PDA

View Full Version : Machine-gun owning Berkeley man gets probation, home detention


Steyr_223
03-23-2007, 2:19 PM
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/23/BAGIROQKJ330.DTL

(03-23) 12:01 PDT OAKLAND -- A Berkeley man was sentenced to three years' probation and six months of home detention today for possessing a machine gun in connection with the discovery of a cache of weapons after a 2005 fire at a liquor store below his apartment.

Leslie Tanigawa, 47, was ordered by U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen also to perform 250 hours of community service and to pay a $4,000 fine. Tanigawa must spend the six months of home detention while under electronic monitoring.

Tanigawa declined to comment after the hearing in a federal courtroom in Oakland today. In January, Tanigawa pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of a PWA Commando 5.56- mm machine gun.

On July 25, 2005, a fire broke out at the Black and White liquor store near Adeline and Emerson streets in Berkeley. Tanigawa, who lived above the store, called 911 to report the fire and then told responding firefighters that he had marijuana plants and guns in his apartment, authorities said.

After the fire was extinguished, Tanigawa agreed to allow Berkeley police to search his home, and officers found dozens of guns, including a sniper rifle, about two dozen assault rifles, shotguns, the machine gun and rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

Most of the guns were in a locked closet and had been inherited from an uncle nine months before the fire, Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Sprague wrote in a sentencing memorandum. Tanigawa voluntarily agreed to forfeit the weapons, the federal prosecutor said.

"Nonetheless, the number of firearms and the ammunition he possessed is troubling," Sprague wrote, adding that the sentence would deter Tanigawa from "engaging in similar unlawful behavior."

Tanigawa wasn't prosecuted for the marijuana, but Sprague cited the plants as reasons for a felony sentence.

Tanigawa's attorneys, Paul Wolf and Lynn Keslar of Oakland, described their client in court papers as a "productive and upstanding member of our community" and a "lifelong collector of legal firearms" who had never posed a danger to anyone.

In court today, the judge agreed.

"We do have a need to vigorously enforce our gun laws," Jensen said as Tanigawa nodded.

However, the judge noted that current federal sentencing guidelines recognize that "the offenders are different" and that "the threat to the community is different."

Jensen said Tanigawa did not present a threat to the community and would likely not run afoul of the law again. "That's pretty clear to me."

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.

6172crew
03-23-2007, 2:31 PM
He got off lucky imo. Id like to have a PWA machine gun, my old receiver was marked like that but wasnt a machine gun.

jumbopanda
03-23-2007, 2:33 PM
Funny how you can get a much harsher punishment for owning a semi-auto "assault weapon".

SunshineGlocker
03-23-2007, 2:38 PM
When jury duty calls, answer!

triggerhappy
03-23-2007, 2:41 PM
Yeah. The key is "nullify"

MotoGuy
03-23-2007, 2:45 PM
Funny how you can get a much harsher punishment for owning a semi-auto "assault weapon".

It said he had 24 assault rifles.

xenophobe
03-23-2007, 3:19 PM
I'm pretty sure the PWA would have to be an illegal conversion. I'm not positive but I don't think Pac West Arms produced receivers before May 1986.

I wondering if the PWA was just semi-automatic and is being misrepresented here...

JPglee1
03-23-2007, 3:20 PM
I'm pretty sure the PWA would have to be an illegal conversion. I'm not positive but I don't think Pac West Arms produced receivers before May 1986.

I wondering if the PWA was just semi-automatic and is being misrepresented here...

DIAS or LL maybe?

J

MotoGuy
03-23-2007, 3:29 PM
I'm pretty sure the PWA would have to be an illegal conversion. I'm not positive but I don't think Pac West Arms produced receivers before May 1986.

I wondering if the PWA was just semi-automatic and is being misrepresented here...

It was Federal court, so it must be a NFA thing.

DedEye
03-23-2007, 3:37 PM
This guy was a dumbass for consenting to a search in the first place.

SunshineGlocker
03-23-2007, 3:46 PM
This guy was a dumbass for consenting to a search in the first place.

Yeah, I saw that too. Stupid. "Can I take a look around?" "Not without a warrant signed by a judge." That's the right answer.

mark3lb
03-23-2007, 4:11 PM
He should of had OLL rifles, then he'd only get busted for the weed:D

James R.
03-23-2007, 4:31 PM
Gotta love statements like this one...

"Nonetheless, the number of firearms and the ammunition he possessed is troubling," Sprague wrote

Just goes to show how deep the anti gun bias runs. Nobody cares if you have 1000 cases of wine in your garage or own a stable of ultra fast sports cars registered to drive on the street. But you have a certain number of firearms despite only having two hands and suddenly your situation is, "troubling".

