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View Full Version : The memo, as I read it...


ketec_owner
05-10-2006, 1:25 PM
The new DOJ memo - doesn't address the California Supreme Court Decision in Harrot v. County of Kings.

I qoute:

" Our decision today-upholding the Attorney General' s authority to identify series assault weapons pursuant to section 12276, subdivision (e), but holding that a trial court may not find a semiautomatic firearm a series assault weapon under section 12276, subdivision (e), unless the firearm has first been included in the list of series assault weapons promulgated by the Attorney General pursuant to section 12276.5, subdivision (h)-is compelled by our examination of the legislative history of the AWCA"

means that the Supreme Court of California endorses the law which grants authority to regulate "Assault Weapons" to the Department of Justice, however, bars a trial court from prosecuting an owner of an "assault weapon" (whatever that is - do we know?) unless the firearms has been clearly stated in the list of 'series' assault weapons.

However, the DOJ has three ways to regulate what defines an AW:

1.) Listed by type, series, and model (CA PC 12276)
2.) By being declared an AW (using section CA PC 12276.5) (a peition by the AG to certain superior courts may be called upon to declare a firearms an assault weapon)
3.) By generic terms of characteristics (via the 1999 AWCA ammendments).

So instead of using method 2 to declare them an "off-list" receiver to be an AW. They chose method 3. Thereby bypassing any 90-day registration period and declaration. Meaning you can continue to buy off-list receivers - however you may not have ANY of the combinations of characteristics which define an AW by it's generic description.

However, if one were to have these characteristics - then the question becomes - if there were a test case - of an off-list reciever fully built out, then Harrot might be a defense (again - I am no lawyer I just know a bunch).

Harrot looks pretty clear to me. It looks to me that the DOJ strategically ignored it.

gh429
05-10-2006, 1:28 PM
So instead of using method 2 to declare them an "off-list" receiver to be an AW. They chose method 3. Thereby bypassing any 90-day registration period and declaration.

Good point :)

ketec_owner
05-10-2006, 1:44 PM
Seems to me that the Supreme Court of California has stated that the AWCA laws are confusing and unenforcable without further clarification.

The DOJ might be seeking legislative relief on this - further clarifying what is and is not a AW. Such legislation might be have mutual benefit if done correctly - thereby giving owners of "off-list" recievers a chance to legally register and giving the DOJ a clear definition of what is and is not an AW - thereby making enforcement an easier task. But only if done correctly.

FABIO GETS GOOSED!!!
05-10-2006, 2:00 PM
However, if one were to have these characteristics - then the question becomes - if there were a test case - of an off-list reciever fully built out, then Harrot might be a defense (again - I am no lawyer I just know a bunch)

Not really, because you can be prosecuted for possession of an unregistered AW as defined by PC 12276.1 (i.e., an AW with SB 23 characteristics). There's nothing in Harrott that's going to help you in that situation; Harrott reviewed a case decided under pre SB23 law.

It's pretty clear to me that the battle has been lost. I don't think it was ever winnable in the first place. The DOJ doesn't have to do anything at all right now. The DOJ is not going to add any receivers to the list, and nobody is going to get to build up their off-list receivers into detachable mag, pistol-gripped AWs, at least not legally. If there's any fight left at all, it will be about whether you can have a temporary or permanent fixed magazine. It doesn't seem to me that's a fight worth that's particularly worth fighting unless you happen to be on the wrong end of a criminal prosecution.

tenpercentfirearms
05-10-2006, 2:13 PM
It's pretty clear to me that the battle has been lost.The fact that I have seven fully functional stripped AR15 lowers that I can build up and shoot as fixed magazine versions means I have not lost. I paid 1/3 of what I paid for my FAB-10 for those receivers. I don't need a detachable magazine to win this battle. I have already won. This memo means just as much as the last memo, they can't do a damn thing about us doing what we are doing right now.

If you sole intention was to have a real assault weapon someday, then yeah, you haven't won yet. I am discouraged that they said they won't list, but hey, I am still better off than I was in November of 2005. This thing is far from over and it has been a great ride so far. I am going to keep pedaling.

shopkeep
05-10-2006, 2:18 PM
personally I think registration is inevitable. I believe that what the DOJ is concerned about is the future of off-list lowers, not what's happening now. They have no qualms about us registering, etc but they don't want to create a defacto open registration system that various manufacturers and FFLs will use to continue to bring new AWs into the state lawfully.

FABIO GETS GOOSED!!!
05-10-2006, 2:20 PM
The fact that I have seven fully functional stripped AR15 lowers that I can build up and shoot as fixed magazine versions means I have not lost.

If you look at it that way, then yes, you have not lost...at least not yet. The new memo muddies the waters a bit on this point, and I think that anyone with fixed mag off list ARs is on shakier ground today than they were yesterday.

IMO the memo is just bad news any way you slice it.

zenthemighty
05-10-2006, 2:28 PM
If you look at it that way, then yes, you have not lost...at least not yet. The new memo muddies the waters a bit on this point, and I think that anyone with fixed mag off list ARs is on shakier ground today than they were yesterday.

IMO the memo is just bad news any way you slice it.

Well.. Please quit buying AR stuff in order to slow down demand and bring prices for what I want to by down. Thanks!

I'm not gunna change a damned thing until I see an update to the actual regs.