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6172crew
08-11-2006, 8:08 AM
AUG 16th is right around the corner and if you cant make the meeting then you should write to the DOJ to voice concern over the new rulings about AW law.

Below is a collection for what we have so far and alot of them are good.

Posted by Zebra:
Mr. Amador:
After reviewing the text of the above-referenced amendment, I am compelled to submit commentary in opposition of such change. Current regulations being insufficient to quell the perceived misconceptions around "capacity to accept a detachable magazine," this additional regulatory contortion will not be effective in fulfilling the reason for which it is proposed. Rather the suggested alteration will burden law-abiding citizens with capricious, subjective and undefinable terminology they will be subject to upholding.

The need for this change is described as "…facilitate the accurate identification of statutorily restricted assault weapons by law enforcement and the public." However a simple test already exists within the Penal Code. The first amendment clearly identifies a detachable magazine as "any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required."

The suggested change does not replace or clarify the existing text, yet confounds the issue by mandating permanency without defining what form that permanency might take. The new text requiring permanent affixation recommends no specific test that a citizen may undertake to assure compliance.

The DOJ has previously required gun enthusiasts and gun dealers to meet the initial specific tests of disassembly and use of a tool. Those citizens currently in compliance with this absolute definition would be arbitrarily jeopardized without recourse. Additionally the law-abiding general public conformed as requested yet are once again being anointed with the onus of illegality.

It is troubling that criminal elements exploit extant ordinance, however they will remain unhindered by additional regulation. Creating felons of conscientious gun owners is not your intent, I'm sure. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Frank


Originally Posted by Geoff C:
Mr. Amador,

I am writing to express concern over the proposed regulatory change to amend Section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) regarding definitions of terms used to identify assault weapons.

Currently it is the case that a detachable magazine is defined as a magazine that does not require disassembly of the firearm action or use of a tool for removal. Furthermore, a bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool. This definition seems very clear and easily applied to actual firearm evaluation. The most useful aspect of this definition is that anyone, firearms lawyer or not, can understand its meaning and application.

I realize that the DOJ considers this definition too flexible in that nearly any unlisted, semi-automatic assault rifle can be converted to a fixed magazine (and therefore legal) configuration. This has led to the proposed rulemaking we are currently discussing that defines “capacity to accept a detachable magazine”, as meaning "capable of accommodating a detachable magazine, but shall not be construed to include a firearm that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate a detachable magazine."

The problem with this new definition is that it eliminates the currently unambiguous test procedure (use of a tool or disassembly), and replaces it with a definition so confusing that it is unlikely that a normal citizen could fully understand its meaning. For the purposes of this letter I will consider the two halves of the definition separately.

Part 1 - “Capable of accommodating a detachable magazine…”

“Capacity” is one of the most ambiguous and subjective terms in the English language.

This definition if taken literally could mean that any SKS, including “fixed magazine” variants would have the “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” and would therefore likely be considered illegal assault weapons. Any “fixed magazine” SKS can readily be converted to accept a detachable magazine, but as the law is currently written are not considered to be detachable magazine rifles until the actual conversion is done. This is the manner in which the vast majority of firearms laws do operate, and rightfully so. The ability to commit a crime is not the same as committing said crime.

By adding this new definition, a situation will be created where the ability to create an assault rifle from an otherwise legal rifle holds the same legal consequences as possessing an illegal assault rifle. This is an extremely difficult and dangerous line to cross. This regulatory change has the potential to transform numerous legal rifles into illegal assault rifles, and their owners from law-abiding citizens to criminals.

The ambiguity of this text would make it much more difficult for law-abiding firearms owners to understand whether a given rifle or configuration was legal. As a law-abiding owner of firearms, this worries me greatly. As with many other firearms owners, I enjoy responsible firearms ownership and fear that if this definition is adopted that I may find myself unwittingly committing a felony, against my best intentions.

Part 2 – “…but shall not be construed to include a firearm that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate a detachable magazine."

While “capacity” is an extremely unclear term, “permanence” is an even more difficult concept to quantify. The problem with defining legality based on permanence is that nothing in this world is ever truly permanent. With simple power tools and a welder, even a moderately skilled fabricator can create a fully functional firearm from raw metal. To a lesser extent, it is rather easy to convert a fixed magazine rifle to using a detachable magazine or a modified fixed magazine rifle back to using a detachable magazine. This ability should not be treated in the same way as actually building an illegal assault rifle.

