Anti-Gun Lunacy in DC: Man Found Guilty…of Owning Antique Replica Bullets

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Top Tier Gear USA

no justice

Back in January, we reported the story of Mark Witaschek, whose D.C. home was raided by SWAT agents with a search warrant for “firearms and ammunition … gun cleaning equipment, holsters, bullet holders and ammunition receipts.”

The raid was conducted by 30 agents in full tactical gear whose rampage through the home caused $10,000 in damage and terrified Witaschek’s teenaged children.

Four items were confiscated during the raid, per the warrant:

“One live round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition,” which was an inoperable shell that misfired during a hunt years earlier. Witaschek had kept it as a souvenir.

“One handgun holster” was found, which is perfectly legal.

“One expended round of .270 caliber ammunition,” which was a spent brass casing.

The police uncovered “one box of Knight bullets for reloading.” These are actually not for reloading, but are used in antique-replica, single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles.

A successful financial adviser with no criminal history, Witaschek is now the first known case of a citizen being prosecuted in D.C. for inoperable ammunition.

Yesterday, a D.C. judge found Witaschek guilty of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition” for possessing antique replica muzzleloader bullets.

The Washington Times reported on the verdict and (somewhat bizarre) details of the court proceedings:

Judge Robert Morin sentenced Mr. Witaschek to time served, a $50 fine and required him to enroll with the Metropolitan Police Department’s firearm offenders’ registry within 48 hours.

Until the final hours of the trial, both the defense and government focused the case on whether the single 12 gauge shotgun shell that was found in Mr. Witaschek’s D.C. home was operable. The judge, however, never ruled on it.

In the afternoon on Wednesday, Judge Morin shook the plastic 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.

(This seemed like a bizarre request since the lack of primer — not gunpowder — would be relevant to the interoperability of the misfired shell.)

Assistant Attorney General Peter Saba said that the government wanted to open the shell but that, “It is dangerous to do outside a lab.”

The prosecutors and police officers left the courtroom to try to find a lab that was open in the afternoon to bring the judge to cut the plastic off the section that holds the pellets. When that proved not possible in the same day, the judge decided to just rule on the bullets.

The 25 conical-shaped, .45 caliber bullets, made by Knight out of lead and copper, sat on the judge’s desk. They do not have primer or gunpowder so cannot be propelled. The matching .50 caliber plastic sabots were also in the box.

The bullets caused confusion in the courtroom because D.C. residents do not need to register antique replica firearms.

The judge repeatedly asked how the bullets could be illegal if the gun they are used for is not. This led some to believe he was going to throw the charge out.

But in the end, Judge Morin said:

“I’m persuaded these are bullets. They look like bullets. They are hollow point. They are not musket balls.” He then ruled that Mr. Witaschek had possessed “beyond a reasonable doubt” the metal pieces in D.C.

In his piece titled Witaschek Verdict Highlights Anti-Gun HypocrisyConor Higgins pointed out the problems with the judge’s statements:

First, ammunition is already very well classified. Being “persuaded” that musket balls are bullets as defined by DC law is like saying that a shotgun is a rifle, or vice versa. There are already distinctions in place. Muzzle loading ammunition is not rifle or shotgun ammunition, it is muzzle loading ammunition, and not subject to the same registration requirements as rifle, pistol, or shotgun cartridges are in DC. The judge should not have to be “persuaded” they are illegal bullets, because the law has already done that. Secondly, the idea that they are bullets because they are hollow point, or conical, is completely ridiculous. The conical musket, or muzzle loading round, often called the Minié ball, has been in use before the Civil War, the fact that the rounds in question are hollow point is irrelevant.

Witaschek addressed the judge before sentencing:

“I’ve never been arrested in my life up until this incident,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. “My use of firearms is strictly recreational. I’ve never had any criminal intent.”

The businessman asked for leniency so that he would not lose his license to practice his financial management company.

“I run the risk of losing my job, my occupation, as a result of this conviction,” he said. “I ask the court not to add to that burden of what’s already been done to my life over the last two years.”

Emily Miller of The Washington Times spoke with Witaschek about the verdict. “I’m completely outraged by it,” he said. “This is just a continuation of the nightmare. Just to sit there. I could not believe it. None of these people know anything about gun issues, including the judge.”

Witaschek’s attorney said they will appeal the decision.

In the meantime, a man’s life has been disrupted and his character defamed over a box of useless bullets.

