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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

8.2-32 Firearms Trafficking -- § 53-202aa

New, June 13, 2008

Note: Public Acts 2007, 07-163, § 3, which created this offense, became effective October 1, 2007.

The defendant is charged [in count __] with firearms trafficking. The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of firearms trafficking if such person, knowingly and intentionally, directly or indirectly, causes one or more firearms that such person owns, is in possession of or is in control of to come into the possession of or control of another person whom such person knows or has reason to believe is prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm under state or federal law.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Owned, possessed or controlled firearms
The first element is that the defendant owned, possessed or controlled firearms. "Firearm" means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged. You must find that the firearm was operable at the time of the incident.

"Possession" means either actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession means actual physical possession, such as having the object on one's person. Constructive possession means having the object in a place under one's dominion and control.

Possession also requires that the defendant knew that (he/she) was in possession of the firearm. That is, that (he/she) was aware that (he/she) was in possession of it and was aware of its nature. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew that (he/she) was in possession of the firearm. <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

<If some form of constructive possession is alleged, see Possession, Instruction 2.11-1.>1

Element 2 - Caused to come into another's possession or control
The second element is that the defendant caused the firearms to come into the possession of or control of another person, <identify other person>. This means that the defendant did something that, either directly or indirectly, resulted in <identify other person> coming into the possession or control of the firearms.

Element 3 - Person prohibited from owning or possessing firearms
The third element is that the defendant knew or had reason to believe that <identify other person> was prohibited from purchasing or otherwise receiving a firearm because (he/she) did not have a valid permit. [A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or to a circumstance when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists. <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>]

Element 4 - Intent
The fourth element is that the defendant had the specific intent that <identify other person> would come into possession or control of the firearms. A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result. <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) owned, possessed, or controlled firearms, 2) caused those firearms to come into the possession or control of <identify other person>, 3) knew that <identify other person> was prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm, and 4) specifically intended that <identify other person> would come into possession or control of the firearms.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of firearms trafficking, then you shall find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 Ascertain from counsel what form of possession is alleged. The definition should be narrowly tailored to the allegations.

Commentary

Sentence Enhancer
Section 53-202a provides a sentence enhancement if more than 5 firearms are involved. The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt. See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4.
 


 

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