JLF Triangle Blog

Bob Owens asks: Why are authorities giving a gun-manufacturing felon a pass?
UPDATED: Pajamas Media runs a correction

(See correction below)

Triangle area blogger Bob Owens asks a good question today in his Pajamas Media column: Why are state, local and federal officials giving a convicted N.C. felon, Lee Booth of Greensboro, a pass and letting him own three gun companies?:

If all or even most of the allegations made by various sources are true, Lee Franklin Booth should be behind bars. If these allegations are accurate, Booth is guilty of possessing hundreds of firearms, operating three firearms companies that each had firearms inventory, and receiving a CCW permit.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation should be launched to investigate the possibility that multiple law enforcement agencies allowed a felon to run free after attempting to build a gun manufacturing empire.

This couldn’t be the plot of a bad Hollywood movie. It simply isn’t believable theater. Unfortunately, it is real life, and those agencies responsible have a hell of a lot of accounting to do for their failures.

UPDATE: Pajamas Media and Bob Owens have run the following correction:

On October 22, 2010, Pajamas Media.com published an article by Bob Owens about legal restrictions on the ownership of guns and gun companies by felons.

* The article stated:

“Imagine that this same felon then started another gun company from scratch, and then used that company to acquire a third company that was licensed to build machine guns.”

In fact, the “third company” in question was not, at the time of its acquisition, licensed to build machine guns. That company subsequently obtained such a license.

* The article stated:

“After the Templar/Victory split, it is suspected that the FFL acquired by Victory was revoked….”

In fact, it appears that the federal firearms license was not revoked. It was not issued in Mr. Booth’s name.

* The article also suggested that Lee Booth acquired three gun companies. Mr. Booth, through legal counsel, has informed us that he never acquired three gun companies.

In fact, Mr. Booth owned only one gun company, but had substantial involvement in and apparent control over two other gun companies.

* The article posed the question: “How come a felon owns guns and gun companies?” Mr. Booth, through legal counsel, has cited exceptions to the state and federal laws prohibiting convicted felons from owning guns or controlling gun companies and has stated that he is not prohibited from such activity. While we stand by the original opinion, based on an analysis of relevant statutes and regulations, that Mr. Booth is not permitted to own guns or have control over gun companies, we note here that this issue remains open to legal debate and differing opinions.

Pajamas Media and Bob Owens regret these errors and apologize to Mr. Booth.

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