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Austin 'Chumlee' Russell (courtesy LVPD)

Las Vegas police have arrested Austin ‘Chumlee’ Russell on drugs and weapons charges. The LVPD collared the “star” of the History channel program Pawn Stars while serving a search warrant at Russell’s southwest Las Vegas home related to a sexual assault charge. The cops found a gun along with methamphetamine and marijuana. Although media reports confirm that Mr. Russell was a prohibited person, they fail to identify the conviction that led to his lifetime gun ban. In any case, it seems that Mr. Russell is as intellectually challenged as he seems on TV. Reality TV indeed.

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  1. It would be interesting to know why he is a prohibited person, I hope they are not letting a Felon work in a pawn shop…

    • Why can’t a felon work in a pawn shop after they have served their time in prison? What are the only jobs that felons that have been released from prison after serving their time should have?

      • The pawn shop does not have an FFL but sometimes buys and sells antique guns, manufactured prior to 1898 and not technically “firearms” according to the ATF.

        My question: Is a prohibited person also prohibited from owning or possessing pre-1898 guns?

        • In some states, they can’t even have a pellet gun. Even though pellet guns are specially excluded as a firearm, in some places they are.

        • A quick check of current inmates at Clark County Detention Center doesn’t show he’s currently in custody.
          This is as of 11:50 AM Pacific.

        • Under federal law, he can possess non-forearms like black powder guns and pre-1899 guns.

          But some states do still restrict the types of weapons people with certain convictions can possess.

  2. The stupidity of man. How one jeopardizes the cash cow of Pawn Stars is beyond my ability to comprehend.

  3. This guy is as irritating as the autoloading Springfield XD ad on this page that keeps playing over and over. And I hate Springfield. But I get it. It keeps the lights on.

    • I don’t come check out this site nearly as often as I use to because of the auto play adds. As soon as I find a site to replace TTAG for my gun news I will be gone for good because of them.

      • Both of you need to download AdBlock Plus (It’s free). You’ll thank me and the dozens of others that continuously recommend it on this site. I don’t even get the forced preroll ads on YouTube or Fox News anymore. I love it.

  4. Seems that whole bunch has problems with the law. Well at least he likes guns. It’s a pawn shop, it’s like being surprised when used car dealers get into trouble. Nature of the business. Fleas and all that.

    • What have the rest of them done?

      I watch the show but am not a dedicated enough fan to “keep up” on the cast. (And my wife and I always fast-forward through the “team interaction” drama parts of the show … brings the whole shebang down to ~15 minutes per episode.)

  5. I’m wondering how he’s a prohibited person given that he’s seen handling guns routinely on camera. Me thinks it was a TRO issue.

    • None of the weapons on the show are considered “firearms” according to the atf. That is why rick wont buy guns made after a certain date. He is not an ffl.

      • I can see the meth part for a weight loss regime. But with the weed, he’s just gonna get the munchies and gain the weight right back!

  6. They have often said on the show that they do not handle modern firearms. The owner made a big deal over not being able to buy a firearm made after Jan 1, 1899. I can remember a few episodes where Chumlee would shoot muzzle loaders. That might be a state offense, but it isn’t Federal.

    • I seem to remember an episode where they all went out to the range and had so pretty decked out looking ARs… I could be wrong.

      • They very well might have shot ARs. I didn’t watch the show often. But I did see an episode where some guy was trying to sell an 1873 Winchester (I think) and they had to call in the experts to determine the date of manufacture. They went through the whole pre-1899 spiel then.

      • Yes, there was that episode where they went out to buy a burger for the old man, took his truck, it broke down, and they walked to a nearby gun range. Chumlee did shoot stuff at the range, though they were range guns. While a prohibited person is not permitted to own a firearm, are they prohibited from handling or shooting? Not being a felon myself, I’m not very familiar with that portion of the legal cannon.

        • I remember that one, I was thinking of a different one where the guys all met at a range with what I took to be their own personal guns.

          Anyway we stopped watching when the show went to about 40% pawn item stories 60% stupid scripted interaction among the team. That truck breakdown – walking in the desert one is a perfect example. Ruined what was otherwise a somewhat interesting show.

        • I believe from a federal standpoint, the status is prohibited possessor. So that would preclude legally being able to shoot a rental gun or simply hold a gun.

          Even a gun nearby, but still within your area of control, like in a glove box or anywhere in the vehicle’s cabin, would still be considered as being in your possession. There are cases of lawful gun owners having to give up their guns, because a prohibited possessor lives in the same residence.

          It’s rough out there once you lose those rights, but it’s also rough on those around you, too. A 26 year old felon murdered a pizza store clerk here in Houston last month, during a robbery that netted him exactly zero dollars. The killer’s own sister turned him in after seeing him on the surveillance video on the news. Problem is, SHE bought the gun for him at a pawn shop. Uh oh….

          He’s charged with capital murder (death penalty eligible because it’s murder in the commission of another felony). She’s about to be charged with providing a firearm to a felon. She claims she bought it for him as a gift, so he could defend himself. Even if true, she’s still guilty if she knew he was a prohibited possessor, which she must have.

      • For sure. I remember one episode in particular when they had a sleet competition and chumlee got schooled because he came with a streetsweeper vs. Rick’s citori.

        • So on the show shooting what Id assume is still classed as a destructive device. Or he had the M4?

          Either way he’d have a hard time defending that but I’d assume at least one cop watched the show and knew he was prohibited if it was a problem.

  7. While he may be an idiot, the network ain’t. Wouldn’t jeopardize that cash cow and show a fellow repeatedly fire guns. Muzzle loader or not. Like someone said prolly TRO situation.