Just as with Part 1, this is attempting to regulate future behavior. An AR-15 type rifle with a modified magazine catch that uses an insert and nut rather than a button can currently be configured legally. While it is possible to convert a rifle of this type back to a detachable magazine, the crime of doing so does not take effect until the conversion is performed. This regulatory change could have the unfortunate consequence that a currently legal rifle would become an illegal assault rifle.

The question then becomes the permanence of modification. Clearly a nut is not permanent, but neither is gluing, pinning, or even welding a magazine in place. Therefore it becomes a question of how permanent is acceptable and who decides this arbitrary level. Whenever a sliding scale like this determines legality, it is reasonable to expect that an average citizen would not be able to determine legality on their own.

With regard to permanence, how drastically modified would be considered adequate? Would a permanently shortened magazine catch stud that could no longer accept a button be adequate? Or would permanence only be considered adequate for (potentially damaging) modifications that make the firearm difficult or even unsafe to reverse (such as epoxying, welding, or similar)?

The last thing any responsible and law-abiding gun owner wants is to be forced to try to interpret an unclear and confusing legal definition with the penalty for error being a felony conviction.

I hope I have been sufficiently clear in conveying my concerns. As a law-abiding citizen, I, too, am troubled by the prospect of criminals taking advantage of fair legislation to build illegal rifles for their own use. While this is a significant concern, I don’t believe the solution lies in ambiguous legislation or definitions that threaten to reclassify tens of thousands of legal rifles as assault weapons based on their ability to be converted into an illegal configuration, thereby turning equally many responsible citizens into felons.

Thank you very much for your consideration in this matter. If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me by letter or by telephone. I have included my contact information at the head of this letter.

6172crew
08-11-2006, 8:10 AM
Originally posted by jemaddux
August 7, 2006
Department Of Justice Firearms Licensing
And Permits Section
P.O. Box 820200
Sacramento, CA 94203

Dear Mr. Jeff Amador:

As a firearms owner and dealer here in Southern California I am strongly opposed to the new definition of assault type firearms. I am concerned that the change will be contrary to the legislative intent and will not clarify what the DOJ has already been guiding firearm owners and law enforcement on "assault weapons" laws.

Also as you and I have spoken on the phone before about is the fact that with current technology welding steel to aluminum in not possible with current welders available to the general public. The process would be very expensive and would most like cause damage to the firearm. (Please see attached information from the National Welding Journal explaining how this welding is done).

In 2000 during the hearings, this same issue was discussed and was decided to be left at the current wording do to the fact that it affects other firearms also:

“FINAL STATEMENT OF REASONS
Hearing Dates: February 24, 2000, Sacramento, California
February 28, 2000, Los Angeles, California
978.20(a) Detachable Magazine
The Department also added the phrase "without disassembly of the firearm action" as a result of public comment stating that there are firearms with fixed magazines that can be field stripped (disassembled in the field) without using any tools (such as the M1 Garand). Including those firearms in the definition of a "detachable magazine" would have been inconsistent with the legislative intent of the statute.

The definition was again revised to read "detachable magazine means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor the use of a tool being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool. Ammunition feeding device includes any belted or linked ammunition, but does not include clips, en bloc clips, or stripper clips that load cartridges into the magazine."
The SKS, Mini 14, M1 and many others would all the effected by your current new wording that you are purposing.

Further thought needed to be given is the fact that the firearm was not designed to have the magazine welded into place making it not possible for repairs to be done to the magazine. A simple part such as a spring breaking would not be able to be repaired and would make it for the firearm would be useless. With the current wording the firearm can safely be serviced and returned back to a fixed magazine again with no problems.

Please reconsider any changes in the current wording. Consider opening a registration period for the firearms that are in question at the current time as your department put on the open web sight earlier this year.

“Accordingly, the Department is currently in the process of identifying those firearms in the state that are variations, with minor differences, of AR-15/AK 47 “series” weapons. Once this process is complete, the Department will promulgate a list and file it with the Secretary of State’s office. Concurrently, the Department will begin updating the Assault Weapon Identification Guide which is currently available via the Department’s website athttp://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/index.html. Once the list of newly identified AR “series” weapons is filed with the Secretary of State, citizens who possess those weapons will have 90 days to register them with the Department of Justice.”

