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dave3006
08-29-2005, 1:50 PM
I received a copy of the letter Vulcan arms provides buyers of their "Cali legal" pinned AR receiver. The letter basically says that the DOJ does not violate penal code 12276.5. However, it says some DA's may believe differently. Also, the letter does not reference a model number or any information that would indicate which receiver the DOJ evaluated.

It seems like a person could buy this receiver and get busted later if the wrong DA got ahold of him.

Any comments?

bwiese
08-29-2005, 2:25 PM
Hey, Dave...

This letter does carry significant legal weight in support of a Vulcan owner. I would, in this case, not worry about the 'cover your ***' boilerplate in the letter.

DOJ/Firearms, under Cal. Atty General's office, is generally used as Tier#1 reference, info source, etc. by police, DA offices, etc.

Do understand that 99.9% of all prosecutions in CA are done by the local district attorney offices. The Calif AG's office takes on bigger, more significant targets like large corporate claims/targets (Enron, insurance, etc.) - and of course Bill Lockyer has to now protects us from french fries too!

Nevertheless DAs sometimes differ w/DOJ opinion.
We were warned of this by head/asst head of DOJ Firearms div, in fact, that there "were 58 separate DAs in CA and their opinions differ". But Usually this is in bigger procedural matters affecting many people and more broad in nature (for example, late registration of AWs was voided after suit) than in technical details on a small-production item. And this really is what this letter is all about: the Vulcan does, in DOJ's 'expert' view, comply (or does not violate) CA AW laws.

It is HIGHLY unlikely this would ever make it to court for an unmodified Vulcan, esp when if DA saw the letter. DAs offices are generally not technical founts of information and rely on PDs, DOJ, outside experts, etc. for expert info.

You know how paranoid I am about and yet would still buy a Vulcan with assurance of this letter. (Of course, I won't, since I have real ARs anyway http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I _am_ surprised that DOJ did certify Vulcan.

Note: Given what I've heard quality-wise, I'd still lean toward a FAB10 lower.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

dave3006
08-29-2005, 5:46 PM
Here is a thought. Could it be that the DOJ's approval of the Vulcan lower is a tacit admission that the Harrott v Kings County ruling is now the guideline they apply towards un-named receivers? In effect, they judged the Vulcan lower based on the SB23 features rule. The lower is really an AR lower. We have pondered the lack of "ARness" of the FAB-10 causing them to accept it. I can buy the fact that the FAB-10 is so much not like a real AR receiver that they gave it an okay.

But, the Vulcan receiver is an AR receiver pinned to the same standards as the Cali legal FALs. As long as the magazine is fixed and requires tools to remove it is okay.

(This is just theory and wondering about what goes on in the keen legal minds of our fearless leaders)

*** The Vulcan lower does SEEM to indicate the lack of willingness to judge it based on the AR/AK ban.

bwiese
08-29-2005, 6:26 PM
Hi Dave...

Dave3006 wrote:
Could it be that the DOJ's approval of the Vulcan lower is a tacit admission that the Harrott v Kings County ruling is now the guideline they apply towards un-named receivers?


I believe Vulcan lower is being judged by DOJ on its merits of not being an AR (due to "permanently" attached 10rd mag). I'm pretty sure Vulcan would catch heat if it were sold with a screwed-in 10rd mag a la CaliFALs.


Dave3006 wrote:
...they judged the Vulcan lower based on the SB23 features rule. The lower is really an AR lower. We have pondered the lack of "ARness" of the FAB10 causing them to accept it. I can buy the fact that the FAB10 is so much not like a real AR receiver that they gave it an okay.

If you consider the permanent fixed mag of the Vulcan, it's equivalent to FAB10 lower or the GB Sales welded-up Bushmasters. Perhaps if DOJ knew more details of how 'permanent' the Vulcan mag attachment were, it could be more problematic for certification.

I wonder if the lab samples submitted by Vulcan are the same as the production runs. "Lab queens" for certification processes are not unknown in consumer electronics industry (FCC RFI/EMI testing), automotive industry (safety and/or emissions compliance tests), and other products (UL listing).

BATF has their definition of 'permanent' attachment for things like muzzle brakes and flash hiders. These devices were used to either (1) permanently increase bbl length to non-NFA 16+" length or (2) use permanent flash hider to cover up threads so a bbl could be used on a (Federal) post-ban semiauto rifle. This ATF definition is pretty stringent - pinned & welded or 1200deg silver solder apparently are the only things that fly.

Dave3006 wrote:
the Vulcan receiver is an AR receiver pinned to the same standards as the Cali legal FALs. As long as the magazine is fixed and requires tools to remove it is okay.

