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“If the pastor is prosecuted, it will demonstrate the idiocy of the law and the people who passed it. If the pastor is not prosecuted, it will demonstrate that anti-gun liberals are above the law and it was only intended to hurt the average gun owner, against whom it could be selectively enforced.” – Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Federation in A priest planned to destroy a gun as a gesture of peace. In return, he got threats [at]


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  1. Except that if he is not prosecuted, the story will die a quiet death in the mainstream media. If he is prosecuted, I expect a sympathetic jury will not convict.

    If nobody hears about it, no idiocy is exposed.

    Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe this pastor should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I just don’t believe that he will be held accountable to the law, either through lack of prosecution or lack of conviction despite his clear guilt under said law.

    • Seems like a bigger issue would be the use of church funds to buy raffle tickets. Can they do that? Then why not go to Vegas when the collection coffers are running low?

      • “Buying” and then destroying a firearm in a $3000 political stunt with tax deductible donations would seem like a good way to invalidate the non-political tax exempt status of your PAC pretending to be a “church”.

  2. Neither of those outcomes will make any difference.
    Demonstrate to a politician and that politicians constituents one or both of these truths and the best you’ll get is “so what?”

    I’ve no doubt pointing out their hypocrisy and/or failures just makes them smile. It’s a sort of thrill for a tyrant to hear the subjects say “hey, did you know you’re insane?”

    • What if the emperor with no clothes actually knew damn well he was naked, and was just daring us to say something?

    • Prosecute an Anti-gunner for flagrantly breaking a law they created? Ain’t neva ben dun befo.

  3. “If the pastor is not prosecuted, it will demonstrate that anti-gun liberals are above the law and it was only intended to hurt the average gun owner, against whom it could be selectively enforced.” – Kevin Starrett

    Newsflash: this is already the case. Reference journalist David Gregory who recently waved a 30-round magazine on camera in Washington D.C. and various politicians who handled “assault weapons” during Congressional hearings … all of which were felonies.

    These sorts of activities reveal the true nature of our government in the last few/several decades: government is a weapon that various entities wield to silence their political enemies and choose winners in business.

    • What it reveals is there are two classes of people treated differently under the law. The political class is held to a very low standard if any and appear in many cases to be above the law.

    • But you can bet that if he’d handed it to Wayne LaPierre in that interview and Mr. LaPierre had physically accepted the magazine someone would have gotten prosecuted and it’s not hard to figure out which person would have been in handcuffs and perp walked as a message to others.

  4. If you’re searching for truth the answer is the latter. David Gregory anyone?

  5. Yes, he needs to get prosecuted. So does David Gregory and if the allegations were true about Katie Couric’s crew buying guns across state lines without an FFL so do they. “Their people” made the laws and they perpetually spread the notion that these laws are good, that these laws are fair and that these laws are needed. Lets have them lead the way on the fairness of these laws.

  6. “Lucas dipped into his church’s discretionary fund for $3,000 and, at $20 apiece, bought 150 of the 500 raffle tickets”

    Prosecute him for misappropriation of funds, i.e. gambling with church money. What he wants to do with the rifle is irrelevant.

    • Worse than gambling with church funds, he wasted them. He could have gone to any gun store in Oregon and bought two very nice AR-15s for $3,000.00. My Ruger SR556 cost only $1,500 new in the box.

      Seems he had a different point to make than just taking an AR off the street – he didn’t want the idea of raffles rifles to get any traction so he stacked the deck.

      Or maybe he’s just an idiot.

    • What about straw purchases? Intent of purchase matters. “The seriousness of the allegation demands investigation.”

    • Sunday I spoke with a good friend of mine, a pro-gun Anglican (yes they exist). He said that priest misused church discretionary funds which may lead to a reprimand.

    • For the children.

      Afterall you don’t see this happening in other developed nations. He should have given them a computer or a book instead.

  7. Conviction but probation rather than jail is probably appropriate. I imagine that is what would happen to most without a violent record in a similar situation.

    • The maximum fine ($6000) would be appropriate, of course it would be paid by rabid anti gunners, but it is money that wouldn’t be used for anything useful.

    • Unless the prosecutor and / or judge wanted to “make an example” and burnish anti-gun creds. Then I fully expect an innocent mistake would be hit with the full force.

  8. Is there no way to force due process when a crime is committed and no justice results?

    Would a VERY large, vocal and loud demonstration, the type where traffic is blocked and the statists can’t get to work and… do statist things?

    Like shutting down rush hour traffic into LA. If a hundred 2A rights activists stopped their cars on every major artery going into the city, then handed their keys to someone who drives off with them, that will paralyze LA for hours and the news will cover it…

    • Excellent question!

      Legally, there is such a thing as a writ of mandamus, which is a court order directing a public official to take official action and perform duty that the official is under legal obligation to perform. Theoretically, it can be used to compel a criminal prosecution.

      Did you hear that? No fewer than a dozen lawyer/TTAG readers such shouted at their phones “Good luck with that!” Such writs are extremely rare–a lawyer will go his/her entire career and never file or even know how to file one–in any circumstance, let alone in a prosecution context.