People are still being told that the AR/AK47 “series” firearms are legal to buy and sell.

“In regard to your e-mail inquiry, off list lowers may be sold and owned. Individuals who alter a firearm designed and intended to accept a detachable magazine in an attempt to make it incapable of accepting a detachable magazine do so at their legal peril. Whether or not such a firearm remains capable of accepting a detachable magazine is a question for law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and ultimately juries of twelve persons, not the California Department of Justice. We cannot anticipate how any or all of the above entities will view the conversion of a firearm.”

As stated here, it is already written and in place. It is not up to the DOJ as stated here by the DOJ to decide the law. According to local Police and Sherriff Department the current laws are understood and enforceable as they are.

The registration period would create a large income for the state and your department. The registration period would also create new business for small firearm businesses in the state creating more tax dollars.

Currently with off list lowers coming into the state many smaller firearms dealer are having trouble keeping parts in stock. Most manufactures are also having supply and demand problems creating record sales years for most. Many of the gun clubs for training are reporting increase in members and training creating safer legal shooters in this state. This can be turned into a win/win for everyone.


Sincerely,
James E. Maddux
Firearm Dealer and Owner
__________________

Originally posted by CG
To: Jeff Amador, Dept of Justice Firearms Division

From: C.G

Subject: Objection to the Proposed Amendment of Section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) regarding definitions of terms used to identify assault weapons.

Dear Mr. Amador,
As an interested party and a firearms owner, I object to the proposed amendment of Section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) regarding definitions of terms used to identify assault weapons for the following reasons:
1) The regulation would deem any fixed magazine rifle with a one feature prohibited by Penal Code section 12276.1 that could be retrofitted with a detachable magazine an “assault weapon.” The original statute (Penal Code section 12276.1) does not require a firearm to be permanently altered to have a fixed magazine, so the proposed change is not to clarify, but to change the intent of the current law. Since the proposed amendment is very different from the current regulations, California owners of various firearms, i. e. Imbels and SKSs, who have been misled by and adhered to the current law, shall become felons under the proposed amendment.
2) ”Permanent alteration” is not defined in the proposed amendment. Unless it is defined, the fixed magazine Vulcan AR-15 and Vulcan HAR-25 (deemed not to be assault weapons by the CA DOJ), could suddenly become assault weapons because many have at least one feature prohibited by Penal Code section 12276. Many fixed magazine Vulcan AR-15s and HAR-25s were legally sold in California and again, under proposed change all owners would become felons, including me.
3) If the DOJ made a mistake in the definition up to this point and needs to re-define, the DOJ should open a registration period for the “newly defined assault weapons,” so that the firearms owners would not become felons for complying with a law that was erroneous for at least 5 years.
In closing, I would like to say that in spite of the fact that the current firearms regulations could be clearer at times, the proposed amendment will create more confusion than clarification.
Best regards,
C.G.

6172crew
08-11-2006, 8:13 AM
And here is 2 versions of my letter

To: Jeff Amador, Dept of Justice Firearms Division
From: 6172crew
Subj: Notice and Comment regarding semi-auto rifles Aug16, 2006

Mr Amador as a firearms owner I am opposed to the new definition of a assault rilfe. I am concerned that the change will be contrary to the legislative intent and will not clarify what the DOJ has already been guiding firearm owners and law enforcement on "assault weapons" laws.

The tools given to your department haven’t been used. I suggest opening a registration period to help me or any other Californian firearm owners stay within all the ruling to date. Further court time in this matter will cost taxpayers more than they can already afford and which has already been law for 5+ years.

If the Director of the Firearms Division continues down the path of changing the current ruling then I might suggest the Department tell us how this will affect the other hundreds of rifles that can be made into a semi-auto detachable magazine fed rifles from what are perfectly legal rifles today, these rifles might include a M1 Garand with a detachable magazine kit, the California legal SKS which can be made into a assault weapon but is legal today to buy.

If the SKS with the swing down type magazine is going to be a future assault weapon in the departments new ruling are they going to open a registration period for those rifles as well as the AR15s that are currently using a magazine catch that requires a tool to remove?

