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Enard
06-01-2005, 6:09 PM
I wanted to purchase H&K USP40 Compact V2 since I'm left handed but found out from my local dealer that it's not on the list of authorized handguns. They have the V1 but it's just too hard to use my index finger to manipulate the lever. Can I legally purchase the V1 and have it converted to V2? Thanks.

Anonymous Coward
06-01-2005, 10:06 PM
Good question. This is one I've been waiting to hear everybodies opinion on http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

In my opinion this is not legal because you'd be manufacturing an unsafe handgun.

The DOJ requires manufacturers to take safety tests for all different configurations of handguns (different caliber, different frame/barrel material, different safeties and actions). So that V2 configuration that you want to build isn't covered by the safety test for the V1 and it's considererd unsafe.

IMO the same applies if you put a caliber conversion on your hangun, which is what I was thinking about, but hesitated doing that because of the CA laws.

A different question is if the law is going to be enforced that way. Let's say a LEO stops you and he searches your car, he probably won't get you because of that handgun. If it has been used in let's say self defense and somebody is doing a ballistics test (or whatever this is called) this might be noticed.

The DOJ firearms division can probably tell you how their interpretation is (http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/phonenum.htm).

bwiese
06-01-2005, 10:38 PM
I'm not a lawyer but I'd have no problems going ahead and modifying my handguns (caliber change, barrel lengthening, removal of mag disconnect safety, etc.)

There are no laws banning modification of handguns (unless they fall afoul of other laws, like threaded bbls making them into illegal assault weapons)...

While it's illegal to make your own gun from scratch (except single-action revolvers holding 5 or more rounds, w/3+" barrel length) you are not manufacturing when you are changing something on an existing gun.

The original DOJ approval is for manufacture- from- scratch and direct retail sale. Once you get a complete gun in your hot lil' hands after purchase, you are not 'manufacturing' by changing anything.

This is a substantial enough difference that the law would have had to have been specifically written to prevent post-sale user modifications.

So go ahead and purchase the USP40 Compact V1, send it to HK and get the V2 conversion done.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

socalguns
06-02-2005, 2:19 AM
Originally posted by bwiese:
While it's illegal to make your own gun from scratch (except single-action revolvers holding 5 or more rounds, w/3+" barrel length) you are not manufacturing when you are changing something on an existing gun.


Where'd you get that info from?
I recall reading a letter someone posted from DOJ
that it's completely legal to manufacture your own, as long as its legal to own in california

LongBch_SigP226
06-02-2005, 6:37 AM
Originally posted by socalguns:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bwiese:
While it's illegal to make your own gun from scratch (except single-action revolvers holding 5 or more rounds, w/3+" barrel length) you are not manufacturing when you are changing something on an existing gun.



Where'd you get that info from?
I recall reading a letter someone posted from DOJ
that it's completely legal to manufacture your own, as long as its legal to own in california </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Effective January 1, 2001, no handgun may be manufactured within California, imported into California for sale, lent, given, kept for sale, or offered/exposed for sale unless that handgun model has passed firing, safety, and drop tests and is certified for sale in California by the Department of Justice. Private party transfers, curio/relic handguns, certain single-action revolvers, and pawn/consignment returns are exempt from this requirement.

http://justice.doj.ca.gov/safeguns/safeguns_new.taf

Anonymous Coward
06-02-2005, 7:38 AM
Originally posted by bwiese:
I'm not a lawyer but I'd have no problems going ahead and modifying my handguns (caliber change, barrel lengthening, removal of mag disconnect safety, etc.)

There are no laws banning modification of handguns (unless they fall afoul of other laws, like threaded bbls making them into illegal assault weapons)...


I'm not 100% sure regarding modifications either. The california law says something like no preson shall manufacture an unsafe handgun.

On the other hand the ATF for example holds that 922(r) (which says something like no person shall manufacture a firearm from foreign parts), applies to modifications too. E.g. if I replace the wooden stock of an SKS with a synthetic one I need to make sure that it has enough US parts.

So given that
1) the manufacturer would need to get a seperate approval for the other configuration and
2) ATF thinks that modification is manufacture
it's not unreasonable to interpret it that way.

If manufacture would not include modification then you would be able to modify your 10 rd mags into hicaps, because the only thing you could violate is the manufacutre part of the law (possession is legal and you're not importing anything).

