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View Full Version : Anyone Ever Talk To A LEO About ARs?


Animator
01-19-2010, 2:50 PM
I'm just curious if anyone has ever talked to any police officers and gotten their opinion about the legality of AR-15s. I mean, from the stories I've read on this forum it seems like in general they hardly care if your AR is legal or not. That can't be the opinion for the majority of them is it? There has to be plenty who understand the law and won't harass you if they know you have one right? I know it's best to not bring attention to yourself with your AR but it's ridiculous to have to hide something that's perfectly legal. I don't own an AR yet and I will still be cautious when I do get one to avoid any possibility of trouble, but does anyone have any stories about running into an officer who understood that you were not breaking the law? How is their interpretation of the bullet button?

Thanks.

strangerdude
01-19-2010, 2:53 PM
I have talked to plenty, most are unaware of the laws and assume AR's and AK's are illegal. I talked with some SWAT guys from Torrance PD and they all knew the laws and owned plenty of OLL's. It seems only the cops that are gun enthusiasts know the laws.

b.faust
01-19-2010, 3:00 PM
The only arguments with LEO's I've had is over which style BB is the "Best" (read: favorite)

Seems like a lot of the LEO's I know have California legal OLL's. A couple play a little loose and fast with the rules (i.e. breaking the law), but most that I know personally have Monsterman Grips or Bullet Buttons.

In fact, when I was first thinking of building a rifle, I asked an SFPD friend about what he thought of the bullet buttons and he said,
"Those things are great."

6172crew
01-19-2010, 3:02 PM
I've helped at least 5 cops get a lower or complete kit. Most of them are on calguns so they already know the deal.

Seems like more and more LEO know about the OL Black Rifles, 2005-6 was when guys were getting in trouble for legal stuff.

I'm not sure if you can find the "ugly Xmas sweater" thread but that was one of the first guys to go down.

badicedog
01-19-2010, 3:05 PM
I just took a class with several LEO from various dept. The general feeling is that OLLs with bullet buttons are perfectly legal but under any circumstances (no evil features) no mag over 10 rounds attached to weapon.

Tarn_Helm
01-19-2010, 3:09 PM
I'm just curious if anyone has ever talked to any police officers and gotten their opinion about the legality of AR-15s. I mean, from the stories I've read on this forum it seems like in general they hardly care if your AR is legal or not. That can't be the opinion for the majority of them is it? There has to be plenty who understand the law and won't harass you if they know you have one right? I know it's best to not bring attention to yourself with your AR but it's ridiculous to have to hide something that's perfectly legal. I don't own an AR yet and I will still be cautious when I do get one to avoid any possibility of trouble, but does anyone have any stories about running into an officer who understood that you were not breaking the law? How is their interpretation of the bullet button?

Thanks.

Some know; some don't know.

Others just don't care.

To defend yourself against those who consider it their duty to intervene in your exercise of your rights, print at least three color copies of this and politely offer a detailed explanation of current CA law if the LEO starts to act sketchy:
http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf

You can also carry a copy of this (http://www.gunlawpress.com/index.html)--read it yourself--put sticky notes on the relevant pages and highlight the relevant passages (just make sure you get the newest edition--not the one pictured below):
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p13/AimSmllMssSmll/HOWTOOWNAGUN.jpg

As long as you are going to or from a "gun place" (shooting range, gun shop, gun show, etc.), you will probably not encounter problems if you somehow end up in a discussion with an LEO who wants to know about your rifle and why you have it.

Good luck.

We all need it.

The U.S. Constitution alone is insufficient as an absolute protection of your rights.

Sad but true.

Press on.
:rant:

(P.S. You and I did not have a discussion about this topic at an L.A. area "tavern" last night, did we? If so, you should recognize me from my avatar.) :D
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p13/AimSmllMssSmll/Red_Lion_Big_Logo_notext.jpg

Animator
01-19-2010, 3:14 PM
That's good to hear that a lot are aware of the law now. Thanks for letting me know guys. b.faust, I like that you're in the SF and haven't had any problems. I'm in the East Bay and it's nice to know that even in the SF area the police are cool. badicedog, I don't want to misunderstand your post. No magazine over 10 rounds is ever allowed, but "evil" features like pistol grips are okay with a bullet button right? And I do have a copy of that book Tarn Helm. It sounds like a good idea to keep it in the glove box if I ever get an AR and take it out to the range.

