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Self Defense & Guns: Careful Who Has Access to Your Firearms

Concerned about Self Defense & Guns?  Know what the law will hold you accountable for.  A retired civil servant and law-abiding gun owner with no prior criminal record was convicted because her son used her firearms in a shootout with local law enforcement. According to an article on FoxNews.com, Jeanne Tinker-Smith, a 64-year-old former accounting coordinator in the state of Washington, was found guilty in Seattle Federal Court for helping her son, Cecil, possess firearms despite his prior 2006 felony drug possession conviction. Though Cecil was killed in the 2014 standoff with police, the government still charged Ms. Tinker-Smith for aiding and abetting a felon to possess a firearm. This unusual Second Amendment case is important because it can have lasting negative effects for gun owners nationwide.  Everyone interested in Self Defense & Guns needs to pay attention.

Ms. Tinker-Smith lawfully acquired and owned her guns, had a spotless criminal record, had recently joined a shotgun skeet shooting club, had a coyote problem in her area near the Canadian border, had been robbed before, and just felt more confident with the home protection afforded by her guns. She had plenty of reasons to own her weapons, even though she didn't need any; it's her constitutional right. However, she lived with her son, whom she knew was a felon, and would take him to the gun store in order to feel more confident when making a purchase. And even though it was his decision to wield a shotgun on their property causing a concerned neighbor to flag down a police officer eventually leading to the fateful shootout, she's the one the government has come after.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the actions of Ms. Tinker-Smith or her son, what matters to every gun owner is that the jury made a determination of guilt with very little evidence of her involvement. The evidence submitted by the government really only showed that Cecil was in possession of the guns: his fingerprints on the guns, guns in his room within the house, photographs of the guns on his mobile device, and witnesses who saw him use the guns). These are all facts that no one disputed. The evidence did not directly show that Ms. Tinker-Smith did anything purposeful to procure guns for her son. It is alarming that a person could be found guilty just because someone else, who takes and uses that person's guns, commits a crime. Therefore, every gun owner should be concerned. If you would like to know more about how to ensure something like this does not happen to you, call the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC for a free consultation immediately.

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