Emily Miller has the story at the Washington Times. These people in D.C. don’t have a clue about guns. They convicted this man for the crime of having black powder bullets (not cartridges, but bullets – the projectile) in his home even though in their magnificent benevolence, local authorities allow residents to have muzzle-loading firearms…
MILLER: Exclusive — Shock verdict — Mark Witaschek guilty of possessing muzzleloader bullets in D.C.
In a surprising twist at the end of a long trial, a District of Columbia judge found Mark Witaschek guilty of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition” for antique replica muzzleloader bullets.
Outside the courtroom, I asked Mr. Witaschek how he felt about the verdict. “I’m completely outraged by it,” he said. “This is just a continuation of the nightmare. Just to sit there. I could not believe it.”
Shaking his head, he added, “None of these people know anything about gun issues, including the judge.”
His wife Bonnie Witaschek was crying. “It’s just so scary,” she said. “You never think you’ll end up in a situation like this, but here we are.”
It gets better.
The main charge in the trial was that Mr. Witaschek had a single shotgun shell in his home. A shell that wouldn’t fire on a long-ago hunting trip.
The rocket surgeons acted as though it was an IED during the trial.
In the afternoon on Wednesday, Judge Morin shook the plastic shell and tried to listen to something inside. He said he could not hear any gunpowder. He then asked the lawyers to open the shell to see if there was powder inside.
(This seemed like a bizarre request since the lack of primer — not gunpowder — would be relevant to the interoperability of the misfired shell.)
Assistant Attorney General Peter Saba said that the government wanted to open the shell but that, “It is dangerous to do outside a lab.”
The prosecutors and police officers left the courtroom to try to find a lab that was open in the afternoon to bring the judge to cut the plastic off the section that holds the pellets. When that proved not possible in the same day, the judge decided to just rule on the bullets.
The nation’s capital is overrun with criminals, yet the police and prosecutors continue to waste time and resources to go after law abiding people who inadvertently cross the ridiculous firearms laws. Good people are being destroyed by these vengeful prosecutions.
Mr. Witaschek and his wife moved to Virginia after his arrest in 2012. On the way out of the courtroom after his conviction, Mr. Witaschek said that the court clerk came up to him privately and said, “I’m glad you don’t live in D.C. anymore. These people are nuts about guns.”