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Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Arizona judge apparently understands 'innocent until proven guilty'

Hadn't expected this:

An Arizona judge threw out criminal charges on Wednesday against a gun dealer accused of knowingly selling weapons to smugglers shopping for Mexican drug cartels, after he ruled the prosecutor's evidence was flawed.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield issued a directed verdict of not guilty in the trial of George Iknadosian, 47, the owner of X-Caliber guns in Phoenix.
For those not following this case (I have only done so cursorily), George Iknadosian is a Phoenix, AZ gun dealer, who had been facing gun trafficking charges that could have landed him in prison for two-hundred fifty years (meaning he'd be almost three humdred when he got out).

The gun haters called his prosecution "welcome":
The prosecution of Valley businessman George Iknadosian, owner of X-Caliber gun shop, is a welcome recognition of the interconnectedness of U.S. and Mexican law-enforcement challenges.
I'm guessing they won't "welcome" this latest development--if the freedom of an innocent man doesn't fit the agenda, that's just too bad for him.

Back to the originally linked-to article:
Gottsfield dismissed the case on the grounds that the prosecutors had not proven the third-party buyers, or "straw purchasers," had misrepresented their identities when buying the guns.

"There is no proof whatsoever that any prohibited possessor ended up with the firearms," he said in a ruling.
Good on ya', Judge Gottsfield.

Left unanswered by the article is any question about the return of Iknadosian's inventory, or the status of his Federal Firearms License (FFL). Can't say I have a lot of confidence about that.


Harry Schell said...

Quoting from "Of Arms and the Law" blog, a directed verdict such as this essentially says there never was a case in the beginning, based on the evidence. Very strong rebuke to the AZ AG.

I am not a lawyer, but it sounds like the AG's plan to get some photo ops from the "Mexican gun risis" just went poof, like a very old and weak flashbulb.

Also he wasted taxpayer money on a case that a jury didn't have to see to acquit the defendant. Next election a few people might remember that.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Thanks for the additional detail, Harry (I have got to get in the habit of reading Mr. Hardy's stuff before I post).

Anonymous said...

"There is no proof whatsoever that any prohibited possessor ended up with the firearms," he said in a ruling.

Let's see here, firearms have serial numbers, manufacturers' identification, and if imported, a paper trail in the BATFE a mile and a half long. The BATFE knows where every domestically made firearm goes when shipped from the factory, yet they weren't able to prove even "ONE" ended up in the hands of an illegal possessor.

Seems like they didn't have a crooked judge in the manner of oh, say,.... Jimm Larry Hendren.

The truly scary thing here is the taken for granted cooperation they expected in gaining a conviction without evidence and in violation of the law. This arrogance is learned, it didn't spring from lack of previous success.

So, while I applaud this judge, there are a great many for sale or trade. Iknadosian, guilty or not, is a very lucky man he came before a judge with a loyalty to the law.

However, he should have court ordered the return of his property. So, I must wonder just how deep his loyalty to the law goes. Because he must be aware of the "habit" of seized arms "disappearing" or being 'mistakenly destroyed'(read added to cop and prosecutor personal collection).

This man still has a long row to hoe if he is to get his property back. More court, more costs, more stalls. And no punishment for the thieves.

Uh huh, they are thieves. For those who have followed this story the gov't claims they were watching this operation for a couple of years, while over 600 "assault weapons" were smuggled from his shop one or two at a time to Mexico in door panels, etc. of automobiles. Uh huh, that doesn't make sense no matter how hard one tries to lend credence to such a limpdick story.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Agreed on all counts (as usual), SA.

Anonymous said...

The judge ruled that the prosecution did not prove that the FA transactions landed any weopons in the hands of those who could not legally possess the weapons purchased by the legal strawmen. The small matter of the strawmen pleading to the fact that they did not know or care to know who they were selling the weapons to after they were smuggled 2 by 2 into Mexico and sold to persons unknown in violation of Mexican Law and probably US Export Controls was not pertinent to the trial, not material. To claim that this is a victory for gun rights is just plain stupid. It may well be an unreversable technical hole in the procescution's case and under our system of law, then start again mr. prosecutor, that's the way the cookie crumbles. This has nothing to do with the second ammendment.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Says Keith:

To claim that this is a victory for gun rights is just plain stupid.

Fine--it's not a "victory for gun rights"--it's a defeat for some forcible citizen disarmament petty tyrant panty-wetters.

That's good enough for me ;-).