Florida Man Arrested for Constructive Possession of an SBR

I have recently blogged about the issue of constructive possession of NFA firearms in my article NFA and Constructive Possession: Myth or Reality?. On August 27, 2009, Jesus Amador, Jr., was arrested by an undercover officer when he sought to sell his Heckler and Koch SP89 pistol. But, one can legally sell an H&K SP89, so what’s the twist?

Unfortunately for Mr. Amador, he was selling the H&K SP89 with the accessories that he collected for it, which included a vertical front grip and a shoulder stock. If Mr. Amador merely possessed the vertical grip, the pistol would have to be registered under the NFA as an AOW. However, because he also had a stock, the pistol would have to be registered as a short-barreled rifle, PRIOR to purchasing or possessing the shoulder stock and/or vertical grip.

Mr. Amador posted the following on the FloridaGunTrader website,

Well folks my name is Jesus Amador, you out there might just know me as Digitalage03, i recently met up with a prospected buyer for my sp89 clone pistol, well turns out the guy was a undercover cop and the reason he wanted to meet up with me is because he saw that i was selling the pistol with a stock as one of the accessories, which by the way it was never on the gun and it is legal to own, you just cant install it without a tax stamp, well anyways once i met up with him not only did i get slammed to the ground and had about 7 armed cops (one of which) had a loaded 12ga to the back of my head while on the ground handcuffed they also illegally searched my car and even had the balls to drive off in my car from private property to a public place so they can tear thru it before the towtruck came and got , Well anyone here that know thier laws about this know they are in serious trouble, considering that the basis of all this is a misinformed sherriff called Mike Scott. Anyone out there that would like to help in this matter not because of me, but because if you are SICK and tired off all these power hungry cops screwing with your right feel free to contact me at (239)961-4208 if you want to read the liberal BS version on how it happend google Jesus Amador Lee County. Also just for the record i at all times stated it was a pistol, never had the stock or grip on the pistol, notified the person it was illegal to put on without a stamp and even was going to assist in LEGALLY getting a sbr stamp thru a FFL , and of course i asked about if they where a florida resident as well as if they can legally own a gun. So in short i will have thier ass, any suggestions out there?

Mr. Amador even posted pictures of his mugshot and more telling, a picture of the SP89 with all accessories in a case. Most damning for Mr. Amador, other than being caught in possession of the SP89 with the shoulder stock and vertical grip is the fact that the case has a cut out for the SP89 to be placed in the case WITH the vertical foregrip, which would seem to connote, contrary to his position, that the SP89 was fitted with the foregrip at one point. For a picture of the case with the SP89 and accessories, see here.

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott learned that the SP89 and accessories were apparently listed on Craig’s list, per NaplesNews.com.

As I stated before, one must be VERY careful when entering into the NFA realm, even where an individual does not assemble the firearm into a NFA configuration because of the legal implications under the doctrine of constructive possession. Constructive Possession exists when a person knowingly has the power and intention at a given time to exercise dominion and control over an object, either directly or through others. US v. Turnbough, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 11886, *6. The government may establish constructive possession by demonstrating that the defendant exercised ownership, dominion or control over the premises in which the contraband is concealed. Id.

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21 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Uncategorized

21 responses to “Florida Man Arrested for Constructive Possession of an SBR

  1. Pingback: NFA and Constructive Possession: Myth or Reality? « Prince Law Offices, P.C.

  2. seth manzel

    I thought that Thompson Center v. BATFE did away with the doctrine of Constructive Possession. Were the implications of that decision more narrow than that or is the DOJ just ignoring it?

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    • Florida Target Shooter

      I briefly read about the Thompson Center case and it seems to me that that ruling hinged on the fact that the parts involved had legitimate alternate uses that didn’t involve NFA applications. Mr. Amador’s pistol, stock and vertical grip, on the other hand, could not have been assembled in any way that did not create a SBR or AOW. Unfortunately I am unable to find any online evidence of this case’s ultimate disposition. If anyone knows what happened to Mr. Adador, I’m sure others would be interested.

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  7. David

    So say I walk into my local gun store and purchase a SIG516 rifle, and a SIG516 pistol. Sounds like I could be charged with constructive possession unless I first applied for TWO tax stamps; one to build an SBR out of the rifle by putting the short pistol barrel onto it, and one to build an SBR out of the pistol by putting the rifle stock onto it. Or does constructive possession only apply to loose parts laying around, not parts of other firearms?

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  8. matt

    If the stock and grip were kept at his home residence, and the gun were kept at his work or somewhere else so that the able to be assembled parts were at two separate locations, would this avoid the “constructive possession” problem?

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  10. Pingback: Florida Man Arrested for Constructive Possession of an SBR — NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog

  11. Kogashuko

    My bet was when he sold it to the guy there was audio and video of the whole thing. It probably had the grip and the stock on it. He was probably selling it for heroin and not cash. Of course that is not going to be his story.

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  12. IANAL, but based on my understanding of the Thompson Center case, he might have been OK had he had a 16″+ Barrel also since he could have then constructed a legal rifle (with foregrip and stock). Without the longer barrel, the only thing he could make from all the parts was an SBR and for that reason it is illegal.

    NFA is something we all have to be super careful about. It is way too easy to violate if you are not careful, especially when you include “constructive possession.”

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  13. Pingback: Unicorns exist - 2 stamp MPX finally done - Page 2 - SIG Talk

  14. Razorback

    Such BS. Also the cutout the case was orobably foe a MP5 which would have to cutout and a SP89 will fit in it. Seems to me like the ATF is the new Thought Crimes division of big brother

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  15. Lena Alford

    My business partners wanted ATF 4473 (5300.9) Part 1 a few weeks ago and were made aware of a document management site that hosts an online forms library . If you are requiring ATF 4473 (5300.9) Part 1 too , here’shttp://goo.gl/HtFQmR.

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  16. Mike

    This was posted on “The High Road” Forum
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/florida-man-arrested-for-constructive-possession-of-an-sbr.472404/page-2

    Hello guys its me Jesus Amador with the so called illegal sbr

    I saw that you guy posted threads on what happened to me and i gotta say some of you guys know your stuff, that is exactly what happend, constructive intent is bull**** there is no such thing in the statutes. and federal law is not violated. could they enforce it? eh if your al capone and cant get you for murder they might try. But other than that 3weeks after the arrest charges where dissmissed and the gun is back in our possession with stock, kgrip and all, man was that detective PISSED!! ha i love it. so much for his 30+ man 2 week investigation on the matter. Way to use our tax dollars by the way. By the way its posted back on floridaguntrader.com if any one wanted to see the picture of it.

    OR should i sbr it and register a suppressor for it and take it to the lee county police range instead of selling it? What can i say i am a public servant i push and push against these stupid make shift laws so others dont have to. Funny part is i knew about 90% that he was a cop. i did not surprise me that they would arrest a person on a charge that does not exist. Not to mention i still remember his **** eating grin of the captain in charge of the investigation. He would not even talk to me when i requested to speak to him yet he was more than eager to talk when a signed order from the judge went on their desk when it came to retrieval of property.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009

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  18. Just stumbled upon this article. Very interesting read. I often wonder how the ATF could hold the opinion that a person who owns a semi-auto AR15, along with a post 86 DIAS (drop in auto sear) would be in possession of a unregistered machine gun. Even if the user installed the unregistered DIAS in a semi-auto AR15 the rifle would only function semi automatically unless a M16 (hammer, trigger, selector and disconnector) fire control components were installed as well.

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