View Full Version : I just got a reply from DOJ about the P-22...LOOK!

07-23-2005, 2:49 PM
I just got home from the post office and sat down to retype the whole letter so I could post it here.
Here it is...
July 20,2005

Humboldt County, CA 955420

RE: Walther P-22

Dear Mr. Booknut:

This correspondence is in response to your letter dated May 17th, 2005 in which you posed seven specific questions regarding the Walther P-22 issue. For your convenience, preceding each of the seven answers the corresponding question from your letter is re-stated.

Q1: Is the threaded barrel while attached to the handgun the sole violation of California Law?
A1: Yes, as originally manufactured.

Q2: 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)?
A2: Yes, because it is pursuant to Penal Code section 12276.1(a)(4)(A), that the threaded barrel on the Walther P-22 make it an assault weapon.

Q3: What other options are available for me to bring this pistol into compliance with state law?
A3: Removal of the offending characteristic (threaded barrel) is the only option by which the Walther P-22 can be made lawful as a non-assault weapon.

Q4: Is the ability to modify the pistol exclusively that of Smith & Wesson’s and if so, which statute/law makes that true?
A4: No. However, the Smith & Wesson retrofit is the only method that the Department of Justice has determined to be sufficient in eliminating the threaded barrel characteristic. As such, Walther P-22s retrofitted by Smith & Wesson do not require any additional examination by DOJ. While any person with the needed gunsmithing skills may perform the alteration to remove the threaded barrel characteristic, such alteration would require individual examination by DOJ Firearm experts to ensure the alteration suffices in making the P-22 compliant with state law. Additionally, as you are well aware, the Smith & Wesson alteration is being offered to Walther P-22 owners free of charge.

Q5: 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?
A5: California law does not provide any exception or extension for owners of Walther P-22s. As stated in the DOJ letter to Walther P-22 owners, the retrofit “will protect you from any enforcement action relating to the assault weapon statute for the pistol that has been retrofitted.” Prior to completion of the retrofit making the P-22 a lawful firearm, the Department does not have statutory authority to grant any sort of formal exception to existing law. However, based on the unfortunate circumstances in which P-22 purchasers were not at fault in acquiring a firearm later determined to be illegal, we are confident that local law enforcement and district attorneys throughout the state will follow the Department’s lead in not taking any arrest/prosecution action against P-22 owners participating in the Smith & Wesson retrofitting program.

Q6: 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?
A6: Yes. Because the threaded barrel was the only characteristic that made the Walther P-22 illegal for sale, purchase or possession in California, removing the barrel and sending it out of state would make the pistol lawful.

Q7: Other than the issue of the threaded barrel, does the Walther P-22 meet all other safety requirements for handguns allowed to be sold in this state?
A7: Yes.

If you have any additional questions regarding this issue, please feel free to contact me at (916)263-0802

Allison Merrilees
Deputy Attorney General
Firearms Division

I forgot to do spellcheck, but I'm pretty sure it's legible http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

O.K., I proofread and corrected my mistakes.