The Sherburne County Attorney and Sheriff are viscously prosecuting a 20-year old gun owner for a lack of serial number on guns he built himself. Walker Anderson, a student at Hennepin Technical College, built his firearms by the book – even contacting the ATF division in Minneapolis to comply with Federal Laws. The county is trying to nag him on an obscure state statute that has rarely (if ever) been enforced.
When shooting at a friend’s property, a neighbor filed a noise complaint with the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department. After a Deputy arrived and confirmed the gun range was set up safely, he inquired about the firearms being shot. Walker, who was friendly with the officer, disassembled the self-built AR-15s to show off his craftsmanship.
It was at that point when a second Sheriff’s Deputy arrived, saying that Walker violated the law and threatened to arrest him. The County Attorney, Kathleen Heaney, filed two felony counts against Walker for his unregistered firearms – which he had always used in a safe and professional manner.
The state statute that is cited in this case is 609.667, which states
"Whoever commits any of the following acts may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both:
(1) obliterates, removes, changes, or alters the serial number or other identification of a firearm;
(2) receives or possesses a firearm, the serial number or other identification of which has been obliterated, removed, changed, or altered; or
(3) receives or possesses a firearm that is not identified by a serial number.
As used in this section, "serial number or other identification" means the serial number and other information required under United States Code, title 26, section 5842, for the identification of firearms."
This section of state law was added in an unconstitutional omnibus bill in 1994, signed by Republican Governor Arnie Carlson.
In the charges, the prosecution uses the third subsection, which deals with a lack of serial numbers attached to a firearm.
The problem is, countless numbers of responsible gun owners own firearms that do not have serial numbers. Whether it was made before 1968, or it was made carefully according to ATF guidelines. The fact that the County Attorney and Sheriff in a conservative county are using an obscure law to attack a young, productive member of society for something many of his neighbors likely also do is absolute insanity.
In fact, Minnesota's own DNR sold 9 unregistered firearms in an auction just last year. Even the state government refuses to abide by this ridiculous statute.
It is possible that the anti-gun elites want to make an example out of this young man and use this obscure law to set a new legal precedent for unmarked firearms.
This case is likely going to cost Walker tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. If you feel compelled to help him defend his 2nd Amendment Right to a firearm, please give to the family’s GiveSendGo campaign. Click here to donate to Walker.
Walker's pretrial is on August 4th and the trial begins on September 5th.