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Pofoo
08-05-2010, 8:22 PM
Can anyone give me a little info on the Ca. small arms tracer laws.
From searching the archives, it appears that it is illegal to import and shoot tracers, except shotgun ammo.
Is this correct?
How about buying, selling, inheriting, or just posessing such?
Could I buy one at a gun show in Ca?
Is this legal for a cartridge collection?
How many cartridges would be allowed?
Is there a "pre ban" date or statue?
Old or antique?
Thanks in advance.

cmth
08-05-2010, 8:56 PM
CA Penal Code 12301 & 12303:

(a) The term "destructive device," as used in this chapter,
shall include any of the following weapons:
(1) Any projectile containing any explosive or incendiary material
or any other chemical substance, including, but not limited to, that
which is commonly known as tracer or incendiary ammunition, except
tracer ammunition manufactured for use in shotguns.
(2) Any bomb, grenade, explosive missile, or similar device or any
launching device therefor.
(3) Any weapon of a caliber greater than 0.60 caliber which fires
fixed ammunition, or any ammunition therefor, other than a shotgun
(smooth or rifled bore) conforming to the definition of a
"destructive device" found in subsection (b) of Section 479.11 of
Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, shotgun ammunition
(single projectile or shot), antique rifle, or an antique cannon. For
purposes of this section, the term "antique cannon" means any cannon
manufactured before January 1, 1899, which has been rendered
incapable of firing or for which ammunition is no longer manufactured
in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary
channels of commercial trade. The term "antique rifle" means a
firearm conforming to the definition of an "antique firearm" in
Section 479.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(4) Any rocket, rocket-propelled projectile, or similar device of
a diameter greater than 0.60 inch, or any launching device therefor,
and any rocket, rocket-propelled projectile, or similar device
containing any explosive or incendiary material or any other chemical
substance, other than the propellant for that device, except those
devices as are designed primarily for emergency or distress signaling
purposes.
(5) Any breakable container which contains a flammable liquid with
a flashpoint of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or less and has a wick or
similar device capable of being ignited, other than a device which is
commercially manufactured primarily for the purpose of illumination.
(6) Any sealed device containing dry ice (CO2) or other chemically
reactive substances assembled for the purpose of causing an
explosion by a chemical reaction.
(b) The term "explosive," as used in this chapter, shall mean any
explosive defined in Section 12000 of the Health and Safety Code.

Any person, firm, or corporation who, within this state,
possesses any destructive device, other than fixed ammunition of a
caliber greater than .60 caliber, except as provided by this chapter,
is guilty of a public offense and upon conviction thereof shall be
punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed
one year, or in state prison, or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) or by both such fine and imprisonment.

diginit
08-05-2010, 9:09 PM
Nope... Tracers and exploding ammo (such as Starburst) are totally illegal here. But not in most other states. (as usual)
Go on a desert vacation (Just don't get caught....) or take a trip to Colorado, Arizona or Nevada where they are legal. My 2Sense. If you don't want them your posession, PM me. I will dispose of them properly in Nevada.

Ron-Solo
08-05-2010, 9:12 PM
Can anyone give me a little info on the Ca. small arms tracer laws.
From searching the archives, it appears that it is illegal to import and shoot tracers, except shotgun ammo.
Is this correct?

Very Illegal. They are considered a destructive device

How about buying, selling, inheriting, or just posessing such?

Felony to possess

Could I buy one at a gun show in Ca?

No

Is this legal for a cartridge collection?

No. Felony

How many cartridges would be allowed?

ZERO

Is there a "pre ban" date or statue?

NO

Old or antique?

NO

Thanks in advance.

They are not worth losing your gun rights over a collection.

