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Va Tech student arrested for having AR and ammo.

Discussion in 'Activism' started by Hokie_PhD, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    If this is in the wrong forum please have the Mods move it not close it as this hits very close to me.

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/crime/b...cle_e6d7215a-c41c-55fc-bf6a-99cc6d0af99e.html

    As someone who was off campus during the VA shooting, was a victim of the NRCC shooting, and was on campus when the student hacked up the other student at the graduate center I’ve seen too much trauma in SW Va.

    So, I’d like to ask everyone here to please use this case to fight the anti 2nd Amendment folks. I’m sure they’ll be screaming for more useless laws. I say that as police can’t catch every bad guy, but this proves that if they enforce the existing laws instead of politicians rushing to make laws that aren’t enforced good th8ngs happen.

    In this case, another masss shooting was prevented by police arresting someone who wasn’t legally allowed to own a gun. Hopefully they’ll catch the person who sold it to him. And that person will be convicted by a jury and given a very harsh prison term. But right now It shows that by doing the grunt work officers doing their job can stop crimes. New laws wouldn’t have stopped this. But citizens speaking out, police investigating and doing their job worked.

    So thank you Va Tech and Blacksburg PD.

    And please spread the word that we don’t need more laws, the current ones work when police do their job!
     
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  2. Powder296

    Powder296 Member

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  3. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    No one knew that until days after his arrest. The initial reporting only mentioned firearms-related charges; given the local history, many people are a bit on edge hearing that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  4. George P

    George P Member

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    So, if I read it correctly, in W. VA, you can own both an AR and a 30 round mag, BUT if you insert the 30 rounder into the gun, the "rifle" becomes an "assault weapon"? Are 20 rounders OK? What if I took 3- 20 rounders and clipped together - would that be illegal? What am I missing?
     
  5. Powder296

    Powder296 Member

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    edward, your non edited question....
    The anti's are the ones that are supposed to be knee jerk reactors, not us. Yet the article the OP posted has the same date on it as the one I posted. Meaning the OP appeared to ignor pertinent information to get a specific reaction, also not something we do. As such I see no problem with primalmu's question. It has been 13 days since the OP started this thread yet has refused to come back and update. Why? The Roanoke Times is a well know liberal rag in these parts. As are FUDDs.
     
  6. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    I'm not sure what WVa has to do with this. Va Tech is in Southwest Virginia. Ironically it's further west than a great deal of the state of West Virginia!

    If I'm not mistaken the state (Commonwealth) of Va. "Assault Weapon" is only defined for the purposes of gun sales and restricting them to people under 21. To by an "assault weapon" in Va it requires additional ID. Proof of Citizenship if I'm not mistake. So instead of only having to show your drivers license for the background check you need a voter ID, passport, or birth certificate (I think).

    In any case, the new governor, the AG and Lt Gov want to change this. They want Ca style laws, hence my outrage and trying to get folks to be aware of what's going on. They don't hide their anti gun position. Coupled with Tim Kaine they're really pushing hard . So it's important that we get folks out to vote and make sure that we don't become like our neighbors to the north in the FORMERLY Free State (of Maryland).
     
  7. George P

    George P Member

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    MY mistake - what happens when you go too fast!
     
  8. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    This quirk in Virginia law resulted from the Mir Aimal Kansi case, in which a Pakistani national purchased a semiautomatic AK-47 and proceeded to shoot up the entrance to the CIA, killing two people and wounding several. He fled the country but was captured in Pakistan, brought back to the U.S., tried and executed.

    Thereafter, Virginia law was amended so that only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can purchase or possess Virginia-defined "assault firearms." But, under the Virginia definition, to qualify as an "assault firearm" it must be "equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition..." Dealers can get around this restriction when selling an AR-15, for example, simply by selling it with a 20-round magazine (or no magazine at all). But some dealers, out of an abundance of caution, were asking to see a U.S. passport, birth certificate, or green card, in addition to a driver's license, when selling even a stripped lower receiver. Most have since been educated to the actual requirements.

