70yr old Decorated VIETNAM POW and WAR veteran sentenced to 87 months in Federal prison for not registering a gun 40 year ago.
Alfred Pick is 70 years old. He is a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Silver Star. He participated in more than 100 combat missions and even spent time as a POW.
By all measures, this man is a hero. But he has spent the past year behind bars. Why? ATF agents raided his home and found an unregistered gun.
Back in the 1970s, Pick purchased an automatic M-14 rifle at a gun show in Texas. At the time, the law required that he register the weapon with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and send the ATF a check for two hundred as a registration tax. The laws surrounding these weapons changed in 1986. Before then, it was relatively easy to purchase and own these types of weapons.
Throughout the years, Congress has passed “amnesties” to allow gun owners to register weapons that they might have forgotten to register in the past. Most of the time, these windows are opened to let veterans and their families register their heirlooms and war trophies. Alfred Pick missed all of the amnesties and there hasn’t been a new one in years.
ATF agents raided his home shortly after his wife died and found the gun. He has been in custody ever since. Alfred Pick was just sentenced to 7 years in prison for possessing the unregistered firearm. He was legally allowed to own it and never committed a crime in his life. But for the crime of forgetting to file paperwork and not paying the two hundred dol.lar tax, this American hero is now going to prison.
Pick’s friends came to court to support him as he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 87 months in prison. District Judge Marcia A. Crone handed down the sentence, according to CBS DFW.
Shackelford lamented the severity of his friend’s punishment.
“Somebody that made one mistake,” he said, “and now 50 years later he’s paying a really big price for it.”
Pick should have known better some other Vietnam veterans said.