Closing arguments are about to happen for a trial of three men in Alaska. Schaeffer Cox and two others are charged with, among other crimes, possessing and making an unregistered silencer and possessing an unregistered machine gun.
Defense attorneys will argue Wednesday that their clients acted in self-defense as they took up arms to protect Cox at public appearances, including an interview at North Pole television and radio station KJNP.
Defense attorneys also will claim Wednesday that their clients were entrapped by the government's primary informer on the case, militia member Gerald "J.R." Olson, who agreed to work undercover in exchange for consideration on another criminal case.
Defense attorney Tim Dooley asserts that Olson brought up the subject of illegal weapons, "finagled" the defendants into placing an order and brought in samples -- three .22-caliber handguns with silencers and hand grenades -- that Cox and Barney were examining when they were busted.
Unfortunately there is no intent required in violating the NFA and simple possession or constructive possession is all that is required to violate the law. In addition to most the federal laws, many state have enhanced penalties for use of NFA firearms in the commission of a crime.
The NFA defines a transfer to include loaning and is not the same as most of us would think of regarding the transfer of property. Jury deliberation is expected to begin later this week.