Bug Splat
01-19-2010, 3:20 PM
All my badged friends know about them....now. Lot of the older officers I heard were spreading a lot of FUD to the younger officers. Younger officers were smart enough to check things out online while older officers just kept preaching from the 1994/2000 momos and training manuals.

Things have come a long way from just 5 years ago. I remember being approached by hordes of people at the range asking how I got my AR. Cops would question me and shake their head is disbelief when I handed them the letter from Alyson. One even said "Well, its illegal and you're lucky I don't confiscate it." OLL have become the norm and majority at the ranges from what I have seen. I don't know one cop that would bat an eye at a row of AR's and AK's lined up at the range.

badicedog
01-19-2010, 3:22 PM
Correct, only 10 round magazines in your cal legal AR (according to many LEO that I've spoken to). Pistol grips, stocks, other evil features all ok w/ bullet button attached. I know its legal to use preban mags with a featureless build but that will still draw negative attention from LEO. Bottom line, if you can afford the litigation in court to defend yourself against an assault weapons charge its your choice. I'm sure more informed members will chime in...

Fate
01-19-2010, 3:28 PM
Correct, only 10 round magazines in your cal legal AR (according to many LEO that I've spoken to). Pistol grips, stocks, other evil features all ok w/ bullet button attached. I know its legal to use preban mags with a featureless build but that will still draw negative attention from LEO. Bottom line, if you can afford the litigation in court to defend yourself against an assault weapons charge its your choice. I'm sure more informed members will chime in...

Holy cow, you've been here long enough to not spout FUD.

Elucidus
01-19-2010, 3:33 PM
Correct, only 10 round magazines in your cal legal AR (according to many LEO that I've spoken to). Pistol grips, stocks, other evil features all ok w/ bullet button attached. I know its legal to use preban mags with a featureless build but that will still draw negative attention from LEO. Bottom line, if you can afford the litigation in court to defend yourself against an assault weapons charge its your choice. I'm sure more informed members will chime in...

Holy cow, you've been here long enough to not spout FUD.

Not sure where the FUD is there in his post.

He said it was legal to use preban mags, but it will draw a lot of unnecessary attention.

Just like it's legal to UOC, but it will draw a lot of attention.

etc

PatriotnMore
01-19-2010, 3:33 PM
Correct, only 10 round magazines in your cal legal AR (according to many LEO that I've spoken to). Pistol grips, stocks, other evil features all ok w/ bullet button attached. I know its legal to use preban mags with a featureless build but that will still draw negative attention from LEO. Bottom line, if you can afford the litigation in court to defend yourself against an assault weapons charge its your choice. I'm sure more informed members will chime in...

Really??? wow, I just don't get this mindset. It's never ending.

Vtec44
01-19-2010, 3:35 PM
I generally don't talk to LEO's about my guns unless they're my personal friends. A few people that I asked in regard to the legality of AR/AK's in CA don't really know the laws and the attitude is to just confiscate and let the DA sort it out.

badicedog
01-19-2010, 3:43 PM
WTF FATE? How am I spreading FUD? I am explaining the mindset and understanding of LEO w/ regards to Cal legal OLL configuration. Do or configure your AR in whatever fashion you want. Don't expect LEO to have your mindset! This is where "murphy's Law" would apply.

NiteQwill
01-19-2010, 3:45 PM
Correct, only 10 round magazines in your cal legal AR (according to many LEO that I've spoken to). Pistol grips, stocks, other evil features all ok w/ bullet button attached. I know its legal to use preban mags with a featureless build but that will still draw negative attention from LEO. Bottom line, if you can afford the litigation in court to defend yourself against an assault weapons charge its your choice. I'm sure more informed members will chime in...

Serious? A member for 2 years and you still think this? Come on...

Bug Splat
01-19-2010, 4:07 PM
Serious? A member for 2 years and you still think this? Come on...

What is wrong with you guys? Has has said nothing wrong or that is FUD. I still get people at the range questioning my 30rd pre-ban mags.

