interpretation of the law, convicted felons and other people prohibited from possessing firearms would be allowed to legally acquire all the parts necessary to assemble an AR-15-style rifle and other weapons, according to federal prosecutors. [full article]
In March, local sporting goods stores were seeing a major run on guns and
Bob Rogers is the Editor and Publisher of GunPro Plus, America’s premier daily digital gun news portal. After a successful 20-year career as the Editor for a major magazine in the gun industry, Bob launched GunPro Plus to bring his industry expertise on gun news into the digital realm.
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