6.19.2006

N.D. Iowa Opines that Leocal Resolved Circuit Split re Status of 26 U.S.C. s. 5861 Violation as "Crime of Violence"

Per U.S. v. Barnett, 426 F.Supp.2d 898 (N.D. Iowa Apr. 05, 2006):

The question here is whether the predicate offenses alleged in this case, violations of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841, 5845, 5861, and 5871, are “crimes of violence” within the statutory definition in § 924(c)(3), as the Supreme Court has interpreted the identical provisions of § 16 in Leocal [v. Ashcroft, 543 U.S. 1, 125 S.Ct. 377, 160 L.Ed.2d 271 (2004)].

. . .

The Supreme Court's decision in Leocal did not specifically address whether possession of an unregistered sawed-off or short-barreled shotgun, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861, constitutes a “crime of violence” within the meaning of either § 16 or the identical provisions of § 924(c)(3). Moreover, before the Supreme Court's decision in Leocal, there was a split in the circuits on that question. This court must decide whether application of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the statutory definitions of “crime of violence” in Leocal resolves the split.

[After analyzing the Court's Leocal decision, the district court concluded as follows:] Consequently, an offense of possessing (or making or receiving) an unregistered sawed-off or short-barreled shotgun, in violation of § 5861, is not a “crime of violence” within the meaning of § 924(c)(3).

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