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postal16
12-19-2008, 11:19 AM
I heard more about this case on the radio this morning, and they said that the DA is pressing to charge this guy with possessing and manufacturing a "illegal" assualt rifle.

http://m.news10.net/news.jsp?key=144024

Does anyone know anything about this as far as if the gun was in fact in a illegal configuration or a legal one?

I am curious if this may turn into the OLL test case (assuming the suspect is in compliance with the law of course)?

bwiese
12-19-2008, 11:25 AM
Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Robert Clancy filed the new charge alleging illegal conversion of a firearm. The initial charge against Chu Vue, still in effect, is possession of an illegal assault rifle. Vue is suspected of piecing together the same unregistered Star 15 assault rifle which police found in Vue's home during a search.

Vue is suspected of being involved in the October 15 murder of correctional officer Steve Lo who was gunned down while in full uniform in his Sacramento garage as he was leaving to go to work at the California Medical facility in Vacaville, according to Sacramento police detectives. No charges have been filed in connection to the murder.

At an earlier bail hearing, Clancy revealed the suspected motive is that Vue's wife, who is also a correctional officer, was having an affair with Lo.

The second charge added Friday is significant in that it's a felony punishable by four to eight years upon conviction. The original possession charge is considered a "wobbler" in legal parlance, meaning it can be either a felony or a misdemeanor.

Vue has pleaded not guilty to both charges. "We are certainly not conceding this is an assault rifle," said one of Vue's attorneys Tom Johnson.

The former deputy, fired the week following his arrest, posted bail earlier this week and attended court with his wife and other family members. Peppered with questions after the hearing, Vue refused to say anything.

His attorneys asked for more time to examine the weapon in question and to consider filing a motion to unseal search warrant affidavits which are believed to contain more details on suspicions Vue may have been involved in the murder.

In documents filed to support sealing the warrant, detectives indicated they don't believe Vue actually shot Lo but was somehow involved "in the planning and/or execution of the crime." Law enforcement sources say it appears Vue never left his post at work at Sacramento's branch jail during the time Lo was murdered.

Vue is expected back in court next month. "He's not going anywhere," said Johnson. "He's going to be home, raising his kids and being a father."
Interesting that murder charges have not been filed.
I think the AW charges will go low-priority if murder charge is filed.
I think this is something on which to keep him 'in the system'.

As for the AW we really don't know if it's a legit-equipped OLL.

Given what I've been finding out about cops & unreg'd AWs, iit's probably not - he may well've been riding on a 'brass pass'.

DDT
12-19-2008, 11:31 AM
One more to add your your list.

But I'm sure that only murderous cops would dare possess an AW and not in a proportion equal to greater than law abiding RKBA activists.


Edit: Lest anyone miss it. The second sentence in this post is purely sarcasm. I actually believe that police officers are no less likely to violate the AWB than other people who are otherwise law abiding citizens.

Scorpiusdeus
12-19-2008, 11:55 AM
Seems to me that they don't have squat on this guy and are grasping at straws.

Captain Evilstomper
12-19-2008, 12:30 PM
it sucks that they are thinking of charging him with an AW it throws the whole 'safe gun owner' thing under the bus.
if he was unconnected to a murder it would be a good case, ex deputy owning a legally config'd gun = another example of the 'common sense gun laws' being impossible to navigate even if you are on the right side of the law.
but it also doesn't say why he is an 'ex' deputy, that might also be bad for gun owners. you know because guns make you a killer, i guess.

hoffmang
12-19-2008, 12:36 PM
I've reached out to make sure his counsel gets in touch with The Right People.

-Gene

postal16
12-19-2008, 12:40 PM
Well, I find it interesting that his lawyers are not condeeding that it is indeed a AW.

I found this in my58's website

http://www.my58.com/download/2008/1024/17791471.pdf

it lists all the guns confescated, which includes a CMMG Mod4SA with 18-inch barrel that hasn't been mentioned by name in the news reports. There are 2 STAR-15 lowers mentioned in this report, but neither of them seem to be assembled.

