A Washington, D.C., financial consultant’s legal odyssey ended last week as surprisingly as his arrest on charges of possessing a misfired shotgun shell and 25 muzzle-loading lead projectiles.
District of Columbia Circuit Judge Robert Morin found Mark Witaschek guilty of attempted possession of illegal ammunition and sentenced him to time served, a $50 fine and a requirement that he register with the city as a firearm offender, according to The Washington Times.
In his ruling, Morin ignored a central question: whether the dud shotgun shell found in Witaschek’s possession was operable. If a lead ball lacking both primer and propellant is “illegal ammunition,” it begs the question: What would constitute legal ammunition? A pillow, perhaps?
The Times’ Emily Miller, author of “Emily Gets Her Gun,” has followed this case from Witaschek’s arrest to the judge’s closing gavel. She found the proceedings an example of the ignorant leading the ignorant.
In the afternoon on Wednesday, Judge Morin shook the plastic [shotgun] shell and tried to listen to something inside. He said he could not hear any gunpowder. He then asked the lawyers to open the shell to see if there was powder inside.
In an interview Saturday with “Fox & Friends Weekend” host Tucker Carlson, Witaschek recalled one moment during the trial when the judge asked the prosecuting attorney a question about muzzle-loading weapons.
“I have no idea what a muzzle-loader is,” the prosecutor replied, Witaschek said.
Carlson quoted the judge’s reasoning that the lead projectiles must be bullets because “they look like bullets.”
“This person is so ignorant,” Carlson said. “This person is a moron.”
Fox News “Happening Now” host Jon Scott compared this case on Thursday to an earlier one in which the Washington, D.C. prosecutor declined to file charges against NBC News anchor David Gregory for possession of an illegal gun magazine.
“That’s illegal according to D.C. law,” Scott said.
But the prosecutor chose to use his discretion to defer charges against Gregory for something the district clearly prohibits, and used the same discretion to charge Witaschek for possessing a handful of metal objects.
Watch the Carlson-Witaschek interview via Fox News, then check out “‘Racist’ Michelle Obama quote fools panel; Bill Maher pretends Paul Ryan said it.”
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