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View Full Version : Removing an M1A \ AR15 out of CA...rules for bringing back in?


GI-M1
12-02-2006, 1:32 AM
I have an M1A and AR15 that were legally registered with DOJ in 2001 (I have a letter from them acknowledging this fact). I live in California.

Assuming I attend a shooting match out of state, what are the rules for me removing the rifle(s) out of state, and then returning them (legally) back into CA? If I take a 20 round magazine(s) with me to the match, how do I legally bring them back into California with me?

TIA for the info guys!

Mark
San Diego

James R.
12-02-2006, 2:05 AM
My understanding is registered assault weapons can be taken in or out of the state, no problems so long as you don't ever terminate your registration in writing to the CADOJ, something you *can* do but it would be really stupid to do ;-)

As to the magazines, can't help ya there. Seems like it'd be a considerably more grey area. How do you prove you had those magazines, they don't bear serial numbers like the rifles do. They can always check your rifles against the database and say, ok those are legal they're listed here. But the magazines, well those aren't registered. The law basically said if you already had em when they were banned you can keep em. You can even repair them with parts if they should need repairs, but you cannot bring into the state any new magazines or manufacture new high cap magazines using spare parts above or beyond the number you had in your possession when the ban went into effect.

Maybe Bill W. can chime in here. Were it me I'd leave your hi-cap mags at home here in Cali and live with 10 rounders for crossing back and forth between state lines. That or buy some hi-caps out of state and leave them there or sell them to someone at the range when you're done with em.

Regards,

James R.

SemiAutoSam
12-02-2006, 6:42 AM
About the magazines try using the search feature where BW and others myself included talks at great length about them and losing them and finding them ect.

Aluisious
12-02-2006, 7:23 AM
My understanding is registered assault weapons can be taken in or out of the state, no problems so long as you don't ever terminate your registration in writing to the CADOJ, something you *can* do but it would be really stupid to do ;-)

As to the magazines, can't help ya there. Seems like it'd be a considerably more grey area. How do you prove you had those magazines, they don't bear serial numbers like the rifles do. They can always check your rifles against the database and say, ok those are legal they're listed here. But the magazines, well those aren't registered. The law basically said if you already had em when they were banned you can keep em. You can even repair them with parts if they should need repairs, but you cannot bring into the state any new magazines or manufacture new high cap magazines using spare parts above or beyond the number you had in your possession when the ban went into effect.

Maybe Bill W. can chime in here. Were it me I'd leave your hi-cap mags at home here in Cali and live with 10 rounders for crossing back and forth between state lines. That or buy some hi-caps out of state and leave them there or sell them to someone at the range when you're done with em.

Regards,

James R.
I'd either go with the buy high caps out of state then sell them before you come back in, use 10 rounders, or do something to prove that you had the high caps you have now already. That's really hard to do. You could try getting a notary to witness a form saying that you own them now, and then show that dated, notarized form to anyone who wanted to know on your way back.

hoffmang
12-02-2006, 12:02 PM
Taking high capacity magazines that you owned prior to 2000 with you out of state and bringing them back is not importing them under the law. The correct term would be re-importing them which is legal. The fact that you have the registered AW is pretty strong evidence that you've owned the mags pre-2000 (and certainly pre 2001) and the onus is on LEO to prove that you are importing them the first time.

-Gene

bwiese
12-02-2006, 12:04 PM
I don't think you'll be hassled having hicaps with your rifles. Any cop that sees your AW reg papers, or calls in your AWs on the radio to AFS while you're inside, entering or exiting CA ain't gonna differentiate mags from rifle status.

You are clearly allowed to travel to/from CA with your hicap magazines and registered assault weapons.

I regularly fly in & out of CA, and drive to/fro Reno, NV with at least one reg'd AR and one handgun, both with several hicap mags.

Relax.

James R.
12-02-2006, 12:05 PM
Taking high capacity magazines that you owned prior to 2000 with you out of state and bringing them back is not importing them under the law. The correct term would be re-importing them which is legal. The fact that you have the registered AW is pretty strong evidence that you've owned the mags pre-2000 (and certainly pre 2001) and the onus is on LEO to prove that you are importing them the first time.

-Gene

I pretty much figured this would be consistent with the law. There is however what you can legally get away with and then there's what's advised. A cop could decide he wants to make life tough for you. Confiscate your mags and then try somehow to determine the date of manufacture or whatever to *prove* the mags you had were actually built before the ban. I dunno, has that sort of thing ever happened with hi-caps? I suppose if you're on the right side of the law you have nothing to fear, but they can still give you a hard time...

I know new high caps were marked during the billy ban years, "for law enforcement blah blah blah" but I wonder if there aren't other distinguishing tooling marks, relocations of logos and such which could be used to prove a magazine was pre or post ban. In particular for the purposes of California law enforcement to prove that someone is in posession of a post say 2004 magazine which is unmarked and brought from out of state. By all superficial apperances legal, but upon closer inspection one can prove it's actually very recent production. Again, right side of the law and you've got nothing to fear...

Regards,

James R.

bwiese
12-02-2006, 12:12 PM
I know new high caps were marked during the billy ban years, "for law enforcement blah blah blah" but I wonder if there aren't other distinguishing tooling marks, relocations of logos and such which could be used to prove a magazine was pre or post ban.

While I wouldn't personally own a mag with a tube marked "For LEO Use Only" (as a suppository? :) ), that is moot - as mags can legally be repaired with new parts. [Save the old parts, disassembled.] The law is, in effect, a "law of conservation of the number of hicap mags you've owned, of a given type", as of 1/1/2000.

