United States v. Hardin, No. 17-1616 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that evidence regarding the firearm's operability was properly excluded because it would have yielded substantial juror confusion without having significant probative value regarding the issue of weapon design; the firearm, a .380 Cobra, qualified as a firearm for purposes of the statute despite its missing pieces and broken parts; and proof that the firearm was operable was not required because the language of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3) requires only that the weapon was designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. The court held however that the district court erred by sentencing defendant under the Armed Career Criminal Act in light of the court's en banc decision in United States v. Naylor, 887 F.3d 397 (8th Cir. 2018) (en banc). Therefore, the court vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing.