PDA

View Full Version : What ever happened with the FUD on "California Bushmaster"


superhondaz50
08-13-2008, 8:31 PM
Was talking to a customer today about the "California bushmaster" you know not the carbon fiber ones from Bushy but rather the modified ones from the guy who called himself "CA Bushmaster." He modified listed assault weapons (Colt and Bushmaster) to have "fixed mags" and got an approval from the DOJ that said he was a go. I know this was discussed before but for the life of me I cant find the thread. What was the whole end result of this? I never found out and honestly haven't really cared until I was asked about it today. I just tell people steer clear of anything listed as it's a no-go and to get a genuine off lister configure it properly and enjoy it. Did DOJ in essence say named weapons were ok if they had fixed mags? The reason I asked is because the customer was asking if he could prince 50 his Colt SP1 and bring it from his house in AZ back to CA. I told that I wouldnt try it which is when he brought up the whole CA Bushmaster guy who modded Genuine Colt AR-15's and then sold them (as we all know) in CA, and of course supplied them with letters from DOJ saying modded AR-15's were a go.......
Any advice.......Dont mind if I get flamed,
yeah I know I need to make better use of the search feature but i'm lazy :D

tankerman
08-13-2008, 9:45 PM
Talking about this idiot; Evan's Gunsmithing.

bwiese
08-14-2008, 7:01 PM
OK, here it is.

Some years ago, Evan's Gunsmithing (EGSW) & GBSales (unsure how they're related/interplay) started welding up magwells of AR rifles and selling them This included Colt & Bushmaster rifles.

In a DOJ letter to Evan's (http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/Evans-Gun-Smithing-2004-11-19.pdf), (now ex-) Special Agent Supervisor Iggy Chinn writes: November 19, 2004
Evans Gun Smithing
1637 No. Brian St.
Orange, CA 92687

Gentlepersons:

Concerning your request to evaluate your AR15 lower modifications to the magazine well to take the modified lower AR15 receiver out of series status, it is the opinion of this department that your modification changes the design to a point that we do not consider it a Stoner X-15 series design.

Therefore, any modification which conforms with the test model kept as evidence by the California Department of Justice Firearms Division as an exemplar is approved.

Sincerely,
(signature of Iggy Chinn)
IGNATIUS CHINN
Special Agent Supervisor
Firearms Division

For BILL LOCKYER
Attorney General Evans' apparently felt that this gave them permission, and that Iggy had Superman powers to overrule the law (banning Colt AR-15s as well as other Kasler-listed formally identified AR 'series' guns).

Note that the Nov 2004 date is over 3 years after Jun 2001 date of Harrott v. Kings County decision, where much of 'series' was thrown out. Iggy basically gave permission to build illegal assault weapons - a 'named' receiver built into an operable semiauto rifle is banned & illegal regardless of features. I believe the exemplar receiver sent for DOJ approval to be a DPMS Panther lower (listed), but it seems that the rifles sold/offered for sale (until attention was paid) were listed Bushmasters & Colts.

After a lotta OLL drama in 2006, some of Evan's/GBsales customers began wondering whether their rifles were indeed legal - since they were, in fact, 'listed' guns. Despite assurances from Evans' they were "DOJ approved" (waving that magic loose letter), some contacted the DOJ FD. Phone staff were a bit puzzled; somehow Iggy heard about this and contacted the relevant individuals, saying (approximately) "Everything's OK, don't worry, you don't need to call in anymore." Reports are that he told DOJ FD phone staff that they should contact him directly on any further such inquiries.

After a week or so of this, something boiled to the top and in late Nov 2006, it seems an (approx) half-day all-hands meeting of senior DOJ FD staff occurred. (I assume this means Rossi, Ferranto, Merrilees and some others - possibly even some non-FD lawyers since this could affect Lockyer). A determination was made that, in fact, some large fraction of EGSW's guns were illegal AWs (some were accidentally based on OLL receivers, however - but not thru any intention of EGSW!). There appears to have been acknowledgment & some surprise Iggy went so far 'off the reservation' - apparently nobody with any smarts or legal knowledge was ever consulted before the 'Iggy letter' was created.

I don't have all details, but (broadly) it seems Iggy's approval letter for Evans' - on AG Lockyer's signature - carried enough detrimental reliance weight any possible charges against Evans or its customers wouldn't be sustainable. Combined with the farcical Iggy powers to change law on the fly, a low-key fixup was arranged something like this: Evans would get AW mfg permit relevant to this situation to 'fix' the illegal AW aspect, customers contacted, and the guns would be re-marked "Evans-Bushmaster" & "Evans-Colt", for California purposes etc.

Some Evans'/GBsales weldups weren't Colt AR15s but were Colt Match Target rifles. As most folks here know, "Colt Match Target (all)" is also a listed Kasler entity. However, there were multiple reports of Iggy telling folks that these Colt rifles are actually "Colt MT6700", etc. [He could not make this assertion for Bushmasters.] While this is indeed true, it also offers up a possible defense element for anyone charged with possessing a modded Colt AR15 since there are a huge number of models (R6000 or R6601, etc. out there.)

Evan's reliance on Iggy-as-DOJ is somewhat understandable. They may not even have known him as the clown he is. What grates a lot of people about EGSW is their continued insistence about OLL illegality vs. our understanding of the laws/regulations that Evan's just stumbled around with - and lucked out. Frankly, if this drama had not happened, someone with a listed rifle built by Evan's could be in a helluva lot worse position than someone defending an OLL - esp w/MMG and/or BB.

