PDA

View Full Version : I got my P22 letter from DOJ, here's my letter to them


imported_booknut
05-18-2005, 8:36 PM
May 17, 2005



Randy Rossi, Director
Firearms Division
Department of Justice
P.O.Box 820200
Sacramento, CA 94203-0200


Dear Mr. Rossi:

I received your letter and package concerning my Walther P-22 pistol. As I understand it, this pistol is considered an assault weapon because of it’s threaded barrel.
In your letter, you state that I should see to it that the threads on the barrel are covered with a permanent fixture making them unavailable for attaching items such as flash suppressors, sound suppressors and the like. You recommend this work be done by the company known as Smith & Wesson.

While I am interested in cooperating and complying with our state’s firearms laws, I do have other questions which I hope you can answer.

1. Is the threaded barrel while attached to the handgun the sole violation of California law?

2. In the letter, you mention that having the pistol modified to have the threads permanently covered complies with California law. Does this relate solely to California Statute 2003 Dangerous Weapons Controls Law Chapter 2.3, Article 1, section 12276.1 (a)(4)(A)?

3. What other options are available for me to bring this pistol into compliance with state law?

4. Is the ability to modify the pistol exclusively that of Smith & Wesson’s and if so, which statute/law makes that true?

5. You are basically allowing me to violate the assault weapons ban by continued possession of this handgun for 45 more days. Has there been some sort of legal extension granted to the owners of the Walther P-22 with threaded barrel, so we escape any legal action for the 45 days you have listed on my letter? Where may I get a copy of this directive?

6. If this violation is purely about the threaded barrel, can I just send the barrel out of state but keep the rest of the pistol? I believe that on your website, you mention that if the offending characteristics that make a firearm an assault weapon (not counting the AR15 and AK47 series ban), are removed, then the firearm is no longer an assault weapon. I understand that this originally applied to assault weapons prior to the bans taking effect, and it seems as though a new extension has been granted just for this pistol/assault weapon.

7. Other than the issue of the threaded barrel, does the Walther P22 pistol meet all other safety requirements for handguns allowed to be sold in this state?

Thank you for your time and help with this issue. I appreciate the manner in which your office is trying to remedy the situation. I hope you can extend your efforts towards answering my questions. Together, I’m sure we can clarify this problem in the best manner possible.

Sincerely,

It'll be in the mail tomorrow.

CraigC
05-18-2005, 10:53 PM
I'd hide my dog if I were you... DOJ might just decide to pay you a visit. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Mark in Eureka
05-19-2005, 1:05 AM
That a long way to go.

stator
05-19-2005, 6:47 AM
You forgot to ask if CA will compensate you for the lost value of your property due to his ruling.

bwiese
05-19-2005, 8:20 PM
Booknut:

My moderately informed take on this:

1. Is the threaded barrel while attached to the handgun the sole violation of California law?

Yes.

But they could have, in theory, invalidated the sale and demanded return/buyback because gun was, in essence, 'nonapproved' (even though P22 was on approved list, the actual P22 sold in CA was different than tested/approved version).

Since they're not dealing with 'approval' issues and just the AW issue, it's the only issue being addressed.

2. In the letter, you mention that having the pistol modified to have the threads permanently covered complies with California law. Does this relate solely to California Statute 2003 Dangerous Weapons Controls Law Chapter 2.3, Article 1, section 12276.1 (a)(4)(A)?

Again, I'd think so (see my logic above). It's the only area of 'exposure'.

3. What other options are available for me to bring this pistol into compliance with state law?

Buy an unthreaded 3rd-party barrel (if available, say, from a vendor like Fed Ordnance, Jarvis, etc.) and swap it in yourself.

Retaining the separate threaded barrel is legal. Apparently no constructive possession issue here. I would not transport it along with P22 however, unless both were separately locked up.

Why? Possession of FAL clone with separate pistol grip (a la Entreprise) is legal. Possession of by-feature AW parts is legal as long as not assembled. (Again, I wouldn't transit with these all together in same case in an almost-ready-to-assemble fashion.)


4. Is the ability to modify the pistol exclusively that of Smith & Wesson’s and if so, which statute/law makes that true?

No matter what they say, California DOJ has ZERO authority to demand which, if any, vendor you choose to tweak your P22 into compliance.

They can merely specify the definition of compliance. The threaded vs nonthreaded issue is a clear, distinct difference not subject to vagaries of interpretation. The only vendor the law allows to ever be specified are the vendors of "approved" handguns.


5. You are basically allowing me to violate the assault weapons ban by continued possession of this handgun for 45 more days. Has there been some sort of legal extension granted to the owners of the Walther P22 with threaded barrel, so we escape any legal action for the 45 days you have listed on my letter? Where may I get a copy of this directive?

