San Francisco Police Officer Jailed for Possession, Manufacture of AR-15

Thomas Abrahamsen, a

San Francisco police officer Thomas Abrahamsen pleaded not guilty to two felony weapons charges.  (Photo: LA Times)

An 18-year veteran of the San Francisco police department has been charged with two felony weapons charges for building and possessing a prohibited AR-15, officials announced Wednesday.

Officer Thomas Abrahamsen surrendered to authorities earlier this week and yesterday pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Abrahamsen was arrested after a year-long investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs division, which began looking into Abrahamsen after receiving a tip from a fellow officer.

“In the spirit of the Not on My Watch initiative, Department members will continue to hold each other accountable and will act swiftly to report any behavior that might bring dishonor to the Police Department,” acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin said.

The initiative Chaplin references was instituted in the wake of a scandal in which dozens of officers were found to have exchanged text messages with anti-gay and racist content.

“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,” Defense Attorney Michael Hinckley told ABC 7. “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.”

It isn’t yet clear how Abrahamsen’s firearm violated California law. Considering the fact that the department has been investigating Abrahamsen since last summer, the violation likely does not stem from the new gun control measures signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

But according to the LA Times, Abrahamsen was charged under a state law that prohibits assembling a rifle capable of firing a .50-caliber BMG bullet or, as of July 1, possessing an AR-15 with a “bullet button.” If Abrahamsen’s firearm was equipped with a bullet button, he should be allowed to keep it since he possessed it before the new law came into effect.

If he built a .50 BMG AR-15, he’ll be in some hot water.

“The gun was not a duty firearm and it had nothing to do with his employment at the San Francisco police department,” San Francisco District Attorney Office spokesperson Alex Bastian said. Police officers are allowed to have modified AR-15’s with written permission from their department, but, according to the ABC 7 report, it appears that Abrahamsen did not have permission.

Abrahamsen has been released from jail provided he turns over all his firearms. He is scheduled to appear in court again on August 12.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • David Swenson May 19, 2017, 4:07 am

    Dammit! Am I gonna have to turn in my “.50 BMG AR-15” and all my 30 magazine clips now too??? Sounds like anchor baby Senator Kevin de Leon help with the research on that one.

  • Patriot August 1, 2016, 11:20 pm

    I hope true Americans know Hilly and Billy are by far the worst choice for president. The Democrats, in general, will do anything, legal or illegal, such as forcefully removing Republican poll watchers from voting sites in order to illegally control the voting procedure to insure Hilly has ALL the votes and Republicans have zero votes. This happened in the last Obama election. Many people very strongly feel that Hilly as president would be a terrible ordeal for the United States. She would try to be a dictator president as did Attorney General Healey in Massachusetts in order to control the American people and force them to accept the Hilly executive actions and absurd interpretations of parts of the Constitution.

    Do what is absolutely best for the United States and vote for Donald Trump. Many idiot Democrats, such as Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, Brown, Healey, Schumer, etc. should be voted out at the earliest opportunity and their supporters Bloomberg, Buffet, Holder, Obama, Lynch, etc., should be ostracized. These people want to control the U.S. and change it to be as they desire.

    Give it serious thought.

  • Julie Giovanni July 31, 2016, 9:16 pm

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Certainly he knew the gun laws. He would have arrested someone if the tables were turned. Their career would have been ruined too. No sympathy from me.

  • paul crosley July 30, 2016, 3:22 pm

    Big lesson here……..OPSEC!!!! Keep your damned mouth closed and trust no one. Especially if he knew the screwed up laws of the PRC(Peoples Republic of California).

  • Jim (Pete) Poteet July 30, 2016, 1:00 pm

    We all know that “We get the government we deserve.” We have not done our duty as citizens for so long that the brainwashed morons with a college degree in art history, social justice, liberal indoctrination or whatever silly non-productive education degrees they are handing out in cracker jack boxes, that the true low info. folks are near a majority. This is killing the free America that the founders established and intended. If you think that Mr. Trump isn’t smart. steady, and is without a plan for returning a Constitutional Republic to America, then you just plain have not done proper research and that is the primary reason that we have a gov’t. that we “think” we don’t deserve! We must not let lying, thieving, America hating Hillary get the hammer that she WILL definitely use to beat America into a Nazi dictator governed state, with civilian gun possession forbidden. “We the People” are free today, 2016, to make the choice. It’s probably the most important decision we will ever make regarding the kind of America we will have in the future Pete

  • wasntme July 30, 2016, 10:39 am

    “Abrahamsen has been released from jail provided he turns over all his firearms.”