This will be interesting to watch.

MikeH1
12-19-2008, 12:42 PM
I guess murder is OK as long as you don't do it with an evil black rifle

postal16
12-19-2008, 12:50 PM
It is also interesting to me that this is in Sacramento County, where they have the California Legal AW configuration memo posted somewhere here on Calguns...

Fjold
12-19-2008, 1:04 PM
They're charging him with the Star 15 as an AW but the list of seized items says "lower receiver Star15 cal 556"

An AW manufacturing charge on a lower receiver and not on the CMMG built rifle?

hoffmang
12-19-2008, 1:59 PM
Contact made and educational materials provided.

-Gene

Shotgun Man
12-19-2008, 2:02 PM
They're charging him with the Star 15 as an AW but the lis of siezed items just say "lower receiver Star15 cal 556"

An AW manufacturing charge on a lower receiver and not on the CMMG built rifle?

Good obs. This could be big.

ETA:Oh, I see postal saw it first.

postal16
12-19-2008, 2:08 PM
What I am curious about is if the DOJ and others may be trying to claim that by assembling a OLL into a rifle, one is manufacturing a firearm. If that is the case I do not see how assembling a rifle can be considered manufacturing, as manufacturing is the processes of taking raw materials and turning them into barrels, recievers, springs, ect. Assembling a gun from parts is not manufacturing it is applying the Lego skills we gathered as kids and having fun building a custom rifle!

bwiese
12-19-2008, 2:13 PM
What I am curious about is if the DOJ and others may be trying to claim that by assembling a OLL into a rifle, one is manufacturing a firearm. If that is the case I do not see how assembling a rifle can be considered manufacturing, as manufacturing is the processes of taking raw materials and turning them into barrels, recievers, springs, ect. Assembling a gun from parts is not manufacturing it is applying the Lego skills we gathered as kids and having fun building a custom rifle!

DOJ likely has nothing to do with this.

Also, this guy's issues are likely far larger than AW violations.

Nevertheless, there now seems to be a fair chance there are no AWs involved, so we don't wanna see bogus charges filed

Shotgun Man
12-19-2008, 2:15 PM
What I am curious about is if the DOJ and others may be trying to claim that by assembling a OLL into a rifle, one is manufacturing a firearm. If that is the case I do not see how assembling a rifle can be considered manufacturing, as manufacturing is the processes of taking raw materials and turning them into barrels, recievers, springs, ect. Assembling a gun from parts is not manufacturing it is applying the Lego skills we gathered as kids and having fun building a custom rifle!

This concept is an ongoing topic of discussion here at calguns. The consensus seems to be that assembling can equal manufacturing under some circumstances.

Ferinstance, if you assemble a high capacity mag parts kit that has never been assembled before, most here would agree you risk being prosecuted for manufacturing a high cap mag. (Of course, you would have a defense).

On the other hand, this same logic does not apply to the assembly of handguns because the manufacture of a handgun is generally to construed to occur when the receiver or frame was built.

That is how NRFs are soon to exist.

postal16
12-19-2008, 2:21 PM
Not to sound like a complete noob, but what does NRFs stand for?

Shotgun Man
12-19-2008, 2:25 PM
Not to sound like a complete noob, but what does NRFs stand for?

It's the lastest thing here at calguns and it is potentially huge. Defeat the handgun roster:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=136084

postal16
12-19-2008, 2:28 PM
Danke!

6172crew
12-19-2008, 2:54 PM
When it happened there was a new report and it showed the list of firearms and showed a Riesling and were saying it was a nfa weapon made from parts. I guess the news got it wrong again eh.

hoffmang
12-19-2008, 3:08 PM
From appearances, this guy has bigger issues than his OLL. We do not and probably will not know whether the rifle is configured correctly or not, but I do know that his counsel understands how to determine legality and has a copy of the AW Flow Chart.

