PDA

View Full Version : Cap and Ball with conversion cylinder in Ca. ?


Can'thavenuthingood
10-20-2005, 11:03 PM
Specifically the Ruger Old Army .45 cap and ball has a drop in cylinder that switches it to .45 Long Colt. No FFL needed.

The puzzle is doesn't this do away with the intent of the law or sidestep it in a big way?

I've spent the last few hours reviewing the Dangerous Weapons Control Law http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/dwc.htm and have been unable to find anything regarding conversion cylinders. It may be covered or could be conceived to be a redesign.

Am I allowed to have one of these cylinder conversions in this great state?

Vick

socalguns
10-20-2005, 11:23 PM
If you're not a prohibited person,
you're allowed to manufacture a firearm
that you can legally own.

blacklisted
10-20-2005, 11:25 PM
Here are links to the items if anyone is interested:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=833798

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=291380

s281c
10-21-2005, 8:14 AM
Specifically the Ruger Old Army .45 cap and ball has a drop in cylinder that switches it to .45 Long Colt. No FFL needed.

The puzzle is doesn't this do away with the intent of the law or sidestep it in a big way?

I've spent the last few hours reviewing the Dangerous Weapons Control Law http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/dwc.htm and have been unable to find anything regarding conversion cylinders. It may be covered or could be conceived to be a redesign.

Am I allowed to have one of these cylinder conversions in this great state?

Vick

A couple of months back there was a guy selling a ton of these at the Cow Palace gun show, he had a DOJ letter stating that it was legal to purchase them.

bwiese
10-21-2005, 10:19 AM
If you're not a prohibited person,
you're allowed to manufacture a firearm
that you can legally own.


Absolutely not true. You can't build an 'unsafe' handgun (except for exempted types) without DOJ preapproval, testing, etc. So in CA you can't build up a 1911 from a raw forging. This is from the 'horse's mouth' at a recent NRA Members' Council dinner meeting where Dir. & Asst Director of DOJ Firearms Div were doing a Q&A session.

The exemption is for single-action revolvers w/5 or more rounds and 3" or more of barrel length. In 2006, single-shot handguns with reasonably long bbls (I forget the min. length) will also be exempt from safe gun laws due to recently approved legislation.

Since the Ruger Old Army, etc. cap & ball revolvers are single actions and fit the other minimum single action criteria, adding the conversion cylinder is not illegal.

I do not know if this needs to be DROSed, however, or HSC required -probably so.


A couple of months back there was a guy selling a ton of these at the Cow Palace gun show, he had a DOJ letter stating that it was legal to purchase them.

Possession is one thing, assembly into a gun is another. In this case, it's OK. But lotsa gunshow guys really extrapolate full legality from a single statement about possession.





Bill Wiese
San Jose

bear
10-21-2005, 10:22 AM
The thing is, if you add the cost of the cylinder to the cost of the gun, it's the same as a Ruger Vaquero. So you have to really want to do this.

If you already had the pistol for example, then it would be a cheap way to add capability.

But doesn't really seem worth it if you have to buy both pieces. You wind up with a "low-end" pistol that shoots a cartidge caliber. You can buy one of those imported real cowboy guns for $275 that is made for .45 Colt.

s281c
10-21-2005, 11:53 AM
The exemption is for single-action revolvers w/5 or more rounds and 3" or more of barrel length. In 2006, single-shot handguns with reasonably long bbls (I forget the min. length) will also be exempt from safe gun laws due to recently approved legislation.

Since the Ruger Old Army, etc. cap & ball revolvers are single actions and fit the other minimum single action criteria, adding the conversion cylinder is not illegal.
Bill Wiese
San Jose


Bill they only make the cylinders for single action versions of these revolvers so the exemption is in effect. I did talk to the guy selling these and asked him the details on the transactions.....................No DROS or other paper work necessary since you're buying a cap and ball revolver.

note: he did mention that there is a little bit of fitting of the cylinder necessary to make it work.

s281c
10-21-2005, 11:57 AM
The thing is, if you add the cost of the cylinder to the cost of the gun, it's the same as a Ruger Vaquero. So you have to really want to do this.

If you already had the pistol for example, then it would be a cheap way to add capability.

But doesn't really seem worth it if you have to buy both pieces. You wind up with a "low-end" pistol that shoots a cartidge caliber. You can buy one of those imported real cowboy guns for $275 that is made for .45 Colt.

I think the advantage is no DROS paperwork since you're buying a cap and ball gun. Also some of the guns that the conversion kits are available for are not the low-end type of cheap pistols, the guy at the Cow Palace had some pretty nice Uberti (remington and cattleman versions) that are produced as normal cartridge guns.

docfubar
10-21-2005, 10:37 PM
As said above you do not have to register a cap and ball revolver in California, and the conversion cylinder is just an accessory so it also does not need to be registered, HOWEVER, if you modify the revolver into a permanetly converted pistol you do have to register it.

There are 2 different manufactures that I know of that make conversion cylinders, R&D conversions http://www.randdgunshop.com and Kirst Kartridge Konvertor http://www.kirstkonverter.com .

