United States v. Thomas, No. 09-4335-cr (2d Cir. December 16, 2010) (Jacobs, Kearse, Straub, CJJ)
The circuit has twice upheld strict liability nature of the “stolen gun” enhancement, currently codified as U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(4)(A). Here, the defendant raised the issue again, arguing that Apprendi and its progeny have undermined the circuit precedent on this point, and also made an equal protection claim.
The circuit affirmed. Apprendi does not apply because the enhancement does not alter the statutory maximum penalty, and the Booker line does not affect the analysis, because those cases “concern the advisory nature of the Guidelines” and not “the validity of any particular guideline.”
Thomas also argued that “emerging data” indicated that many firearms are erroneously reported stolen and that this should cause the court to revisit the issue. The court disagreed, finding that this data “actually reinforce[d]” the existing rule. Guns that are falsely reported as stolen …