Respectfully submitted,
6172crew


And the second one which ohsmilly helped me with
To: Jeff Amador, Department of Justice Firearms Division
From: 6172crew
Subj: Notice and Comment regarding semi-auto rifles Aug16, 2006

Dear Mr. Amador:

As a firearms owner, I am opposed to the new definition of what constitutes an “assault rifle”. I am concerned that the change will run contrary to the original legislative intent, will not clarify the Department of Justice’s policy on enforcement and is counter to the previous definitions.

The authority and procedures granted to your department have not been used. In order to remedy the current quagmire of conflicting definitions, legislation, and enforcement, I suggest opening a registration period to enable law-abiding gun owners to stay within the law and create a class of assault weapons to stop more firearms from coming into the state that can potentially open a gun owner to criminal liability for extremely minor modifications. Any judicial proceedings regarding this matter will simply bog the court down with the complex issue of what is or is not an assault weapon. This will be an inefficient use of taxpayer money and will not bring about a favorable outcome for either side of the issue.

If the Director of the Firearms Division continues down the path to alter the current definition of what constitutes a “detachable magazine”, then I believe it would be necessary to inform myself and other concerned gun owners how it will affect the vast number of other rifle models that will be affected by the definition change. These rifles include, but are not limited to, the M1 Garand and the California legal SKS. Both of these rifles have fixed magazines in their original factory configuration. However, with the mere change of a few parts, they can be converted to detachable magazine configuration. If the proposed definition change takes effect, these rifles, with fixed magazines, could become assault weapons depending on what features they are configured with because the fixed magazine will be seen as a detachable magazine as per the definition.

If the SKS with the swing down type magazine is transformed into an assault weapon per the definition, then it seems it would necessitate the opening of a registration period to allow previously legal rifles, which have become AW’s, to be registered.

In conclusion, it is important to note that the proposed definition change will implicate many other rifle models which will only serve to further confuse the issue in an already nebulous area of the law and possibly create a whole new group of assault weapons.

Respectfully submitted,
6172crew

tacticalcity
08-11-2006, 7:15 PM
Dear Mr. Jeff Amador,

As worded, making this proposed change to Senate Bill 23 will make the currently commercially available bolt on magazine kits illegal. Hundreds, if not thousands of law abiding citizens who bent over backwards to comply with the law will now be turned into criminals.

If anything, the law should be changed to clarify that such devices are legal. Bolting the magazine to the rifle in such a way that a tool is required to remove the magazine effectly inhibits it use as a weapon, while allowing it to retain its resale value. Making a PERMENT alterateration to rifle will make it impossible to sell the weapon out of state and therefore cause an unreasonable financial burdon to law abiding gun owners.

If the purpose of the bill is to limit the leathality of rifles then these bolt on kits do just that. Please do not turn law abiding citizens like myself into criminals.

Likewise, I would like to see clarification in writing about what is an is not a pistol grip. There are several products on the market that do not "conspicously protrude below the action of the weapon" but the California DOJ refuses to tell the public if they are legal alternatives. The ATF has ruled that such devices are legal. It is time the DOJ did the same.

The commercially available kits to make rifles Senate Bill 23 need to be fully endorced by the DOJ. This will go along way towards improving relations between the concerned citizens of California and the DOJ. We have bent over backwards to comply with a very poorly worded and ill conceived law, only to be blocked at every turn. This is just one more example of the DOJ hindering our efforts to comply with the law.

Recently I phoned the DOJ in regards to the legality of purchasing a Lauer receiver. They incorrectly told me it was illegal. Lauer is not mentioned in Title 11, Division 1, Chapter 12.9. - Department of Justice Regulations for Assault Weapons Identification Pursuant to Penal Code Section 12276 as an assault rifle and is therefore legal to purhase.

My point is, if the law is so poorly writen that the DOJ does not know what is legal and illegal, then how can we citizens know for sure? It is time you start working with us and not against us. Making the commercially available compliance kits legal by reviewing them and issuing the manufactures letters stating that the part is approved by the California Department of Justice, like the ATF did in the case of the FAB TEN ATF APPROVED GRIP will do just that.

Thank you,

Joe Arrigoni
Sacramento, California

C.G.
08-11-2006, 7:44 PM
Good idea on compiling them (why didn't I think of that?)!:)

grammaton76
08-12-2006, 2:10 AM
This thread is stickied until after the meeting has happened. If there's a good reason to keep it stickied after that, that's cool too - just setting expectations here.

hoffmang
08-12-2006, 8:48 AM
Cross posted, but here is my (somewhat long) letter.

http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/Comments-Proposed-Rule-Making-Hoffman-2006-08-11.pdf

Feel free to crib parts for your letters. Its probably wise not to take the whole thing verbatim.

