Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man who was acquitted after fatally shooting two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020, is now asking a court to give him back the weapon that was used in the killings. He promises the court that once he receives the firearm he will “properly” destroy it.
According to CNN, the request was filed on Wednesday, Jan. 19, in a Kenosha County Circuit Court by the teenager’s attorney, Mark Richards.
The document filed on behalf of the 19-year-old notes that the rifle and other personal items were seized from him when he was arrested on Aug. 25, 2020. Richards wrote in the filing, “Mr. Rittenhouse further wishes to ensure that the firearm in question is properly destroyed.”
David Hancock, a spokesperson for the young man’s family, stated that in addition to destroying the rifle, he also wanted to discard the clothing he was wearing. The family believes that items such as the gun or what he wore during the shooting might be used to “celebrate” the violence perpetrated that day, MarketWatch reports.
Hancock says, “At the end of the day, two people did lose their lives, period. That weapon was involved in that. That weapon doesn’t belong on a mantle. It doesn’t belong in a museum.”
“It belongs where Kyle wants it, and Kyle wants it destroyed,” he continued. “There’s plenty of people out there who would like to hold these items up, on both sides. That’s nothing Kyle’s interested in.”
Two years ago, when Rittenhouse was 17, had traveled from Illinois to Wisconsin visit his sister’s ex-boyfriend when he began participating in the counter-protests to the demonstrations that sprang up after a Kenosha officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back and left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Rittenhouse originally stated that he had the AR-15 style rifle to protect private property that might be damaged by protestors. However, he wound up using the weapon to shoot and kill two men, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, then 26, during the action of civil unrest. The teen maintains that he fired at the men in self-defense.
Rittenhouse’s gun was purchased for him by his sister’s ex-boyfriend Dominick Black, who kept the gun at his house in Kenosha. He allowed Rittenhouse to carry it on the night of the fatal shootings.
Black, who was 19 at the time, acquired the Smith and Wesson M&P rifle from the Ladysmith Ace Home Center in Wisconsin.
He purchased the gun for Rittenhouse because younger teen was not old enough to buy it. The understanding, according to Black’s testimony, was that he would keep the gun until Rittenhouse turned 18. Those plans changed the night of the protest.
Richards contends in the filing, the minor “per the verbal contract enacted with Dominick Black,” was the lawful owner of the weapon, the Hill reports.
Because he purchased the gun for a minor, Black was also criminally indicted for the events of that night.
On Nov. 3, 2020, Black was charged with two felony charges of delivering a dangerous weapon to a minor, resulting in death. The man faced up to 12 years in prison for the crime.
His attorney worked with assistant district attorney Thomas Binger on a proposed plea deal and filed it on Friday, Jan. 7. If a judge agrees to the terms offered, Black will plead guilty to a county ordinance violation entitled “Contributing to the Delinquency of a child” and both of his felony counts will be dismissed with prejudice.
As a penalty, for his non-criminal citation, he will only be fined $2000.
Nik Clark, the President of Wisconsin Carry, Inc., Wisconsin’s largest non-NRA affiliated gun-rights group, said regarding the plea, “I’m glad to see that this isn’t something that’s going to impact him (Black) in the long-term. I find the plea palatable, but not just. Wisconsin’s complex gun laws are like a minefield, making it difficult for even the law-abiding to navigate.”
Gun laws worked in Rittenhouse’s favor. He was charged, tried, and acquitted for the deaths of the two men, despite being too young to own a gun. The National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR) raised over $50,000 for his legal fees before the trial.
In 2022, Rittenhouse is now old enough to purchase (and own) a weapon without help. After his acquittal, according to Newsweek, he received from the Gun Owners of America (GOA) an AR-15 assault rifle for his pleasure.
A court hearing on the motion to return Rittenhouse’s personal property is scheduled for Jan. 28.
In addition to the gun, other items he is asking to be returned are a 30-round capacity magazine, bullets, an iPhone, a cloth face mask, the clothing he had on, and $1.
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