Regards,

James R.

JPglee1
03-23-2007, 4:36 PM
He should of had OLL rifles, then he'd only get busted for the weed:D

He was prolly medical... it was in Berkeley afterall :D :cool:

J

luvtolean
03-23-2007, 4:42 PM
Gotta love statements like this one...

"Nonetheless, the number of firearms and the ammunition he possessed is troubling," Sprague wrote

Just goes to show how deep the anti gun bias runs. Nobody cares if you have 1000 cases of wine in your garage or own a stable of ultra fast sports cars registered to drive on the street. But you have a certain number of firearms despite only having two hands and suddenly your situation is, "troubling".

Regards,

James R.

Or a bunch of illegal pot!

The dude only had one assault rifle, despite what the article said, and the sniper rifle reference was asinine.

newtothis
03-23-2007, 7:24 PM
Berkeley has on the books the following ordinance:

Section 13.74.020 Definitions.


A. For purposes of this chapter, the term "semi-automatic weapons" means any semi-automatic action rifle or carbine with a barrel of sixteen inches or more, which accepts a detachable magazine with a capacity of more than five rounds, which fires a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger, including but not limited to the following weapons, their copies, or weapons manufactured to reasonably resemble: AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles, AR- 180 semi-automatic assault rifles, Uzi semi-automatic assault rifles or carbines, Ingram Mac-10 semi-automatic assault carbines, Ingram Mac-II semi-automatic assault carbines, Heckler and Koch 93 semi-automatic assault rifles, Heckler and Koch 91 semi-automatic assault rifles, Heckler and Koch 94 semi-automatic assault carbines, AKS-47 semi-automatic assault rifles, AKM-47 semi-automatic assault rifles, Avtomat Kalashnikov weapons of all varieties, M1-A semi-automatic assault rifles, M1 semi-automatic carbine, Thompson semi-automatic carbines, Auto Ordinance semi-automatic carbines of all varieties, and Fox-45 semi-automatic carbine.
B. For purposes of this chapter, the term "person" means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, club, or society.
C. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, the term "semi-automatic weapon" shall not include any weapons, the sale or possession of which is expressly authorized by or which is required to be licensed or registered under state law, including but not limited to Penal Code Section 12200 ("machine gun"), Sections 12021 and 12025 (pistol, revolver or other firearm which is capable of being concealed upon one's person), Section 12020(b)(1), (5), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), and/or (12) (including antique or relic firearm, or movie prop), Section 12020(c) (short-barreled rifle or shotgun), or Section 12031 (carrying a loaded firearm in a public place or a vehicle.) (Ord. 5909-NS 2, 1989)

Section 13.74.030 Sale or possession of semi-automatic weapons prohibited.


A. Except as herein provided, no person shall sell, offer or display for sale, give, manufacture, lend or transfer ownership of, or possess any semi-automatic weapon, as herein defined, within the City of Berkeley.
B. So as to facilitate the orderly disposition of the weapons covered by this chapter, any individual or entity within the City of Berkeley in possession of such weapons upon the effective date of this chapter shall have fifteen calendar days to remove said weapon from within the City limits, or to transfer title and possession of such weapon either to a dealer licensed pursuant to Article 4 of the California Penal Code (commencing at Section 12250), or to the City of Berkeley Police Department.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
1. The acquisition, possession, or disposition of semi-automatic weapons, as herein defined, by any police department, sheriff's office, marshall's office, the California Highway Patrol, and any other federal, state and local law enforcement agency personnel who use such weapons in the discharge of their official duties, or by full-time officers, employees or agent thereof when on duty and for whom the use of semi-automatic weapons is within the scope of their duties.
2. To the possession of any semi-automatic weapon, as herein defined, by any federal, state or local museum, historical society or institutional collection which is open to the public, provided that such weapon is properly housed, secured from unauthorized handling, and is unloaded. (Ord. 5909-NS 3, 1989)

Section 13.74.040 Remedies--Not exclusive.


A. The remedies provided under this chapter are in addition to any the City or any person might have under applicable law.
B. The violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor.
C. Any person found to be in possession of any semi-automatic weapon, as herein defined, within the City of Berkeley, except as herein provided, shall be liable to the City of Berkeley for a civil penalty of five thousand dollars per day for each such weapon possessed, not to exceed a maximum of fifty thousand dollars per weapon. The City Attorney may bring a civil action under this section for injunctive and other relief. All payments under this section shall be used exclusively for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter or for enforcing State of California narcotics, controlled substances, and related statutes.
D. Any semi-automatic weapon which is seized under this ordinance, following the provision to the owner of reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard, may be destroyed as contraband. (Ord. 5909-NS 4, 1989)

You can legally by them in Cailfornia...just can't keep them in Berkeley. This is from their city website and I thought this was thrown out but I'm not sure.