Also, if you are writing a letter, the 2000 SB-23 Rulemaking process documents are very useful. This will also give you an idea of what will happen next here.

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/sb23indx.htm

-G

just4fun63
08-12-2006, 12:14 PM
Just need to confirm the address to mail the letters to.
Is it the PO box listed above?

hoffmang
08-12-2006, 1:08 PM
The address is:
Mail: Jeff Amador, Field Representative
Department of Justice
Firearms Licensing and Permits Section
P.O. Box 820200
Sacramento, CA 94203-0200
or
Email: jeff.amador@doj.ca.gov

from:
http://www.ag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/awdefnotice0606.html

-G

artherd
08-12-2006, 1:41 PM
Will DOJ get my letter quicker via fax, certified mail or reading it off calguns.net ? :)

http://cdglobal.net/gun/DOJ-Written-Comment1-I%20own%20a%20Barrett%20M82.pdf

SemiAutoSam
08-12-2006, 1:47 PM
Will DOJ get my letter quicker via fax, certified mail or reading it off calguns.net ? :)

http://cdglobal.net/gun/DOJ-Written-Comment1-I%20own%20a%20Barrett%20M82.pdf

I would think most likely calguns.net but then you don't get one of those neat little green post cards back to know that they have accepted it in just leaving it on the gun board for all to see.

I would think the best way to make sure they see it is to send it via all forms.

artherd
08-12-2006, 1:52 PM
I would think the best way to make sure they see it is to send it via all forms.
Oh belive me, I did. :cool:

just4fun63
08-12-2006, 8:13 PM
WOW! Thats a letter:eek:

C.G.
08-12-2006, 8:18 PM
WOW! Thats a letter:eek:

Yup, and a good one!:)

C.G.
08-12-2006, 8:27 PM
Will DOJ get my letter quicker via fax, certified mail or reading it off calguns.net ? :)

http://cdglobal.net/gun/DOJ-Written-Comment1-I%20own%20a%20Barrett%20M82.pdf

Short and to the point; nice!:)

PLINK
08-12-2006, 9:38 PM
Verson 1:

Dear Mr. Amador,

I am writing this letter to inform the California Department of Justice that I object to proposed amendment of section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) regarding definitions of terms used to identify assault weapons. I believe that the five definitions of terms currently used clearly identifies an assault weapon and no further amendment is necessary or needed.

Please take my objection on this matter into consideration. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
Plink







Verson 2:

Dear Mr. Amador,

I am writing this letter to inform the California Department of Justice that I object to proposed amendment of section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) regarding definitions of terms used to identify assault weapons.

I believe that the five definitions of terms currently used clearly identifies an assault weapon and no further amendment is necessary or needed. I also feel that this proposed amendment could impact rifles like the fixed magazine SKS. Such rifles are not currently assault weapons and are currently legal to purchase and own in California. These types of rifles are not “permanently altered” to accept a detachable magazine but require a “tool” for the fixed magazine to be removed. I believe the proposed amendment to include the sixth definition “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” as meaning “capable of accommodating a detachable magazine but shall not be construed to include a firearm that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate a detachable magazine” would result in making a SKS type rifle an assault weapon.

Please take my objection on this matter into consideration. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
Plink



Here is what I am sending in. It's not much of a letter though. I don't believe they really give a rats ***** about why we object. So I am keeping mine simple. (this is no offense to the guys who have done a great job on their detailed letters) C.G. I borrowed most of the first sentence from your letter. I hope you don't mind.



(Tin Foil hat on) Are you guys putting your real names on these letters?

Which one do you like better?

rhunter
08-12-2006, 9:47 PM
Thank you for sending me the Department of Justice’s notice of proposed rulemaking for section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations. I object to the proposed change of the definition of assault weapons characteristics specifically the sixth term, “capacity to accept a detachable magazine”, as meaning “capable of accommodating a detachable magazine, but shall not be construed to include a firearm that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate a detachable magazine.” The reasons for my objection are five fold.

