San Francisco officer accused of manufacturing rifle released from jail

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A San Francisco police officer was released from jail Tuesday, but he still faces charges of violating the state's ban on assault rifles.

A San Francisco police officer was released from jail Tuesday, but he still faces charges of violating the state's ban on assault rifles.

Officer Thomas Abrahamsen faces two felony charges. "The defendant is charged with two felony counts, manufacturing an assault weapon and possessing an assault weapon," San Francisco District Attorney Office spokesperson Alex Bastian said.

The weapon is an AR-15 style assault rifle, which is legal in California under certain circumstances, as long as those weapons are used with magazines that only hold 10 rounds, and as long as they have a so-called bullet button that requires a tool like an ink pen to release the magazine. "The gun was not a duty firearm and it had nothing to do with his employment at the San Francisco police department," Bastian said.

Neither the prosecution nor the defense will say exactly which part of Abrahamsen's rifle was illegal but, the law permits police officers who have written permission from their departments to have modified AR-15's. It appears Abrahamsen did not have permission. But, he is being released on his own recognizance, as long as he turns over all his firearms and other weapons.

"He has some significant health issues. We're really pleased he was released today and he looks forward to dealing with the case and explain exactly what's going on a curious part of this case is the fact that Abrahamsen was apparently turned in by his fellow cops. Acting chief Tony Chaplin says it's evidence that his internal reforms are working," Defense Attorney Michael Hinckley said.

"A lot of our critics say you don't police yourselves. You don't encourage people to come forward. That's exactly what did not happen in this case," San Francisco Police Department Acting Chief Toney Chaplin said.

Abrahamsen is scheduled back on court on August 12.
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