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United States v. Jordan

December 3, 1971

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CLYDE COY JORDAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Duffy, Hastings and Knoch, Senior Circuit Judges.

Author: Duffy

DUFFY, Senior Circuit Judge.

Defendant Jordan was found guilty, after a jury trial, of a violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(a) (6), of knowingly making a false or fictitious oral or written statement upon acquiring a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Defendant was alleged to have knowingly made a false statement to a federally licensed firearm dealer in connection with the acquisition of a firearm from that dealer. Specifically, the defendant was charged with knowingly stating that he was not prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 44 from receiving a firearm in interstate commerce when, in fact, so the Government claims, he was prohibited due to a 1954 conviction of embezzlement and forgery by mail.

In March 1970, defendant was tried before a jury on this charge for firearm violation. The jury disagreed. He was retried in September 1970 and the jury brought in a verdict of guilty. Defendant was sentenced to a two-year term of imprisonment.

In 1954, defendant was a U. S. Mail Carrier and was convicted of embezzling and forging checks taken from the mail. He was sentenced to a three-year term and was paroled after seventeen months.

Defendant returned to East St. Louis, married and raised a family of five children. He became active in political affairs. He became editor and publisher of the East St. Louis Monitor newspaper.

Defendant was active in a number of Negro organizations and in 1965 was appointed as an administrative aid to the Mayor of East St. Louis.

At the time of his appointment to this office, questions were raised as to his eligibility to hold office because of his prior conviction. Thereupon, he wrote to the Department of Justice and was informed that he had "not lost any citizenship by virtue of the federal conviction."

In December 1967, he was approached to run for the East St. Louis School Board, and again his eligibility to serve was questioned. He again wrote to the Department of Justice and was informed that certain privileges might be affected by State law. Defendant then wrote to the Attorney General of Illinois and he received a reply from the Governor. The letter stated "* * * with the recommendation of the Judge of the Federal Court, I am pleased to enclose your certificate of restoration to the Rights of Citizenship." He was thereafter elected to the School Board.

In November 1968, defendant applied for and obtained a firearm owner's identification card from the State of Illinois. On January 17, 1969, the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners commissioned him as a "Special Policeman." During this period of public service, defendant carried a firearm because his life had been threatened on several occasions and there were many shootings and bombings in East St. Louis. This gun was stolen in April 1969.

On April 29, 1969, he purchased a new gun and signed Treasury Form 4473 which contains language in small print which includes the statement that people convicted of a felony are prohibited from purchasing a firearm.

Defendant Jordan never denied that he had purchased the weapon in question or that he previously had been convicted of a felony or that he had signed Treasury Form 4473 at the time of the purchase of said weapon.

The defense offered by defendant during the entirety of the two trials and upon appeal has been his good faith in believing he could purchase the weapon in question legally. He had pleaded guilty to an offense fifteen years prior to this indictment in 1969. He served his time, complied with his parole and returned to East St. Louis where he married and ...


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