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View Full Version : Travel to WA through CA w/ assault weapon


Catechol
10-21-2010, 6:05 PM
Greetings.

I'm an expatriate from California, now living in AZ. Next month I plan to take a drive up to Oregon w/ my AK-74, with stops in CA only for gas/food, and with the rifle unloaded/locked in the trunk. I understand that it's generally illegal to be in possession of this weapon in California, but it's also my understanding that FOPA (specifically, 18 USC 926A) should protect me from any overzealous LEOs that I may happen to encounter along the way.

What do you guys think?

E Pluribus Unum
10-21-2010, 6:07 PM
Greetings.

I'm an expatriate from California, now living in AZ. Next month I plan to take a drive up to Oregon w/ my AK-74, with stops in CA only for gas/food, and with the rifle unloaded/locked in the trunk. I understand that it's generally illegal to be in possession of this weapon in California, but it's also my understanding that FOPA (specifically, 18 USC 926A) should protect me from any overzealous LEOs that I may happen to encounter along the way.

What do you guys think?

It will do absolutely nothing for you against overzealous leos. If an overzealous LEO has the opportunity, you will go to jail and be charged.

It will probably protect you at arraignment, but you will still do some time in the pokey.

snobord99
10-21-2010, 6:09 PM
It will do absolutely nothing for you against overzealous leos. If an overzealous LEO has the opportunity, you will go to jail and be charged.

It will probably protect you at arraignment, but you will still do some time in the pokey.

This. Except replace arraignment with preliminary hearing.

It may protect you, but do you really want to go to court to find out?

POLICESTATE
10-21-2010, 6:11 PM
Go AROUND California, otherwise you risk a felony for your children-killing assault weapon.

Toast
10-21-2010, 6:14 PM
Is it on the "evil list"? If not then you can disassemble the magazines and get a BB/take off pistol grip/etc.

Catechol
10-21-2010, 6:46 PM
Does anyone know of any opinions published by any CA DA's regarding this? It seems ludicrous to me that Federal law can simply be ignored at the whims of any California LEO on a power trip...

Avoiding California would add close to 500 miles to my trip in each direction, and this is completely unreasonable.

Also, I'm fairly sure that AK-74 is a listed weapon.

E Pluribus Unum
10-21-2010, 6:53 PM
Does anyone know of any opinions published by any CA DA's regarding this? It seems ludicrous to me that Federal law can simply be ignored at the whims of any California LEO on a power trip...

Research the legal concept known as "affirmative defense".


They cannot ignore federal law. The plain and simple fact is they can very easily prove that you are within California with a non-registered assault rifle. Once that is established, it becomes your job to prove that possession of said weapon was legal at the time. This is done at trial, so... they are free to arrest you, charge you, and take you to trial where you will get your chance to explain that the federal law exempts you.

What would likely happen is the DA would see this and not file charges, or your attorney would bring it to their attention at the prelim where the charges would be dropped.

Catechol
10-21-2010, 6:56 PM
Alright guys, thanks. I think I'll just ship it to myself each way and pay $100 -- thus avoiding the possibility of spending thousands of dollars in legal bills.

bwiese
10-21-2010, 7:13 PM
Do not rely on FOPA protections.

People are still litigating in NY & NJ on FOPA travel exemption, with some cases backed by NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.

At best they may be relied upon in a defense - which means you've already been arrested and charged.

Ship the gun to your destination, or drive around CA.

gunsmith
10-21-2010, 8:30 PM
I'm sure that most reasonable people would agree with you, it is outrageous that CA gets away with this.
Hopefully now that we have incorporation, in a few years all of this crud will go away.

Dr Rockso
10-21-2010, 8:33 PM
Does anyone know of any opinions published by any CA DA's regarding this? It seems ludicrous to me that Federal law can simply be ignored at the whims of any California LEO on a power trip...

Avoiding California would add close to 500 miles to my trip in each direction, and this is completely unreasonable.

Also, I'm fairly sure that AK-74 is a listed weapon.

Depends on the specific make/model. You might be able to just remove the pistol grip and disassemble your mags to be perfectly legal.

Greg-Dawg
10-21-2010, 8:42 PM
Just keep driving...safely.

Quiet
10-22-2010, 4:26 PM
FOPA comes into play after you get arrested and charged.

stix213
10-22-2010, 5:44 PM
It seems ludicrous to me that Federal law can simply be ignored at the whims of any California LEO on a power trip...


California's gun laws already ignore the US Constitution, so ignoring federal law is a given.

bruss01
10-22-2010, 6:25 PM
If it's an "evil" (blacklisted) lower, do not bring it into the state of CA at all. You can never tell when some idiot might plow right into your car, you end up in the hospital, your car ends up in police custody... "oh, what do we have here?!" Yes they inventory car contents when the owner is driven away in an ambulance. Not worth a felony and all the resulting complications. ship it to yourself at your destination.

If it's an off-list lower, just disassemble (to a zero evil features config) and all your hi cap mags disassembled, and proceed as you like.

Or save yourself the hassles and worries, and go up through nevada and oregon.

See, three ways to do what you asked!

CCWFacts
10-22-2010, 8:14 PM
This question comes up every couple of weeks.

Simple answer: DON'T DO IT!

Longer answer: Yes, the FOPA exists, but it won't prevent an arrest, or charges being filed, or having lots of legal bills. And the case would not be clear-cut. Are you "traveling" when you stop for gas, or a bite to eat? What if your car breaks down and you need to spend the night?

FOPA only makes sense for protecting air travelers, and even then, it is not without risk.

Either avoid California, or ship your homeland security rifle, or leave it at home.