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Dugan v. United States

February 2, 1965

BENNIE LEE DUGAN, PETITIONER-APPELLANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE



Schnackenberg, Knoch and Kiley, Circuit Judges.

Author: Schnackenberg

SCHNACKENBERG, Circuit Judge

Bennie Lee Dugan, petitioner, has appealed from an order of the district court denying his motion under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2255 to vacate a judgment and sentence entered on July 31, 1962 on his plea of guilty, under which he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined $1,000.

Petitioner waived formal indictment and later pleaded guilty to an information which charged that on or about May 13, 1962, in violation of 26 U.S.C.A. § 5841, he possessed a firearm which was described as "a new long range Winner, 12 gauge single barrel shot gun, bearing serial number 152328, with barrel less than 18 inches in length" without having registered the same with the Secretary of the Treasury, or his delegate, as required by law.

Petitioner's § 2255 motion was based on the contention that 26 U.S.C.A. § 5841 violated his privilege against self-incrimination and was, therefore, unconstitutional. § 5841 provides:

"Every person possessing a firearm shall register, with the Secretary or his delegate, the number or other mark identifying such firearm, together with his name, address, place where such firearm is usually kept, and place of business or employment, and, if such person is other than a natural person, the name and home address of an executive officer thereof. No person shall be required to register under this section with respect to a firearm which such person acquired by transfer or importation or which such person made, if provisions of this chapter applied to such transfer, importation, or making, as the case may be, and if the provisions which applied thereto were complied with."

This language indicates to us that only when an individual is in possession of a firearm which has been made, transferred or imported in violation of the Act is he required to register. Statutory provisions which might be violated as to any particular firearm, as referred to in § 5841, may include the following:

(1) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5811, requiring payment of a tax upon the transfer of a firearm;

(2) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5812(b), relating to exemptions of certain transfers upon the making of specified disclosures and proof;

(3) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5813, requiring the affixing of stamps to show the payment of the transfer tax imposed by Section 5811;

(4) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5814, relating to the requirements for a transfer of a firearm;

(5) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5821, imposing a tax on and requiring a disclosure of the making of a firearm;

(6) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5844, relating to the exportation of firearms; and

(7) 26 U.S.C.A. § 5846, relating to the administration and enforcement of ...


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