    Isn’t that nice of them.

  • Texan July 29, 2016, 10:23 pm

    Come to Texas, officer! I’m certain you’ll find easy employment particularly if you can build great rifles! As David Crockett once said, “I’m going to Texas, the rest of you can go to Hell”!

  • Stephen July 29, 2016, 7:43 pm

    A department of snitches, good grief! Who would want to join a department like this. A fellow officer turning in another for this should be shunned.

  • TB July 29, 2016, 6:47 pm

    What matters David is we all VOTE. That action and moment YOU can control. The rest is out of our hands as far as the actual direction that things gravitate towards.

  • oldfuzz695 July 29, 2016, 5:55 pm

    Here us exactly what I told an arrogant Internal Affairs Captain years ago during a stupid investigation because someone drew a smiley face copy of a warrant left with the girlfriend of a wanted P.O.S……..”I would trust an armed robber over a snitch. At least he has the balls to throw a gun in your face.” ” Captain, just remember this. If an officer will snitch on me, he will snitch on you.”
    He hated my guts. I have out lived that kiss ass and many others at a P.D. full of snitches.

  • L. B. Loding July 29, 2016, 5:28 pm

    The snitch system. The same one used in Nazi Germany, communist Russia and China. Notice a pattern here?

  • Larry Koehn July 29, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Ratting out a fellow officer is terrible. Convicts that rat out convicts can end up dead so his fellow officer is lower than a convict. I also hold this as proof positive that when the government needs police and military to operate .against American citizens they will find plenty of the low life scum to make it happen. Of course San Francisco is flush with fairy’s also.

  • David July 29, 2016, 4:29 pm

    Say goodbye to all of your firearms. They will be destroyed before he can get the paperwork pushed through to get them back if his case is dismissed or found not guilty. In California only criminals are allowed to have guns.

  • johne July 29, 2016, 4:24 pm

    #CaExit! It’s time for them to go. California laws are a joke no matter if it is firearms related or in other areas. They do not hold the same values as this country and they need to be cast free to destroy themselves on their own.

  • TB July 29, 2016, 3:18 pm

    I never said Clinton was better then anyone because at this point it’s the lesser of the two evils as to who the REAL problem solver will be because neither of the candidates are angels by any means. The great part about being in America is everyone’s freedom to vote for who they think will support their interests and the interests of the entire country. Some of us here tend to get their panties in a twist because their particular beliefs aren’t being agree with. Well that’s all opinionated and the real action comes in November when we all step in that voting booth. THATS WHEN IT COUNTS.

    • David July 29, 2016, 4:35 pm

      Except we don’t vote by popular vote. We think we have a say in electing the president but The Electoral College elects the president. Yes they should go by what the people want but we the people don’t matter.

  • Luis Bonilla July 29, 2016, 3:04 pm

    It seems that he has enemies working with him . And why did it take 6 months if , they knew he had the weapon .
    Someone in his department does not like him …

  • Bryan July 29, 2016, 1:27 pm

    Why would an AR15 with a bullet button be illegal? I thought the bullet button law didn’t go into effect until Jan 1, 2017?

    • Mark N. July 30, 2016, 10:11 pm

      This is correct, at least partially. No bullet button equipped rifle or pistol may be sold after January 1, 2017, but may be sold until then (with a sticky question arising under California’s ten-day wait as to whether the buyer must take possession by 12/31, or merely has to purchase by that date). All existing rifles and pistols are perfectly legal, that is, up until January 1, 2018, by which point in time they must be registered with the State as an evil, deadly “Assault Weapon.” To register a home-built firearm, one must obtain a serial number from the State DOJ and engrave it on the receiver (with a background check, of course).

      “Registered Assault Weapons” may not be transferred in the State of California by any means, including sale, gift, or inheritance. However, they may be sold or transferred out of state. (I have been told that the weapon must be physically removed from the state and sold, that even advertising it for sale in California, such as on this site, would be illegal.) If it cannot be transferred out of state, it must be turned in to the police for destruction.

      After 1/1/17, one can in theory still build an 80% rifle, BUT one must apply for a serial number from the State, with a background check, and engrave the receiver before starting “manufacture.” The understanding is that one MAY NOT manufacture a firearm WITH a bullet button after 1/117, and that any rifle or pistol must be “featureless” in order to comply with the new laws.

      I have no idea what this guy did or allegedly did to run afoul of the law. There are just too many facts missing. If, for example, he does not live in San Francisco, and did not bring the rifle there, why is the SF DA so all het up about? And if it is just a missing BB, WTF???