I have the R&D for my uberti 1858 and it works great with 45long colt cowboy loads. The Kirst has a drop in model also but also has one with a loading gate that you have to modify the gun.

booknut
10-22-2005, 12:58 PM
I've had a Kirst for a couple of years now.
I think I ordered it from him too.
I know I had several questions (non about legality), and the guy at Kirst answered them all over email.

I still haven't shot it yet, though.

socalguns
10-23-2005, 4:48 AM
Absolutely not true. You can't build an 'unsafe' handgun (except for exempted types) without DOJ preapproval, testing, etc. So in CA you can't build up a 1911 from a raw forging. This is from the 'horse's mouth' at a recent NRA Members' Council dinner meeting where Dir. & Asst Director of DOJ Firearms Div were doing a Q&A session.


raw forging? If its legal to complete an %80 receiver (and it is),
why would a raw forging be any different?

bwiese
10-23-2005, 9:50 AM
Absolutely not true. You can't build an 'unsafe' handgun (except for exempted types) without DOJ preapproval, testing, etc. So in CA you can't build up a 1911 from a raw forging. This is from the 'horse's mouth' at a recent NRA Members' Council dinner meeting where Dir. & Asst Director of DOJ Firearms Div were doing a Q&A session.


raw forging? If its legal to complete an %80 receiver (and it is), why would a raw forging be any different?

Because you're just wrong. 80% receiver, raw forging, etc. are irrelevant under CA law. You may be thinking of more relaxed Fed law.

An 80% receiver and a raw forging are essentially legally equivalent in CA. Once that hunk of metal becomes a gun (receiver/frame), it is subject to the 'unsafe gun' laws. And it has to be DROSed to yourself (and you have an HSC card).

If you had the homebuilt receiver that was mfgd before the 'safe gun' enactment you are OK.

A so-called 80% reciever being completed after 2002 (?) is considered the creation of a new 'unsafe gun' in CA unless it's an exempt single-action revolver or (starting in 2006) a single shot pistol w/reasonably long bbl (I forget the details, but think of XP100-style guns, etc.) You can only build your own gun (except these exempted types) if you have preapproval from DOJ, were set up to get it safety tested & approved, etc.

Again, you cannot build 'unsafe guns' in CA. Forget about 80% stuff, it has no legal significance.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

socalguns
10-24-2005, 12:51 AM
Because you're just wrong. 80% receiver, raw forging, etc. are irrelevant under CA law. You may be thinking of more relaxed Fed law.

An 80% receiver and a raw forging are essentially legally equivalent in CA. Once that hunk of metal becomes a gun (receiver/frame), it is subject to the 'unsafe gun' laws. And it has to be DROSed to yourself (and you have an HSC card).

If you had the homebuilt receiver that was mfgd before the 'safe gun' enactment you are OK.

A so-called 80% reciever being completed after 2002 (?) is considered the creation of a new 'unsafe gun' in CA unless it's an exempt single-action revolver or (starting in 2006) a single shot pistol w/reasonably long bbl (I forget the details, but think of XP100-style guns, etc.) You can only build your own gun (except these exempted types) if you have preapproval from DOJ, were set up to get it safety tested & approved, etc.

Again, you cannot build 'unsafe guns' in CA. Forget about 80% stuff, it has no legal significance.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

Then why bring it up if your only point is that
you can't build an unsafe handgun?
If the design you're building is one exempt from the testing requirement
(its on the roster or whatever), then you can build it.

If a licensed manufacturer can build a firearm that you can buy,
you can build the same firearm!!!

Technical Ted is right, its best to get legal advice from a lawyer.

bwiese
10-24-2005, 9:04 AM
Then why bring it up if your only point is that you can't build an unsafe handgun?

Hey guy, I really didn't bring it up except as a passing comment - my further response(s) were responding to & correcting misinformation you had posted - your original post was a vastly oversweeping statement that encompassed illegal actions.

If the design you're building is one exempt from the testing requirement (its on the roster or whatever), then you can build it.

Correct. And that's only single-action revolvers w/5 or more shots and 3+" or longer barrels. In 2006 it will include single-shot pistols (which can't be homebuilt as of right now). That's it: no other handguns (frames) can be homebuilt in CA - revolvers, autoloaders, etc.

If a licensed manufacturer can build a firearm that you can buy,
you can build the same firearm!!!

Dang, there you go again - another oversweeping statement, absolutely not true. For rifles this is OK (except for assault weapons) since there is no 'unsafe gun' law pertaining to rifles. But in CA you cannot build 80+% of the handguns that are sold within CA by or via mfgrs/distributor/retail gun stores - unless you go thru the detailed preapproval process/testing a mfgr does to sell handguns in CA.

Technical Ted is right, its best to get legal advice from a lawyer

True, but that's a cop out for many folks since you really need to be able to read & understand the law yourself for normal daily gun use. Lawyers really only come under play in edge conditions. The laws and regulations are available via the web.

