United Sates v. Gravel, No. 10-1045-cr (2d Cir. June 20, 2011) (Pooler, Wesley, Chin, CJJ) (per curiam)
The court’s latest per curiam looks at the firearm guideline’s six-level enhancement for “machineguns.” See U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(a)(5).
The defendant’s gun was a Colt machinegun, initially designed to fire automatically, but had been retrofitted to fire only semi-automatically. Defendant argued that since the definition uses the present tense – a machinegun is “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot” – his now semi-automatic weapon should not receive the enhancement. Looking to the dictionary definition of “designed,” the court held that, when applied to a “manufactured object such as a firearm,” the word referred to what the gun was “conceived of and designed for and not to any modifications made afterwards.”
Here, since the gun was made for use as an automatic weapon, the retrofitting did not “change the fundamental design of the weapon” or “redesign” it into something else.