Very good, booknut!

This is the one place where DOJ might actually be arrogating themselves 'legislative privilege'. Kinda like DOJ/Lungren extending AW reg period a decade ago without enabling legislation allowing this.

In reality if the DOJ were really following law, they would not be allowed to countenance illegal AW possession and would have a turn-in program. This is in a very grey area.

It could be that for short term, this falls within 'prosecutorial discretion'. They are choosing NOT to prosecute you if gun is fixed, and they'd hope local DAs would follow along as well.

6. If this violation is purely about the threaded barrel, can I just send the barrel out of state but keep the rest of the pistol? I believe that on your website, you mention that if the offending characteristics that make a firearm an assault weapon (not counting the AR15 and AK47 series ban), are removed, then the firearm is no longer an assault weapon. I understand that this originally applied to assault weapons prior to the bans taking effect, and it seems as though a new extension has been granted just for this pistol/assault weapon.

Yes. And I don't believe you need to send out your barrel. Just remove it.

7. Other than the issue of the threaded barrel, does the Walther P22 pistol meet all other safety requirements for handguns allowed to be sold in this state?

At this time yes (dunno about upcoming safety issues...) Apparently the P22 was tested with a CA barrel and later on incorrect ones were shipped to CA, in volume, for actual buyers. So the testing of the gun was in approved form and the gun is reverting to approved form.

My speculation about the non-S&W/Walther barrel above may need deeper thought:

While it is legal for an end user to replace a bbl in CA with another bbl, this specific context is directly associated with being an approved gun. So conceivably one might have to revert to 'approved' status - since it never existed for the particular gun the end user has - w/use of new S&W replacement barrel first to get back in approved zone before modifying later.



Bill Wiese
San Jose

stator
05-22-2005, 8:23 AM
Originally posted by bwiese:
Booknut:

5. You are basically allowing me to violate the assault weapons ban by continued possession of this handgun for 45 more days. Has there been some sort of legal extension granted to the owners of the Walther P22 with threaded barrel, so we escape any legal action for the 45 days you have listed on my letter? Where may I get a copy of this directive?

Very good, booknut!

This is the one place where DOJ might actually be arrogating themselves 'legislative privilege'. Kinda like DOJ/Lungren extending AW reg period a decade ago without enabling legislation allowing this.

In reality if the DOJ were really following law, they would not be allowed to countenance illegal AW possession and would have a turn-in program. This is in a very grey area.

It could be that for short term, this falls within 'prosecutorial discretion'. They are choosing NOT to prosecute you if gun is fixed, and they'd hope local DAs would follow along as well.



Bill Wiese
San Jose

The answer to booknut's fifth question is due process. Part of the fifth amendment covers changes in the law and the process of those changes. It prevents the government from implementing changes in the law without adequate notice. Otherwise, it would be easy for a government to convict anyone of just about anything. This also applies to regulatory changes. The only question is whether 45 days is long enough to effect due process.

Booknut's best point of attack is to question whether Lockyer agrees to compensate him for his lost value when the procedure is done. The Walther will loose value due to the nature of the design and why the barrel is threaded. Once this is done, the barrel cannot be removed for cleaning. To restore it back to the original configuration, the barrel will have to be cut off and destroyed in the process, and a new barrel be placed back on. This cost money and will not have the same value since it no longer has the original barrel. I would guess that Booknut is loosing about $200 of lost value on his property due to Lockyer's change in regulation. CA laws require Booknut to be compensated and there is precedence on compensation due to the SKS recall effort.

Lockyer's only two legal options are to:

1) Add the Walther P22 to the Robertti-Roos list and open the registration period for those that have them already for how ever long the law specifies.
2) Recall for modificatitons and compesate anyone for lost value.

He doesn't want to do option 1, but doing option 2 properly would require legislation authorizing the funds. So, he is hiding behind S&W modifications which are free and betting that nobody will file suit against him. Even so, since he is termed-limited, it will be someone else's problem eventually.

I wonder why I've not read any Walther P22 owner who is a member of the NRA and/or CPRA and ask for legal aid on this. I would but I'm not a Walther P22 owner.

delloro
05-22-2005, 10:19 AM
Possession of by-feature AW parts is legal as long as not assembled.

sure about that? that's a broad statement.

delloro
05-22-2005, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by stator:
Part of the fifth amendment covers changes in the law and the process of those changes. It prevents the government from implementing changes in the law without adequate notice. Otherwise, it would be easy for a government to convict anyone of just about anything.

what? adequate notice? knowledge of the law is presumed. and it *is* easy for the gon't to bust you for just about anything. just drive a few minutes. if they want you, they will have you.


