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The judge seemed inclined to throw out this charge since he repeatedly asked how the bullets could be illegal if the gun that they go in was not.

During lunch, the government came up with a list from ATF of types of muzzleloader rifles that could be converted to use rimfire ammunition. Not that Mr. Witaschek owned one of these nor was modern ammo at issue in the trial.

Nevertheless Judge Morin said, “I’m persuaded these are bullets. They look like bullets. They are hollow point. They are not musket balls.” He then ruled that Mr. Witaschek had possessed “beyond a reasonable doubt” the metal pieces in D.C.

The judge, however, still seemed to think this was a strange issue for a court. “It’s taken four lawyers all afternoon to get through an interpretation of whether or not these are lawful,” he noted.

Before sentencing, Mr. Witaschek addressed the judge.

“I’ve never been arrested in my life up until this incident,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. “My use of firearms is strictly recreational. I’ve never had any criminal intent.”

The businessman asked for leniency so that he would not lose his license to practice his financial management company.

“I run the risk of losing my job, my occupation, as a result of this conviction,” he said. “I ask the court not to add to that burden of what’s already been done to my life over the last two years.”

(Spc. Adam Meckler, who was also convicted of possession of ammunition, but no gun. When I profiled him, he said that the worse part was going to the police station to be put on D.C.’s gun offenders registry. Read my interview with him last year here: D.C. Arrests Vet for Unregistered Ammunition.)

The nation’s capital is overrun with criminals, yet the police and prosecutors continue to waste time and resources to go after law abiding people who inadvertently cross the ridiculous firearms laws.

What makes the situation more dire is that the unelected attorney general for D.C., Irvin Nathan, does not go after his rich, liberal buddies. Just a year ago, Mr. Nathan declined to prosecute NBC’s David Gregory for knowing breaking the law against possessing a “high-capacity magazine.” The attorney general said it was not in the interest of public safety. 

But when it comes to regular people like Spc. Meckler and Mr. Witaschek, Mr. Nathan believes having ammo but no gun makes them a danger to society. 

Good people are being destroyed by these vengeful prosecutions. 

Mr. Witaschek and his wife moved to Virginia after his arrest in 2012. On the way out of the courtroom after his conviction, Mr. Witaschek said that the court clerk came up to him privately and said, “I’m glad you don’t live in D.C. anymore. These people are nuts about guns.”

Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of“Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).