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tetris
11-20-2008, 10:57 PM
I was reading some archived articles in the LA Times about the CA AWB from 1989 until 2001. I came across the following article from 1999: http://articles.latimes.com/1999/nov/08/news/mn-31260

The title is "Assault Rifles Being Altered to Skirt Law," and it includes the following information:

"At a little gunsmith shop in a Santa Ana business and industrial complex, owner Shawn Tugwell removes the offending pistol grip from a semiautomatic rifle that California will soon outlaw as an assault weapon.

In its place, Tugwell screws on a substitute grip of a high-strength plastic molded to conform to the gun’s original stock.

Behold, what was a banned gun under California’s newly toughened assault weapon controls seemingly is reinvented into a more conventional sporting firearm for hunting or paper targets.

Assuming it has no other prohibited characteristics, Tugwell believes the rifle, in this case a .223-caliber Colt Sporter, will pass legal muster and avoid the requirement that it be registered.

“We’re trying to make a couple of bucks, and we’re also trying to give the people a chance to … comply with the law,” said Tugwell, who sells his $69.95 replacement grip at gun shows, online and at his GunCompliantStocks shop."


Umm, sounds an awful lot like off-list lowers and monsterman grips....and this was 1999! Remember, the Colt Sporter was off-list in 1999 since it was developed in response to the 1989 Roberti-Roos ban on all Colt AR-15s. It was later added to the Kasler list as you can check for yourselves.

So I ask the question again: where did the belief that all AR-15 clones (e.g. Stag 15) are illegal regardless of evil features come from? When did the DOJ start promulgating this FUD? Multiple articles in the LA Times archives suggest that it was understood back in the 1990s that model number changes were a way around the law, hence the very reason for the introduction of the Attorney General list.

Heck, if you don't believe me, just read this June 2000 quote from Justice Janice Rogers Brown. Remember, this was pre-Harrot:
http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/30/news/mn-46345
“Concerned citizens need not struggle with the question whether, for example, a particular firearm is identical to one of the listed assault weapons except for slight modifications,” Brown wrote. “The citizens may simply consult the amended list.”

So the CA Supreme Court is saying before Harrot that the gun must be listed to be identified as a AW. Harrot just reaffirms that statement.

And the western director of Handgun Control Inc (Brady Bunch) is quoted as saying: “The tragedy is that, for 10 years, illegal copycat assault weapons, like the TEC-DC-9 and the Colt Sporter, flooded California streets because the gun lobby’s phony legal arguments prevented this law from being enforced,” Tolley said.

So you have here the Brady Bunch admitting that the Colt Sporter was developed to circumvent the "Colt AR-15" Roberti-Roos ban--thus demonstrating that the "minor variation" language in the original Roberti-Roos bill was meaningless for all of the 1990s---just as the 1994 Federal AWB didn't prohibit the sale of copycats.

So can somebody with more years comment on when exactly it became impossible to find any AR-15 variant for sale in CA (if ever)? Or when it become common knowledge among gun store owners in CA that the AR-15 was a no-no in any shape, form or bastardization? Because these articles strongly suggest that AR-15s were only unavailable in CA between the passage of SB23 in 2000 and the OLL crazy in early 2006---even though our friend Tugwell seems to have been about six or seven years ahead of Hoffman, B. Weiss and MonsterMan.

sorensen440
11-20-2008, 10:59 PM
neat find

69Mach1
11-20-2008, 11:09 PM
where did the belief that all AR-15 clones (e.g. Stag 15) are illegal regardless of evil features come from

Because of the "series" language of Cat. 2 on AR's (and AK's). The OLL revolution came after "series" was struck down and forced make and model listings.

hoffmang
11-20-2008, 11:10 PM
A couple of things.

1. Please don't credit me with OLLs. I stand on the shoulders of at least three others before Wes Morris was willing to be the "Redhead going to jail."