You can even go to their website: http://www.californiabushmaster.com
and see they still have Colt AR15 weldups displayed (though website has been modified to say "out of stock" for all 'listed' guns, and they're now selling welded-up S&W M&P15s.

IMPORTANT: The availability of "Off-List" receivers has created much confusion in the marketplace. While different literal interpretations of the Regulations exist, it can be easily argued that these receivers violate the spirit of the California Assault Weapons Ban and can create a myriad of legal problems for individuals acting on the misguided advice of some of the promoters of these receivers.


District Attorneys in their respective jurisdictions, will take a different view of things like a "Bullet Button" magazine retention device that doesn't discriminate between a 10-round and a 30-round magazine. Some feel that mere possession of all the components constitutes "Conspiracy to Manufacture" an Assault Weapon. We have yet to see an Approval Letter from CA-DOJ provided for these products.

Ours is admittedly the conservative route to enjoying these types of weapons and we are the only ones who provide our written Approval Letter from CA-DOJ. Think about it.

As enthusiasts and Dealers in business to make a profit, we sympathize with Shooting Sports Enthusiasts who would love to see the Ban disappear. However, as long as the Ban exists, we will not engage in the sale or modification of "Off-List" receivers.

We can help you find what you're looking for, with our California-Legal versions of the REAL THING.



What a load of pure crapola. Look at yourselves - are you in jail? Doesn't every range have about every shooting position filled every weekend with OLL AR and AKs?

I have heard, perhaps incorrectly, that Evans is not long for this world due to health problems; perhaps someone more intelligent will take over that biz. It's too bad he doesn't see what the problem is, because we can always use more supportive, smart FFLs that don't cower to DOJ.

BroncoBob
08-14-2008, 10:13 PM
Bill thank you very much for explaining the whole Evans / Iggy story. My only comment is; only Iggy would start a letter with "Gentlepersons" What is that?

superhondaz50
08-14-2008, 10:21 PM
Excellent to know. Thanks Bill.

Saigon1965
08-14-2008, 10:31 PM
Bill thank you very much for explaining the whole Evans / Iggy story. My only comment is; only Iggy would start a letter with "Gentlepersons" What is that?


Zen -

tetris
11-13-2008, 9:09 AM
What a load of pure crapola. Look at yourselves - are you in jail? Doesn't every range have about every shooting position filled every weekend with OLL AR and AKs?

Bill, aside from the Kassler list and the feature differences in SB23, isn't the CA AWB basically the same as the old Federal AWB? In other words, under the 1994 AWB, it was accepted universally that one can still sell AR-15 type rifles, as long as they didn't have banned features and were not listed by name (e.g., Colt AR-15). I remember reading in the 1994 AWB that "similar models or clones" were also banned. For some reason, this had no practical effect at the Federal level, just as the 2001 CA Supreme Court case nulled similar language in CA.

Fundamentally, why do people in CA continue to think that the situation is any different here? Is there really any uncertainty remaining that an OLL with no banned features, not even a pistol grip or MMG is unambiguously legal? Even in MA, NY with AW bans, AR-15 clones are accepted as legal and common as bolt action hunting rifles. What makes CA so different?? Just DOJ zealousness and conspiracy with the Brady Center?

Could it be because the language about clones and similarity to listed AWs is directed at the receiver, and not the entire rifle? In other words, the OLL receivers are genuinely identical to listed AWs, even though the entire rifle is not (MMG, muzzle brake, etc).

CHS
11-13-2008, 10:56 AM
Bill, aside from the Kassler list and the feature differences in SB23, isn't the CA AWB basically the same as the old Federal AWB? In other words, under the 1994 AWB, it was accepted universally that one can still sell AR-15 type rifles, as long as they didn't have banned features and were not listed by name (e.g., Colt AR-15). I remember reading in the 1994 AWB that "similar models or clones" were also banned. For some reason, this had no practical effect at the Federal level, just as the 2001 CA Supreme Court case nulled similar language in CA.



The CA AWB is much more restrictive than the Fed ban. The Fed ban just left us with normal AR's with crowned muzzles and no bayonet lugs. The CA ban forces us to cripple our rifles.

tetris
11-13-2008, 10:40 PM
The CA AWB is much more restrictive than the Fed ban. The Fed ban just left us with normal AR's with crowned muzzles and no bayonet lugs. The CA ban forces us to cripple our rifles.

I know the CA ban via SB23 is more restrictive (no evil features allowed for detachable mag), but until recently, it was not even accepted that OLL were legal. But under the Federal ban, which banned Colt AR-15 and clones and copies, this was never an issue. Why is this?

grammaton76
11-13-2008, 10:49 PM
In CA, the case Harrott vs Kings County struck down the "series" designation ("clones and copies"), because a guy who'd bought a Saiga had no way to know that it was an AK-47 under the hood.

grammaton76
11-13-2008, 10:53 PM
Some years ago, Evan's Gunsmithing (EGSW) & GBSales (unsure how they're related/interplay) started welding up magwells of AR rifles and selling them This included Colt & Bushmaster rifles.

From what I've been able to tell:

Geoff Barrett (also visible via 'whois californiabushmaster.com') owns GB Sales, which is the retail shop and such.

Evans is a gunsmith who makes the rifles which seem to be exclusively sold via GB Sales.

I suspect it's kinda like Ray, the gunsmith over at Iron Sights in Oceanside. He's not an employee, but he handles the gunsmithing work that comes in. Only in Evans' case, he's manufacturing rifles for Geoff.