Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
Appeal from the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. Honorable Michael K. Mullen.
Arizona Hall, Jr., Appellant, Pro se, Tipton, MO.
Shaun J. Mackelprang, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, MO, for respondent.
Patricia L. Cohen, Judge. Sherri B. Sullivan, P.J., and Kurt S. Odenwald, J., concur.
Patricia L. Cohen, Judge
Defendant Arizona Hall appeals pro se from a judgment entered by the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis entered after a bench trial convicting him of four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Defendant claims the trial court erred in: (1) finding him guilty under Section 571.070, RSMo 2000, because the federal Gun Control Act (GCA) preempts state law; and (2) sentencing him as a prior offender. We affirm the convictions and remand for resentencing.
Factual and Procedural Background
On September 17, 2010, Officers Justin Ries and Marcus Alston drove to Defendant's house to execute a warrant for Defendant's arrest. Defendant answered the door, but he refused to step outside the door or allow the officers to enter. Defendant's guest allowed the officers entry to the house and, while they were searching for Defendant, the officers discovered two twelve-gauge shotguns, a 22-caliber rifle, and a 243-caliber rifle.
The State of Missouri charged Movant with four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. The indictment alleged that, in November 1987, Defendant " was convicted of the felony of Assault in the 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action" and that, on September 17, 2010, he knowingly possessed four firearms in violation of Section 571.070. The indictment did not allege that Defendant was a persistent offender.
Prior to trial, defense counsel filed motions to dismiss and to suppress, and Defendant filed numerous pro se motions, including a " motion of objection for lack of jurisdiction and motion to dismiss." In this motion, Defendant argued that the State improperly based the felon-in-possession charges upon his November 1987 conviction because he was " released from confinement in the year 2000, and completed successfully a term of parole where he was given a certified certificate from the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole restoring all his rights." Defendant also filed a pro se " motion to dismiss all charges and indictments," arguing that, at the time of his 1987 conviction, Section 571.070 did not prohibit him from owning a ...