B.L.U.F. Hunter might get off the hook on counts 1 and 2 if count 3, §922(g)(3) is struck down for constitutional reasons.

(450 words)

for any person in connection with the acquisition or attempted acquisition of any firearm or ammunition from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector, knowingly to make any false or fictitious oral or written statement or to furnish or exhibit any false, fictitious, or misrepresented identification, intended or likely to deceive such importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with respect to any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale or other disposition of such firearm or ammunition under the provisions of this chapter;
— 18 U.S.C. §922(a)(6)

Emphasis added.

Form 4473 asks a series of questions, as well as having several places for you to fill in your information. It is pretty clear that if you lie in the section asking questions to determine if you are a prohibited person, you are lying about a material fact. What if you were to write the wrong county down? Is that a “material fact” with respect to acquiring a firearm?

It doesn’t seem to be. While it would not surprise me to learn that the ATF pulled an FFL’s license because somebody misspelled the county name, I don’t think anybody has been prosecuted for misspelling the county name on a 4473.

knowingly makes any false statement or representation with respect to the information required by this chapter to be kept in the records of a person licensed under this chapter or in applying for any license or exemption or relief from disability under the provisions of this chapter;
— 18 U.S.C. §924(a)(1)(A)

Emphasis added.

The information required is only required if it is a “material fact”.

The short of it is that if this was anybody with an R after their name instead of a Biden, counts 1 and 2 would hold. Even if count 3 and 1 are tossed, count 2 would likely still hold.

Hunter’s lawyers will use Bruen and the other cases against §922(g)(3) to argue that the law is unconstitutional. They are likely to win. Biden, don’t you know.

If count 3, §922(g)(3) is tossed, does §922(a)(6) still stand? If being a user of a controlled substance in not a “material fact” then count 1 goes as well.

This means that only count 2, §924(a)(1)(A) still stands. If being a user of a controlled substance is not material, then is the information required?

All in all, it looks like a good case for the Second Amendment, a poor case for justice. As more than one pundit has pointed out, this is one of the few crimes that Hunter could have been charged with that does not implicate his father.

H/T Mark Smith

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By awa

6 thoughts on “United States v. Robert Hunter Biden WTF?”
  1. If he gets off because unconstitutional gun laws are struck down, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

  2. If the laws are struck down as unconstitutional, fine.
    Unless and until that happens, apply the law equally, regardless of who your daddy is or other political connections.

  3. It seems plausible that these particular charges were made because (a) they could probably be defeated in court, either by constitutional challenge or because the jury just decides it isn’t a big deal, and (b) precisely because they are the only thing they could charge him with that has no connection to Joe.

  4. I agree with the above sentiments. If SAF, FPC, or any other gun rights or gun industry organization files friend of the court briefs supporting overturning the law, I will support them.
    Overturning bad laws is more important than punishing some drug addicted pervert spawn of a criminally corrupt politician. Besides there are other crimes he can be charged with and hopefully convicted of in a fair justice system.

  5. For years ATF has been using misspelled city/county/state names and abbreviations as a way to ding FFL holders, which currently they could lose their license for them. I don’t think anyone filling out the form has been prosecuted for that.

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