  • Jim July 29, 2016, 12:39 pm

    If he built a 50 BMG AR15, he ought to be heralded as the man who defies physics.

    • Cobraman July 29, 2016, 1:52 pm

      Jim; There are those .50 BMG rifles that have a .50 barreled action and bolt with an AR15 style “lower”, i.e. trigger housing, grip, buttstock, etc. It’s all speculation but perhaps he was building one of these?

      • Beachhawk July 30, 2016, 12:53 pm

        If it was a .50 caliber, I don’t think it would have taken a year to investigate. I suspect this is an extremely weak case. Was the rifle illegal at the time it was built? Are all ARs illegal in California? Are police officers authorized to use ARs on duty? Can personally owned ARs be carried on duty if authorized by the department? Why didn’t Internal Affairs just call him in and ask if he was building an AR? If he was, they could have ordered him to stop and charged him with violating department policy. It sounds like they wanted to charge him with a felony to make an example out of him. I would not want to work for a department willing to go to such lengths to throw one of their own officers in jail for building a rifle.

  • James Baudier July 29, 2016, 11:46 am

    I would hope the snitch’s name is posted across the net. It is sad that our government is pushing the civilian police force. Why can we not mind our own business. If I see someone jay walk I am not going to report them. If it were causing bodily harm to someone I would do the right thing of course. I guess I may be reported for putting non-recyclables in the recycle bin. Why can we not mind our own business??

    • Peter July 29, 2016, 3:23 pm

      Informing on a fellow Officer for possessing one firearm deemed knee weakening by the people’s republic of kalifornia !!
      Yes, that Victim’s fellow Officers will root out the wannabe gestapo agent. Seriously, how low could someone go?

  • TB July 29, 2016, 11:07 am

    Everyone that’s yelling VOTE FOR TRUMP is simply focusing on the gun rights issue which he claims he will protect along with all his other claims. Now let’s just say he actually is sincere in attempting to do that. You still have many other issues in the country that he hasn’t given any info on with regards to actually solving problems. Finally you’re giving control of our nuclear codes and direction of our military to a person with this amount of arrogance? This is not the person I want to hear say YOURE FIRED when he’s sitting across the table from the ruler of North Korea or some other country that’s posturing within the world. He has to have more answers for the American people other then Gun rights and bankruptcies. There’s no real winner in either camp but there is a sure loser.

    • L E Henson July 29, 2016, 11:23 am

      GROW UP and get the FACTS correct. WHAT is the HILABEAST? Do a tiny bit of research – WATCH the 3 movies (since I’m not sure a Hilary supporter can read) CLINTON CASH (free), 13 HOURS, and the new one HILARYS AMERICA. THINK then vote TRUMP easily better than a Clinton (bill’s mommy’s maiden name) ANY DAY!

      Margret Sanger, DEMON-rat (praised by JACKASS DEMON-rats) every September said; abortion would be a great way to control the N—— population”. ONE EXAMPLE of DEMON-rats in action
      TRUMP 2016

    • James Baudier July 29, 2016, 11:30 am

      TB, I feel sorry for you if you think Clinton is more trustworthy. Apparently you have not read the mounds of illegal and anti-constitutional rubbish the Clintons have been involved in beginning in Arkansas.
      While Trump appears to be hot headed, it is mostly show. He being a successful businessman knows far more about management than almost any of the Washington politicians.

    • Jake July 29, 2016, 11:37 am

      Looky looky!. The communist filth have sent trolls to GunsAmerica.

    • Kalashnikov Dude July 29, 2016, 11:39 am

      Everybody has a right to their opinion. But yours is deeply flawed and transparent as hell. “nuclear codes” is a Hillary thing from the git go. Are you really coming here to Guns America’s forum and trying to tell folks we should get behind Hillary? Because she said Trump can’t be trusted with nuclear codes? Really? Really? You sir are as delusional as Nancy Pelosi, arrogant as Hillary, and the modern day version of Monica Lewinski. Get thee back Satan!

