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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 11-05-2010, 5:46 PM
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Default NOT GUILTY ON ASSAULT WEAPONS CHARGE

CORRECTIONS OFFICER FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ASSAULT WEAPONS CHARGE

This Thursday Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gerald Sevier ordered a directed verdict of acquittal in favor of Correctional Officer Steven Haack and his wife Maria. Acting on a false tip from a known drug addict, Tulare P.D. FBI and ATF raided the Haack home in February of 2009. Haack, a thirteen year veteran of the the Department of Corrections was taken into custody after an Eagle AR-15 rifle was found in his safe. Haack had purchased the weapon in 1998, two years before the assault weapons law went into effect. Haack’s wife Maria was also arrested because, while she was unaware of the presence of the rifle, she did admit to knowing the combination to the safe. Tulare P.D. then arranged to have their daughter picked up at school and placed with Child Protective Services while the Haacks were being interrogated and booked.

Jury trial commenced on November 1st. Prosecutor Michelle Wallis tried the case for the Tulare County District Attorneys Office. Steven Haack was represented by H. Ronald Sawl of Sawl & Netzer. Of note, H. Ronald Sawl is an NRA instructor and Federal Firearms Licensee. Maria Haack was represented by Julius Cruz of Sawl & Netzer.

This case is noteworthy for several reasons. Agent Frank Navarro testified as an assault weapons identification expert on behalf of the Department of Justice. In his testimony he redefined the definition of “pistol grip” as it pertains to California assault weapons law. In his sworn testimony he stated that the definition is subjective and depends on how the weapon user chooses to hold the grip. Depending on where the weapon user chooses to place the web of his/her hand (between the thumb and 1st finger) the grip would not be within the definition previously established by the DOJ.

This testimony, under penalty of perjury from a 12 year agent of the DOJ will set yet another new standard and create even more ambiguity in an already muddled set of rules for defining assault weapons.

A second issues raised by the Haack case was the failure of the Tulare County District Attorneys Department to prove that DROS registration does not suffice for assault weapons registrations. In this case, it was established that the weapon was registered by way of DROS and ATF 4473 in 1998, two years before the assault weapon law took effect. The Tulare County prosecutor and DOJ where not able to find a method of proving non registration that met the Crawford standard. This failure of proof ultimately resulted in the acquittal.

A transcript of the cross examination of Agent Frank Navarro by attorney H. Ronald Sawl will be available in the next two weeks for reference in future prosections.
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2010, 5:49 PM
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What's the source on this article?
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Old 11-05-2010, 5:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresno1199 View Post
CORRECTIONS OFFICER FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ASSAULT WEAPONS CHARGE

A second issues raised by the Haack case was the failure of the Tulare County District Attorneys Department to prove that DROS registration does not suffice for assault weapons registrations. In this case, it was established that the weapon was registered by way of DROS and ATF 4473 in 1998, two years before the assault weapon law took effect. The Tulare County prosecutor and DOJ where not able to find a method of proving non registration that met the Crawford standard. This failure of proof ultimately resulted in the acquittal.

A transcript of the cross examination of Agent Frank Navarro by attorney H. Ronald Sawl will be available in the next two weeks for reference in future prosections.
does this decision suggest that centerfire rifles legally purchased pre-ban but now fitting the definition of an AW in CA can be possessed even if not registered before the deadline? b/c that's what it sounds like...
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:01 PM
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Originally Posted by asme View Post
What's the source on this article?
Google turned up nothing so I am going to guess it's not real, or the OP has some inside knowledge.
I guess we'll have to wait two weeks to find out.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:02 PM
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Is there a link/file/pdf to read more about this case?
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:03 PM
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does this decision suggest that centerfire rifles legally purchased pre-ban but now fitting the definition of an AW in CA can be possessed even if not registered before the deadline? b/c that's what it sounds like...
Also noted the way the pistol grip was defined was very interesting.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:08 PM
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So, I've done some googling and I've found the following:

-In the Tulare County Superior Court there exists a judge named Gerald Sevier and a prosecutor named Michelle Wallis

-There is a married man named Steven Haack in Tulare County whose home was raided on the 24th of November, 2009 by the ATF, FBI and Tulare police. He has a legal defense fund at http://stevehaackldf.com/, and his child WAS taken into protective custody.

