U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- There was another twist in the Kyle Rittenhouse self-defense case in Kenosha Wisconsin recently.
Back on Thursday, 29 July 2021, a hearing was held concerning charges against Dominick Black by the District Attorney in Kenosha County. Two charges have been filed against Dominick. Both of them are for the intentional sale of a dangerous weapon to a person under the age of 18, which results in death.
The statute is Wisconsin 948.60(2)(c).
The presiding judge for the hearing and for the case is the Honorable Bruce E. Schroeder. Judge Schroeder is also the judge hearing the Rittenhouse case. Judge Schroeder has shown admirable restraint and a willingness to try the case on its merits, without bending to media and political pressure.
The two cases are closely intertwined. The history of 948.60(2)(c) shows it was meant to prevent the arming of minors who would go on to commit crimes. People who arm minors who have justifiably used firearms to defend themselves and others have traditionally not been charged with the transfer of a firearm to a minor. Those cases most commonly occur in a residence.
The Wisconsin law appears clear the transfer from Black to Rittenhouse was not criminal in itself, as explained in an earlier AmmoLand article. A case might be made the transfer was illegal if Rittenhouse used the rifle to commit murder, although it seems a stretch.
If the two people who were killed by Rittenhouse were shot in justifiable self-defense, then there is no crime under 948.60(2)(c), in an ordinary application of the law.
Consider a parallel example. If Black had transferred the rifle to Rittenhouse to go target shooting, it would be legal. If, on the range, Rittenhouse was attacked by multiple assailants, and he had to shoot two of them to preserve his life, it would be a travesty of justice to claim he should have thrown down the rifle, and died, rather than defend himself. The situation in Kenosha is legally the same, as Rittenhouse legally had possession of the rifle.
Thus, it makes sense for the Rittenhouse trial to be completed first before charges against Black are considered.
As Judge Schroeder is trying both cases, it seems likely, if Rittenhouse is found to have been justified, the charges against Dominick Black will be dismissed.
Such outcomes seem likely to an observer who was watched the available video evidence of what happened on July 25th, 2020.
But the Rittenhouse case is a political case, with strong partisan feelings transcending any sense of logic or reason. The dominant media has worked hard to claim Rittenhouse is guilty … of … something.
Other observers have considered whether Dominick Black would be charged by the ATF with the straw purchase of a firearm for Kyle Rittenhouse. It could happen. It has not happened so far, probably because the case is very weak.
The rifle was not transferred to Kyle Rittenhouse, except temporarily, as allowed under both Wisconsin and Federal law. After the rifle was purchased, it was kept at the home of Dominick Black’s Stepfather.
It is possible Dominick Black could be charged with perjury for filling out the federal form 4473, which states he is not purchasing the rifle for another person.
Again, this is a weak charge because the rifle was never permanently transferred to Kyle Rittenhouse, who had not yet turned 18.
Whether such charges will be filed is uncertain at the moment. Prosecutors can file charges on very flimsy grounds. The fact such charges have not been filed is an indicator of the lack of strong intent to file the charges.
The trial for Dominick Black is scheduled for November, 22nd, 2021, in Kenosha.
Jury selection for the Kyle Rittenhouse trial is scheduled for 1 November, 2021.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.