Dangerpin
08-05-2010, 9:16 PM
I wonder if you could buy them out of state and (while still out of state) render them inert by removing the powder/primer/tracer components and make them CA legal for your collection?

edwardm
08-05-2010, 9:20 PM
For purposes of California law, you want the following statutes:

California Penal Code Section 12301 (defines a 'destructive device' as including tracer ammunition):

12301. (a) The term "destructive device," as used in this chapter,
shall include any of the following weapons:
(1) Any projectile containing any explosive or incendiary material
or any other chemical substance, including, but not limited to, that
which is commonly known as tracer or incendiary ammunition, except
tracer ammunition manufactured for use in shotguns.

Please note the use of the word projectile; you need not possess loaded ammunition, only the tracer projectile itself for purposes of liability (See below).

Section 12303 criminalizes mere possession:

12303. Any person, firm, or corporation who, within this state,
possesses any destructive device, other than fixed ammunition of a
caliber greater than .60 caliber, except as provided by this chapter,
is guilty of a public offense and upon conviction thereof shall be
punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed
one year, or in state prison, or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(this is a wobbler, FYI)

However, things get worse when it comes to transfer and transportation, under 12303.6:

12303.6. Any person, firm, or corporation who, within this state,
sells, offers for sale, or knowingly transports any destructive
device, other than fixed ammunition of a caliber greater than .60
caliber, except as provided by this chapter, is guilty of a felony
and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three
or four years.
(this is NOT a wobbler - this is Pound-Me-In-The-***** time right here)

Section 12304 deals w/ punishment for DD's of caliber > .60:

12304. Any person, firm or corporation who, within this state,
sells, offers for sale, possesses or knowingly transports any fixed
ammunition of a caliber greater than .60 caliber, except as provided
in this chapter, is guilty of a public offense and upon conviction
thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a
term not to exceed six months or by a fine not to exceed one thousand
dollars ($1,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(misdemeanor the first time out)
A second or subsequent conviction shall be punished by
imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed one year, or
by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine not to exceed
three thousand dollars ($3,000), or by both such fine and
imprisonment.
(strike 2 is a wobbler)

You are correct that shotgun tracers are exempt, as listed in 12301(a)(1). There is additional reference to tracers and shotgun tracers in Section 12020(a)(4) and 12020(b)(6).

For brevity, one could argue 12020(a)(1) bans shotgun tracers, but they're restored as exempt from 12020's prohibitions via 12020(b)(6).

12020(a)(4) says in part:

A bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent is not a destructive device as that term is used in Section 12301.

At first that seems to turn 12301 on it's head, but 12301 refers to projectiles containing incendiary OR explosive material and 12020(a)(4) exempts only "bullets" carrying "explosive" agents. U.S. Military references that I've found (bullet tip color coding charts, basically) indicate to me that there are explosive, incendiary and tracer-type projectiles, as well as combinations of each, i.e. "explosive-incendiary" projectiles or "armor piercing-incendiary" projectiles.

I think the Legislature was trying to cover the issue of whether incendiary = tracer or incendiary != tracer with their language in 12301.

So, in a nutshell, no, you can't have tracers, except shotgun ammo tracers, in CA. Be warned, too - I know people who have purchased bulk ammo from CMP (or from vendors that got their ammo from CMP) and who ended up with boxes of de-linked 30-06 and in those boxes a few machine gun tracers (check for red or orange tips).

I'm tired and sick, so if I missed something, others please chime in.

Can anyone give me a little info on the Ca. small arms tracer laws.
From searching the archives, it appears that it is illegal to import and shoot tracers, except shotgun ammo.
Is this correct?
How about buying, selling, inheriting, or just posessing such?
Could I buy one at a gun show in Ca?
Is this legal for a cartridge collection?
How many cartridges would be allowed?
Is there a "pre ban" date or statue?
Old or antique?
Thanks in advance.

cmth
08-05-2010, 9:27 PM
BRQqieimwLQ

...and that's why they're banned.

gazzavc
08-05-2010, 10:55 PM
BRQqieimwLQ

...and that's why they're banned.


Yet another bufoon thinly disguised as a politician........................

Cali-Shooter
08-06-2010, 12:55 AM
BRQqieimwLQ

...and that's why they're banned.

