U.S. v. Lathan, s. 75--1747

Decision Date10 March 1976
Docket NumberNos. 75--1747,76--1137,s. 75--1747
Citation531 F.2d 955
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James Donald LATHAN, Jr., Defendant-Appellant (two cases).
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
OPINION

Before BARNES and GOODWIN, Circuit Judges, and SCHNACKE, * District Judge.

BARNES, Circuit Judge:

On August 18, 1975, this court, by this panel, filed an order remanding the above entitled matter bearing number 75--1747 to the District Court Judge who heard the case below, 'with instructions to forthwith correct or clarify the judgment,' relating to the difference between the court's finding that there was proof of the receipt of a firearm (R.T. 34--35); and the Clerk's Transcript, reading that the defendant was found guilty of possession of a firearm. 1 (C.T. p. 8).

There is now before this court the corrected Judgment and Commitment, filed in the District Court on September 22, 1975, correcting the conviction from one of possession to one of receipt of a firearm in violation of the same statute. (C.T. p. 2) No new evidence was produced. The same sentence was imposed. On appeal to this court, a new number on appeal was given--No. 76--1137. Appellant has been out of custody on bond during each appeal.

The sole issue which Lathan raises on each appeal is that the facts before the District Court did not support his conviction for receipt of a firearm by a felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. App. § 1202(a). That statute provides in pertinent part:

'Any person who . . . has been convicted by a court of the United States or of a State or any political subdivision thereof of a felony . . . and who receives, possesses, or transports in commerce or affecting commerce . . . any firearm shall be fined no more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.'

At trial, it was stipulated that Lathan had been convicted in 1971 of five felony violations. It was further stipulated that the firearm involved in this case was manufactured in Belgium, and purchased by Browning Arms Company of Morgan, Utah. The firearm was purchased from Browning Arms by the proprietor of the Santa Ana Gun Room in Santa Ana, California, and was received by him on November 28, 1962. On March 8, 1963, the firearm was sold to one Donald Goodwin. The parties also stipulated that the firearm was found in the defendant's home in San Clemente, California on November 20, 1974. See Exhibit 1.

The trial judge found Lathan guilty of receiving a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. App. § 1202(a), but not of possessing. In so holding, the district judge stated: 'Our Circuit and the Supreme Court, it seems to me, make it clear that there is a difference in terms of the nexus with commerce which must be shown between the possession offense and the receipt offense; and that the requisites in the Government's case, the requisites of the receipt offense, are clearly shown.' (R.T. 34--35) Lathan contends on appeal that the district judge misstated the law in this Circuit. We do not agree and hold that the District Court's ruling was correct.

In United States v. Bass, 404 U.S. 336, 92 S.Ct. 515, 30 L.Ed.2d 488 (1971), the Supreme Court first recognized this distinction between possessing and receiving under 18 U.S.C. App. § 1202(a). The Court stated:

'Having concluded that the commerce requirement in § 1202(a) must be read as part of the 'possesses' and 'receives' offenses, we add a final word about the nexus with interstate commerce that must be shown in individual cases. The Government can obviously meet its burden in a variety of ways. We note only some of these. For example, a person 'possesses . . . in commerce or affecting commerce' if at the time of the offense the gun was moving interstate or on an interstate facility, or if the possession affects commerce. Significantly broader in reach, however, is the offense of 'receiv(ing) . . . in commerce or affecting commerce,' for we conclude that the Government meets its burden here if it demonstrates that the firearm received has previously traveled in interstate commerce.'

Id. at 350, 92 S.Ct. at 524 (emphasis added).

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4 cases
  • U.S. v. Haddad, 77-1411
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • August 10, 1977
    ...has previously traveled in interstate commerce." United States v. Bass, 404 U.S. at 350, 92 S.Ct. at 524; see United States v. Lathan, 531 F.2d 955 (9th Cir. 1976); United States v. Giannoni, 472 F.2d 136 (9th Cir.) cert. denied, 411 U.S. 935, 93 S.Ct. 1911, 36 L.Ed.2d 396 (1973). The Court......
  • U.S. v. Robbins, 78-1056
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • August 10, 1978
    ...States v. Haddad, 9 Cir., 1977, 558 F.2d 968, 972-73; United States v. Mitchell, 9 Cir., 1977, 557 F.2d 1290, 1292; United States v. Lathan, 9 Cir., 1976, 531 F.2d 955, which while it involved § 1202(a), Supra, was a case in which the charge was receiving the firearm rather than possessing ......
  • U.S. v. Malone, 75-2636
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • June 17, 1976
    ...commerce required in a possession case. United States v. Bass, 404 U.S. 336, 92 S.Ct. 515, 30 L.Ed.2d 488 (1971); United States v. Lathan, 531 F.2d 955 (9th Cir. 1976); United States v. Cassity, 509 F.2d 682 (9th Cir. While we recognize that the distinction between the interstate nexus requ......
  • U.S. v. Mitchell
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • July 20, 1977
    ...commerce power has been found satisfied where the firearm received has once been transported in interstate commerce. United States v. Lathan, 531 F.2d 955 (9th Cir. 1976); United States v. Giannoni, 472 F.2d 136 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 411 U.S. 935, 93 S.Ct. 1911, 36 L.Ed.2d 396 ...

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