Wednesday, June 12, 2024

In The Interest Of Fairness

     Since I did write a single piece on former President Trump's recent trial and conviction, I'd better give the trial and conviction of Hunter Biden (not a former or current President and has never held elected office) the same.

     He lied on a BATFE 4473 form and got caught; it went to trial, the prosecution presented the facts and he was held guilty.  Simple as that.  The surprising thing that he was found out and prosecuted; skylined by having a President for a father and addicted to a particularly stigmatizing drug, his odds of skating by were worse than most.  In a country where 38 of 50 states have legalized a Federally illegal drug (marijuana), 24 of them for recreational use, there must be stacks and stacks of 4473s with entries constituting a felony, just ticking away -- something it would be reasonable for a jury to expect a man with a law degree like, oh, Hunter Biden, to understand.  It's not as if BATFE made it a trick question:
     "21. f. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?
Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside."

     While the Feds periodically update the form (it now includes a tickbox for "Non-Binary" in the answers for question 14, which makes sense given that they want ethnicity, race, height, weight, hair and eye color, too, all so they can pick you out of a crowd) they've wanted to know if you were breaking Federal drug laws for as long as I've been filling out those forms, and they ask because Uncle Sam has decided drug users shouldn't be owning guns.  You don't even have to be an addict to get the downcheck.

     So the bottom line is, if you're smoking the Devil's cabbage (et illegal cetera), don't go buying guns.  It's a Federal crime to lie on the 4473 form and it's a Federal crime to possess the firearm.  If they can do it to Hunter Biden -- and they most certainly did -- they can do it to you, too, and you're probably not an attorney nor especially rich, and it's a cinch your Dad isn't President.*  Sure, maybe they'll overlook you (it usually takes an arrest for something else first), but I wouldn't count on it.
* Even if he was, he'd probably do the same thing Joe Biden has done, and refuse to pardon you.  Call it a strong moral stance or call it a cynical ploy, the result is the same.


Cop Car said...

Right on.

Anonymous said...

Always kinda wondered about that. Thanks for the clarification.

Comrade Misfit said...

Dan Abrams, the legal analyst for ABC News, pointed out that he could not find a single case where somebody was prosecuted for lying on a Form 4473 when there was a single purchase and the gun wasn't later used in a crime.

So this sort of looks like reverse affluenza: A prosecutor out for a famous scalp.

Roberta X said...

Misfit, I'd argue that it was un-ignorable; once the firearm possession by a famous known drug user came to the attention of police and prosecutor (and you can look that whole sad mess up for yourself), it became a matter of public record and they couldn't wink at it without appearing to be favoring a well-connected offender.

And so here we are.

Anonymous said...

" . . . they couldn't wink at it without appearing to be favoring a well-connected offender."


JustMusing said...

For additional insight into the Hunter Biden case, judge, prosecutors, and evidence permitted, see postings at

I think HB should appeal.

Roberta X said...

JustMusing: I looked. None of it changes the facts of the particular crimes address in that particular trial, so it's moot.