2. There seems to have been some understanding of the issue around the time of the passage of SB-23. However, there was real confusion whether "(e) The term "series" includes all other models that are only variations, with minor differences, of those models listed in subdivision (a), regardless of the manufacturer." included eg. STAG-15's before Harrot was release in June of 2001.

3. The expiration of the Federal AWB and the growth of the Internet combined to really create momentum behind OLLs.

-Gene

383green
11-20-2008, 11:19 PM
I have a couple of those Tugwell grips, or as I like to call them, "turd grips". They were briefly useful between the enactment of the feature restrictions and the addition of my Bushmaster ARs to the list. They gathered dust in another state from that point until I started buying OLLs, but now they have returned to CA (leaving their old Bushmaster lowers behind... until we get the AW bans shot down, that is!). I don't remember the exact timing and details, but I do recall a fairly brief window of time between the feature ban and a list update that sent my Bushmasters running for the border.

bwiese
11-20-2008, 11:34 PM
Your article relates to the period before the Aug 2000 Kasler decision - which made 'series' broadly inclusive of anything looking AR or AK-like.

Before August 16 2000, any AR not a "Colt AR15" or AK not marked an "AK47" was an OLL: thus Colt Sporters and Hungarian SA85Ms were sold.

After the Aug 16, 2000 Kasler decision any AR/AK was prohibited as a 'series member' regardless of configured features suite, and the Kasler list was just guidance over a fair (but not all) fraction of the AR/AK market. It was up to individuals to recognize they had a series member and register it as an AW.

ARs/AKs had a separate but overlapping AW registration period with SB23; while SB23 reg closed 12/31/00, AR/AK Kasler reg period closed Jan 23 2001 (due to a misprint).

After Jun 28, 2001 the Harrott decision made the Kasler-listed AR/AK items the only banned-by-name AR/AKs. Other unlisted receivers/guns were 'off-list'.

tetris
11-21-2008, 7:09 AM
Your article relates to the period before the Aug 2000 Kasler decision - which made 'series' broadly inclusive of anything looking AR or AK-like.

Before August 16 2000, any AR not a "Colt AR15" or AK not marked an "AK47" was an OLL: thus Colt Sporters and Hungarian SA85Ms were sold.

After the Aug 16, 2000 Kasler decision any AR/AK was prohibited as a 'series member' regardless of configured features suite, and the Kasler list was just guidance over a fair (but not all) fraction of the AR/AK market. It was up to individuals to recognize they had a series member and register it as an AW.

Ok, thanks, this is really the information I was looking for. The progression of events makes sense now. I think the clearest thing is that the "series/minor variation" language makes no logical sense in light of the list (as Harrot proved).

I mean, what the legislature is saying is "Anything specifically mentioned on this list that you should consult for eliminating ambiguity is an AW...oh and by the way, anything else which we later determine in court that you should have really known to also be an AW will get you tossed in jail".

So basically, CA wasn't really that bad until 2000. Gee, thanks... :(

ldivinag
11-21-2008, 8:42 PM
not gonna believe this, i was in the middle of this mess...

well, i tried to buy a colt sporter around aug 2000.

i started the DROS around aug 18, IIRC.

the sucky part about this? besides not getting the colt. the damn store held on to my money for close to december.

so glad that person went out of business...

the store was M&N armory in fremont. the guy kept telling me he was gonna try to write the DOJ for special permission.

actually his first excuse was, i wrote something wrong in the DROS. so i fill out new DROS form and came back 10 days later, still no colt.

another 10 days laters, he starts with the "i'll write the DOJ" bull.

stupid me, wanted the colt so badly, i fell into it. and i just kept agreeing with the "plan"...

right around december, when i finally told him, i wanted a refund. sure enough, refund took forever too.

btw, the colt he was gonna sell me, was gonna be without a pistol grip.

tetris
11-21-2008, 9:30 PM
But if the DROS bounces on a long gun, it must have been for something unrelated to the fact that it was an AR-15 type rifle, right? I mean, the DROS for long guns doesn't specify model number, if I remember correctly.