And, yes, these matters of homebuilt guns vs. 'unsafe guns' came directly from the mouths lawyers - the top dogs of Cal DOJ: its Director, Randy Rossi, and Asst. Dir, Tim Riegert. They also specifically mentioned 'legislative intent' and how strongly courts use it.



Bill Wiese
San Jose

socalguns
10-26-2005, 6:52 AM
Dang, there you go again - another oversweeping statement, absolutely not true. For rifles this is OK (except for assault weapons) since there is no 'unsafe gun' law pertaining to rifles. But in CA you cannot build 80+% of the handguns that are sold within CA by or via mfgrs/distributor/retail gun stores - unless you go thru the detailed preapproval process/testing a mfgr does to sell handguns in CA.
No, there you go again.
According to
http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/dwcl/12085.htm
if you make less than 100 firearms per calendar year
you do not have to be licensed as a manufacturer ...
you don't have to go through submitting test samples unless its an unapproved design.
Its not as if every single handgun has to be tested by an independent lab.

bwiese
10-26-2005, 9:14 AM
No, there you go again.
According to http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/dwcl/12085.htm
if you make less than 100 firearms per calendar year you do not have to be licensed as a manufacturer... you don't have to go through submitting test samples unless its an unapproved design. Its not as if every single handgun has to be tested by an independent lab.

There YOU go again. Learn how to read. Laws don't exist independently in a vacuum but interact with others.

You found old law that is superceded/modified by unsafe gun law. The law you quote mentions Jan 1, 1999 - this unsafe gun stuff came into play in 2001.

No, every single nonexempt handgun manufactured does not need to be tested by a lab - just exemplars of a given make/model and feature combination. Different bbl length? stainless instead of blued steel? Gotta test those versions in all their combinations.

Furthermore, you are confusing possession of (or lack of) manufacturing license w/ ability or disablity to make unsafe guns. They are separate things. Your comment about submitting test samples has no factual basis in the law. Sure, you can make up to 100 single-action revolvers and/or rifles per year without a manufacturing license. There are exceptions for prototype handguns but those are not general use guns - sole purpose is testing.

Again, this is from the horse's mouth - from the Dir & Asst Dir of DOJ during a free-form discussion. They are both lawyers and both know guns. They pulled out the law book during this question and it was made plain that homebuilt handguns other than exempt ones (single-action revolvers) can't be done. Even the legislative intent is clear - to ban 'unsafe'/unapproved handguns in CA except specifically for those being brought in by new residents or those existing ones being transferred via PPT (or for testing or LEO use).

Extract from http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/dwcl/12125.htm ; italics/underline are mine.

12125 thru 12133 Handgun Safety Testing
CHAPTER 1.3. UNSAFE HANDGUNS

12125. (a) Commencing January 1, 2001, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state for sale, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, gives, or lends any unsafe handgun shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.
(b) This section shall not apply to any of the following:
(1) The manufacture in this state, or importation into this state, of any prototype pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person when the manufacture or importation is for the sole purpose of allowing an independent laboratory certified by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12130 to conduct an independent test to determine whether that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is prohibited by this chapter, and, if not, allowing the department to add the firearm to the roster of pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person that may be sold in this state pursuant to Section 12131.
(2) The importation or lending of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person by employees or authorized agents determining whether the weapon is prohibited by this section.
(3) Firearms listed as curios or relics, as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(4) The sale or purchase of any pistol, revolver or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, if the pistol, revolver, or other firearm is sold to, or purchased by, the Department of Justice, any police department, any sheriff's official, any marshal's office, the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, the California Highway Patrol, any district attorney's office, or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States for use in the discharge of their official duties. Nor shall anything in this section prohibit the sale to, or purchase by, sworn members of these agencies of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(c) Violations of subdivision (a) are cumulative with respect to each handgun and shall not be construed as restricting the application of any other law. However, an act or omission punishable in different ways by this section and other provisions of law shall not be punished under more than one provision, but the penalty to be imposed shall be determined as set forth in Section 654.
{and so on...}

Plain as day.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

WallySparx
10-26-2005, 4:25 PM
not to take things too off topic, but can anyone point me to any good links regarding collecting, loading, and shooting cap and ball revolvers? the idea that you don't have to dros them and that they make smoke intrigues me.

bwiese
10-26-2005, 6:24 PM
Wally -

Take a look at the Ruger Old Army, and Brownell's apparently carries the conversion cylinders...

Bill Wiese
San Jose

s281c
10-26-2005, 6:31 PM
Midwayusa also carries the conversion cylinders.

docfubar
10-27-2005, 1:08 AM
Wally here are some links for you.


http://www.riverjunction.com/index.html
http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2h.muzzleloader.htm
http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/

socalguns
10-27-2005, 1:15 AM
There YOU go again. Learn how to read. Laws don't exist independently in a vacuum but interact with others.

Open your eyes and continue reading.
For one, look at the definition of unsafe handgun and who's required to do testing.


You found old law that is superceded/modified by unsafe gun law. The law you quote mentions Jan 1, 1999 - this unsafe gun stuff came into play in 2001.

So what if its from 1999, it still applies.