I have a feeling this might be true.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:09 PM
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Interesting. Definately looking forward to some more details on this one.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:10 PM
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Originally Posted by boxbro View Post
Google turned up nothing so I am going to guess it's not real, or the OP has some inside knowledge.
I guess we'll have to wait two weeks to find out.

All I found of interest was this: http://stevehaackldf.com/ noting this person and Tulare. However it is a shell of a website only for donations, and is light on facts.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:10 PM
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Originally Posted by asme View Post
So, I've done some googling and I've found the following:

-In the Tulare County Superior Court there exists a judge named Gerald Sevier and a prosecutor named Michelle Wallis

-There is a married man named Steven Haack in Tulare County whose home was raided on the 24th of November, 2009 by the ATF, FBI and Tulare police. He has a legal defense fund at http://stevehaackldf.com/, and his child WAS taken into protective custody.

I have a feeling this might be true.
or at least part of it...
that's a good start!
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresno1199 View Post
CORRECTIONS OFFICER FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ASSAULT WEAPONS CHARGE

This Thursday Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gerald Sevier ordered a directed verdict of acquittal in favor of Correctional Officer Steven Haack and his wife Maria. Acting on a false tip from a known drug addict, Tulare P.D. FBI and ATF raided the Haack home in February of 2009. Haack, a thirteen year veteran of the the Department of Corrections was taken into custody after an Eagle AR-15 rifle was found in his safe. Haack had purchased the weapon in 1998, two years before the assault weapons law went into effect. Haack’s wife Maria was also arrested because, while she was unaware of the presence of the rifle, she did admit to knowing the combination to the safe. Tulare P.D. then arranged to have their daughter picked up at school and placed with Child Protective Services while the Haacks were being interrogated and booked.

Jury trial commenced on November 1st. Prosecutor Michelle Wallis tried the case for the Tulare County District Attorneys Office. Steven Haack was represented by H. Ronald Sawl of Sawl & Netzer. Of note, H. Ronald Sawl is an NRA instructor and Federal Firearms Licensee. Maria Haack was represented by Julius Cruz of Sawl & Netzer.

This case is noteworthy for several reasons. Agent Frank Navarro testified as an assault weapons identification expert on behalf of the Department of Justice. In his testimony he redefined the definition of “pistol grip” as it pertains to California assault weapons law. In his sworn testimony he stated that the definition is subjective and depends on how the weapon user chooses to hold the grip. Depending on where the weapon user chooses to place the web of his/her hand (between the thumb and 1st finger) the grip would not be within the definition previously established by the DOJ.

This testimony, under penalty of perjury from a 12 year agent of the DOJ will set yet another new standard and create even more ambiguity in an already muddled set of rules for defining assault weapons.

A second issues raised by the Haack case was the failure of the Tulare County District Attorneys Department to prove that DROS registration does not suffice for assault weapons registrations. In this case, it was established that the weapon was registered by way of DROS and ATF 4473 in 1998, two years before the assault weapon law took effect. The Tulare County prosecutor and DOJ where not able to find a method of proving non registration that met the Crawford standard. This failure of proof ultimately resulted in the acquittal.

A transcript of the cross examination of Agent Frank Navarro by attorney H. Ronald Sawl will be available in the next two weeks for reference in future prosections.


On a more sserious note, I hope this is true! It'll sure make things interesting in the near future.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2010, 6:18 PM
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 6:23 PM
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After doing some digging I suspect the original post is going to be found to be pretty accurate...
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:27 PM
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After doing some digging I suspect the original post is going to be found to be pretty accurate...
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:28 PM
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:28 PM
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Is fresno1199 a lawyer? The photo's in this link point to a photobucket directory of fresno1199.

http://www.raptorforumz.com/showthread.php?t=6840

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...g?t=1278308825
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:30 PM
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Is fresno1199 a lawyer? The photo's in this link point to a photobucket directory of fresno1199.

http://www.raptorforumz.com/showthread.php?t=6840

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...g?t=1278308825
Wow. Cyberstalking the OP already?