The Walther will loose value due to the nature of the design and why the barrel is threaded. Once this is done, the barrel cannot be removed for cleaning. To restore it back to the original configuration, the barrel will have to be cut off and destroyed in the process, and a new barrel be placed back on. This cost money and will not have the same value since it no longer has the original barrel. I would guess that Booknut is loosing about $200 of lost value on his property due to Lockyer's change in regulation. CA laws require Booknut to be compensated and there is precedence on compensation due to the SKS recall effort.

which laws are those?

I wonder why I've not read any Walther P22 owner who is a member of the NRA and/or CPRA and ask for legal aid on this. I would but I'm not a Walther P22 owner.

what kind of legal aid? nobody has been prosecuted yet, AFAIK. what are they supposed to do?

05-22-2005, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by delloro:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Possession of by-feature AW parts is legal as long as not assembled.

sure about that? that's a broad statement. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've probably posted this before, but these are well worth examining IMO.
Everyone should take the time to read these correspondences between CRPA lawyer Chuck Michel and the CADOJ:

http://www.robarm.com/DOJ Answers 8Jan04.pdf

In particular, first page, question #3 and page two, question #6, as these both have relevance to this statement.

Question #7 seems to confuse the issue somewhat, but I believe that it is asked in too vague of a sense since it does not specify which "category" of assault weapon. I assume the answer speaks to Roberti Roos AWs since otherwise it would be in direct conflict with the previous answer to #6.


Ooops!
Link won't work right that way.

Go here (http://www.robarm.com/m96_california_recon_carbine.htm) first and click on the last link at the bottom titled: "New Posted 17 Jan 2004!!* DOJ Answers".

Hank Zudd
05-22-2005, 11:24 AM
sorry to see you guys have to go thru all this B.S.; I already took mine out of state & sent them the yellow form. From looking at the current handgun bill pending, I'd say this it peanuts. Save your NRA help for bigger battles. Besides, splitting these legal hairs will only get shi**t on by some bean counter putting his own biased judgment on whatever is outside the black & white already written on this issue. I'm moving out of state shortly so I guess it's easy for me to say all this, Good luck & I'll be tracking these issues. pm

delloro
05-22-2005, 12:41 PM
it appears legal. that makes sense.

imported_booknut
06-03-2005, 1:56 AM
Well, I haven't gotten a reply yet from the DOJ.

To make it a bit more exciting...I can't remember when the letter was delivered!

I keep meaning to call DOJ and find out how much longer I have til my 45 days expires.

Think I'll go remove that offensive part from my gun!

I'll keep you all updated...when I find out something!

p.s. Can I take a laptop to jail with me? http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

imported_booknut
06-09-2005, 10:17 AM
Well, I just got off the phone with Leslie at CADOJ.
I asked her about my 45days.
It seems as though my letter has no day in the date.
It says; April 2005 That's it! No day.
When I explained this to Leslie, she seemed surprised.
She took my number and said she'd research it and call me back.
I also mentioned that I had sent a letter with some questions pertaining to the P22 'Recall' and I was waiting for answers on that.

Hey! my phone is ringing ...hang on!

It was Leslie, boy she's fast!

Anyway, she said not to worry about the date/45 days, and to go ahead and send in the handgun to Smith & Wesson.
I mentioned to her that I was not interested in permanently modifying the firearm.
I also mentioned that my letter addressed the issue of just removing the offending part(s) to comply with the AW ban, and possibly sending the barrel out of state.

She really did not address my question other than to say that if I wanted to send the entire handgun out of state, then I would not be allowed to bring it back into California.

So, I will remove the barrel and wait.
I will still expect a reply to my letter which I will share here.
I will still expect a knock on the door http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif to which I will respond in a civil and legal manner.

Unlike some folks on the various internet gun websites...I'm not going to puff out my chest and spout off about how they'll have to pry it from my dead cold hands, etc.

This is an issue to fight by legal means in the courts and in the halls of our government, not by blazing bullets on my front door step.

Better go down and break out the wrench...see ya!

bwiese
06-09-2005, 10:25 AM
Booknut..

I commend you in your attention to detail.

Leslie, however nice, is just a friggin' clerk. She doesn't know details of laws, etc.

She really did not address my question other than to say that if I wanted to send the entire handgun out of state, then I would not be allowed to bring it back into California.

You can certainly bring it back into CA if it doesn't have a threaded bbl.

And DOJ cannot mandate WHO fixes your gun. They cannot be legally upset if you refuse to send it to S&W.

Keep us posted on progress.



Bill Wiese
San Jose