No, every single nonexempt handgun manufactured does not need to be tested by a lab - just exemplars of a given make/model and feature combination. Different bbl length? stainless instead of blued steel? Gotta test those versions in all their combinations.

Furthermore, you are confusing possession of (or lack of) manufacturing license w/ ability or disablity to make unsafe guns. They are separate things. Your comment about submitting test samples has no factual basis in the law. Sure, you can make up to 100 single-action revolvers and/or rifles per year without a manufacturing license. There are exceptions for prototype handguns but those are not general use guns - sole purpose is testing.

Again, this is from the horse's mouth - from the Dir & Asst Dir of DOJ during a free-form discussion. They are both lawyers and both know guns. They pulled out the law book during this question and it was made plain that homebuilt handguns other than exempt ones (single-action revolvers) can't be done. Even the legislative intent is clear - to ban 'unsafe'/unapproved handguns in CA except specifically for those being brought in by new residents or those existing ones being transferred via PPT (or for testing or LEO use).

Extract from http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/dwcl/12125.htm ; italics/underline are mine.



Plain as day.

Yes, its plain as day you're making stuff up.

booknut
10-27-2005, 9:05 AM
I haven't seen anyone discuss the term 'manufacture', or ' manufacturer'.

Can anyone here provide a link or other directions to where the term 'manufacture' is defined by the state of California?

bwiese
10-27-2005, 9:35 AM
socalguns...

Well, go ahead and make your own (illegal) handguns. Good luck. Lemme know where to send the KY jelly.

When you take a hunk of metal, and turn it into a receiver and then into an operational gun, that's _manufacture_. And the law extends that to "causes to be manufactured" - meaning they're real sticklers, covering even the remotest cases.

The law says (italics mine):

Commencing January 1, 2001, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state for sale, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, gives, or lends any unsafe handgun shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.

That's YOU, if you make an unsafe handgun in your garage.

Dude, ANY means ANY.

That's REGARDLESS of whatever you dug up before about 100 guns or less, etc. with a 1999 implementation date. Laws do change, modify, influence and override other laws. You can't read statements from the law independently and in a vacuum. These 2001 matters supercede 1999 matters in the specific areas legislated.


The manufacture in this state, or importation into this state, of any prototype pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person when the manufacture or importation is for the sole purpose of allowing an independent laboratory certified by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12130 to conduct an independent test to determine whether that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is prohibited by this chapter, and, if not, allowing the department to add the firearm to the roster of pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person that may be sold in this state pursuant to Section 12131.

That's again required of YOU making a handgun in your garage.


As used in this chapter, the "firing requirement for handguns" means a test in which the manufacturer provides three handguns of the make and model for which certification is sought, to an independent testing laboratory certified by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 12130. These handguns may not be refined or modified in any way from those that would be made available for retail sale if certification is granted. The magazines of a tested pistol shall be identical to those ... {snip}


There's nothing here about licensed manufacturers, or restricting scope of the law to just licensed mfgrs.

Apparently you also don't understand the legal concept of legislative intent. As the Dir & Asst Dir of Cal DOJ firearms (again, both lawyers, and both gun-aware) pointed out, even if by some tortured explanation there were the appearance of a tiny loophole, the clear expression in the law that unsafe handgun acquisition, manufacture and importation, minus listed specific exemptions, is banned in the law. This goes a long way for a judge. (If this came to court and you insisted you had the right to make an unsafe handgun because of some 'loophole' you perceived, it's the judge who'd make the determination of this as a matter of law.) Additionally, the general intent of the law is strengthened because the law explicitly allows a few limited, very specific exemptions where the PC12125 unsafe gun laws don't apply (single action revolvers, C&R guns, PPT transfers of unsafe guns, testing of guns, and LEO/gov't exemptions): if other exceptions were warranted, courts would feel that legislature would have specified them in original law.

Bottom line, you are wrong. The only way you can make an unsafe handgun would be thru prearrangement from DOJ for one or few exemplar guns required to be submitted for testing. Once those are approved, fees paid, etc. and on registry, you can keep making that same for yourself, likely subject to the one-new-handgun-per-month laws and possession of HSC card. (I'd bet you don't get the exemplar guns back either.)

The fact you are not required to be licensed for manufacturing less than 100 guns per year does not effect, and is indeed entirely separate from, the fact that new handguns (other than SA revolvers and LEO-only guns) made in CA on/after 1 Jan 2001 must be safe handguns as determined by laboratory tests and DOJ approval.

When the law is pretty obvious, the legislative intent is quite clear, and when real lawyers that are pretty smart and who run the DOJ Firearms Division also tell me all the above - and then add caveats about legislative intent - I'm gonna go with their decision.

Your grade-school reading skills may indicate otherwise. Hey, it's only a misdemanor.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

bwiese
10-27-2005, 10:49 AM
I haven't seen anyone discuss the term 'manufacture', or ' manufacturer'.

Can anyone here provide a link or other directions to where the term 'manufacture' is defined by the state of California?

It may or may not be defined - I haven't seen it but haven't looked too hard.