    The Chinese student at Virginia Tech made the mistake of having a 30-round magazine with his AR. This was probably simple ignorance of the law.
     
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  9. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Thanks for the clearification on the AR definition.

    As for the Chinese student. It was my understanding that as a foreign national he wasn’t allowed to own any guns. In any case, I’m glad they caught him as we didn’t need another incident.
     
  10. Powder296

    Powder296 Member

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    the issue I get out of this, isn't that a foreigner has gun, because this same kid can very easily join our military to earn his citizenship, the issue I get is an otherwise law abiding gun owner can suddenly become a criminal just because they put the wrong magazine in a gun. Based solely on what news I've been able find to there never was a threat to the school, it appears to me someone is projecting that school shooting fear into it
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  11. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    If you know anything about Blacksburg that’s true not only of the anti gun biased media but most of the community there. They are very liberal and very anti gun, in an otherwise very conservative and gun friendly part of the state.
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That's incorrect. Check the threads in legal on it. You still have to abide by state laws, but federal law permits foreign nationals in specific categories to own firearms.
     
  13. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    it looks as though this guy was not unstable, or dangerous. the gun at school was in a locker at a security desk for keeping guns while living in dorms. Sounds like he was doing everything legitimately.
     
  14. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Except that as a foreigner on a student visa (not a lawful permanent resident), he wasn't allowed to possess what Virginia considers to be an "assault firearm," i.e., a semiautomatic rifle with a greater-than-20-round magazine. If he had kept the 30-round magazine entirely separate from the rifle (in a different location), there wouldn't have been an offense. I agree that this quirky law could be a trap for the unwary. It was passed because of the pressure to "do something" after the Kansi shooting. At least the law was phrased in such a way that it has no real practical effect, for most people.
     
  15. Powder296

    Powder296 Member

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    I attended Radford, my fiancé attended Tech, I spent far too much time at the TKE barn because I am one, I've hunted the same ridge where this kid got arrested. I don't understand your point. Was what I said about the Roanoake Times wrong? Was what I said about the local FUDDs wrong? Nope, didn't think so, and I learned that before America learned what an islamic terrorist was. America learned that in '94 with the first attack on the World Trade Center.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  16. Powder296

    Powder296 Member

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    and to add, the Kansi incident hit closer to home for me because I was working very close to that intersection at the time. I still don't agree with the foreign national only being allowed a 20 round mag, it's a pointless law and has done nothing to lower crime rates in this state, or anywhere. How many people here know that the worst attack on an American school didn't involve firearms?
     
  17. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Yunsong Zhao arrest stories
    30 Jan 2018 "Virginia Tech student arrested Monday and charged with illegally possessing a gun", Roanoke Times, Roanoke VA.
    31 Jan 2018 "Former Virginia Tech student was allowed to have gun, but not with high-capacity magazine", Roanoke Times.
    31 Jan 2018 "Virginia Tech student accused of having assault rifle, attempting to buy 5,000 rounds of ammo", NY Daily News.
    1 Feb 2018 "Warrants reveal new details about Virginia Tech student charged for illegally having assault rifle", Blue Ridge Channel 10 NBC News.

    Fit into timeline:

    Virginia does not allow foreign nationals to use semi-automatic rifles with magazines over 20 rounds, a state Class 6 felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison.

    Mon 22 Jan 2018 "police were informed that Zhao had bought a 30-round magazine" according to the search warrant released.

    Thu 25 Jan 2018 Virginia Tech police became aware of his purchase of a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle. (Apparently when he checked it into the campus police student gun locker.)

    Fri 26 Jan 2018 he checked his gun out of the Virginia Tech campus police student gun locker to go the firing range. The campus police notified the Blacksburg police. He was followed by a Blacksburg police detective. He was spotted at the firing range using a 30 round magazine.

    He was legal to use his gun with a 20 round magazine or smaller as a foreign national on Student Visa status. In fact he was legal to own the gun and the 30 round magazine as long as he did not insert the 30 round magazine into the gun, according to the search warrant.