This issue has been debated and settled by the Department of Justice in 1999 during the two 15 day and the 45 day comment periods regarding the legislation.

The current definition is clear and I am unaware of any events that would lead to the need to the proposed changes.

The proposed definition is vague and there are no provisions for implementation such as public education or registration.

Without clear guidance I fear many law abiding gun owners would become overnight felons as this definition seems to define otherwise legal firearms into “assault weapons” with out registration.

The Department has indeed considered alternatives to this new definition that would protect law abiding gun owners and abide by current law


The issue of a firearms “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” was debated and settled when the original legislation was issued. It is clearly evident that the Department was clear on the definition of “capacity to accept a detachable magazine”. At that time the Department used the terms “detachable magazine” and specifically “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” interchangeably. The Department was specifically asked about permanently altering a firearm so that it no longer had the capacity to accept a detachable magazine (comment 5). Any so called “confusion” the public may have regarding “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” is caused by the Department making a clear nexus between a “fixed magazine” and a rifles incapacity to accept a detachable magazine. The following are excerpts from the Departments responses to comments during the public comment periods:

1. The Department of Justice at that time was adamant that the capacity to accept a detachable magazine was extinguished when “firearms … require disassembly of the action to remove a magazine.” (A 1.06)

2. The Department of Justice at that time stated that if a tool was required to remove the magazine it was considered “fixed”: “The Department disagrees with the comment because any magazine that requires the use of a bullet or any other tool for is removal is a fixed magazine, not a detachable magazine. The SKS (rifle) with a true detachable magazine does not require a bullet or any other tool to remove and is a controlled assault weapon under Penal Code section 12276.” (A 1.12)

3. “Identifying a bullet as a tool allows these type of magazine to appropriately remain fixed by definition.” (A 1.14, B 1.05, )

4. “The Department believes it is consistent with the legislative intent of the statue to define a detachable magazine as being readily removed without the use of tools.” (A 1.24)

5. The Department of Justice responded to a comment “The firearm should have to be permanently modified so that it lacks the capacity to accept a detachable magazine or any of the offensive features in order for the Department to accept cancellation of a registration.” With “The Department disagrees with the comment. Registration cancellation is not exclusive to modification of the firearm, nor does the Department believe permanent modification is required.” (C 5.04)

6. “The Department believes the term “readily” is understood by reasonable people when used in the context of “with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor the use of tools being required.” (A 1.09)

rhunter
08-12-2006, 9:48 PM
part 2

The current definition is clear and I am unaware of any events that would lead to the need to the proposed changes. Since the passage of SB23 fixed magazine rifles have been legally sold and approved by the Department of Justice. The current legislation is clear and understandable to the general public. If a tool or disassembly of the firearm is necessary to load or change a magazine, it is a fixed magazine, it is legal. If you push a button and the magazine drops out, it is detachable or capable of accepting a detachable magazine and depending on other characteristics of the firearm it may or may not be legal.

1. This addition redefines “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” to something that was not intended by the original legislation or the Departments belief’s in 1999. A 10 round magazine, held in place and that can only be removed with a tool or by disassembly of the firearm, is not capable of accepting a detachable magazine, because a magazine is fixed in place. Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, the magazine cannot be both fixed in place with a tool required to release it and capable of accepting a detachable magazine.

2. Will the determination of “permanently altered” require destructive testing to the firearm or receiver to determine the level of “permanence?”

The proposed definition is vague and there are no provisions for implementation such as public education or registration. There are many firearms that are currently legal, that the Department has specifically noted are not the intended to be considered “assault weapons” that would be redefined as assault weapons.

1. Firearms, such as the SKS with a fixed magazine removable with a “tool”, that currently have pistol grips, thumbhole stocks, or flash hiders will become assault weapons. The SKS rifle’s fixed magazine is removable with a “tool” and can be replaced with a “duckbill” detachable magazine. It was not the original intent of the legislation to outlaw the SKS rifle with fixed magazine.

2. The Department’s claim that “the proposed definition is derived virtually word for word from the statutory definition of the very similar term “capacity to accept more than 10 rounds. Therefore, it should be abundantly clear that the proposed definition is completely consistent with the original intent of the California legislature” is equally lacking judgment of two completely different issues. The final statements of 978.20 (d) (http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/regs/fsor.htm) regarding the proposed definition of “Permanently Altered” were abandoned by the Department due to lack of clarity and consistence. If the Department could not clearly define “Permanently Altered” for a detachable magazine, how can the Department provide a definition of “permanently altered” for a firearm frame/receiver?