Maybe you couldve just ASKED him who he was?
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:31 PM
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I am anxious to know if this claim is valid. I hope so.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:35 PM
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If this is true, can unregistered non-named assault weapons be legally owned? And assumed to be "registered"? I'm assuming the unregistered named list weapons can't be owned even after this case, such as Mak-90's.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:36 PM
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Wow. Cyberstalking the OP already?

Maybe you couldve just ASKED him who he was?
you google his username and see what comes up, I hardly call it stalking. Isn't this the internet, isn't anything you post public? Oh yeah, it is.

When a one post wonder shows up and posts stuff like that, expect people to start digging for more info.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:37 PM
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Also noted the way the pistol grip was defined was very interesting.
then again the DROS = de facto registration may be construed to apply only to LEOs...
?
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:40 PM
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Default A couple of things bother me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresno1199 View Post
CORRECTIONS OFFICER FOUND NOT GUILTY ON ASSAULT WEAPONS CHARGE

This Thursday Tulare County Superior Court Judge Gerald Sevier ordered a directed verdict of acquittal in favor of Correctional Officer Steven Haack and his wife Maria. Acting on a false tip from a known drug addict, Tulare P.D. FBI and ATF raided the Haack home in February of 2009. Haack, a thirteen year veteran of the the Department of Corrections was taken into custody after an Eagle AR-15 rifle was found in his safe. Haack had purchased the weapon in 1998, two years before the assault weapons law went into effect. Haack’s wife Maria was also arrested because, while she was unaware of the presence of the rifle, she did admit to knowing the combination to the safe. Tulare P.D. then arranged to have their daughter picked up at school and placed with Child Protective Services while the Haacks were being interrogated and booked.

Jury trial commenced on November 1st. Prosecutor Michelle Wallis tried the case for the Tulare County District Attorneys Office. Steven Haack was represented by H. Ronald Sawl of Sawl & Netzer. Of note, H. Ronald Sawl is an NRA instructor and Federal Firearms Licensee. Maria Haack was represented by Julius Cruz of Sawl & Netzer.

This case is noteworthy for several reasons. Agent Frank Navarro testified as an assault weapons identification expert on behalf of the Department of Justice. In his testimony he redefined the definition of “pistol grip” as it pertains to California assault weapons law. In his sworn testimony he stated that the definition is subjective and depends on how the weapon user chooses to hold the grip. Depending on where the weapon user chooses to place the web of his/her hand (between the thumb and 1st finger) the grip would not be within the definition previously established by the DOJ.

This testimony, under penalty of perjury from a 12 year agent of the DOJ will set yet another new standard and create even more ambiguity in an already muddled set of rules for defining assault weapons.

A second issues raised by the Haack case was the failure of the Tulare County District Attorneys Department to prove that DROS registration does not suffice for assault weapons registrations. In this case, it was established that the weapon was registered by way of DROS and ATF 4473 in 1998, two years before the assault weapon law took effect. The Tulare County prosecutor and DOJ where not able to find a method of proving non registration that met the Crawford standard. This failure of proof ultimately resulted in the acquittal.

A transcript of the cross examination of Agent Frank Navarro by attorney H. Ronald Sawl will be available in the next two weeks for reference in future prosections.
This guy Steve says on his website he was raided in November:

"November 24th, 2009, started like any other Tuesday. After awakening, my wife and I prepared our six-year-old daughter for school."

The story above says Februrary of 2009.....hmmmm...a 9 month difference...

I wonder how a Search Warrant was issued for the house and the SAFE in February..? and again in November...?

Something isn't right. I did notice the OP is new today..one post only. From Fresno.

I wonder.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:40 PM
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Fresno1199's e-mail is hrs@hrsawl.com according to his calguns profile. This name corresponds to the lawyer who defended Steven Haack. I've also found that a person named Steven Haack was tried on Nov. 1st at the Visalia location of the Tulare County Superior court.

So who knows.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:43 PM
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Was I the only one that read this to think it may put monsterman grips in danger?
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:46 PM
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I know Ron Sawl and Frank Navarro. Navarro is a retired FBI agent, and he would no specialized knowledge about CA law. Sawl is in fact an attorney in Fresno and he owns "The Range" pistol club. I have shot there for many years. I hadn't heard about this particular case, but I haven't worked a Tulare County case in years.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:47 PM
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I know the lawyer mentioned in the OP. He is a very pro 2A, and very savvy,

lawyer in Fresno. He is real.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:49 PM
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What's the source on this article?