Oh god, those gun control whores crack me up. Incendiary = Heat-Seeking? I guess the amount of education it takes to be a fugly, stink-***, sour-puss(e), shriveled up old hateful hag who hates firearms and fear-mongers lies is less education than a 5th grader's.

WTSGDYBBR
08-06-2010, 1:18 AM
Makes me sick. WTF Heat seeking bullet HA. Hell that would be a great gun for long range Zombie hunting I met dear hunting. Are all 50bmg banned single shot bolt ?

cmth
08-06-2010, 7:47 AM
Are all 50bmg banned single shot bolt ?

All .50 BMG "rifles" are banned, which means a shoulder-fired weapon with a minimum 16" barrel. .50 BMG pistols and other firearms that do not meet the definition of a rifle, like a semi-auto M2HB with butterfly triggers, are not banned.

REH
08-06-2010, 8:15 AM
Makes me sick. WTF Heat seeking bullet HA. Hell that would be a great gun for long range Zombie hunting I met dear hunting. Are all 50bmg banned single shot bolt ?

Zombie's give off heat??

stphnman20
08-06-2010, 8:19 AM
Illegal...

GrizzlyGuy
08-06-2010, 8:45 AM
For purposes of California law, you want the following statutes...

I'm tired and sick, so if I missed something, others please chime in.

Great work on your thorough and well-researched answer! Done while sick and tired, no less. :thumbsup:

It would be neat to have a summary of that info here (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#What_about_ammunition_and_reloading_supplies.3 F). If you're not on the FAQ editing team I can take a shot at it later.

loather
08-06-2010, 8:55 AM
It is a felony to possess tracer ammunition in the state (as others have said). It is one felony count per round of ammunition. Just don't do it.

Wherryj
08-06-2010, 10:41 AM
CA Penal Code 12301 & 12303:

It's good that they put in the shotgun except-since a 12 ga shotgun is somewhere around a .73 caliber.

However, how does firing slugs (solid projectile) out of a 12 ga realistically differ from firing a solid projectile out of another weapon over .60 caliber? Just another example of how the law makes no sense. A .73 caliber shotgun slug is not a "destructive weapon", but a .61 caliber anything else is?

Wherryj
08-06-2010, 10:47 AM
BRQqieimwLQ

...and that's why they're banned.

On a somewhat related note, I found this sign outside the CA assembly building
.
http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx238/wherryj/This.jpg

sandsnow
08-06-2010, 10:50 AM
If you knew someone who had some tracer ammo, what would be the proper way to dispose of it?

Let's assume transporting out of state and of course shooting it is not an option.

cmth
08-06-2010, 12:25 PM
Call an gun attorney and have them arrange an amnesty turn in with the police, or wait for a gun buy back and get some Ralphs gift cards for them.

WTSGDYBBR
08-06-2010, 12:30 PM
I wonder if you get a green paint marker to paint the orange tips green if that will work.

Turo
08-06-2010, 12:35 PM
I wonder if you get a green paint marker to paint the orange tips green if that will work.

??:confused:??

The color of the bullet tips aren't what's banned, it's the fact that the bullet ignites when it's fired.

curtisfong
08-06-2010, 12:39 PM
I guess he wants an obstruction charge on top of the CA Penal Code 12301 & 12303 charges.

Flopper
08-06-2010, 1:14 PM
It's good that they put in the shotgun except-since a 12 ga shotgun is somewhere around a .73 caliber.

However, how does firing slugs (solid projectile) out of a 12 ga realistically differ from firing a solid projectile out of another weapon over .60 caliber? Just another example of how the law makes no sense. A .73 caliber shotgun slug is not a "destructive weapon", but a .61 caliber anything else is?

It doesn't.

But in the screwed-up world of the NFA and other related anti-RKBA lunacy, if the weapon has a legit "sporting purpose" (as determined by the BATFE) it can get an exemption as a DD.

Since SCOTUS correctly ruled that sporting has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment, eventually these ridiculous restrictions will be shot down.

turbogg
08-06-2010, 1:28 PM
Yet another bufoon thinly disguised as a politician........................

Aren't they all????

turbogg
08-06-2010, 1:32 PM
Call an gun attorney and have them arrange an amnesty turn in with the police

Best advice right here! And since the law is clear that transportation is illegal, I would let your attorney decide on the method of return.

Wherryj
08-06-2010, 2:09 PM
All politicians come standard with a creamy buffoon center.

Vox
08-06-2010, 2:41 PM
I don't know how to post videos on this forum....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pxjnl1yuXk

edwardm
08-06-2010, 2:44 PM
I'm not on that team, but I'd be happy to be and do what I can to help out. PM me, if need be. :)

Great work on your thorough and well-researched answer! Done while sick and tired, no less. :thumbsup:

It would be neat to have a summary of that info here (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#What_about_ammunition_and_reloading_supplies.3 F). If you're not on the FAQ editing team I can take a shot at it later.

edwardm
08-06-2010, 3:02 PM
If you knew someone who had some tracer ammo, what would be the proper way to dispose of it?

Let's assume transporting out of state and of course shooting it is not an option.

If the ammo is located in California, the FIRST thing you do is contact an attorney, retain that attorney, and explain the situation.

From there, you'd let the attorney do the footwork for surrendering the the projectile(s) or ammunition. There are some specifics in PC 12307 about surrendering a DD, so some calls have to be made and some things checked out and verified before a course of action is finalized. That's the "I have a client" answer.

edwardm
08-06-2010, 3:03 PM
Facilitating the surrender of non-papered (or even papered and 'inherited') AW's is all I've personally had to deal with.

That said, there are permits issued for possession, transport, etc. of DD's. Do any of the FFL's (or anyone else) out there know of PC 12305 permitees in the SF Bay Area? I need to add some to my contacts list in case the need ever arises.

WTSGDYBBR
08-06-2010, 4:40 PM
I guess he wants an obstruction charge on top of the CA Penal Code 12301 & 12303 charges.

There has to be a time before like a prebanned time limit this was put into effect. If enforcement wasted there time on this I don't know what to say. How can one confirm a bullet is a tracer with out shooting it. The round was not red or orange.

CSACANNONEER
08-06-2010, 4:46 PM
It's good that they put in the shotgun except-since a 12 ga shotgun is somewhere around a .73 caliber.

However, how does firing slugs (solid projectile) out of a 12 ga realistically differ from firing a solid projectile out of another weapon over .60 caliber? Just another example of how the law makes no sense. A .73 caliber shotgun slug is not a "destructive weapon", but a .61 caliber anything else is?

I have a couple of cases of 12g tracers and they are 7 1/2s not slugs. In fact, I've never seen a 12g slug tracer.

There has to be a time before like a prebanned time limit this was put into effect. If enforcement wasted there time on this I don't know what to say. How can one confirm a bullet is a tracer with out shooting it. The round was not red or orange.

Not to hard, just pull the bulletand look at it's base. Or, x-ray it???

edwardm
08-06-2010, 5:21 PM
There has to be a time before like a prebanned time limit this was put into effect. If enforcement wasted there time on this I don't know what to say. How can one confirm a bullet is a tracer with out shooting it. The round was not red or orange.

Think what you want, but there isn't.

Sgt Raven
08-06-2010, 6:15 PM
Think what you want, but there isn't.

When was the law enacted or amended to include tracers? At some point of time tracers were legal to own in California. :rolleyes: :TFH:

Pofoo
08-06-2010, 6:59 PM
Thanks all, I guess I won't be able to complete my collection till I move out of state.

thedrickel
08-06-2010, 8:38 PM
Here's what you do . . . take a regular round & paint the tip red/orange. BAM! You have a CA legal "tracer" round for your collection.

gazzavc
08-06-2010, 9:10 PM
I remember a friend of mine "discovering" some tracer ammo had been sold to him way back in the Great Western Gunshow days in the 80's.

