Black v. United States, No. 12-2373 (6th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Black was arrested for driving without a license. He had a starter pistol in his waistband and a live 7.62 caliber round in his pocket. A search of the car revealed five loaded firearms in its trunk. Black was convicted of three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) and 924(e). Because he had three prior convictions for violent crimes, Black was subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. 5845(e), resulting in a Sentencing Guidelines base offense level of 34 and a range of 262-327 months. The district court sentenced Black to 300 months in prison. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting challenges to evidentiary rulings relating to the issue of whether Black suffered from a severe mental disease or defect; to the judge’s refusal to instruct the jury on the consequences of a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity; and to the validity of the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. 924(e)(2)(B)(ii). Black also argued that the district court improperly construed the National Firearms Act, which raised his base offense level based on the type of firearm he possessed. See USSG § 4B1.4(b)(3)(A).