      Even before addressing the many built-in requirements of such writs, 99.999% of courts will just dismiss it, citing prosecutorial discretion. Apparently the lone exception is West Virginia, where the case law supports the public’s right to compel prosecution where probable cause exists.

      Another novel and slightly less extremely rare option (available in few jurisdictions) is “private prosecution.” This goes back to pre-Colonial, English law, but made its way across the pond. Few states allow it. It is not allowed for federal crimes, as the Supreme Court has ruled you have no right to private prosecution and Congress has never passed a law providing for it.

      As you might imagine, there are numerous restrictions. It can only be used for misdemeanor crimes and punishable only by a fine. In Pennsylvania, you need a prosecutor’s permission to prosecute privately. In New Hampshire, you don’t need permission to prosecute, but a prosecutor has the authority subsequently to dismiss your case. In Ohio, you can initiate the prosecution and even obtain an arrest warrant, but a prosecutor must actually try the case.

      Your best bet with lazy or biased prosecutors is to bring political and public pressure. The above options will likely fail in their own right, but they may garner media attention and help build public and political pressure.

      Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and am not providing legal advice. The above is for entertainment purposes and casual conversation purposes only. Consult your own qualified legal professional for real assistance.

      • To be fair, there is a LOT of mischief available to people when they can drag someone into the legal system with no ‘objective’ actor in between.

  9. He’s probably a Democrat therefore he will walk on any and all charges like Hillery! only Republicans, Conservative Christians, are prosecuted for Guns! protected ones; Politicians, Muslims, Somali’s, Illegal Immigrants, BLM, IRS get a free pass especially when Holder was the Man , now Loretta Lynch is guaranteed a Job when Hillery gets Ordained into the White House!
    This whole gun control Idea has been nothing but Smoke and mirrors from the Democratic Party from the git go! cause they have no solutions but stupid Nanny state ones where we the working get to pay for it!
    This so called Priest Has a God complex!

  10. He’s part of the prog/lib “tribe,” so likely he’ll just get a slap on the wrist if anything.

    Sadly, law & justice nowadays depends on who you know. The proof is that many law-breaking libs are walking around free and without a care in the world, and the media has conveniently swept the related stories under the carpet.

  11. There is no freedom anymore. There are so many laws on the books it is already impossible for anyone to abide by every single one of them. If the government doesn’t like you and wants to do something about it, you’re screwed.

  12. The renegade pastor should be treated just like any other citizen. Whether that means prosecution or not I can’t say. But he isn’t entitled to special treatment merely because he wears his collar backwards or circles to the left.

  13. I say prosecute him. If he’s so anti-gun that he went through that much trouble and used such shady methods to “buy” this rifle, then violated an anti-gun law by transferring it without going through a dealer, hit him hard for all he’s worth. Let him see how dumb his own anti-gun laws are. He wanted the notoriety, give it to him.

  14. There was a recent story at where a sheriff lost his job and city will be paying millions simply because the sheriff wrote “God Bless to everyone” on the Town Facebook page. The atheists sued and won.

    I wonder if there is a legal argument if the state does not prosecute because they are favoring a religion. So, I am wonder if a pro-gun rights group has a chance of suing because the state did not do their job because it was a religious person involved.

    It would be fun to watch some liberal heads explode over that.

    • The godless have never believed in the 1st amendment or the rest of the Constitution. They are socialist.

  15. Prosecute and this idiot is no longer able to pass a 4473 and no longer to do something like this. He pays his fines and does his time quietly or

    Dont prosecute and show the law has no teeth and thus wont be prosecuted in future occurrences.

  16. I am too new at this stuff. What law did the pastor violate? He bought the gun legally, right? Or did the girl’s organization violate some law by giving it to the pastor without going through all the paperwork?

    • From the LA TImes story: “Some unhappy commentators suggested Lucas had violated Oregon’s new gun law by failing to have a background check conducted on a parishioner to whom he’d given the weapon for safekeeping.”

    • He didn’t get a background check done when transferring the gun to the parishioner. He violated State Law.

      If anyone of us did the same thing we would already be in jail.

  17. “Anything that can keep us talking about this patchwork of gun laws and gaping holes that we can drive through is good,” he said. “I mean, it took me less than half an hour to pass that background check and walk out with a semi-automatic rifle. We really should be talking about that.”

    Gee, Pastor, you have a clean record, and you are surprised that a computer could make that determination in less than a half an hour? Why is this a problem? Oh, wait, the problem is that they let you walk out fo a store with a semiautomatic weapon, I get it.

  18. Throw the book at him. It’s what he deserves for spending church money for a political agenda.

    While we’re at it, eliminate the tax exempt status of his church. Apparently they are nothing but a charlatan political organization disguised as a church.

  19. That man is a political jackwagon. There are TENS OF MILLIONS of semi-automatic rifles in private hands. Only the tiniest fraction are misused for criminal purposes. Not only was his an empty gesture, but the church money was wasted, too. Churches are supposed to help those in need, especially those in that church who need help. Nope, he blew it on a gun raffle that didn’t really make any difference except to the softball team, and in the end, the tickets would have been bought by others, anyway.

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