Man on Trial for Shotgun Shell Possession in DC Found Guilty of Possessing Inert 'Bullets' Instead

On March 26th Mark Witaschek's trial over his possession of a shotgun shell in his Washington, D.C., home took a turn, and he was found guilty of "attempted possession of unlawful ammunition" over 25 muzzleloader bullets which were also in his house – these are lead and copper bullets without primers.

In other words, they are inert; one could hit them with a hammer or throw them into a fire and there would be no explosion because such bullets have no gunpowder encased behind them.

According to The Washington Times, Judge Robert Morin ruled on the muzzleloader bullets when the prosecution team could not figure out how to open the shotgun shell to see if there "was powder inside." Morin shook the shell and listened to it and "said he could not hear any gunpowder."

Concerning the muzzleloader bullets, Morin said, "I am persuaded these are bullets. They look like bullets. They are hollow-point. They are not musket balls."

Morin "sentenced Mr. Witaschek to time served, a $50 fine, and required him to enroll with the Metropolitan Police Department's firearm offenders' registry within 48 hours."

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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