Friday, June 14, 2024

Trump's apparent fascination with guns might come back to bite him again, this time because he's a convicted felon with a gun, a violation of federal law

Donald Trump examines the inventory at a gun store (NY Times)

Donald Trump might have admitted to another felony during his pre-sentence interview with probation officials. The episode provides the latest evidence that Trump is not knowledgeable -- some might say he is ignorant -- on a wide range of issues related to the law and governance, including the provisions of his own conviction in a New York hush-money case. How could this happen? Again, Trump isn't very smart, no matter how much money he might have once had, no matter how much fame he derived from his stint as host of a reality game show on primetime television, and no matter how many Americans foolishly claim to support  him in various polls. Think about it: This guy has to meet with a probation officer, but some Americans want to entrust him with the presidency. Do these people have nothing but air between their ears?

Hafiz Rashid, of The New Republic (TNR), provides details about Trump's latest visit to "Dunce World" under the headline "Did Trump Just Accidentally Admit to Another Felony? Donald Trump may have just implicated himself in another crime in his probation interview":

Weeks after he was convicted of 34 felony counts in his hush-money trial, Donald Trump confessed to having a gun—which would be illegal with his felony conviction.

New York City Department of Probation officials questioned the convicted felon and Republican presidential nominee Tuesday in a pre-sentencing interview, and part of the discussion concerned a gun registered to him in the state. Under federal law, convicted felons are not allowed to have guns or ammunition. 

A city official told CNN that Trump mentioned a gun of his in Florida, possibly one of the three firearms listed on his New York City concealed-weapons permit.

Trump turned over two of his three licensed guns to the New York Police Department on March 31, 2023, before he was arrested for paying hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The third gun was supposed to be “lawfully moved to Florida.” Palm Beach police told CNN that they weren’t aware of any gun Trump owned and that he hadn’t submitted one to them since his felony conviction.

The probation issue is not the first time Trump has stepped in gun-related doo-doo. Last September, he was caught on video at a South Carolina gun store declaring he had just bought a Glock pistol. "The Man Who Would Be President" was already under multiple criminal indictments, but he apparently never stopped to consider that his purchase of a handgun might lead to complications in those cases. From a New York Times article on the incident:

A spokesman for former President Donald J. Trump posted a video on Monday showing him at a gun shop in South Carolina, declaring that he had just bought a Glock pistol.

The post on X, formerly known as Twitter, included video of Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination for president who is facing four criminal indictments. He looked over the dullish gold firearm, a special Trump-edition Glock that depicts his likeness and says “Trump 45th,” as he visited the Palmetto State Armory outlet in Summerville, S.C. “I want to buy one,” he said twice in the video.

“President Trump buys a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!” his spokesman, Steven Cheung, wrote in his post. The video showed Mr. Trump among a small crowd of people and posing with a man holding the gun. A voice can be heard saying, “That’s a big seller.

The statement immediately set off an uproar and prompted questions about whether such a purchase would be legal. Mr. Trump is under indictment on dozens of felony counts in two different cases related to his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and to his possession of reams of classified documents after he left office.

Mr. Cheung must be as dumb as his boss. It also sounds like he might be a congenital liar, like his boss. Here is more from TNR about Trump's self-created gun problems related to his probation. Hafiz Rashid writes:

After his 2023 hush-money arrest, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office suspended Trump’s gun license, and with his conviction, his license will be revoked, city police told CNN. A New York official said the information on the third gun “will be referred to local authorities in Florida to take whatever steps are necessary.” (Could the third gun be one purchased in South Carolina? Hmmm . . . )

It’s ironic that Trump may be in trouble for illegally having a gun weeks after his conviction at the same time that President Biden’s son, Hunter, was convicted on federal gun charges. But Trump doesn’t like to give the authorities what he believes is his property, even when the law says otherwise. Just look at the classified documents he tried to hoard at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. He might be storing his gun not too far away.

Here is another irony: We have covered the issue of convicted felons and firearms before here at Legal Schnauzer. That story involved a felon who managed to skirt the law and obtain a firearm, eventually using it to shoot a man 11 times -- and somehow the victim survived. 

The story provides insight on how a felon can, despite the law, come in possession of a firearm and do horrific damage with it. Bottom line: Some jurisdictions don't seem to take the federal felon-firearm law seriously, and that can put innocent people in danger. We will have more on that story in an upcoming post.

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