Last week, I got to the courtroom a bit early, and had to wait through a couple hearing that preceded my client’s hearing. During one of those hearings, a police officer testified that he had executed a search warrant, and found “a loaded magazine for a “TEC-9 machine gun,” but not an actual TEC-9 handgun. No objection was raised, and neither the defense attorney, prosecutor, or judge seemed to notice the problem with that officer’s statement.
For those that don’t see the problem with the officer’s testimony, allow me to explain: A TEC-9 is just a semiautomatic handgun – not a fully automatic “machine gun.” That TEC-9 magazine was designed for use in a perfectly lawful-to-own semiautomatic TEC-9, and the officer had no basis in fact to say that it was for a “machine gun.”
Had that been my case, I would have objected. But, since it wasn’t, I could do little more than shake my head with disappointment.
What exactly would the guy have objected to? The officer found a magazine after executing a search warrant. So? What is wrong with the officer stating what he found? Robert, this is scraping the barrel.
I think it might be a big deal.
Saying "we found machine gun ammo but no machine gun" when the TEC-9 is just a normal legal semi-automatic could be like saying "we found a crack pipe but no crack" when the pipe in question is just a normal tobacco one.