The guy could have been fined $5K per day per "assault" rifle. I guess this oedinance wasn't invoked since his fine was only $4K.

James R.
03-23-2007, 7:30 PM
Berkeley has on the books the following ordinance:

Section 13.74.020 Definitions.


A. For purposes of this chapter, the term "semi-automatic weapons" means any semi-automatic action rifle or carbine with a barrel of sixteen inches or more, which accepts a detachable magazine with a capacity of more than five rounds, which fires a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger, including but not limited to the following weapons, their copies, or weapons manufactured to reasonably resemble: AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles, AR- 180 semi-automatic assault rifles, Uzi semi-automatic assault rifles or carbines, Ingram Mac-10 semi-automatic assault carbines, Ingram Mac-II semi-automatic assault carbines, Heckler and Koch 93 semi-automatic assault rifles, Heckler and Koch 91 semi-automatic assault rifles, Heckler and Koch 94 semi-automatic assault carbines, AKS-47 semi-automatic assault rifles, AKM-47 semi-automatic assault rifles, Avtomat Kalashnikov weapons of all varieties, M1-A semi-automatic assault rifles, M1 semi-automatic carbine, Thompson semi-automatic carbines, Auto Ordinance semi-automatic carbines of all varieties, and Fox-45 semi-automatic carbine.
B. For purposes of this chapter, the term "person" means any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, club, or society.
C. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, the term "semi-automatic weapon" shall not include any weapons, the sale or possession of which is expressly authorized by or which is required to be licensed or registered under state law, including but not limited to Penal Code Section 12200 ("machine gun"), Sections 12021 and 12025 (pistol, revolver or other firearm which is capable of being concealed upon one's person), Section 12020(b)(1), (5), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), and/or (12) (including antique or relic firearm, or movie prop), Section 12020(c) (short-barreled rifle or shotgun), or Section 12031 (carrying a loaded firearm in a public place or a vehicle.) (Ord. 5909-NS 2, 1989)

Section 13.74.030 Sale or possession of semi-automatic weapons prohibited.


A. Except as herein provided, no person shall sell, offer or display for sale, give, manufacture, lend or transfer ownership of, or possess any semi-automatic weapon, as herein defined, within the City of Berkeley.
B. So as to facilitate the orderly disposition of the weapons covered by this chapter, any individual or entity within the City of Berkeley in possession of such weapons upon the effective date of this chapter shall have fifteen calendar days to remove said weapon from within the City limits, or to transfer title and possession of such weapon either to a dealer licensed pursuant to Article 4 of the California Penal Code (commencing at Section 12250), or to the City of Berkeley Police Department.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
1. The acquisition, possession, or disposition of semi-automatic weapons, as herein defined, by any police department, sheriff's office, marshall's office, the California Highway Patrol, and any other federal, state and local law enforcement agency personnel who use such weapons in the discharge of their official duties, or by full-time officers, employees or agent thereof when on duty and for whom the use of semi-automatic weapons is within the scope of their duties.
2. To the possession of any semi-automatic weapon, as herein defined, by any federal, state or local museum, historical society or institutional collection which is open to the public, provided that such weapon is properly housed, secured from unauthorized handling, and is unloaded. (Ord. 5909-NS 3, 1989)

Section 13.74.040 Remedies--Not exclusive.


A. The remedies provided under this chapter are in addition to any the City or any person might have under applicable law.
B. The violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor.
C. Any person found to be in possession of any semi-automatic weapon, as herein defined, within the City of Berkeley, except as herein provided, shall be liable to the City of Berkeley for a civil penalty of five thousand dollars per day for each such weapon possessed, not to exceed a maximum of fifty thousand dollars per weapon. The City Attorney may bring a civil action under this section for injunctive and other relief. All payments under this section shall be used exclusively for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter or for enforcing State of California narcotics, controlled substances, and related statutes.
D. Any semi-automatic weapon which is seized under this ordinance, following the provision to the owner of reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard, may be destroyed as contraband. (Ord. 5909-NS 4, 1989)

You can legally by them in Cailfornia...just can't keep them in Berkeley. This is from their city website and I thought this was thrown out but I'm not sure.


The guy could have been fined $5K per day per "assault" rifle. I guess this oedinance wasn't invoked since his fine was only $4K.