Does that make sense?

Edit:
Here's the text of the law:
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

It really depends of the "for sale" of the import part also applies to the manufacture. If it would say "manufacture for sale" I would agree that the modification is OK.

Otherwise I just have problems reading these different laws consistently...

Inoxmark
06-02-2005, 9:48 AM
I wouldn't have any reservations or second thoughts whatsoever changing configuration of my own gun.
Taking the law this literally would mean anyone who ever installed aftermarket parts on their 1911 or had a trigger job done is guilty of manufacturing an unsafe handgun, which is ridiculous.

donger
06-02-2005, 10:46 AM
The post regarding purchasing the V1 and sending it off to Hk for the V2 installation is correct. The only bad part is that you have to pay for the shipping, parts, and installation of the V2.

Have you considered the P2000? Although the LEM is DA only and gets some getting used to, I've heard rave reviews and it is ambidextrous.

Enard
06-03-2005, 5:22 PM
Thanks for all your input. I'm seriously consdering the P2000 as well but really like the Compact. Again, thanks for all your help, I now know that at least I have the option of converting the compact, if I decide to, legally.

dwtt
06-03-2005, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by Inoxmark:
I wouldn't have any reservations or second thoughts whatsoever changing configuration of my own gun.
Taking the law this literally would mean anyone who ever installed aftermarket parts on their 1911 or had a trigger job done is guilty of manufacturing an unsafe handgun, which is ridiculous.

I also don't have any problems with modifying my pistol, including changing the caliber with a conversion slide and barrel. The law doesn't prohibit modifications unless it makes the pistol into an assault weapon. It's funny in a sad way how some people have forgotten that in this society you can do anything you want unless the law says you can't. This isn't China where you can't do anything unless the government gives you permission.

Turbinator
06-06-2005, 9:20 AM
I also have a copy of the HK armorer's manual, if anyone needs it. It's a PDF.

Turby

Enard
06-08-2005, 8:37 PM
How hard/easy is it to install the ambi kit?

Turbinator
06-09-2005, 7:55 AM
Originally posted by Enard:
How hard/easy is it to install the ambi kit?

I dunno, but the HK armorer's manual should give you an indication!! http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Turby

461
06-09-2005, 10:47 AM
The drop test certification is for new weapons, once you buy it you can do whatever you want to it as long as you turn it into an assault weapon. By buying a V1 and sending it off to have it turned into a V2 (if th efactory will do it) is no problem at all as the gun is still serial numbered as a V1. If the serial number doesn't change, it is still the same weapon you bought originally. Call the DOJ for any questions you have, they will put their findings in writing for you if you ask and then the whole thing is clarified. Send them an email and they tend to respond pretty quickly.

donger
06-09-2005, 11:25 AM
This is totally legal, don't sweat it. Converting to the V2 does not make it an unsafe handgun. That would be like saying all the customized 1911's out there are unsafe and illegal.

Do it and don't worry about it.

dwtt
06-10-2005, 7:34 AM
Originally posted by 461:
The drop test certification is for new weapons, once you buy it you can do whatever you want to it as long as you turn it into an assault weapon.

All right!! I'm going to put a threaded barrel on my Hi-Power and get a suppressor! http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Oh, the suppressor requires a fed tax stamp. Forget it.

bwiese
06-10-2005, 8:20 AM
I think we dropped a word here... should be:

461 wrote:
The drop test certification is for new weapons, once you buy it you can do whatever you want to it as long as you DO NOT turn it into an assault weapon.

(My new text added in italics)

Bill Wiese
San Jose

06-10-2005, 1:19 PM
Originally posted by Enard:
I wanted to purchase H&K USP40 Compact V2 since I'm left handed but found out from my local dealer that it's not on the list of authorized handguns. They have the V1 but it's just too hard to use my index finger to manipulate the lever. Can I legally purchase the V1 and have it converted to V2? Thanks.

No pronlem to do it. In fact if your near LAX range they will do it for you.

socalguns
06-16-2005, 6:02 PM
I found the letter. Check it out

http://www.acmearms.com/caldoj-80letter.jpg
http://www.acmearms.com/caldoj-80letter_small.jpg
http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/dwcl/12085.htm
http://www.savvysurvivor.com/law_research_on_home_built_firea.htm

So if the Attorney General says you can build your own, you can, and there is no single-action nonsense restriction.