-Gene

alex00
12-19-2008, 7:38 PM
The biggest point to keep in mind is that the Sacramento Police Department was the arresting agency. Shortly after his arrest for AW related charges, the Sacramento Police released the OLL memo. I doubt the arresting agency would release a memo like that, in the middle of a high profile case, if the gun in question was not configured in an illegal way.

LECTRIKHED
12-19-2008, 7:56 PM
Sounds to me like the CMMG was likely his duty rifle. I think they are adding the bogus manufacturing charge because they know that an AW charge for the same type rifle that he legally possesses and has a AW permit for is not going to look like such a bad thing in the eyes of a jury or judge.

As I see it and I believe the ATF would agree, the rifle in question was "Manufactured" by Star Arms, not Chu Vu. Buying a mosin nagant receiver without a barrel or stock and then adding them does not equate to manufacturing a mosin nagant.

alex00
12-19-2008, 8:05 PM
Sounds to me like the CMMG was likely his duty rifle.

He worked in the jail. Jail deputies are not issued duty rifles. The Sheriff's department does not give letters for personally owned rifles.

Solidmch
12-19-2008, 10:23 PM
Sounds to me like the CMMG was likely his duty rifle. I think they are adding the bogus manufacturing charge because they know that an AW charge for the same type rifle that he legally possesses and has a AW permit for is not going to look like such a bad thing in the eyes of a jury or judge.

As I see it and I believe the ATF would agree, the rifle in question was "Manufactured" by Star Arms, not Chu Vu. Buying a mosin nagant receiver without a barrel or stock and then adding them does not equate to manufacturing a mosin nagant.

Looks to me they thought that they could put heat on this guy to break. I am sure his phones are tapped. The charge is most likly bogas. Designed to put him in county lock up. People tend to freak out when locked up. Espeially cops. No one wants to be locked up and have your friends watch you. Then have several of them pissed cause they think you killed one of your own. Being out on bail comes with its own head trips too.

trashman
02-19-2009, 10:16 PM
Slight necro-update - this was in the news today.

However, Vue is not charged in Lo's death. Vue, who is free on $500,000 bail, was ordered today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd A. Phillips to stand trial for illegal possession of an assault weapon and the alteration of the weapon from the manufacturer's design.


...so it seems like the AW charges stuck, for now.

--Neill

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/crime/archives/019830.html

hoffmang
02-19-2009, 10:26 PM
We're monitoring this case closely. Obviously its not a proper CGF case for color reasons, but we're making sure that all of the issues are correctly handled.

-Gene

11Z50
02-20-2009, 7:53 AM
My guess is the Cops are looking at this guy for the 187 PC and the AW charges are a technique to make him sweat a bit until they can get the goods. Half a million in bail is very steep for a wobbler. The DA is definitely after this guy, since they had to argue the high bail with the judge.

The downside here is this could establish a dangerous precedent. If in fact the suspect did simply own an OLL, or a build in legal configuration, this could happen to any of us. Contempt of Cop, or DA, should not mean they can manufacture a case against you. If they can't make a murder case on the guy, they should leave him alone.

biglou
02-20-2009, 8:55 AM
Vue is suspected of piecing together the same unregistered Star 15 assault rifle .......... It appears he is being accused of assembly of the rifle. I was thinking, if someone were to build an OLL or any other lower for that matter to give to someone else to comitt a crime, would they put a bullet button on it ? Would they worry about OAL or mag capacity ? It sounds like they are trying to charge this guy with whatever they can pull out of their a**.

tgriffin
02-20-2009, 10:10 AM
Whats this alteration of manufactures design crap?

hoffmang
02-20-2009, 10:22 AM
Whats this alteration of manufactures design crap?

Something being lost in translation.

Some of the right people are on this.

-Gene