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Sequim man charged with unlawful possession of a fully automatic rifle

On May 21, Jesse L. Spencer, 43, of Sequim, was charged in Clallam County Superior Court with Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, a felony violation of Washington State Law.

The case began when a citizen contacted Port Angeles Police with concerns about a man with a fully automatic rifle. Detectives were assigned to the case and he investigation, which was a team effort between Port Angeles Police Dept., Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Task Force, Sequim Police Dept., and the Clallam County Sheriff's Office, led to the arrest of Spencer west of Sequim and two search warrants which were executed at Spencer's home in Sequim.

Washington State Law defines a machine gun as a firearm modified or designed to fire continuously with one pull of the trigger so long as the trigger remains depressed and there is ammunition properly supplied to the weapon.

"Federal Law allows for possession of a machine gun under limited circumstances with proper documentation. However, each of the 50 states have their own laws as well. Washington State broadly prohibits possession of a machine gun with only a few exceptions for police, military, persons who repair weapons for police or military, exporters who comply with all federal laws, and persons who possessed a machine gun within Washington prior to July 1st 1994 in compliance with Federal Law,"  Detective Jason Viada.

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