    • I’d imagine they have signed 5000+ documents that state their action are their own and the network is not responsible and let’s be honest a network could milk this for years if a trial happens. Also the way these people exploit the obviously mentally handicapped in reality shows it would not surprise me if an exec would be begging for a recording of the alleged assault if they thought for a second they could make a buck of of it.

  8. Well at least now you can get all the foot long as he wants in jail since he was always eating Subway

  9. The guy breathes through his mouth and willingly goes by Chumlee…

    The only things which would surprise me after those little factoids would be if he was a PhD or Pulitzer Prize winner.

  10. So they raid his place with a warrant based on a sexual assault accusation, then they charge him on the unrelated illegal stuff found in his home. But somehow no charge on the original accusation… seems fishy. Chumlee may not be sharpest knife in the block, but unless he really is some sort of rapist this is just malum prohibitum bullshit.

    • The search warrant was based on the sexual assault allegation, true. Search warrants are for the purpose of collecting evidence as part of an investigation. That he hasn’t yet been charged with a sex crime could only indicate that they aren’t finished collecting evidence from all sources yet.

      Sex crimes often include DNA evidence, which can take many weeks to process. The sex assault investigation may simply not be ready to lroceed to charges yet. The gun charge is pretty simple to make. Prohibited possessor, gun in his possession, go ahead and arrest him now for that.

      • So an officer pull over a driver and theres a gun on him and he doesnt have a permit, he should not arrest him for that? Should he say “oh, owning that gun is a felony but since we stoped you for whatever other reason, lets forget about that”…

  11. While I support the idea of a felon being able to “earn” gun and voting rights back after serving their sentence, I do not think we are nearly hard enough for “dope” users/dealers. In this case, I care a lot less about the gun violation than about the meth.

    • The War on Guns and the War on (some) Drugs are both wars against the American people. The government doesn’t seem to have a problem with meth when it is handing it out to military pilots.

    • What’s wrong with meth, or other currently illegal drugs? His body, his decision, no? Now, if he gets stoned and goes out driving and hurts somebody else, well, now we have a problem. That’s the same position I’d take with a gun owner, too: own and use guns all you want, just don’t go commit a crime with them.

      • Except that some drugs, like crack and meth have a long track record of making the user more violent.

        • I agree, but so what? So does alcohol. So do anti-depressants in teenagers. (It’s right there in the disclaimer.) So do sporting events, court cases, freeway traffic, crying babies, bratty kids, and debates over politics or religion. Should we ban all of those because some people cannot handle them or control themselves around them?

          Hell, there’s even some fifty years of psychology research documenting the aggression-heightening/inducing phenomenon of being in close proximity to firearms! It’s called the “Weapons Effect.” Political activism masquerading as science, you say? Perhaps, but there’s no denying the viciousness with which anti-gunners will attack pro-2A people, at least verbally, over just the topic of guns. Some call for actual violence against us. Some call the police on OCers, secretly hoping it’ll go bad and the cops shoot the guy.

          Anyway, the point is that drugs, like these other things I’ve mentioned, affect different people differently and people make choices about engaging in them. Why prohibit everbody’s use/ownership/participation in whatever, because some people abuse the thing in question? Are we OK with letting the bad apples spoil the whole barrel? Are we OK with setting society-wide standards based on the lowest common denominator?

        • Imagine him driving while high and hitting your familty with his car. Would it still be ok? Because if that doesnt make you think otherwise I would be sorry to be on your family…

          And, yes, same goes for alcohol. Thats why you get arrested when you go over the limit, so cant see your point.

  12. You can’t fix stupid. Is it a requirement that to have a reality show, that you have to be arrested?

  13. Not surprised. AND looking for gun “reality” from a BS TV show is a big stretch. From what I know( I am an antique dealer) mostly the pawn shop just deals in gold,silver and jewelry. As far as a cash cow Chumlee was the comic foil/resident idiot…

    • Agreed. Tho the show emphasizes the neat stuff, the shop mostly deals ordinary stuff and jewelry, Ofc that wont make a great show so unless something big they wont show that on TV.

  14. I once had a felon as a live-in girlfriend and was concerned about my guns causing problems for her. I inquired with a rep from Texas Law Shield and was told that although she was prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm, she could live in the same house and even legally use one for self-defense if necessary. I’m in Texas so perhaps this isn’t applicable everywhere.

  15. Chum Pot males $25,000 per week on Pawn Stars. Some of it went for a sparkling white set of veneers, and it looks like the rest was spent on dope by a dope.

  16. Only reality show I’ve ever watched more than one episode of was Flying Wild Alaska. Cause it had bush planes and ‘The Worst Eskimo Evah!’ Chumlee could be Bobo the ‘squatch hunter’s little brother.

  17. Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(1)-(d)(9) a “prohibited person” is not just a felon. The list is extensive and includes drug use and mental health issues. The list:
    (1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
    (2) is a fugitive from justice;
    (3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
    (4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
    (5) who, being an alien—
    (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
    (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));
    (6) who [2] has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
    (7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
    (8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that—
    (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and
    (i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
    (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
    (9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

    • Isn’t 3 automatically assumed if drugs are actually found in the persons home (to be sorted out later on with a blood test). Although Dopey McF’tard the 4.5th probably kept the joint in his mouth during questioning.

  18. whell i had filing cnum whas lot out thare but not much just enuff to stay whay from that junk but gess not sight like him still does not seem like bad guy just slow ;;;;;(((((

  19. Murder is less time in prison then drugs
    Rand Paul was right legalize drugs and taking
    The criminal element out of it would
    Save tax payers from housing them because ultimately we are all going to pay the price
    And the courts make a shit ton of money off these
    Cases so who wins the courts and the IRS
    We all loose

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