Bug Splat
01-19-2010, 4:09 PM
Look at this post. Even members here still don't know the whole story and you can bet your butt a number of LEO don't know either. Don't trash the guy because he is cautious.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=242136

BroncoBob
01-19-2010, 4:51 PM
Sold my C230 to a retired cop from Baldwin Hills who had moved to Utah a couple years back. This past weekend as he picked up my car and him and I started talking about gun rights and he is a firm believer of the the 2A and said he loves his Bushmaster. I decided to open up my safe and show some of my toys and he immediately took a liking to my Spikes ST-22 which is complete with all the goodies. He said he had to get one of these when he gets back to Utah.

M1A Rifleman
01-19-2010, 5:20 PM
Sure, its always wise to confront some LEO you see in Starbucks and start yacking about how you like AW's and other semi-auto military looking rifles. Mention how you believe they should be for the masses, and add that it would be great to unloaded carry it, and maybe one day be able to loaded carry it. The discussion will get even more interesting when you describe what you own and how many. :rolleyes:

Bad idea.

B Strong
01-19-2010, 5:28 PM
I have talked to plenty, most are unaware of the laws and assume AR's and AK's are illegal. I talked with some SWAT guys from Torrance PD and they all knew the laws and owned plenty of OLL's. It seems only the cops that are gun enthusiasts know the laws.

Very true, and not just about OLL rifles.

FUD lives and is bred by LEO's more than any other group other than gun shop employees.

Officers that know what they're talking about are easy to get along with.

The officers that tell you hollow points are illegal because of "the Geneva Convention" and that semi autos were banned because they "were too easy to convert to full-automatic" will simply wear you the hell out.

Animator
01-19-2010, 5:32 PM
Sure, its always wise to confront some LEO you see in Starbucks and start yacking about how you like AW's and other semi-auto military looking rifles. Mention how you believe they should be for the masses, and add that it would be great to unloaded carry it, and maybe one day be able to loaded carry it. The discussion will get even more interesting when you describe what you own and how many. :rolleyes:

Bad idea.

One of the ranges I often shoot at is also used a lot by LEOs. Naturally people talk with them about guns because everyone there enjoys guns. I was wondering if anyone was in a situation like that and had the opportunity to find out how our police departments feel about ARs and bullet buttons and what not. I'm not really talking about walking up to a random police officer to ask questions, even though I don't see anything wrong with asking questions about the law to someone who enforces the law.

Saym14
01-19-2010, 5:42 PM
yes - one I know just showed me his BB AR. he has the Marines logo etched on it since he served.

Josh3239
01-19-2010, 5:45 PM
Talked to a few local Sheriffs. They don't know the laws and don't seem to care as long you aren't a crook or planning on doing anything illegal with it. They usually ask if I want to shoot with them.

Seesm
01-19-2010, 9:39 PM
My local LEO buddies do not know gun laws AT ALL. It is scary and I have posted about this before.

I tell them stuff and say... and they say I am wrong blah blah blah... So I say... "Ok just go to work and ask this as I know its true" They come back each time and say "Yeah you were right" So now they trust me more as I leanr more... Even one called on patrol to ask a question at one point... Silly.

loather
01-19-2010, 10:20 PM
OK... at the risk of being redundant, because it seems like some might not understand:

Evil features are OK if you have a centerfire rifle and do not have a readily-detachable magazine. That magazine also must have capacity less than or equal to ten rounds.

Detachable magazines are permitted if and only if the centerfire rifle does not possess any of the evil features listed in the assault weapons ban. Detachable magazines can have capacity greater than ten rounds if the magazines were in-state before the high-cap mag ban went into effect.

tombinghamthegreat
01-19-2010, 10:28 PM
OK... at the risk of being redundant, because it seems like some might not understand:

Evil features are OK if you have a centerfire rifle and do not have a readily-detachable magazine. That magazine also must have capacity less than or equal to ten rounds.

Detachable magazines are permitted if and only if the centerfire rifle does not possess any of the evil features listed in the assault weapons ban. Detachable magazines can have capacity greater than ten rounds if the magazines were in-state before the high-cap mag ban went into effect.

Yes, use the links full of great information.

http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf

pullnshoot25
01-19-2010, 10:30 PM
I had one come up to me at the last gun show and say the laws were bull**** and that he wants the laws repealed.

Made me a happy camper :)

Sniper3142
01-19-2010, 10:56 PM
Correct, only 10 round magazines in your cal legal AR (according to many LEO that I've spoken to). Pistol grips, stocks, other evil features all ok w/ bullet button attached. I know its legal to use preban mags with a featureless build but that will still draw negative attention from LEO. Bottom line, if you can afford the litigation in court to defend yourself against an assault weapons charge its your choice. I'm sure more informed members will chime in...

