Raymond Fryberg was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms by a jury in a federal trial. The case serves as a warning for those who fail to contest domestic violence restraining orders. The restraining order used to convict Fryberg was granted in 2002. It was a permanent restraining order. The order was requested by Fryberg's former girlfriend, Jamie Gobin. The two have a child in common.
Originally, the restraining order was temporary. There was a hearing to determine if the restraining order should be permanent. Records show that Fryberg was served notice of the hearing, but he never showed up, and a permanent restraining order was granted. Thus, even though Fryberg was never convicted of a crime of domestic violence, the restraining order permanently prohibited him from owning firearms.
To complicate the matter, the restraining order did not show up in Federal background checks, because the tribal court had no requirement to submit it, and had not done so.
Browne said the problem started with the protection order, which was sought by Fryberg's former girlfriend, Jamie Gobin.Fryberg's attorney claims that Fryberg did not know did not know he was prohibited from owning guns. From kirotv.com:
A judge granted Gobin the permanent order because Fryberg never appeared at a hearing to contest it. However, the defense contended Fryberg was never notified about the hearing.
The officer who claimed to notify Fryberg was married to Gobin's sister and reported serving the notice at a nonexistent address, Browne said.
Browne says the protection order never made it clear that Fryberg couldn't own a gun. He even showed KIRO 7 a concealed weapons permit from the state dated Jan. 14, 2013, which was issued after the protection order.An important point in the case was that tribal court records showed that Fryberg plead no contest in 2012 to violating the restraining order. From seattletimes.com:
In 2012, Fryberg was found in violation of the order and fined $200 and placed on probation.Here is the court document showing that Fryberg was convicted of violating the protection order.
We cannot know what might have happened if Fryberg had shown up for the hearing in 2002. It is plausible that the restraining order would not have been made permanent, and that it would have expired after a year.
But that was not the case. 10 years later, he plead guilty to violating the restraining order. We do not know what happened to cause the plea deal, but most plea deals are the result of dropping more serious charges. I do not know the workings of the tribal court, so whether that happened or not is pure speculation.
Fryberg was never denied from purchasing a firearm or obtaining a concealed carry permit. The prosecution made the point that even though the restraining order was not in the system, Fryberg signed a statement saying that he would abide by the terms of the Order for Protection. Maybe he never read them. I have not read of any other convictions of Raymond Fryberg.
When a person buys a firearm from a federal dealer, a form 4473(pdf) is signed. Question h. on the form asks that if person is subject to a restraining order for domestic violence.
Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child ofsuch partner? (See Instructions for Question 11.h.)The question is one of 12 questions about the eligibility of a person to purchase a firearm on the 4473 form. Prosecutors emphasized that Raymond Fryberg checked "No" and signed the form.
Even when background checks are denied, they seldom result in prosecution. In 2010, there were over six million background checks. Only 72,659 were denied, and of those 94% were not deemed worthy of investigation. 4,184 cases were investigated by field offices, and of those, only 62 were prosecuted. Of the 62, 13 plead guilty, 10 involved a plea agreement, five were dismissed and 12 were pending at the time of the report. It is likely that a large number of denials are false positives, that is, they falsely deny people who should have been allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Background checks appear to be exceptionally ineffective at preventing criminals from obtaining firearms, a very inefficient use of resources.
Fryberg can now be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and fined up to $250,000.
The notorious nature of case where Fryberg's son, Jaylen, murdered four classmates, then committed suicide, was what resulted in the investigation and prosecution for illegal possession. The murder/suicide appears to have been precipitated by a teen romance.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch