WorldNetDaily has a bad habit of uncritically repeating claims made by the right-wing Gun Owners of America without verifying them, let alone bothering to tell the full story.
WND does it again in a Nov. 10 article reporting on the case of David Olofson, who is serving a prison sentence for, according to WND, "simply for loaning a broken gun to a friend." The truth is much more complicated than that -- not that WND will tell you.
WND writes that "The case arose when Olofson loaned an Olympic Arms AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to a friend, who fired it at a gun range. The weapon reportedly misfired, letting loose several shots at the same time, and drew the interest of authorities." Americans are largely prohibited from owning fully automatic weapons. WND regurgitates GOA's claims that "There is nothing illegal about owning an AR-15 that occasionally misfires."
Here's what WND won't tell you, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert said Olofson knew or should have known the gun in question fired automatically.
"This was a man who has considerable knowledge of weapons, considerable knowledge of machine guns," Clevert said. "Mr. Olofson, in this court's view, has shown he was ignoring the law."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad noted that Olofson had two previous gun-related convictions, including carrying a concealed weapon with his children trick-or-treating. He also noted that Olofson was reprimanded for corrupting Army computers and perhaps providing militia groups access to sensitive information.
People can legally own fully automatic, military-type M-16 rifles, but they must have a federal license and cannot transfer it to someone else.
According to court records, Kiernicki turned the rifle's firing selector to the third position, pulled the trigger, and three bullets fired with each pull. Then the weapon jammed. The automatic gunfire was reported to police, who contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Kiernicki testified Olofson told him the third position was for automatic firing, but it jammed, court records indicate. He also testified Olofson told him he had fired the weapon on the automatic setting at that same range without a problem, according to the records.
Clevert said the key was not what parts were in the weapon but whether it operated in automatic mode. He played a video used at trial showing ATF agents firing Olofson's weapon in automatic mode. He also noted that in one ATF test, the rifle didn't fire automatically when military-grade ammunition was used.
Haanstad said Olofson had provided weapons and ammunition to so many people he couldn't keep track. A search of his home turned up books on converting rifles to fully automatic, and e-mail on his computer showed he bought M-16 parts, records show.
Olofson had contact with vigilante groups and professed to be part of the sovereign movement, which doesn't acknowledge federal laws as applying to them, Haanstad said.
See what you learn when you don't trust WND as a news source?