I ONLY use 30 and 20 round magazines in MY AR15. Of course it's a RAW (Registered AW) so I can do that LEGALLY.

And I DO NOT CARE about drawing any NEGATIVE ATTENTION from any LEO! My stuff is LEGAL. I do not care if they have a problem with it.

:mad:

Either you're the Windshield... or you're the Bug.

hoffmang
01-19-2010, 11:01 PM
Honestly, I know of no actual problem with a featureless build and large-capacity magazines ever. We see most every case too...

-Gene

bigcalidave
01-19-2010, 11:05 PM
^^^^^ +1

Fate
01-19-2010, 11:09 PM
Not sure where the FUD is there in his post.

He said it was legal to use preban mags, but it will draw a lot of unnecessary attention.

Just like it's legal to UOC, but it will draw a lot of attention.

etc

FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Stating that using legally owned high capacity magazines in a featureless build will get you extra LEO attention spreads Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt and is intended to restrict your freedoms. The statement about "have a good lawyer cuz you'll need it" is also fear mongering.

Properly configured AR/AK style rifles aren't illegal, and this is 2010, not back in the day. Many, many LEOs know the OLL/BB/Featureless score and if they don't their supervisors do. If you can (and you should be able to) quote Penal Code, you have nothing to fear. Even if you can only summarize it, or have a copy of the OLL Flowchart, there is nothing to fear.

I saw FUD and I called it out. Maybe some need to relearn what that acronym really means.

pullnshoot25
01-19-2010, 11:17 PM
Talked to a few local Sheriffs. They don't know the laws and don't seem to care as long you aren't a crook or planning on doing anything illegal with it. They usually ask if I want to shoot with them.

That's pretty cool, actually...

capo
01-20-2010, 12:11 AM
My old roommate is a cop.

He and I bought our OLL's and build kits together.

Elucidus
01-20-2010, 12:14 AM
FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Stating that using legally owned high capacity magazines in a featureless build will get you extra LEO attention spreads Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt and is intended to restrict your freedoms. The statement about "have a good lawyer cuz you'll need it" is also fear mongering.

Properly configured AR/AK style rifles aren't illegal, and this is 2010, not back in the day. Many, many LEOs know the OLL/BB/Featureless score and if they don't their supervisors do. If you can (and you should be able to) quote Penal Code, you have nothing to fear. Even if you can only summarize it, or have a copy of the OLL Flowchart, there is nothing to fear.

I saw FUD and I called it out. Maybe some need to relearn what that acronym really means.

So, the members on the board who told us to avoid UOC are spreading FUD? ;)

Like I said, there are many things that are 100% legal to do but aren't the wisest thing in the world to do, and an OLL with a 10/30 is slightly more menacing than an OLL with a magazine that barely peeks below the magwell.

Someone hunting with an EBR will stand out more than someone hunting with a bolt-gun.

Walking around a school campus with an empty pistol holster is 100% legal as well... or at least I think it is. Too late and not enough interest to verify that one.

Fate
01-20-2010, 12:30 AM
So, the members on the board who told us to avoid UOC are spreading FUD? ;)

Like I said, there are many things that are 100% legal to do but aren't the wisest thing in the world to do, and an OLL with a 10/30 is slightly more menacing than an OLL with a magazine that barely peeks below the magwell.

Nice strawman. Reread Gene's comment quoted below. Your FUD is unfounded. And yeah, he's one of the ones recommending holding off on UOC (but that's for a strategic reason).

Honestly, I know of no actual problem with a featureless build and large-capacity magazines ever. We see most every case too...

NiteQwill
01-20-2010, 1:01 AM
Forget it Fate...

You can borrow my palm to slap your forehead, too, after reading some of the replies on this thread. :rolleyes: (especially from those that should know better)

Elucidus
01-20-2010, 1:08 AM
Nice strawman. Reread Gene's comment quoted below. Your FUD is unfounded. And yeah, he's one of the ones recommending holding off on UOC (but that's for a strategic reason).

How is my "FUD" unfounded?