A licensed manufacturer, relevant to firearms, is one that apparently makes over 100 guns a year. But making less than 100 guns/yr does not mean that those guns are not manufactured, it just means that no license to be a gun mfgr is required.

[And contrary to socalguns assertions, this is completely separate and independent of the unsafe gun laws.]

I believe for firearms that once an operational receiver is built and serialized, that's considered 'manufacture'. However, if it's a specific type/style of firearm where a receiver can fall into one or another class - say, for example, a regular rifle or assault weapon - then the manufacture of that particular class of firearm is triggered by the addition/deletion of an evil feature.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

Rascal
10-30-2005, 8:03 PM
Hi Bill,
Your statements in post #25 all say "manufacture for sale or something to do with the sale of the handgun. What if you manufacture for private ownership, do these laws still apply, as you are never going to sell this handgun, but keep if for personnal use? :confused: It never says anything about private use.
I understand what you are saying about the legistrative intent is to keep new "unsafe handguns" from coming into Kalifornia, but if you make this handgun and never sell it, why can't you make one?

bwiese
10-30-2005, 10:04 PM
Hi there Rascal,

Maybe I run into you at Big Reno Show next month...

Your statements in post #25 all say "manufacture for sale or something to do with the sale of the handgun. What if you manufacture for private ownership, do these laws still apply, as you are never going to sell this handgun, but keep if for personnal use? :confused: It never says anything about private use.

I understand what you are saying about the legistrative intent is to keep new "unsafe handguns" from coming into Kalifornia, but if you make this handgun and never sell it, why can't you make one?

Because manufacturing an unsafe handgun is specifically banned.

Consider your logic, but apply it instead to machinegun law: "I'm just making these for private use" simply won't fly too well with state or BATF ;)

Really, the law as written here doesn't NEED to say anything about private use - unless it wanted to allow it. In fact, its lack of mention definitely means it's prohibited. Nonallowance for private use is directly inferrable from the original prohibition in PC 12125(a) OR[/B]s are mine, except for final one]. Read it this way:

Commencing Jan 1, 2001, [u]any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured OR imports into the state for sale OR keeps for sale OR offers or exposes for sale, gives, OR lends any unsafe handgun shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.

Reading deliberately, you can see that those various conditions in the dependent clauses are "OR"-ed together: they operate separately from each other. If any one of them is true, the rest of the statement is true; in particular the underlined statement "...any person who manufactures an unsafe handgun shall be punished..." can be extracted from this.

The reality is, unfortunately, one simply can't make any 'unsafe gun' inside CA because there's just no exemption for manufacturing for "private use without resale". Just about any gun you make at home will be nonexempt (except for single action revolvers w/5 or more shots and 3" or longer barrel).

Subsequent use of the gun is irrelevant (except as a preapproved exemplar for drop-safety testing upon DOJ preapproval, etc.). Make a nonexempt handgun after 1/1/2001? Then you've committed an 'unsafe gun' crime (!!!)

The text of this law, after its initial declarations, lists specific exemptions to this for very limited purposes, including single-action revolvers, preapproved testing, LEO sales, etc. There is simply no exemption for BillyBob making 1911 frames in his garage for his upcoming IPSC matches.

The fact that the law has a broad-based manufacturing ban for unsafe handguns - but then specifically offers several detailed exemptions to this ban - especially clarifies legislative intent. After all, a court's logic would consider that the legislature has taken the time to write out the details for these special exemptions - after likely committee rework, legislative debate, voting and gov's signature or 2/3 override - and they could've written other ones too if they'd really intended for that activity to be specifically allowable here.

This is not just me talking; this was fairly well discussed at a spring NRA Members' Council dinner meeting in San Jose, with DOJ's Randy Rossi and Tim Riegert (Dir & Asst Dir.) doing from-the-floor Q&As. Riegert even grabbed his books when this was brought up, looked up relevant stuff, discussed it, and then further discussed legislative intent, etc.

I also suspect you could get a double-whammy charge if you made an unsafe gun and then sold or gave it to someone.

Some good news: in 2006, due to passage/signing of SB269, single-shot pistols w/min. 3" bbl length and 7.5" overall length will be exempt from 'unsafe gun' laws, etc.



Bill Wiese
San Jose

Rascal
10-31-2005, 12:43 PM
So what you are saying is that because there is no mention of private ownership, it is refferred to as not allowable. They would have had to make the exception for private ownership in order for it to be true by writing it in. Ok I get it. Too bad :(
Thanks

Don't know if I'm going Friday or Saturday, but I will be the one wearing the Calguns T-shirt and a black cowboy hat.

bwiese
10-31-2005, 2:22 PM
So what you are saying is that because there is no mention of private ownership, it is refferred to as not allowable. They would have had to make the exception for private ownership in order for it to be true by writing it in. Ok I get it. Too bad :(

Exactamundo!

Laws are structured like this to ban everything, and back off with with limited exemptions for a few very specific things. Laws written this way have relatively little chance for 'loopholes', and even the possibility of a minor loophole is generally trumped by legistlative intent. Paradoxically, if the law had no exemptions there might be more 'wiggle room' - but the fact that they took time & trouble to write various exemptions meant they were thinking of things and therefore would've added others if they'd wanted to do so.


