United States v. Musso, No. 18-1260 (1st Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit reversed the district court’s pretrial dismissal of four charges of violations of the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. 5801 et seq. brought against Defendant, reinstated those counts, and remanded this case for further proceedings, holding that the result reached by the district court was contrary to the complete text and context of the NFA and not what Congress intended.
The charges against Defendant arose from Defendant’s act of purchasing four military M67 fragmentation grenades from an FBI agent during an undercover sting operation. Before the sale, the FBI had replaced each grenade’s original, operable fuze with an inoperable one. The district court concluded that because the operable fuzes had been replaced with inoperable fuzes, the grenades were not “explosive grenades” under the NFA. The First Circuit reversed, holding that, based on the admitted facts, statutory context, and Congress’s intent in enacting the “explosive grenade” provision of the NFA, each grenade as purchased by Defendant was an “explosive grenade” under the NFA.