Direct personal knowledge.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:51 PM
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If a pistol grip isn't always a pistol grip, thumb-hole stocks seem pretty ambigious too.

I might be able to put together my PS90 with a lot less hassle now!

I anxiously await further details and legal analaysis.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:51 PM
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It's starting to sound very real and to give additional ammo to the full exercise of the RKBA!

And if DROS was sufficient, maybe I don't have to carry my RAW registration around in my buttstock anymore?

Oh, and my congratulations to both the defendant and the lawyer!
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:52 PM
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The article states the judge issued a directed verdict, which means the ruling is from a trial court not an appellate court, which would mean that case law was not created from this case yet.

As a left handed shooter, I regularly grip the pistol grip with my left hand using only my three bottom fingers, my index finger is to use the trigger and my thumb remains on the left side of the pistol grip to actuate the safety. In this circumstance, the web of my hand is not wrapped around the pistol grip. Hmmmmmmm
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:53 PM
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The transcript was ordered today. Should have it ready for PDF download within 10 days. This may be useful to someone in the defense of future AW prosecutions.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:53 PM
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This is why I keep all my DROSED pick up papers for all my guns in a file {ME being a consumer - Joe K Publik}. Both in and out paperwork as a consumer.

Too often the "JUSTICE" system feed on it's own people. Correction officer's - LE's of many types are feDed into the system as victims and sacrfices.

I remember a case were a LE had a shortened M16-AR15 for duty use - all documented and signed off on by his department. He retires and a few years lator - his safe is checked out and WHAM MOE - arrested for a Illegal length rifle.

I am glad the above case turned out possitively.

I hope it will throw more dought into the DA of every county that wants to prosecute gun owner for the DA intreprets into the gun laws OR LACK OF THEM.
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  #33  
Old 11-05-2010, 6:58 PM
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The article states the judge issued a directed verdict, which means the ruling is from a trial court not an appellate court, which would mean that case law was not created from this case yet.
Correct. This would have been a great case to appeal and create new case law. But since they won, the only thing we can salvage is the DOJ testimony.

Future AW defendants could assert a reasonable a mistake of fact defense based on knowledge obtained in the Navarro transcript. Which is why I'm going to the trouble of obtaining it.

If anyone else would like to purchase a copy the trial was held in Dept 4 of Tulare Co. Superior Court. You can contact them for transcripts.
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Old 11-05-2010, 6:59 PM
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The article states the judge issued a directed verdict, which means the ruling is from a trial court not an appellate court, which would mean that case law was not created from this case yet.
.
.
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But wouldn't it be persuasive nonetheless? And even if it is not persuasive I'd think that it would give a very nice roadmap to winning other cases - one or more of which may make it to the appellate level and establish precedent?

But IANAL so I could be very wrong about how all that works.

Edit: fresno1199 already answered my question. Thank you.

Last edited by OleCuss; 11-05-2010 at 7:01 PM..
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Old 11-05-2010, 7:01 PM
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Thank you.
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  #36  
Old 11-05-2010, 7:08 PM
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Is fresno1199 a lawyer? The photo's in this link point to a photobucket directory of fresno1199.

http://www.raptorforumz.com/showthread.php?t=6840

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...g?t=1278308825
Guilty as charged on the lawyer thing. You guys don't miss anything. I think I'm going to like it here.
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Old 11-05-2010, 7:11 PM
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Guilty as charged on the lawyer thing. You guys don't miss anything. I think I'm going to like it here.
And thank you for this information.

How is Steve and family..?...Did he lose his Job..?..Get his daughter back..?

Thanks again
Bob
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Old 11-05-2010, 7:16 PM
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Wow, the fact that a CA Corrections Officer can get into that much trouble over a pre-2000 legit AR-15 is quite disturbing. It just comes to show how overzealous this state is in enforcing it's ridiculous gun laws. The individual means nothing in this state.
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Old 11-05-2010, 7:23 PM
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And did he get his AR back?
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Old 11-05-2010, 7:27 PM
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Guilty as charged on the lawyer thing. You guys don't miss anything. I think I'm going to like it here.
I also think you will like it here. Was this a jury trial?
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