He had bought a batch of WWII surplus 303 that had been taped up in the original cardboard boxes. When we went out into the desert to go shooting later that year we opened up the boxes, started firing and lo and behold 1 48 round box with tracer rounds.

No markings visible on the box on the box, and virtually unmarked on the actual round with the exception of a faint purple ring around the primer which you would never normally notice.

Needless to say we got rid of it by the end of the weekend.

How would a situation like that affect you now ? IE: accidental "discovery" of them mixed in with regular milsurp ammo, especially WWII surplus stuff ??

Gaz

diginit
08-06-2010, 9:48 PM
Buy a $15 bullet puller and break down the ammo. The projectiles are not illegal unless they are loaded ammunition. Then either sell the projectiles to me via PM or give them with the cases and powder in separate containers to your local FD for proper disposal.

PS. You could sell the primed cases in the marketplace, But you would need to have local pick up or ship FedX or UPS as you would live ammo. I dispose of unidentified powder in a thin line on a steel plate in my garage. But hold your breath have a fire extinguisher handy, just in case.

WTSGDYBBR
08-06-2010, 9:55 PM
Buy a $15 bullet puller and break down the ammo. The projectiles are not illegal unless they are loaded ammunition. Then either sell the projectiles to me via PM or give them with the cases and powder in separate containers to your local FD for proper disposal.


LOL w00t I like your plan as well . I would also buy pulled projectiles.

aaronraby1
08-06-2010, 9:56 PM
Nope... Tracers and exploding ammo (such as Starburst) are totally illegal here. But not in most other states. (as usual)
Go on a desert vacation (Just don't get caught....) or take a trip to Colorado, Arizona or Nevada where they are legal. My 2Sense. If you don't want them your posession, PM me. I will dispose of them properly in Nevada.

hahah!! i like your thinking!

diginit
08-06-2010, 10:09 PM
I have first dibbs! :D But seriously. A $15 bullet pulling hammer (available at most gun shops that stock reloading gear,) and an hour in the garage is better than a $500 retainer anyday. If you need any instruction on safety while breaking down the rounds, PM me. I would be happy to help you stay safe and out of the orange jump suit.

If the ammo is simply for a collection you can enable it inert. No Powder and a cleaned projectile with a false primer. But don't try this unless you know what you are doing! Have someone that reloads do it for you. Any good reloader could break it down, dismantle the primer, and powder, clean the charge from the bullet and reassemble it in a non firable form. It would look like a live round, but would be a complete dud if chambered. A small hole should be drilled in the case so a LEO would recognize it as an inert round.

edwardm
08-06-2010, 11:00 PM
When was the law enacted or amended to include tracers? At some point of time tracers were legal to own in California. :rolleyes: :TFH:

And possession post-enactment would be a crime. There is no grandfathering in as with high capacity magazines.

So, to pull the wind out of this stupidity, let's say the law was enacted 1/1/1970 (anyone else get that?).

You had tracers 12/31/1969.

Given the way the statute is written, you were in wobbler, felony or misdemeanor territory 1/1/1970.

Want to argue the point some more?

Super Spy
08-06-2010, 11:43 PM
I know some guy that unknowingly bought some tracres from CTD, they happily shipped 'em to CA too. Once he found out that it was illegal he just surrendered them to local LE ASAP. No big deal.

EBR Works
08-07-2010, 10:10 PM
Buy a $15 bullet puller and break down the ammo. The projectiles are not illegal unless they are loaded ammunition. Then either sell the projectiles to me via PM or give them with the cases and powder in separate containers to your local FD for proper disposal.



This is absolutely incorrect. Just the tracer or incendiary projectiles are illegal to possess, even if not loaded.

diginit
08-07-2010, 10:32 PM
This is absolutely incorrect. Just the projectiles are illegal to possess, even if not loaded.

I stand corrected. CA PC:

Any projectile containing any explosive, incendiary material, or any other chemical
substance including, but not limited to, that commonly known as tracer or incendiary
ammunition, except tracer ammunition manufactured for use in shotguns.



I guess this is why bottle rockets are banned here also...