Don't know if I'm going Friday or Saturday, but I will be the one wearing the Calguns T-shirt and a black cowboy hat.

Won't be at show til Sat around 11+ AM, and on Sunday too. Fri afternoon/eve is for travel, checkin, dinner, R&R... will keep an eye out for you.

Me: tall dude w/red(dish) short sleeved shirt, boots and Smith & Wesson hat and very pronounced opinions ;)


Bill Wiese
San Jose

artherd
10-31-2005, 5:40 PM
Much of Federal law is based on the socalled Interstate Commerce Clause. So 'making for your own consumption' is often a way out (there's even some case law indicating that home made MGs may one day be legal thanks to the ICC basis of the NFA.)

This does not often apply as much or at all to state law however.

Do we have a clear DOJ opinion as to what constitutes "manufacture" with regards to an Unsafe handgun?

Pending that, I would side with TT and Bill on this one.

bwiese
10-31-2005, 5:52 PM
Do we have a clear DOJ opinion as to what constitutes "manufacture" with regards to an Unsafe handgun?


There's no official definition I've encountered. So I think we have to take the plain meaning of the word - implying creation, formation, building of, etc. There's no formality associated with this - that is, being part of a company, being engaged in for-profit business vs a hobby, etc. If the gun came into being under your auspices, you 'manufactured' it.

All of the above take place whereever a dude with a milling machine is making his receivers.

This is what DOJ's Riegert construed it as in our informal discussion as well.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

saki302
10-31-2005, 11:35 PM
I would bet making a SA revolver into a DA one would count as making an unsafe handgun (unless it was BP).

Even some of the smaller SA revolvers are still tested by the state (NAA mini revolvers, for example), so there must be some sort of minimum size requirements in effect.

-Dave

socalguns
11-01-2005, 4:33 AM
I haven't seen anyone discuss the term 'manufacture', or ' manufacturer'.

Can anyone here provide a link or other directions to where the term 'manufacture' is defined by the state of California?


http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=firearm%20manufacturer%20%20mea ns&url=/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00005845----000-.html




(m) Manufacturer
The term “manufacturer” means any person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms.


http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000921----000-.html
(10) The term “manufacturer” means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition for purposes of sale or distribution; and the term “licensed manufacturer” means any such person licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

...
(21) The term “engaged in the business” means—
(A) as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured;

bwiese
11-01-2005, 8:24 AM
Another question, to steer the discussion of "manufacture" into a slightly different direction. As we all know, single-action revolvers are exempt from the unsafe handgun laws (*). What happens if I buy a single-action handgun, take it apart, and install a double-action trigger in it (I know that this would be difficult)? Have I now manufactured a double-action revolver, thereby breaking California law?

There was, for awhile, apparently a DA conversion kit for Ruger SAs wheelguns. I have no idea if these kits are still available, how much gunsmithing was required, if it required major work inside the frame, how well it worked, or if such changes precluded going back to original SA configuration.

This SA->DA change is OK: you are not manufacturing it. That happened when the gun was built and then was sold to you. This is exactly akin to changing the bbl length, hammer style, slide, etc. or other parameters of a CA approved 'safe' gun into a configuration not approved by state. This is perfectly legal: there is nothing in CA law that bans modifications of on-list approved 'safe guns' into 'unsafe gun' configurations (as long as AW features not added, etc.)

Now, I brought up the question to DOJ's Asst Dir Tim Riegert about importing off-list S&W wheelguns as SA revolvers (by changing the lockwork with a cheap part and a different spring or two), with the end buyer possibly changing back to DA. That overall scheme would be a no-no, according to him, since that's clearly an avoidance of overall intent/spirit of law, the gun was clearly built and served as a DA revolver, etc.


(*) I've heard somewhere that beginning in 200x (I forgot whether x is 6 or 7) there are even some unsafe handgun laws pertaining to single-action revolvers: They have to have a transfer bar safety, but that will not be administered through the roster. But a quick search found no references to this factoid, so it might be my imagination.

Nope. It seems that autoloaders have been the recent prime target for legislation (chamber loaded indicators, mag disconnect safeties, etc.) There are really no other restrictions on SA revolvers other than their holding a minimum of 5 rounds, and requiring the bbl to be 3" or longer (w/minimum overall length of 7"? 7.5"?).

There is NO requirement for transfer bar safety for new SA guns - in fact, American Western Arms and US Firearms (and perhaps EAA, Uberti, etc as well?? - not sure) both sell high-grade exact duplicates of the Colt Peacemaker/SAA and have no transfer bar.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

bwiese
11-01-2005, 8:53 AM
I would bet making a SA revolver into a DA one would count as making an unsafe handgun (unless it was BP).

It's not manufacture of an unsafe handgun. Law does not ban you from changing a handgun configuration once you get the gun - everyday, folks are putting on new slides of a different length on their 1911, or chopping a barrel, or changing a slide from blued to stainless, or changing from a spur to a rowel hammer. All these changes result in a gun whose configuration is likely not on the approved list.

