“Two men who were convicted of gun charges after fleeing from police in Boston in February 2009 got a break today from the state’s highest court – because the gun they allegedly possessed illegally was made before 1900,” boston.com reports. “Ordering a new trial in the case, the Supreme Judicial Court said state gun licensing laws do not apply to guns manufactured before that year. ‘A person does not need a license to carry a firearm made before 1900,” the court said. The court noted that the Legislature had a valid purpose in making the exemption, ‘namely to allow individuals to carry antique firearms to Revolutionary War and Civil War reenactments.'” Someone needs to talk to the judge about historical timelines. Anyway, question . . .
How long before bank robbers dress up as Minutemen?
The defendants’ expert had testified, based on the serial number, that the Harrington & Richardson, .32-caliber five-shot revolver that police said was connected to the two men was made in 1896 and was a collectible.
Well if it wasn’t before it is now. One caveat:
In the future, the court said, if a defendant has evidence that the gun they were charged with possessing illegally was made before 1900, the defendant must tell prosecutors before trial. The burden then rests on prosecutors to prove the gun was made after 1899.
So I guess that means that possessing the gun may not be a crime but the criminal who uses it for criminal purposes is still committing a crime. Who knew?