IHMO the Vulcan receiver has a permanently attached mag. Supposedly there's permanent adhesive, blind pins, etc. (I don't have exact details). In theory it'd really damage things to remove the mag though some bright people have tried. This is different from CaliFALs that have a fixed mag catch that just holds a 10rd fixed mag but can be undone with a screwdriver.


The Vulcan lower does SEEM to indicate the lack of willingness to judge it based on the AR/AK ban

Not quite to me, at least. The supposedly permanently fixed magazine (despite its kludgy fashion) first makes it "not an AR". Then, no SB23 worries either as far as it's 10rds fixed mag too.

Harrot v Kings County does raise the question about a kinda-sorta AR-ish rifle built on a receiver not on the Roster of AR and AK Series Weapons (kaslist.pdf file at DOJ website) could have a nonpermanently affixed 10rd mag a la the CaliFALs - that is, the mag catch is just fully screwed down and there is no mag release button. I think a Vulcan-marked AR lower used this way could skate thru.

The whole problem here is that I've never seen Harrott applied other than in original case. I'd just hate to be an early one using it for a defense.

The lawyers fees could be better spent on more guns and ammo and political donations to progun politicians and anyone running against antigunners.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

saki302
08-29-2005, 9:38 PM
Bill,

I saw photos of a Vulcan receiver on a website somewhere- they were replacing the mag with a better unit.

The 'permanent' mag is held in by the use of a blind roll pin which is placed under the magazine release, and pins the mag where it is. It's possible to remove, but you must destroy the mag to do so.

It's not as easy to deactivate as an Entreprise FAL button, but it isn't welded in either, nor a solid bottom.

I guess the DOJ sent someone a letter stating it was okay to temporarily felonize yourself by replacing the mag with a better functioning unit. I'd just send it out of state myself and pay someone $50 to do it- much cheaper http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Good thing we got our real AR's a long time ago!I suppose I wouldn't mind having a fixed-mag AK if someone ever made one as a useless toy. I sold my MAK-90 in 1999 after shooting my AR's and FAL. It just didn't seem as cool anymore..
Same thing with a bushmaster M17 I had- it wasn't bad accuracy-wise, but the trigger sucked, it was heavy, and if it jammed, you're basically done for the day. NOT a good feature in a combat weapon.

-Dave

Mike Searson
08-29-2005, 10:02 PM
DOJ regs state it is not a detachable magazine if it requires tools to remove the magazine from the rifle.

C.G.
08-29-2005, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by Mike Searson:
DOJ regs state it is not a detachable magazine if it requires tools to remove the magazine from the rifle.

If it isn't in an AR or an AK receiver; AR or AK receivers are banned by name not feature. If it is an Imbel Fal that is OK; if it is an FN FAL, named on the roster than it is also a banned receiver.

dave3006
08-30-2005, 5:31 AM
There seems to be two standards which they could have used to judge the Vulcan.

1. AR/AK style receiver.
2. Features based ban.

It is clearly an AR style receiver. However, because the "Vulcan" name is not on the list, they appear to have not applied this standard.

They simply judged it based on the fixed magazine feature. Therefore, I would be willing to bet that any new "AR" style gun could be produced with a alan keyed set screw to remove the magazine and it would meet the letter of the features law. No need for epoxy, blind pins ect.. The magazine would be detachable only with a tool.

The reason I say that is that the Vulcan is an AR style receiver. But, the DOJ does not seem to care.

TonyM
08-30-2005, 7:01 AM
Originally posted by dave3006:
Therefore, I would be willing to bet that any new "AR" style gun could be produced with a alan keyed set screw to remove the magazine and it would meet the letter of the features law. No need for epoxy, blind pins ect.. The magazine would be detachable only with a tool.


I have my doubts they would "OK" a receiver that had an obvious screw/allen bolt sitting there. That's just too tempting for Joe Sixpack to remove it and become a "Terrorist" by "manufacturing" an AW.

At least the Vulcans can be returned to a normal receiver if you leave the state and have an IQ of 40 or more. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

dave3006
08-30-2005, 8:19 AM
Thanks for the replies. My posts are pure speculation and opinion.

Regarding a simple set screw with that requires a tool to remove the mag - I wonder why not? A Cali legal FAL does not require a "permanent" modification to the fixed 10 round magazine. Again, my point is that DOJ does not appear to be judging the Vulcan on the fact that it is an AR receiver. Because it clearly IS. They seem to be applying the features rule to it. The features rule simply states that the fixed magazine needs to require tools to remove. There is no rule in the features clause about permanence.

Besides, the Vulcan is not a permanent modification anyway for anyone with that 40 IQ you mention.

Any opinions?