Without clear guidance of what the Department really wants regarding “permanence”, I fear many law abiding gun owners would become overnight felons as this definition clearly defines otherwise legal firearms into “assault weapons” without the benefit of registration. The Department has approved several fixed magazine rifles that supposedly do not have the “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” but in actuality they do. What guidance will the Department give to the gun owners of “fixed” magazine rifles that are now “assault weapons.”

1. What guidance will the Department give the estimated 30,000 “Unnamed AR-15/ AK 47 “Series” Firearm” owners, countless M1 owners, and hundreds of thousands of SKS owners and innumerable other fixed magazine rifle owners regarding how they should “permanently” alter their firearm receivers/frames so they will “permanently” no longer have the “capacity” to “accommodate” a “detachable magazine”?

2. What is the Departments estimate of the approximate cost, per firearm frame or receiver, of “Permanent” alteration so it may no longer be “capable of accepting a detachable magazine?”

3. What is the true intent of the Department regarding the “clarification” of this amendment to the 978.20 Definitions? Given the above examples of the Departments prior stand regarding “detachable magazine”, “assault weapon”, and “capacity to accept a detachable magazine”, one would think that is matter is settled and is exceedingly clear to the public.

4. The Department’s objective seems to deliberately misconstrue the term “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” in order to avoid responsibility for not listing these firearms in Section 12276 for 5 years. If the Departments intent is to harass and make felons of otherwise law abiding citizen gun owners, it will have succeeded in it mission. If the Department’s intent to clarify the law, it will have failed.

rhunter
08-12-2006, 9:50 PM
part 3

The Department has considered alternatives to this new definition that would protect law abiding gun owners and abide by current law. In February 2006 the Department of Justice posted on it website a memo that indicated they would list AR and AK non named receivers and open a registration period for these said receivers.

1. Why did the Department not address registration as a “Reasonable Alternative to the Regulation and the Agency’s Reasons for Rejecting Them” noted in the February 2006 Memo (Attachment 2) as posted on the Departments letterhead.

2. What is the Department’s stand regarding the February 2006 memo posted on letterhead to the Department’s website declaring the Department will add AR-15 and AK 47 “Series” firearms to Section 12276 and opening a registration period for these type firearms

Sincerely,

Rhunter

hoffmang
08-12-2006, 11:48 PM
Mmmm.. Lots of tasty letters that say about the same thing. This next comment period should be fun!

As to contact info - I chopped my mobile number off of my reply as these documents are all "Public Documents" and are requestable by anyone under the Public Records Act. Otherwise, my name and number are in the book so there they are....

-G

tenpercentfirearms
08-13-2006, 12:15 AM
This letter is in reference to the Department of Justice proposal to amend Section 978.20 of Division 1, Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) regarding definitions of terms used to identify assault weapons after considering all comments, objections, and recommendations regarding the proposed action. I am a gun shop owner in Taft, CA and I have been at the forefront of this issue since its beginning in November, 2005.

The main problem with this proposed change is it will change the status of every SKS rifle lawfully purchased in this state into an illegal assault weapon. By changing the capable of accepting a detachable magazine to capable of accommodating a detachable magazine, every SKS rifle would by definition be a detachable magazine rifle. The SKS rifle with detachable magazine is listed in PC 12276 as an assault weapon.

How can the Department of Justice justify creating assault weapons out of thousands upon thousands of rifles that were legally purchased in a legal configuration? Was this the intent of the legislature? If so, why didn’t they ban all SKS rifles, not just SKS rifles with detachable magazines.

Further, without a clear definition of what “permanent” means, this regulatory change will only further confuse the public. Will thousands of fixed magazine FAL rifles that were legally purchased and legally configured become assault weapons? Will the Bushmaster Carbon 15 that has official Department of Justice approval be considered an assault weapon because its carbon fiber receiver bottom can be removed with a file or Dremmel tool? This proposed change creates more questions than it answers.

According the OAL website “a regulation must be easily understandable, have a rationale, and be the least burdensome, effective alternative. A regulation cannot alter, amend, enlarge, or restrict a statute, or be inconsistent or in conflict with a statute.” It should be clear that the proposed change does not meet the definition of “easily understandable” and it clearly “alters, amends, and enlarges” PC 12276.

