Legal accessories added to an AR pistol landed an Ohio man in hot water with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
The Prince Law Firm’s blog recently brought attention to the case of U.S. v. Wright (3:18-CR-16), in which the northern Ohio man is charged with a series of violations regarding the accessories he added to a Sharps Bros. AR-15 pistol known as The Jack. The ATF alleges that the added parts created a Short Barreled-Rifle, which the defendant did not register as required by the National Firearms Act.
According to the evidence list for the upcoming trail, the equipment that brought about the alleged infraction included a Maxim CQB Pistol AR 15 PDW brace, Stark Express angled foregrip, and a flash suppressor that added about two inches to the 7.75-inch barrel. These items were all previously approved by the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division, the arm of the ATF charged with responding to technical inquiries and testing and classifying products submitted to them for review, as well as providing technical services to the firearms industry and other members of the public.
Luckily there was a happy ending to the saga, with the jury returning a not guilty verdict after a short deliberation. The most alarming part of this indictment is that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio even sought to prosecute the case. The [Prince Law Offices blog] (https://blog.princelaw.com/2018/10/28/atf-unhinged-prosecutions-made-up-out-of-whole-cloth-you-might-be-next/) went as to far as saying the U.S. Attorney’s Office invented the charges ‘out of whole cloth,’ completely fabricating the entire basis for the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office even went as far as trying to bar the approval letters from the ATF’s Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division from being used in court. The trial pitted ATF Firearms Enforcement Officer Eve E. Eisenbise as an expert witness for the government against the defendant’s expert Richard Vasquez, a former employee of the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division. Eisenbise held that the Maxim Defense extension was a shoulder stock, while Vasquez, and the jury, contended it was not.