What the hell, you can't have a M1-A in Berkeley? I knew the place was liberal heaven but I never realized they were that nutters.

Regards,

James R.

newtothis
03-23-2007, 7:37 PM
And several others,..."AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles, AR- 180 semi-automatic assault rifles, Uzi semi-automatic assault rifles or carbines, Ingram Mac-10 semi-automatic assault carbines, Ingram Mac-II semi-automatic assault carbines, Heckler and Koch 93 semi-automatic assault rifles, Heckler and Koch 91 semi-automatic assault rifles, Heckler and Koch 94 semi-automatic assault carbines, AKS-47 semi-automatic assault rifles, AKM-47 semi-automatic assault rifles, Avtomat Kalashnikov weapons of all varieties, M1-A semi-automatic assault rifles, M1 semi-automatic carbine, Thompson semi-automatic carbines, Auto Ordinance semi-automatic carbines of all varieties, and Fox-45 semi-automatic carbine."

Maybe not enforced or enforceable since it conflicts with state law. I wish someone with deep pockets would challenge it and them to take it off the books.

CalNRA
03-23-2007, 10:01 PM
What the hell, you can't have a M1-A in Berkeley? I knew the place was liberal heaven but I never realized they were that nutters.

Regards,

James R.

not even a 10/22, Marlin 795, or similar rimfire semis.

I'm suprised they haven't banned index fingers yet since it's accessory to operating a semiautomatic rifle.

guimus
03-24-2007, 12:30 AM
just another Berkeley 'feel good' law that does nothing except waste taxpayer money and city staff time. I know dozens of folks in Berkeley who own a heck of a lot of such weapons. I even know of some registered AW's in Berkeley, and the city certainly has access to that info...I doubt the police would help the city council find out the info, though.

oaklander
03-24-2007, 1:12 AM
The Berkeley police have full auto MP5's available.

jdberger
03-24-2007, 1:17 AM
Y'all didn't pay attention to the story. The gun thing was a rabbit trail. It was the pot....
Tanigawa wasn't prosecuted for the marijuana, but Sprague cited the plants as reasons for a felony sentence.


'cause really, if IIRC, an illegal machine gun is something like 10 years and $10K. Not house arrest and a small fine (DUI is bigger.....)

This was an interesting story to follow - from the initial headlines and panicked reporting to the conclusion...

(crap...now I have to do a search for the threads.......):mad:

NoTime2Shoot
03-24-2007, 6:45 AM
.......or own a stable of ultra fast sports cars registered to drive on the street.

Actually, I think they hang you in Berkeley for that.

newtothis
03-24-2007, 5:00 PM
just another Berkeley 'feel good' law that does nothing except waste taxpayer money and city staff time. I know dozens of folks in Berkeley who own a heck of a lot of such weapons. I even know of some registered AW's in Berkeley, and the city certainly has access to that info...I doubt the police would help the city council find out the info, though.

Do you know if anyone has been charged with or otherwise had dealings with the city as a result of the ordinance?

jumbopanda
03-24-2007, 5:07 PM
Berkeley is a disgusting cesspool of ultra-lib filth.

guimus
03-24-2007, 5:36 PM
Do you know if anyone has been charged with or otherwise had dealings with the city as a result of the ordinance?

no one I know. I doubt that the city attorney would even bother trying to prosecute on this, as the CA's office generally has pretty bright folks in it who don't like to lose cases.

guimus
03-24-2007, 5:37 PM
Berkeley is a disgusting cesspool of ultra-lib filth.

Such a brilliant observation. Please, tell us more, oh wise one.

newtothis
03-24-2007, 5:57 PM
no one I know. I doubt that the city attorney would even bother trying to prosecute on this, as the CA's office generally has pretty bright folks in it who don't like to lose cases.

I'd like to think that's the case. But at $5K per day in fines or lawyer fees, I wouldn't want to be the first. Thanks your insight.

Richard
03-24-2007, 11:00 PM
I always thought and heard, illegal possession of a machine gun was a mandatory 3 years in Club Fed.......:confused:

This sentencing totally floors me.

AJAX22
03-24-2007, 11:02 PM
I always thought and heard, illegal possession of a machine gun was a mandatory 3 years in Club Fed.......:confused:

This sentencing totally floors me.

I alway's heard 10 years for unpapered NFA items.

adamsreeftank
03-25-2007, 1:02 AM
There has to be more to this story than meets the eye. The way the DOJ is going after minor things like a flash hider on an M1A, it's hard to believe someone could avoid jail with a machine gun.

Maybe the evidence wasn't admissible or he had some serious connections.