    Mon 29 Jan 2018 Yunsong Zhao was arrested for illegal possession of an assault rifle. Warrants were filed to search his dorm, truck and car (a surplus police Crown Victoria). Nothing was found according to news reports on the warrant service.

    His arrest tuched off a campus storm of on-line hysteria. Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust put a statement on Facebook that "a student" had been arrested on a firearms violation after “a lengthy investigation.” Foust also dismissed the rumor about a weapons stockpile warning that students should avoid large lecture classes: "no evidence this rumor is accurate.” Foust said rumors could have started in response to the arrest.

    Tue 30 Jan 2018, the university stated Zhao’s arrest followed "several weeks of investigation". The University denied that Zhao had ever posed a threat to students or faculty. VT said they did not issue an alert the day of Zhao's arrest because there was no reason to issue an alert.

    The timeline in the search warrants (Mon 22 Jan notice about the magazine, Tue 25 Jan notice about the rifle, Fri 26 Jan shooting range visit) contradict the arrest warrant and court records that dated the offense as Fri 19 Jan 2018.

    Tue 30 Jan 2018, because of the arrest, he was expelled from VT and lost his foreign student status.

    Thu 1 Feb 2018, Yusong Zhao had his first hearing. Because he lost his foreign student status, ICE had a detainer on him. Because ICE put a detainer on him, the judge refused to release him on bond at his first hearing.

    His next hearing is scheduled for March.
     
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  18. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    he may well have violated a law, in the same way the average American commits several felonies a day, but there is no evidence of criminal intent, like the OP, and the news imply.
     
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  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The law had the desired result. It let the PD make a case without the dangers of dealing with bank robbers, etc., and exerted a chilling effect on gun owners who don't know exactly where they stand wrt the law.
     
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  20. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Intent is not an element of this offense. If you are a nonresident alien in Virginia, and are caught with a semiautomatic rifle with a 30-round magazine, the offense is complete. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
    I don't see this case having a chilling effect at all. Semiautomatic modern rifles with 30-round magazines are very common in Virginia (judging from the activity at local gun shows). This law, for most people, is a minor inconvenience. For example, the last time I bought a couple of stripped AR lower receivers, the dealer asked me for proof of citizenship (although he shouldn't have, under a strict reading of the law). I hadn't bothered to bring my passport or other proof of citizenship with me. No matter -- the dealer went on line and found me listed on the voter rolls, and I was good to go.

    The only people that have to worry about this are nonresident aliens in Yunsong Zhao's position. I think the university was somewhat negligent in failing to warn this student about the quirk in the law, and, in view of that, it was unjustified in expelling him. That compounded his troubles by turning him into a deportable illegal alien.
     
  21. zorro45

    zorro45 Member

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    Sounds like a good case for jury nullification. From my experience people who have evil intent do not use the gun locker at the University Police station. Might also have been an opportunity for the detective to do a little preemptive crime prevention instead of being an accessory to messing up some decent kids life big time.
     
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  22. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Probably won't go to a jury. Most likely, he'll reach a plea deal under which he's immediately deported back to China.

    The question that should be asked is where this "student" got all his money -- besides paying tuition, room, and board, he had money for a truck and a car and an AR-15. Obviously he wasn't hurting for cash. A lot of newly wealthy Chinese families send their children to the U.S. for a good time (read: "education") and they end up getting into trouble. They have freedom here -- including gun freedom -- that they could never even dream about in China. Growing up in China, they never learned how to be responsible with their freedom.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  23. SamT1

    SamT1 Member

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    What makes me suspect is that the police knew he had purchased a 30 round magazine? They had to be watching him to know that.
    What else doesn’t figure is was the 20 round not good enough for a simple range session? If he bought the gun at a store they probably kept the 30 round mag that came with it due to his citizenship, so he should have known the law.
    It really doesn’t make sense. Maybe he was checking the function of the mag to pull some sinister act? Maybe he wanted the full effect of the AR while he was in America? Maybe he just thought no one was watching? Honest mistake? We may never know.
     
  24. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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  25. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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