First and Second Amendment Violation

They are getting more and more blatant and need to be slapped down:

Jurors found an Orange Park business owner guilty on all counts in a federal trial about marketing thousands of illegal machine-gun conversion devices through a web-based company advertising on YouTube.

A Wisconsin gun dealer whose gun-centered YouTube channel has 180,000 subscribers was convicted of conspiracy with Auto Key Card owner Kristopher “Justin” Ervin as well as four counts of transferring the unregistered devices.

Ervin sold card-shaped strips of stainless steel etched with patterns for equipment colloquially called a “lightning link” that can convert a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle into a fully automatic machine gun that fires round upon round from a single trigger-pull.

Although a buyer would have to follow the etched lines with a cutting tool, prosecutors argued the cards qualified as conversion devices, which the federal government treats like machine guns that have to be registered and regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

The YouTube guy was convicted of accepting advertising from the maker of the credit card shaped piece of metal with an outline of the shapes for “lightening links”. They looked like these:


Why isn’t this a violation of both the First and Second Amendments? Why isn’t the prosecuting team being disbarred and prosecuted for violation of civil rights?


11 thoughts on “First and Second Amendment Violation

  1. Every abuse they get away with emboldens them to push even further. The leftists in power don’t believe we have ANY Rights…at all. And so far they are correct.
    The only Rights you truly have are the ones you are willing to fight for, die for and most importantly kill for.

  2. There is a widespread misunderstanding that the United States Constitution grants rights. It does no such thing; it affirms the existence of unalienable rights which pre-exist the Constitution and exist regardless of the Contitutions’ existence or non-existence.

    What is not covered in the Constitution is the management of those rights which is the sole responsibility of those asserting their existence.

    Which means that Dan (above) is entirely correct: whatever established, and documented, rights which may exist exist are only those the possessors are willing to enforce the existence of. And that enforcement extends across the full spectrum of possibilities, from ordered rational argument to the implementation of direct lethal force applied against usurpers.

    As has been mentioned here before, prepare accordingly.

  3. Careful Joe!
    You just published a picture of an outline on a steel blank that, with some non-trivial cutting equipment and finishing equipment, added together with some gunsmithing training, could actually result in a tool with which someone would have to spend a fair amount of time training in order to use effectively in order to…. dang, nevermind. This whole thing was absurd from the start.
    Guns don’t kill people, pictures of parts of guns kill people. Arrest Joe next.

    • Yeah, I know. I thought about that for a few seconds before posting it. Then, I decided they would have a tough time getting a conviction in Idaho. The last time they tried to convict someone (the head of a car theft ring) with multiple machine guns the Idaho jury failed to convict him. I figure it is a reasonable risk to arrange a few pixels in a pattern they find offensive.

      • Yes…if they do come after you they may allow the trial to be held in Idaho. Then again they may file it somewhere else.
        You may win that trial…and you may not. But ultimately if they come after you for something like this you will automatically lose. Because the process is the punishment. Fighting such a charge from the Feds is a virtual guarantee of bankruptcy, job loss and the loss of almost everything else a citizen may have. It’s why they file such specious charges…because they can. And it costs THEM nothing.

  4. This looks like a direct analog of the Phil ZImmerman PGP case. A number of you may be old enough to remember when open source crypto programs first appeared — Phil Zimmerman’s PGP was probably the first one. The Feds laid a pile of legal trouble on him in the name of ITAR, the “international trafficing in arms” regulations. The theory was that he was engaged in export of weapons of war (cryptography programs). Not that he actually did that, but…
    So one of the responses involved taking the source code of the PGP program, printing them in book form, and publishing that book. A copy of the book was mailed to Norway, where it was scanned, run through OCR, and the resulting source code published (by “” — “pgp international version”). That put the nail into the ITAR coffin, because even a judge would understand that the Feds trying to suppress a book, and trying to suppress the export of said book, was unconstitutional.
    Some day I should look for a copy of that book. I don’t have it, but I do have the technical details; the whole process was reused in the book “Cracking DES” (documenting a machine that breaks DES in about a day, exactly as Diffie & Hellman predicted 20-ish years earlier when DES was first announced).

  5. This is a consequence of changes made after Waco. Before that one could possess part of a gun. Even full-auto parts. One was not allowed to put them in the gun without paying the $200 tax.
    What we think of as mission creep, is truly nothing more than moronic busy bodies trying to be noticed/liked by the boss.
    And just as the lies told to excuse their behavior keep getting more ignorant with every breath they’re told with. So will justifications for enforcement.
    The real problem is in the jury. How ignorant do you have to be to convict someone with such a crap case? How devoid of understanding to get 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt?
    How does one live among people that far gone?
    How sad when we finally have to admit that Dan is right. Cause civilized society is gone.

    • “How ignorant do you have to be to convict someone with such a crap case?” The prosecution told the jury that they ( the prosecution) didn’t have to prove that the Auto Key Card was in fact a machine gun part in order to prove their case! They obviously assembled a bunch of urban South Florida voters as their jury. A more ignorant, prejudiced, bunch you’d be hard pressed to find. I think this one will be won on appeal though.

      • Never underestimate the stupidity of the average person/voter/juror. I have no doubts the prosecutor would insure the make up of any jury in such a case would favor his ability to lead them by their collective noses.

        • My experience is that the courts work very hard to only seat jurors that have absolutely no experience or knowledge about the subject of the trial. Even mentioning that you have secondhand knowledge of a similar situation is enough to have you leaving a paper disturbing wake as they hustle you out of the courtroom during final selection.

          What they want is a warm body with absolutely no life experience, training, schooling, or functional brain.

          It appears that it is quite simple to avoid jury duty, if you don’t care for your civic duty.

          Oddly enough, after that last incident, I have had zero jury summons, and I used to get one every other year. More than a decade, I think. That one was the only time I actually got as far as being selected for a case. I was quite annoyed, as it looked like a fairly quick armed robbery case.

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