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Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”

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  • Drdetroitdanchap

    (1) They established that AMMUNITION is “ARMS” protected by the 2nd Amendment (even though THEY are VIOLATING the 2nd).
    (2) Make LOTS of ENEMIES for yourselves. Show the World what total A-holes this government is, then be all surprised at the end result.
    (3) Find ONE government in the entire history of humanity that felt that it had a need to codify the RIGHT of the GOVERNMENT to “Keep and BEAR ARMS”

    The only reason for the BILL of RIGHTS is to codify INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS. Has there EVER been a government that was not FULL of it’s “rights” up to and including declaring itself to be THE Lord GOD ALMIGHTY?!

    The 1st 10 Amendments to the Constitution are an ENUMERATION of INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS called “The Bill of RIGHTS”. The first ten amendments are called The BILL of RIGHTS because they are a “bill” (a LISTING) of YOUR RIGHTS. The Second Amendment DEFINES the RIGHT of INDIVIDUALS to keep and CARRY ARMS. It has NOTHING to do with National Guards. Americans have the RIGHT to LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of Happiness. If the government DENIES you your RIGHT to the MEANS of self-defense, it is denying you the RIGHT to self defense, and the RIGHT to LIFE.

    If they can take away Your SECOND Amendment RIGHT, they can
    Deny you Religious worship/choice, Deny you access to NEWS/knowledge(which they do already), Deny you FOOD to sustain LIFE, Deny you Bail/Habeous Corpus, Deny you a Lawyer, Search your house anytime they decide they want to, Deny you anything THEY decide ………. TAKE anything they want.

    If they can take away the SECOND Amendment, they can reinstate SLAVERY— and incidentally, any government that will TORTURE will ENSLAVE. Torture and SLAVERY are the SAME THING.
    “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” George Washington

  • Musashi5000

    The real issue here has nothing to do with guns and everything to do with a population of ignorant, arrogant, self-serving morons and fools.

    This case is merely a symptom of the terminal illness that afflicts this country: absolute moral coruption.

    America is finished. Maybe the Russians/Chinese will put us out of our misery.

    Prepare to defend yourself.

    • I’m prepared. And I did nor will ask the government for permission.

  • The ammunition is neither “antique” or “replica”. They are hunting projectiles in .45 caliber intended to be used in conjuntion with a plastic sabot in .50 cliber black powder rifles. The “judge” is an idiot, and should be thrown from the bench. I hope the guy appeals this all the way to the top.

  • Greg Straw

    To the freak in the black dress GO FU#K YOURSELF.

  • sleat

    Appeal, appeal, appeal.

  • sixhonestservingmen

    Of course, what todays judiciary and state legislators fail to do, is inform all of us as a matter of, no doubt , expediency, that bearing arms and holding ammunition can be see as lawful outside of the fictional corporate jurisdiction of the United States –

    Political Charters Create Corporate Countries As Fictions – Throughout The World

    28 USC § 3002 – Definitions
    (15) “United States” means—
    (A) a Federal corporation;



    The rationale for what has been said can mostly be found here –



    Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive

    – Sir Walter Scott


    Most of these So called judges are Elected. This Nimwit is a Total Loser. Get a Petition going and throw his ass out of office. WAKE UP PEOPLE> WAKE UP PEOPLE>

  • concernedRN

    It says he owns a financial management company. .. makes me wonder who’s money he may have fucked with to get such harsh treatment. Did his company lose some of the judge’s money?

  • al_irish

    Like most judges on many issues, this one clearly doesn’t have a clue about firearms and/or their related materials. Like most judges, they rely on the attorneys for the parties before them to ‘educate’ them (and the jury, if there is one) about technical issues, whether they be related to the facts or laws. In this case, it sounds to me like the prosecutor, Saba, either out of ignorance or intentionally, misled the court relative to the nature of the devices before him. This seems to be typical conduct of prosecutors across the country these days – – either to intentionally mislead a judge/jury or to allow a judge/jury to continue down a road that the prosecutor knows or should know is incorrect, but does not speak up. A prosecutor, by the very nature of their position in the criminal justice system, has an affirmative duty to speak up when such errors occur in his/her presence for no other reason than to preserve the record, even if it means that they’ll “lose” their case. Based on the facts outlined in this article, this case should be reversed, or better yet, reversed and dismissed with prejudice. Simultaneously, the prosecutor, Saba, should be brought up on ethics charges, at the very least, before the DC Bar. This kind of gamesmanship played by public prosecutors needs to stop . . .