Why isn’t the current definition of a detachable magazine sufficient? According to CCR 978.20(a), a detachable magazine is defined as “any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.” This is a very clear and objective definition of a detachable magazine and it is very easy for citizens to understand and comply with. The proposed definition only confuses law abiding citizens.

In the Department of Justice’s “Initial Statement of Reasons” they claim that the public has “misconstrued the definition of capacity to accept a detachable magazine”. This is blatantly false. The “capacity to accept a detachable magazine” is extremely clear and easily followed. By the definition in CCR 978.20(a), if an AR or AK series rifle has a magazine that is not capable of being removed without disassembly of the action nor the use of a tool, then it is not a detachable magazine rifle. It is obvious that AR and AK series rifles could be configured to be operated exactly like the Department of Justice approved Shoeless Ventures FAB-10, Vulcan Fixed Magazine Rifle, and Bushmaster Carbon 15 fixed magazine rifles. The Department of Justice had no reservations about approving these rifles for California sale, but now they are clearly trying to prohibit rifles that operate in the exact same manner through a rule change that results in “submarine regulation”.

In fact, the Department of Justice’s attempt to compare the language of magazine limits to detachable magazines uses irrational logic. Using this line of reasoning, does that mean rifles that are capable of accommodating barrels less than 16” in length are illegal unless “permanently” altered? Does this mean that rifles capable of accommodating any of the listed features in 12276.1 are assault weapons unless “permanently” altered? What this rule change amounts to is a ban on objects that “could be” configured illegally, but are not. This would be the same as banning cars that are capable of driving over the speed limit, knives that can accommodate a double edge, or men or women capable of becoming prostitutes, but shall not be construed to include men or women that have been permanently altered so they cannot become prostitutes.

I have to question the Department of Justice’s motives for submitting this rule change. Is the Department of Justice attempting to clarify existing law and to enforce the intent of the legislature or is the Department of Justice trying to harass and confuse law abiding citizens? It has been the Department of Justice’s job to update the Kasler List for nearly five years now. It is because the Department of Justice failed to update the Kasler List that there has been an influx of legal, non-listed AR and AK series receiver sales in California. When the Department of Justice discovered this, they had ample opportunity to update the Kasler List and they publicly stated that they would be updating the Kasler List “in two weeks” or “will soon be added”.

Yet the Department of Justice did not update the list. They claimed they would create a category 4 assault weapon designation and that they would enforce their new assault weapon designations, not through legal action and the penal code, but by “invalidating” assault weapon registrations. When legal experts pointed out to the Department of Justice that they did not have the authority to do so, they changed their ideas.

Now the Department of Justice is claiming that the current assault weapon list is sufficient, in direct contradiction to their opinion just six months prior. Not only that, they are publicly contradicting their clearly defined definition of a fixed magazine as outlined in CCR 980.20(a). It should be clear that the Department of Justice is not making rational decisions with the intent of enforcing SB-23.

How else can the Department of Justice explain their memos that were poorly worded and attempted to keep law abiding citizens for lawfully purchasing legal receivers and building them into legal rifles? The Department of Justice’s main goal seems to be to try and punish the law abiding citizens of this state for following state law. This stance by the Department of Justice is unacceptable and is a gross abuse of their power.

In conclusion, the Department of Justice’s proposed rule change has nothing to do with the adding clarity to existing statutes as they erroneously claim. This regulation change will not clarify existing law, but create more confusion. I further claim that the Department of Justice’s motivation for making this rule change is based on its leadership’s resentment over the lawful purchase and use of rifles that the Department of Justice once attempted to ban through “submarine regulation”, but the Department of Justice was rebuked by the California Supreme Court in the Harrott v. County of Kings decision in 2001. Finally, this rule change will not stop law abiding citizens from exercising their Constitution rights. This includes the use of the judicial system to address grievances. If this absurd rule change is enacted, it will go to court and millions of dollars will be wasted only to have the Department of Justice lose another decision because of their over zealous attempts to overstep their executive powers at the expense of the rights of the citizens of this state.

What is Jeff's fax number?

grammaton76
08-17-2006, 5:55 PM
August 16th has come and gone; no need to sticky this any longer.