United States v. Kirkland, No. 16-10514 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted as a felon in possession of a destructive device, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) and for possessing an unregistered destructive device, 26 U.S.C. 5861(d). The Ninth Circuit affirmed, rejecting the defendant’s argument that the definition of “destructive device” in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4)(C) requires possession of every component necessary to construct a functional weapon, and that he would be entitled to a judgment of acquittal because the government did not introduce any evidence to establish that he possessed the eight C-cell batteries needed for the device in question to operate. Section 921(a)(4)(C) requires only that the defendant possess a combination of parts from which a functional device “may be readily assembled.” The requirement does not categorically exclude situations in which the assembly process entails the acquisition and addition of a new part and the “readily assembled” element can still be met so long as the defendant could acquire the missing part quickly and easily, and so long as the defendant could incorporate the missing part quickly and easily.