Friday, January 23, 2009

Pain in the arsenal

Found this story on about a man who is charged for having an arsenal of weapons. There is something strange about this story and I want to find a way to follow it.

A man jailed after police found a weapons arsenal in his storage locker, will stay that way until his trial at least.

A judge determined the 65-year-old from Spokane was a flight risk and a danger to the community and ordered him detained pending trial on gun and explosive charges.

The man stored 37 machine guns, two grenade launchers, 54 grenades and C-4 plastic explosives in a Bellevue storage locker.

After he failed to pay his storage fees, someone else brought the contents of the locker at an auction, and alerted federal agents.

He was arrested January 7th.

Prosecutors say the arsenal was stored "very" unsafely and a fire could have been disastrous.

The locker also contained some anti-government materials, but authorities said it appears none advocated actual violence against any government.

The man's defense lawyer, Jay Stansell, says his client has no criminal history, and has kept the vietnam-era weapons for decades, never intending to hurt anyone.
Stansell admitted while his client's arsenal is a "concern," but said, "you can't shoot 43 machine guns at the same time."

Stansell also said, "there's no evidence that (his client) is anything more than a loner-type person with some unusual political ideas."

The Spokane man is next due in court February 3rd. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each firearm and explosive illegally possessed.

Hmm, there is something fishy here that I can't quite put my finger on. Key things are that the man says they are simply Vietnam-era weapons and that the anti-government materials don't advocate actual violence. But what worries me most is that they say, "there's no evidence that (his client) is anything more than a loner-type person with some unusual political ideas."

So... if you collect or stock up on weapons, don't like what the government says and does, and if you have "unusual political ideas" you can get arrested. I don't like the sound of this at all.

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