Criminal Justice

Lawyer Charged in Gun-Silencer Case Makes Constitutional Argument for Dismissal

A Wisconsin lawyer criminally charged for allegedly possessing an illegal gun silencer is fighting the case on constitutional grounds.

Attorney Thomas M. Barrett, through his legal counsel, is arguing that the law under which he was charged is vague and, to the extent it is determined to be valid, will restrict gun owners from legitimate activities, such as target shooting, that benefit the public, reports the Journal Sentinel.

A prosecutor, however, writes in response to the motion to dismiss by Allison Ritter that the right to bear arms isn’t unlimited and says a silencer isn’t a firearm.

Meanwhile, a Georgia lawyer who has worked on some Wisconsin gun owner civil rights cases, but is apparently not involved in Barrett’s matter, tells the newspaper that the argument is something of a misfire for another reason: Under state law, owners can possess a silencer legally if they pay a $200 fee and fill out extensive federal paperwork, says attorney John Monroe.

“What’s weird is that they talk about all the silencer freedom in some other states, acting like Wisconsin is silencer-oppressive,” Monroe tells the newspaper. “It’s almost like they didn’t read the statute.”

Earlier coverage: “Lawyer Allegedly Caught in Sting Buying Silenced ‘Hit Man’s Gun,’ Citing A/C Privilege as a Shield”

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