BTW, AR mag floorplates are not really a high-failure part. So if you have to rebuild a mag, keep the orig floorplate. Bonus if it says Colt, AdventureLine, Parson's Precision, Sanchez, etc. from "back in the day"...

So even 'toolmark examination' is irrelevant.

I did figure there might be a chance of being hassled on hicaps, so I bought a LOT of them in 1998-99. Bought 'em for guns I don't/didn't even have. I must have nearly 125 AR mags alone, esp if I count the dozen or so crap Orlite and Thermelt ones.

James R.
12-02-2006, 12:24 PM
While I wouldn't personally own a mag with a tube marked "For LEO Use Only" (as a suppository? :) ), that is moot - as mags can legally be repaired with new parts. [Save the old parts, disassembled.] The law is, in effect, a "law of conservation of the number of hicap mags you've owned, of a given type", as of 1/1/2000.

BTW, AR mag floorplates are not really a high-failure part. So if you have to rebuild a mag, keep the orig floorplate. Bonus if it says Colt, AdventureLine, Parson's Precision, Sanchez, etc. from "back in the day"...

So even 'toolmark examination' is irrelevant.

I did figure there might be a chance of being hassled on hicaps, so I bought a LOT of them in 1998-99. Bought 'em for guns I don't/didn't even have. I must have nearly 125 AR mags alone, esp if I count the dozen or so crap Orlite and Thermelt ones.

You had a lot more foresight than I did :-( I really wish I had stayed in tune with what was going on with the law while I was in College, had I done so I'd still have my SLR-95 today, the reg period came and went before I heard that my previously legal rifle had turned into a pumpkin. Heh, in retrospect I should have never, "gotten rid" of the magazines since they were legal to keep anyhow *sigh* live and learn I guess.

Really glad I found calguns, this whole OLL thing has given me back some hope of having a nice semi-auto sporter style rifle since I had to give up the one I already had.

I gave a little back last night at Fry's. Started talking with a guy who was reading the gun rags on the magazine aisle and he was drooling over the Ruger Mini 14 Target. I was like, "don't buy that rubbish..." and in retrospect you can't buy that rubbish with that stock on it. Anyhow I explained his other options and his eyes lit up...it's like Christmas came early ;-)

Regards,

James R.

hoffmang
12-02-2006, 12:50 PM
Bill and all,

Has anyone ever actually heard of a high cap magazine prosecution or even arrest/seizure?

-Gene

bwiese
12-02-2006, 12:52 PM
Bill and all,
Has anyone ever actually heard of a high cap magazine prosecution or even arrest/seizure?

I believe there may have been some *importation* pops related to Reno gunshows. These may or may not have been associated with AW violations. (The one case I do know a tad about involved a dude who took his unreg'd AW to Reno show for sale, didn't get his price from the dealers there, and decided to take it back home. I think he was popped in Placer? or Nevada? county.) Not sure if mag violations are tacked on & thrown away later.

762cavalier
12-02-2006, 1:37 PM
I have heard of one hi-cap mag prosecution but it was in conjunction with gang related activities. It was a couple of years ago but I don't have a link.

hoffmang
12-02-2006, 2:52 PM
I don't pay as much attention to the Gang Firearms laws, but I believe that certain gang members can't have high capacity magazines. I know that a loaded magazine in the hands of a gang member is a loaded gun.

Please don't extrapolate that either of those are true for average law abiding citizens.

-Gene

RANGER295
12-02-2006, 3:26 PM
I have worried about the mag issue before myself. I decided to just bring 10 rounders when I go out of state. I know it would be legal to take them out and bring them in, but I donít want to risk the hassle of the possibility of them being confiscated. I donít even always take them to the range anymore.

Like some of the other people have said on here, I bought mags before the ban for stuff that I didnít own and some of it cant get. I donít even know what some of the stuff I have goes to. The only time I have crossed state lines with a standard cap mag, was when I took a Tec-9 mag to Reno to sell or trade because I only had one and figured I would never get anything that would use it. Other than that, I am keeping the collection.

The only cases of people getting nailed for standard cap mags are the ones that Bill mentioned of people coming back from the Reno gun show. Even at that I can not site anything specific, it is just what I have heard.

As far as logos being different and stuff, there are some where they are. I have a friend who brought some new mags back from Nevada and they look a little different than the ones that I have.

hoffmang
12-03-2006, 11:30 AM
As I was looking at the law again for another thread, people should not be very afraid of the law here. The only thing that it bans is IMPORT. If you take a photo of your gun case with your mags and your eticket print out, you have decent proof of your possession of the mags before you fly out of the state. That's all you would ever need and you don't really need that. That would just make it easy to rebuff the suggestion that you were importing them instead of re-importing them.

If you're really worried, yank the base plate off and mail them back. Neither set of parts is a magazine.

-Gene

ke6guj
12-03-2006, 6:19 PM
I gave a little back last night at Fry's. Started talking with a guy who was reading the gun rags on the magazine aisle and he was drooling over the Ruger Mini 14 Target. I was like, "don't buy that rubbish..." and in retrospect you can't buy that rubbish with that stock on it. Anyhow I explained his other options and his eyes lit up...it's like Christmas came early ;-)



I got a kick out of that article in Guns & Ammo. The reviewer did his testing at Angeles Range. Sure hope he was legit , otherwise there was an AW violation there somewhere.