(Pure speculation. I could be 100% wrong)

dave3006
08-30-2005, 8:29 AM
Darn, I did not see Bills earlier post. As always, he makes some good points. I would have not made my last post if I did.

The thing that I have concluded is this could be argued either way and that the term "permanent" is very vague.

I also think Bill brings up an excellent point regarding the vagueness of the actual lower that Vulcan had tested. It is impossible to know from the nature of their letter. Who the heck knows what they had the DOJ evaluate. It could have been a lever action carbine for all we know!

artherdGROUPEESUCKS
09-02-2005, 11:04 PM
The Bushmaster XM-15 fixed-mag rifles approved by the DOJ have BLOWN AWAW the whole "ohhhh, but ar-15 style guns are banned!"

No they're not. Not anymore, not with Kelser v Lockyear decision, and certinly not with the bushmaster decision.

So the only test left is Features, which the Vulcan passes as it simply requires a tool (does not have to be 'hard' like many here suggest.)

The moral is: Get a DOJ letter, as these thigns are borderline grey areas. With DOJ letter in hand, good damn luck to any DA who comes after me, as they will need it for the malicious prosecution suit!!!

bwiese
09-03-2005, 3:46 PM
Originally posted by artherdGROUPEESUCKS:
The Bushmaster XM-15 fixed-mag rifles approved by the DOJ have BLOWN AWAW the whole "ohhhh, but ar-15 style guns are banned!"


No it hasn't. You're mixing/confusing things.

(BTW, learn how to spell the relevant names...
it's Lockyer and Kasler...)

Read my analysis here:

http://calguns.net/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/545600176/m/3...10464721#72210464721 (http://calguns.net/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/545600176/m/37610802721/r/72210464721#72210464721)

which I'll quote for continuity in this thread:


DOJ has approved GB Sales modified Bushmaster in addition to Vulcan and FAB10. The key legal difference for the modded Bushie is that Bushies are on the Roster of AR15 and AK Series Weapons.

Do note there are no black-letter laws banning Bushmaster XM15s, ASAs, Olympic Arms, Colt Sporters, Colt Match Targets, etc. Only "Colt AR15 and series". Other members of this series must be administratively determined - only the Colt AR15 itself is specifically legislatively banned.

The Aug 2000 Kasler decision threw all these AR lowers back into the "Colt AR15 series" of the original Roberti-Roos guns. The later Harrott v Kings County decision just went on to say these guns/receivers had to be specifically named by DOJ - thus the DOJ Roster of AR15 and AK series Weapons.

All the AR receivers on this Roster are specifically named and share all AR15 features - mag well, pistol grip, action, etc. The DOJ Firearms Div. administratively determined membership in this list under the regulatory authority granted to them. The DOJ has leeway to add/subtract from this list - like for these modified Bushmasters.

Once a receiver has been modded to no longer have essential "AR-ness" - by welding up the magwell [or (possibly) removal of any way to have pistol grip attached] - the DOJ can allow this to be sold in CA provided those receivers entered CA either modified already, or the modifier was in CA and held a CA AW permit to legally have AW lowers prior to modification.

I believe it would, however, be illegal to have a welded up true Colt AR15 lower and DOJ could not allow this to be mangled into a weldup version. True, as-named, actual Colt AR15 rifles were specifically named in original Roberti-Roos law and are banned legislatively.
The "...and series" members reaffirmed/listed (due to Kasler and Harrott) allowed the DOJ to administratively determine the membership in this list by "AR15-ness", not name.

So, in summmary, DOJ rulings about welded up Bushmasters by GB Sales do not challenge Roberti-Roos law, Kasler or Harrott decisions. In fact, DOJ is well within its authority since it has the power to add/delete from the Roster, and membership in this roster is determined by administrative evaluation of "AR-ness" (or AK-ness). In the case of GB Sales Bushmaster, the lack of AR-ness let it override the mere name/model number.


ArtHerdGroupeeSucks wrote:
The moral is: Get a DOJ letter, as these thigns are borderline grey areas. With DOJ letter in hand, good damn luck to any DA who comes after me, as they will need it for the malicious prosecution suit!

Dude, get a grip. Malicious prosection is always alleged, and I'd bet that there were zero M.P. cases settled last year. Prosecutors ARE supposed to go after you if there's a reasonable chance charges can be sustained; that's their job.

The Vulcan may have some protection from Harrott if magazine removes readily since it's not on DOJ Roster.

The permanence of a modified AR lower could be key to whether it's either NOT an AR or whether Harrott could possibly be invoked.

The GB Sales Bushie lowers are permanently welded up. An attempt to remove/mill out mag area again would end up with a functional Bushie lower which is DEFINITELY a no-no.


Bill Wiese
San Jose



Bill Wiese
San Jose