    • Boss July 29, 2016, 6:55 pm

      Does TB stand for Turd Blossom?
      Maybe change it to LLBH: Low Life Butt Head.
      If you can vote for Hildabeast you are n the wrong forum.
      Eventually people will figure out she had the greatest security breach in history with her email server(s) going all the way back to The 300.
      And you want to TRUST her!!!!
      2/4 3rd MarDiv VN 1967-69

      “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters. ”
      Noah Webster American Lexicographer

  • Athanasios1 July 29, 2016, 10:43 am

    The brainwashing of our Civilian Trained Hitler Youth ordered to report any anti homosexual remarks are now in place in San Fran Sicko. The Mentally Deranged Sexual Deviant (MDSD) officer who was offended by comments made by his fellow Officers who happen to be normal and against MDSD reported this officer’s hobby to the head of the Hitler Youth and had this Officer arrested for merely exercising his First and Second Amendment Rights. Nice Country we live in. I can’t wait for Hitlary to win and try to take control, so the final civil war can begin.;

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 29, 2016, 11:49 am

      The part where ‘he was released from jail provided he turns over all his firearms’ is pretty interesting.’? What did they do, suspend his due process rights along with all the rest of the Totalitarian Tyranny? Since when is giving up your personal property a condition of bail when you’re not even convicted yet? What, did Kalifuckya add yet ANOTHER Constitution killing De Facto mandate to their out of control Totalitarian agenda?

      I warned all my cop associates about their badges not covering their asses anymore with all their little ‘above the law’ perks once the shit pile of anti-Constitutional power plays starts down the slippery slope.

      I told them they better not ignore the average citizens when their rights are violated by the regime or Police Statist cops.

      Because then they’d next.

      I remember back in the day when most cops in the precinct carried or had at least something in their cars that violated the 1934 NFA. Especially after the ’68 riots. Once, right in the station parking lot in full view of supervisors and other cops, one of the detectives sold my partner a subgun just like it was any other gun.

      Once he carried it in on a very hot call that a couple ATF agents heard on city wide and also went in on for the assist and when it was over one of them asked my partner, ‘where’d you get that’, and my partner said, ”NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS WHERE I GOT THAT…!” And they just shrugged and got into their car. I added, “And don’t bother coming in our calls anymore, We don’t don’t need you, and you might get ‘hurt’.’

      And cops NEVAH! as they said down South after the Civil War snitched out other cops. If it was something really bad they’d confront each other privately and ‘work it out’, Sometimes it got violent. But it was a ‘violent’ profession

      Times sure have changed.

      But that’s what to expect in a Hilarian style dystopia absent any at all reasonable honest objectiveness grounded in common sense reality fairness.

      I think it’s too late to stop the Fiat Lawmaking ‘make-everybody-a-criminal’ disarmament agenda with normal legislative moves. Like somebody said already here, we are really Fucked if Donald doesn’t get in and appoint some non-Marxist SCOTUS. Guns are just the tip of the Tyrnny iceburg’ They’re coming for It ALL!

  • L E Henson July 29, 2016, 10:40 am

    ACTIVLY SUPPORT TRUMP!!! 3 new Supreme Court Judges, before the end of 2017 = YOUR LIFE in the BALANCE!
    Wait until “STRONG CITIES” a UNITED NATIONS take over of ALL Police kicks in!!!!! ANYONE voting DEMON-rat is a FOOL. WAKE UP EVERYONE – YOU are next!
    WATCH “Clinton Cash” (free on the internet) and the new movie “HILARY’S AMERICA” WAKE UP EVERYONE!
    DEATH CARE = ACA, obamination/HILARY care! SEARCH “Complete LIVES Chart” and SEE = YOUR DEATH. WHY did DEMON-rats EXEMPT THEMSELVES?
    The NEW NAZI Youth Program IS now infecting 46 States COMMON CORE! Join Fakebook’s “Choose to REFUSE COMMON CORE:!

  • Alan July 29, 2016, 9:17 am

    With that Anti Gun lefty atmosphere, it’s entirely possible that these are nothing more than trumped up charges.

  • Chris July 29, 2016, 8:56 am

    I am so glad I live in good old West By Gosh where I can own whatever gun I want, literally.
    I feel sorry for pro-gun folks who are trapped in these anti-gun environments.
    Having lived most of my life here in WV I’d never move anywhere where I had to give up a single firearm to move there.
    I wish the economy was such that those sorts of folks and businesses (most of the firearms-related periodicals I read are based in these areas, like CA) could move across borders to more gun friendly states. It would be so gratifying to see those states feel the pinch when these people all got up and left and took their tax money elsewhere, like Magpul did. I look forward to the day when all the gun manufacturers in the north east move south and leave gun-hating states like NY behind in the dust.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 29, 2016, 12:42 pm

      Yeah, Chris, at least some of us are fighting back. My state is not that bad. There’s no waiting period on the NICS check, and we have open and CC. Pushbutton/Switchblades are now legal. And the cops don’t bug you, especially for guns, because everybody has them, unless you start acting like a real dumb-ass Red Neck and somebody calls them on you. But they’re still a little bit too ‘aggressive’ with these ‘War on Drugs’ asset forfeiture seizures. So we gotta work on that more.

