[Posted May 22, 2009] The Supreme Court today decides by order one of the appeals argued in the April session. Riddick v. Commonwealth involves a conviction of a person for, among other things, possessing explosive materials after having been convicted of a felony.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about weapons, but this ruling surprised me in one respect. The explosive materials Riddick possessed are described in today’s order as “Fiocchi Caliber 25 auto cartridges.” According to the evidence in the case, the cartridges “function by explosion; when the firing pin of a firearm strikes the primer at the base of a cartridge, a spark occurs igniting gunpowder and the gases from this explosion propels the bullet down the barrel of the firearm.”

Unless I’m mistaken, Riddick’s “explosive materials” are plain old bullets; not exactly what I think of when someone uses the term explosive material. Nevertheless, the court today affirms the conviction, finding that these cartridges are indeed explosives. I have never researched federal ATF laws, so I don’t know if this ruling is consistent with decisions from federal courts as to whether bullets constitute explosives. But for now, that’s the law in Virginia.

Since this order is unpublished, and will not appear in Virginia Reports, any of my readers who want a copy may contact me for one.