Firearms Owners Against Crime

Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action

Minnesota prosecutors deliver slap on the wrist on machine gun charges :: 11/23/2022

According to gun control activists, the only (or at least the best) way to combat violent crime is by creating more non-violent, possessory criminal offenses involving firearms. Every call to “do something” is, in reality, a demand to put more laws on the books; a cycle that inevitably repeats itself when those new laws fail to curb violent criminal activity.

Meanwhile, what about all the existing laws in place? Oh sure, gun control activists will complain when “red flag” laws aren’t used, but it’s exceedingly rare for gun control organizations or even individual activists to ever object when light sentences are handed down for violating laws that are already in place.

We’ve been writing quite a bit, for instance, about the growing number of auto sears that authorities say are popping up around the country. The small devices, which are either smuggled in from China or produced on 3D printers domestically, illegally modify semi-automatic handguns and rifles to shoot multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. Possession of these devices is a federal crime, as well as illegal under most state law, and those convicted in federal court can receive up to ten years in prison.

Two brothers from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area who were caught in possession of illegally modified handguns didn’t receive a ten-year term, however. In fact, when they were prosecuted in Hennepin County, Minnesota they got off with minor consequences. Unsurprisingly, the only lesson the pair learned from their first run-in with the law is that they had little to fear by breaking it.

Twin brothers in the metro area have pleaded guilty after they were found to be in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition while being on probation for a separate weapons conviction, according to officials.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Quantez Demarco Ward and Cortez Demario Ward, both 19 years old, pleaded guilty on Monday to illegal possession of a firearm as a felon and illegal possession of ammunition as a felon, respectively.

At the beginning of the year, both brothers were charged in Hennepin County District Court for modifying firearms with auto sears. They pleaded guilty to those charges and were released on terms of probation, court documents show.

After they were released on probation, the Wards were pulled over for a traffic stop in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Officers discovered Cortez Ward carrying a 9mm pistol, and apparently this time around local authorities brought in the feds. Two months later their home was the subject of a federal search warrant that turned up multiple firearms as well as ammunition, and the two men were charged in U.S. District Court, where they recently accepted a guilty plea.

The brothers haven’t been sentenced yet, but I suspect this time around they’ll get several years in a federal penitentiary as opposed to the slap on the wrist they received in Hennepin County District Court.

You’d think this would be the type of case that would have gun control activists raising hell, but there’s been nothing but silence, even from locals in the Twin Cities. Two teenagers caught illegally carrying guns that they’d illegally modified to turn into machine guns get probation, and not even a peep from the crowd routinely demanding that concealed carry licensees face felony charges if they so much as set foot into a designated “sensitive place”?

Violent crime has been rising in Hennepin County, as it has across much of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in the years since the riots over the murder of George Floyd. And yet when prosecutors and a judge allow the Wards to not only receive probation for their original crime, but to apparently avoid being sent to jail after Cortez Ward was once again discovered with a gun just a few months later, the gun control lobby is mum; demanding neither action nor accountability from the criminal justice system. Instead, they remain laser-focused on infringing on the rights of peaceable gun owners; including trying to convince the Biden administration to impose a gun ban through regulation, not legislation.

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