Homeless Felon Had Submachine Guns at LA-Area Encampment: Cops

26 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 Working World War II-Era Machine Guns Found At Harbor City-Area Homeless Encampment.

This Nov. 2015 photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, shows five firearms, including two operable World War II-era machine guns, confiscated after an arrest was made as deputies were on foot patrol at a homeless encampment near Harbor City, Calif. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via AP) Sheriff’s Detective Dennis Elmore said deputies patrolling a homeless camp in Harbor City arrested Richard Cunningham, 57. Cunningham, who the authorities said had been previously convicted of a felony, also had high-capacity magazines for the machine guns inside a tent at the homeless encampment He faces a series of charges for possessing the guns and the ammunition, though details of his previous conviction were not disclosed. The 57-year-old was also in possession of high-capacity magazines and ammunition for the M3 machine guns, which are also known as “grease guns,” he said. (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. After making contact with Richard Cunningham, who was in a tent inside the encampment, they found what appeared to be two fully-operational machine guns, according to the release.

Cunningham faces charges including possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a large-capacity magazine and possession of a machine gun, according to City News Service. In one case, a homeless man allegedly living illegally in the US found a gun that reportedly belonged to a federal agent on a San Francisco pier, and then shot a young woman walking on the pier with her father, killing her. The case proved controversial because the man, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, was a Mexican immigrant who had reportedly been deported from the US five times, including for felony drug charges, raising a debate about San Francisco’s so-called sanctuary law, which limits cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement, The Christian Science Monitor reported in July. The case briefly gained attention from several presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, who is known for his tough stances on immigration, including characterizing Mexican immigrants as being “rapists” and bringing crime to the US.

Police Chief Charlie Beck described the situation as a “brief, brutal fight,” where officers initially attempted to use a Taser to subdue the man, but after he continued to resist and grabbed for an officer’s gun, three officers opened fire on the man, killing him. The confrontation had reportedly begun after the man had flipped another homeless man’s tent onto the curb with the occupant still inside, leading witnesses to call the police to report a robbery. Such cases have spurred a debate over whether people who have lost their homes also have legal protections that govern carrying weapons under the Second Amendment.

It appeared that there was no legal right barring homeless people from carrying weapons, although – as with the case of Richard Cunningham in LA — previous convictions may prevent one from owning or carrying a weapon. It was unclear if Cunningham had a lawyer, the AP reported. “I don’t believe just because someone comes on hard times and loses their home, that they should lose their right to protect themselves,” wrote one user on a forum dedicated to concealed carry laws. “I’ve never (so far) heard of any law that says a homeless person has no [Second Amendment] right or right to protect their self,” the person added.

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