As you probably know, police officers are trained in the art of discovering violations... sometimes they can't quote the penal code for them, sometimes the laws have changed, sometimes the laws don't even exist. It's not unreasonable to think that the same officer who unlawfully confiscates a legally equipped OLL would also try to slap a misdemeanor charge on someone carrying normal capacity magazines.

Those in the know, such as the majority of the people on this board, are aware that both items are 100% legal to possess given certain attributes/preconditions.

We do not have the luxury of living in a society where that is the majority case as well. Then again, that may be a good thing.

In any case, I believe the guy's point is the less attention you draw to yourself the better.

NiteQwill
01-20-2010, 1:20 AM
You don't go to many 3-gun/rifle matches, do you? ;)

Many LEOs and civies alike running around with hundreds of their preban mags, featureless rifles, etc. I have never seen a pair of handcuffs come out.

I remain unconvinced by the argument on this thread.

tombinghamthegreat
01-20-2010, 1:34 AM
Sadly most of the FUD comes more from the gun dealers/ranges.

Elucidus
01-20-2010, 8:34 AM
You don't go to many 3-gun/rifle matches, do you? ;)

Many LEOs and civies alike running around with hundreds of their preban mags, featureless rifles, etc. I have never seen a pair of handcuffs come out.

I remain unconvinced by the argument on this thread.

I really need to stop playing devil's advocate here... but the temptation is too great, so in I go again.

As has been mentioned earlier in this thread I believe, the cops who enjoy shooting and know about gun laws are cool. One may suspect to find a higher population of them at shooting ranges, especially matches.

The argument regarding a 2A ignorant cop is not invalidated by that statement, he is most likely the one who never goes to the range except when he's forced to qualify.

Worrying about this cop is not going to get any of us very far. I don't think we should. This cop, most likely, will not find you at the shooting range. He *will* find you when you get pulled over for a routine stop and you give him probable cause or relinquish your privacy rights and allow him to examine your vehicle. The odds of finding him are slim, but he's out there.

Just like the cop who will pull you over for accelerating a little briskly, by yourself, directly to the speed limit, in your bright red sports car/muscle car/import coupe, with an exhaust system that is only slightly quieter than the legal limit. Don't forget, your car advertises aftermarket parts and has a ton of them under the hood - all of them CARB legal. Not to mention, your tires are pretty worn, 3/32", but still legal.

Odds are, he is not the cop who goes to the drag strip, car shows, autocrosses, track days, etc. (He probably prefers to ride in the passenger seat)

At the end of the day, DO NOT LIVE YOUR LIFE WORRYING ABOUT THIS STUFF! However, you should be smart about it and aware of how to protect yourself. My friends carry tire tread depth gauges and have the proper exemption stickers proudly shown in their engine bay. My friends who shoot will carry flow charts and copies of SB23 and other applicable laws.

DougJ
01-20-2010, 9:39 AM
Honestly, I know of no actual problem with a featureless build and large-capacity magazines ever. We see most every case too...

-Gene

This is very good to hear as I have finally decided to take the plunge and build a rifle for all of my standard capacity magazines.

Yes Martha, that's how it is. I'm gonna buy a rifle for my magazines, not buy magazines for my rifle... Actually that's not 100% true, I did buy a couple of 10 rnd mags for some variety since all I currently have are 30's. :)

Fate
01-20-2010, 11:39 PM
How is my "FUD" unfounded?

As you probably know, police officers are trained in the art of discovering violations... sometimes they can't quote the penal code for them, sometimes the laws have changed, sometimes the laws don't even exist. It's not unreasonable to think that the same officer who unlawfully confiscates a legally equipped OLL would also try to slap a misdemeanor charge on someone carrying normal capacity magazines.

A misdemeanor charge for violating what section of the Penal Code? I'm sorry but even your poor, misguided, fictional LEO can't invent misdemeanors.

You are telling people to fear the boogieman.

Elucidus
01-20-2010, 11:59 PM
A misdemeanor charge for violating what section of the Penal Code? I'm sorry but even your poor, misguided, fictional LEO can't invent misdemeanors.

You are telling people to fear the boogieman.

Wow.

You really DON'T believe there are LEOs out there that will unlawfully confiscate your property because they mistakenly believe they're in the right?

Like I said in the parts of my post that you didn't bother quoting, they're out there and you should be PREPARED for them, not AFRAID of them. And we can all be thankful that people like Gene and others are working together to make them a thing of the past.