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United States v. Podhorn

April 6, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAUL PODHORN, JR., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

ORDER FOR FORFEITURE WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN FIREARMS OF PAUL EDWARD PODHORN, JR.

On October 29, 2004, a jury convicted Defendant Paul Podhorn, Jr. on 25 counts of firearms-related offenses, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(b)(5) and 924(a)(3). On March 17, 2006, this Court held a hearing on the remaining forfeiture count, Count 28. Based on the evidence obtained during the trial of the case in chief, as well as on the testimony and evidence produced by the United States and by Podhorn in the forfeiture hearing on March 17, 2006, the Court hereby finds by clear and convincing evidence that the following firearms were involved in or used in a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(n):

1. Valmet Rifle, No. 399110;

2. Steyr-Solothurn M III Professional Rifle, No. 263267;

3. Colt Army Special Revolver, No. 378469;

4. Smith & Wesson Double Action 45 Revolver, No. 681-30406;

5. SIG Arms SHR970 Winchester Mag Rifle, No. R03978;

6. Colt Sauer 7 mm Rifle, No. CR20399;

7. U.S.A. Military Surplus Trigger/Receiver Rifle, No. F441582;

8. Unknown Manufacturer Lower Receiver Rifle, No. A62554; and

9. Valmet Rifle, No. 394272.

With respect to the Unknown Manufacturer Lower Receiver Rifle, No. A62554, Podhorn indicates that the receiver is a component of an FN-FAL rifle. Podhorn asserts that this lower receiver does not constitute a "firearm." However, for those offenses described in Chapter 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, "firearm" means "(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon..." 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3). Under 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, a "firearm frame or receiver" is "that part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel." An inspection of the seized item in question clearly reveals that it fits the definition of a "receiver" under 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, and would thus, under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), constitute a firearm itself.

Podhorn has objected to the description of "U.S.A. Military Surplus Trigger/Receiver Rifle, No. F441582" on the basis that he is unaware of a manufacturer known as "U.S.A. Military Surplus." The Court finds that this description is not intended to name a manufacturer, but rather is an indication that this firearm was military surplus of the United States. Podhorn's objection is therefore denied.

The United States has agreed to dismiss the forfeiture allegation against the following firearms, and they will not be forfeited ...


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