An Oregon pastor made headlines recently when he purchased $3,000 worth of raffle tickets to support a local softball team. However, it turns out his purchase wasn’t made in the spirit of Christian charity.
Oh no, he wanted to get his hands on the AR-15 that was the prize — so he could have it destroyed.
Well, he won the rifle.
But after dropping it off at the home of a congregation member whom Rev. Jeremy Lucas described as a “responsible gun owner,” he also got an education he wasn’t expecting.
Lucas, who passed a background check at a local gun shop before taking possession of the AR-15, told the Washington Post that he and his wife then “drove it to the home of a parishioner, a ‘responsible gun owner,’ Lucas said, who offered to keep the rifle locked up in a gun safe until the pastor is ready to destroy it.”
For that transfer of possession to be legal under Oregon law, the Christ Church Episcopal parishioner should have undergone a background check at a licensed gun dealer while Lucas was present. If that did not happen, Lucas may have committed a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $6,250 and as much as a year in jail.
Lucas has said he plans to cooperate fully with the investigation and he has offered some platitudes about advancing the conversation regarding guns. He has definitely done that — but for the gun rights side:
“If the pastor is prosecuted, it will demonstrate the idiocy of the law and the people who passed it,” [Oregon Firearms Federation Executive Director Kevin] Starrett told The Review on Wednesday. “If the pastor is not prosecuted, it will demonstrate that anti-gun liberals are above the law and it was only intended to hurt the average gun owner, against whom it could be selectively enforced.”
The issue here is the amount of idiocy involved in restraining this constitutionally protected right. Lucas is accused of accidentally transferred a firearm illegally. There is no other constitutionally protected right where one can so easily find themselves charged with a felony by a simple mistake.
In this case, Lucas was not transferring ownership of the gun, so he thought nothing of handing it off to someone who had a gun safe. However, the laws Lucas supports claim that doesn’t matter, and now he’s facing charges.
Such laws turn many Americans into felons, despite them being upstanding citizens. Such laws protect no one.
While I find it hysterical Lucas finds himself in trouble for violating the laws he apparently supports, I’d much prefer such idiotic laws find themselves in the dustbin of history.