To sell a modded gun like this, it can only be sold in CA via PPT - unless restored to original configuration and if that configuration is still on the approved list. (A mfgr often doesn't pay to keep old guns on CA approved list!) A CA FFL dealer can't import one of these modded guns or sell one to you (other than on 'consignment' basis, which is really a 'displayed PPT').


Even some of the smaller SA revolvers are still tested by the state (NAA mini revolvers, for example), so there must be some sort of minimum size requirements in effect.

Yes indeed. As pointed out in my prior reply to treelogger, SA guns indeed have minimum requirements - gotta hold 5 or more rounds, have a 3" or longer barrel, and an overall length of 7" (or 7.5"?, can't remember offhand).


Bill Wiese
San Jose

bwiese
11-01-2005, 10:21 AM
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/search/display.html?terms=firearm%20manufacturer%20%20mea ns&url=/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00005845----000-.html

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000921----000-.html

User 'socalguns' is quoting from Federal law/code; these definitions are created for use in the relevant subsequent sections/paragraphs in USC. Other areas of US law/code, as well as state laws, likely have different definitions - nor are they bound by these definitions unless specifcally declaring that "definitions of [...] are extracted from 18 USC 44 921(a)..."

Specifically, in USC Title 18 Chapter 44 § 921, 921(a) says, "As used in this chapter:..." and then a host of definitions follow.

And in Title 26 Subtitle E, Chapter 53, Subchapter B. Part I §5845, these definitions are preceded by the preamble, "For the purposes of this chapter...".

So these definitions are primarily for 921/922... and 5845. Application to other areas of law would require declaration that they are using these specific definitions here.

CA state law has no requirement to use those definitions and can (and seemingly does, since there's no definition nor reference to Federal definition) use the term 'manufacture' to just mean make, create, build, etc. from scratch. When no specific definitions are declared/used, "plain meaning" must be inferred. And taking a chunk of metal and making it into a gun would readily be considered manufacturing - issue of later sale, purpose of profit, being a licensed manufacturer, etc. are irrelevant.

Modifying a given gun to another configuration is not manufacturing - though I feel taking a regular gun and creating an assault weapon configuration from it could count as 'manufacturing' an assault weapon - the bar is raised up from the creation of the mere receiver to the combination of evil features..)


Bill Wiese
San Jose

bwiese
11-01-2005, 11:15 AM
On the subject of building safety exempt handguns, Does the new law that the gubernator signed exempting single shot hand guns mean that I can now build that FAB10 style AR pistol as a single shot (sans gas tube, plugged barrel port)? I need a project for next year.

When the law is active in 2006, I don't see why not.

But make sure the mag area is blocked/filled, along with your gas system work, so no perceived chance of non-single-shot operation exists...

Also, ensure that when you buy the receiver on a 4473 that it's transferred to you as 'bare receiver', not 'rifle'. (CA FFL won't transfer it to you as 'handgun' for obvious reasons of 'unsafe gun' laws.) You don't wanna violate ATF Federal dicta of "once a rifle, always a rifle" and get popped for NFA SBR violation(s).

While I did 4473/paper my AR receivers in 1998-9 as 'bare receivers', I'm now kicking myself for reg'ing all my ARs in 2000 as rifles. I wasn't thinking of the Fed AW Ban sunset, allowing AR-style pistols to be built again that weighed over 50oz. And since there's paper saying they're rifles now, the Feds (BATF) won't let me 'pistolize' them even though I don't think there's anything in CA law that would stop that.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

Rumpled
11-02-2005, 12:42 AM
So's how about a AR pistol based upon a DPMS single shot receiver?
Would that be legal come 01/01/06?
Could you get that receiver as a pistol?
Being as this new law says 6 1/2" barrel, would I have to have someone outside of the PRK build it up for me first?

saki302
11-02-2005, 12:54 AM
While I did 4473/paper my AR receivers in 1998-9 as 'bare receivers', I'm now kicking myself for reg'ing all my ARs in 2000 as rifles. I wasn't thinking of the Fed AW Ban sunset, allowing AR-style pistols to be built again that weighed over 50oz. And since there's paper saying they're rifles now, the Feds (BATF) won't let me 'pistolize' them even though I don't think there's anything in CA law that would stop that.


Bill,

What if you had originally built them as pistols, then re-configured them as rifles when you regged them in 2000? That would make them Fed-OK according to the ruling regarding the TC pistols.
My one bare receiver lived as an AR pistol for a very short time before I got bored with it and remade it as a rifle (which is how it got regged). I just never had much use for an AR pistol :)
Especially in 1999, when the only legal AR pistols had those awful pencil-thin barreled uppers, with no handguards or anything else to scoot under the 50oz. limit. It was a good way to toast your fingers. The uber-short barrels never seemed to run quite right either.

-Dave

bwiese
11-02-2005, 10:21 AM
So's how about a AR pistol based upon a DPMS single shot receiver? Would that be legal come 01/01/06? Could you get that receiver as a pistol? Being as this new law says 6 1/2" barrel, would I have to have someone outside of the PRK build it up for me first?