      Rand Paul just introduced a bill to curtail these illegal out of control asset forfeiture seizures. Everybody must call their legislators and ‘advise’ them to support this bill. AndWe gotta keep an eye on the State Legislators who are getting prompted and paid by the likes of Soros and Bloomberg to try to slip in ‘assault’weapon bans and ammo laws. Like they are doing in other states. (Bloomberg helps fund any state legislators’ campaigns if they are rabid anti-gun politicians).

      But if Donald makes it in, Then we must all rally to launch a major Repeal effort of ALL previously agenda based laws like the 1934 NFA which is not only agenda based, but just simply STUPID. Outside of Warfare, No machine gun or sawed off shotgun ever killed and maimed as many people as one truck in Nice, Paris did recently?

      Then we absolutely must Repeal the 1968 Gun Control Act which was a pure anti-Constitutional Fascist plan to make as many people criminals, mainly the anti-g , anti-war activists, blacks, and other political ‘enemies’ of the regime state. so they can simply make specific laws they knew would be violated by these groups so they could then disarm them permanently even after the punishment for the ‘crime’ was completed! This was the greatest Hoax ever committed on free American Citizens,-Making an ex-con, who paid their dues and are back in society as a law-abiding citizen again, PERMANANTLY PUNISHED FOREVER! Criminals who are really that bad and totally anti-social should just be given life sentences then? Otherwise only a completely brainwashed government sycophant could buy into that?

      But most of us ate it for lunch ever since. And now we are paying the ultimate price.

      Now virtually any family argument can result in immediate summary confiscation without due process or conviction. Or anybody with a few bucks to pay a lawyer can get or court order for police to come in and seize all your guns, and whatever else they think you shouldn’t have because you ‘frighten someone’ (often only because they know you HAVE guns!!!)

      And, as we speak, new laws regarding your psychological and emotional ‘public safety’ content are currently on the drawing board. You will have to ‘pass’ an exam, like is required for a drivers CDL, to possess a firearm! And…you better sit down for this one…

      Since they blithely and blissfully get away with already disarming anyone they want to disarm just by making bullshit laws and
      Fiat administrative mandates to make you a criminal so they can permanently prohibit you from having a gun, now they are going to randomly ‘investigate’ you (general public records, medical conditions, computer search preferences, etc. etc.)with algorithmic analysis LIKE THEY ARE NOW DOING IN FUCKING CHIKAGO, and if the criteria fits their format of you being a ‘higher risk to commit a crime’, Actual criminl charges or Due Process notwithstanding, guess what!

      ‘No more guns for you, Dirt Puppy!

  • ToddB July 29, 2016, 8:47 am

    There is way to much missing from this to know whats going on. But since they talk about a 50BMG, its likely thats what he did. I sold a 50BMG upper a couple years ago, and had a guy in CA want to buy it. Had this convoluted plan on how I could send it to him. Um no sorry, find some other chump. But if ANYBODY should have known the law, guess who it should be? But I have not known cops to think the law applies to them. So probably figured he could do whatever he wanted, hes a cop what they gonna do about it?

  • John July 29, 2016, 8:06 am

    These laws are the reason I will never live in Cali again. And those libtards don’t want me there, and that’s ok. All they wanted was the money I was making. Now they don’t get any of it; as I was self employed no one took my place. Blessings and .50BMG ka-BOOMS and rapid and continuous AR firings…..

  • Dustin Eward July 29, 2016, 6:52 am

    Did he not know that .510 DTC exists? Something smells…

  • Frank St.Clair July 29, 2016, 6:36 am

    Snitching is richly rewarded too, I’ll bet. See why I left The City? Arrogance and suppression of civil rights.

  • Tom Horn July 28, 2016, 8:36 pm

    I wonder just how many federal government employees are violating California, Massachusetts, and other firearms restrictive States Laws, with the federal militarization of non-military federal agencies? Are IRS agents in California violating magazine restrictions, and sanctioned to do so by our federal govt? Is there an employee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration possessing a 17 round mag in his U.S. Govt provided Glock, violating the State Laws of MA.?

    See story here:

    • Leighton Cavendish July 29, 2016, 10:23 am

      Just as under the Clinton AWB…LEOs are EXEMPT when it comes to their DUTY weapons.
      Just as it is OK for the Obama guards to have fully automatic machine guns…but not the rest of us peons.

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