I believe you can get the bare receiver 4473'd/DROSed to you as a receiver, not a pistol. (FFLs, correct me if I am wrong.)

You really couldn't get receiver transferred to you as a pistol since it's not on the safe handgun approved list, and it's not clearly an exempt firearm until assembled.

I haven't read the new law yet, but as of 1/1/06 you should be able to build a single shot pistol as long as the other criteria (6.5" bbl) are met.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

bwiese
11-02-2005, 10:31 AM
Saki/Dave...


What if you had originally built them as pistols, then re-configured them as rifles when you regged them in 2000? That would make them Fed-OK according to the ruling regarding the TC pistols.
My one bare receiver lived as an AR pistol for a very short time before I got bored with it and remade it as a rifle (which is how it got regged). I just never had much use for an AR pistol :)
Especially in 1999, when the only legal AR pistols had those awful pencil-thin barreled uppers, with no handguards or anything else to scoot under the 50oz. limit. It was a good way to toast your fingers. The uber-short barrels never seemed to run quite right either.

I am not too familiar with these details. There are some exceptions, will have to look. As I dimly dimly recall, the T/C case was about possession of pistol bbls when you had both a T/C pistol and T/C rifle - were there accidental NFA SBR issues involved?

Here the issue is (1) start with pistol; (2) convert to 16" legal rifle; (3) go back to pistol

Yes, I do think this latter case is possible - convesion of a pistol to a rifle and back to a pistol again, as several companies have Federally-legal "CCU" kits (carbine conversion units) for Glocks, 1911s, etc. where the frame of your handgun is used as the ammo dispenser & trigger mechanism, but a whole 16+" barreled upper section locks on to the frame, and a buttstock is also added. [These CCUs are illegal in CA since it becomes a CA AW: pistol grip and detachable magazine.]

For your situation, if you got the receiver 4473ed/DROSed to you as a bare receiver or pistol, that's a good first step. I am just worried that there's separate paper - the CA AW registration in 2000 - that declares this as a rifle. I am not sure how much permanence that declaration has on CA or Fed basis. It's perfectly legal to reconfigure CA AWs into different configurations than those registered (caliber, bbl length, etc.) but I am not sure about pistol vs. rifle.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

Mike Searson
11-02-2005, 2:22 PM
I'll search for the case law tonight...I'm 99.99% sure I posted it on the old Forum.

As a long time afficianado of hand cannons (XP100's, Contenders, Strikers, etc) the general rule of thumb is...a pistol can be a rifle...but you can't go from a rifle to a pistol...

The court decision involved Thompson Center and the old Carbine kits they sold.

The law may exempt a pistol built from a dpms single shot lower, etc made by a manufacturer aftrer 1/1/2006. It may allow the importation into California of frames only for single shot pistols (though I doubt it with the bbl length rule)...it will be interesting to say the least for you guys.

Mike Searson
11-03-2005, 3:11 PM
Short Barreled Rifle

ATF takes the position that this definition includes any
combination of parts from which a short barreled rifle can be
assembled. And they said this included a set of parts with dual
uses. In the Supreme court case of U.S. v. Thompson/Center Arms
Co., 504 U.S. 505 (1992) ATF said a set consisting of a receiver,
a 16"+ barrel, a pistol grip stock, a shoulder stock, and a barrel
less than 16 inches long was a short barreled rifle. The idea of
the kit was that you needed only one receiver, and you could have
both a rifle and pistol in one gun. While making a pistol out of a
rifle is making a short rifle, ATF has approved of converting a
pistol into a rifle, and then converting it back into a pistol,
without "making" a short barreled rifle when it is converted back
into a pistol; that was not an issue. See, for example Revenue
Rulings 59-340, 59-341 and 61-203. T/C made one set on a Form 1,
then sued for a tax refund, claiming the set was not a SBR, unless
it actually was assembled with the shoulder stock, and short
barrel, something they instructed the purchaser of the set not to
do. The Supreme court disagreed with ATF, and agreed with
Thompson/Center.

The Court said that a set of parts was not a short barreled
rifle, unless the only way to assemble the parts was into a short
barreled rifle. As this set had a legitimate, legal, use for all
the parts it was OK. However they also approved of lower court
cases holding that the sale by one person, at the same place, of
all the parts to assemble an AR-15, with a short barrel, was sale
of a SBR, even if they weren't assembled together at the moment of
the bust, and had in fact never been assembled. See U.S. v.
Drasen, 845 F.2d 731 (7th Cir. 1988). This was because the only
use for the parts in that case was a SBR. If the person in that
case also had a registered M-16, then there would be a legitimate
use for the SMG barrel, and there shouldn't be a problem. And the
Court agreed, of course, that a fully assembled rifle with a barrel
less than 16", or an overall length of less than 26" was also
subject to registration. Although it was not addressed in the
case, the rule is that an otherwise short barreled rifle that is
very easily restored to firing condition (readily restorable);
e.g., one missing a firing pin, but for that pin one may substitute
a nail or other common object, is also subject to the law.