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TacticalPlinker
06-09-2011, 3:09 AM
A few weeks ago I was at a local outdoor "unregulated" range. I got to talking with a local and frequent visitor of said range and we had a discussion about the firearms we both had, and what we've seen other people use there. He let me fire a few from his Benelli SuperNova and I let him fire off a few from my WASR AK.

Before ending the conversation and heading home he mentioned to me about having paperwork to prove legal ownership of my AK. I told him I've never really thought it about as I only own rifles and no handguns, and I'm usually at the local indoor range. He said he's personally witnessed local LEO's visit the range and ask for paperwork, and even confiscate firearms. He also said he keeps paperwork with his firearms, something I don't do.

(EDIT: when I mention confiscate, I don't mean because of illegal activity, but confiscate until legal ownership can be proved for example visiting the local station with paperwork at a later date.)

I didn't give it much thought but it's been racking my brain lately and I want to clear up my confusion. I've taken California criminal justice and criminal law classes, and I work in the private security industry so I'm familiar with many aspects of the law including the 2nd amendment as I am a firearms owner, but this one eludes me. It's hard to be 100% clear on the intrusive, annoying, angering, frustrating, often unconstitutional, vague, cryptic and difficult to understand laws we're subject too here in the Communist occupied territory of Kalifornia, so here are my questions...

#1. Is it even legal for a LEO to ask you for paperwork regarding legal ownership of a firearm (in this case rifle)?

#2. Can a LEO confiscate a firearm simply for not having proof of legal ownership? .... provided there are no other reasons for the LEO to justify confiscation of your weapon...

#3. That said, what gives a LEO the right to confiscate your weapon? By that I mean what actions or circumstances, not legal presidence?

#4. The range I was at (name omitted) is located in the Los Padres National Forest in the hills of Santa Barbara, but I don't know if the land is private, city, county, state or federally "owned". Will such "ownership" of the land dictate the rules of my above questions? If yes or no, how so? Why?

#5. Other than a simple sales receipt for the firearm from the FFL what other paperwork can I obtain to prove legal ownership of a firearm? Is there any for rifles? Again, I don't own handguns.

#6. Is this guy I talked with simply misinformed, "full of it", or have local LEO's violated the rights of legal gun owners?

#7. Whether this is legal or illegal, but especially if its the latter of the two, in the event this should occur, would you advise contacting the NRA, CRPA, CalGuns, the local LEO's (excluding the LEO on site) and/or simply a private lawyer?


Thanks for the help. Not sure if this has been discussed before, but if so, I apologize and ask to be pointed in the right direction. I'm also asking because I think people should be aware of their rights and the law.

Taylorp
06-09-2011, 4:41 AM
I personally shoot on private property all the time. A few times some passer-bys have called the cops and they showed up at the property. We refused them rights to even see our firearms and they complied. That's about as much as I know but that is on private property and I'm pretty sure that's why we ha our rights.

cdtx2001
06-09-2011, 6:55 AM
I've taken California criminal justice and criminal law classes, and I work in the private security industry so I'm familiar with many aspects of the law including the 2nd amendment as I am a firearms owner

Don't forget the 4th amendment.


#1. Is it even legal for a LEO to ask you for paperwork regarding legal ownership of a firearm (in this case rifle)?

No. If they have a probable cause to believe your firearm is stolen they can ask.


#2. Can a LEO confiscate a firearm simply for not having proof of legal ownership? .... provided there are no other reasons for the LEO to justify confiscation of your weapon...

No. Might as well bring receipts for the shoes you're wearing.


#3. That said, what gives a LEO the right to confiscate your weapon? By that I mean what actions or circumstances, not legal presidence?

Nothing. At that point it's an illegal confiscation (heck, robbery comes to mind too).


#4. The range I was at (name omitted) is located in the Los Padres National Forest in the hills of Santa Barbara, but I don't know if the land is private, city, county, state or federally "owned". Will such "ownership" of the land dictate the rules of my above questions? If yes or no, how so? Why?

If this is truly a problem then the name should be given so others do not fall prey to unnecessary confiscations or LEO hassles, or someone can make sure whatever LE agency is properly educated on firearms ownership.

If there are signs posted all around saying "Private Property", then you should ask the land owner if it's OK to shoot there. You can look on a map and see if it's BLM land, forest service land, or private property.


#5. Other than a simple sales receipt for the firearm from the FFL what other paperwork can I obtain to prove legal ownership of a firearm? Is there any for rifles? Again, I don't own handguns.

There isn't a need to prove ownership as the rifle is legally owned by you and not stolen. Why should you have to prove ownership? Do you carry around receipts for the clothes you wear?


#6. Is this guy I talked with simply misinformed, "full of it", or have local LEO's violated the rights of legal gun owners?

Probably. Most Likely. Hell Yes (if true).


#7. Whether this is legal or illegal, but especially if its the latter of the two, in the event this should occur, would you advise contacting the NRA, CRPA, CalGuns, the local LEO's (excluding the LEO on site) and/or simply a private lawyer?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TacticalPlinker
06-09-2011, 1:30 PM
Thank you for the advice. It confirms my first thoughts regarding this matter.

As for the range, it is called the Glass Factory. I have only been there a few times but the guy I talked with and about in my first post said he is there 2-3 times per week so a regular for sure.

I do not recall seeing any signs nor did anyone inform me it was private property or otherwise so I am in the dark about that part of the matter. Maybe someone famailar with the range can chime in with their two cents about it.

egDonald
06-09-2011, 1:31 PM
great answers! I've been lurking the forums for a thread for "legal questions".

Here are some new-shooter questions to add...

1. Can I carry/transport (ie. in the trunk of my car with ammo and firearm separate) another person's firearm?

2. do I need any special certifications or permits to legally transport/carry another person's firearm?

3. what laws or regulations are in place for storing a handgun that is not mine? The situation here is, if I plan to travel about within state of CA to rural areas and camp, and I borrow another person's firearm can I store it under the pillow of my tent loaded and ready to go?

Thanks!

ETD1010
06-09-2011, 10:52 PM
I think the other guy was talking about the Assault Weapons Registration form which is needed for what California defines as "assault weapons." That being said, a properly bullet buttoned/ featureless AK that is not listed as a banned weapon does not require such paperwork. I don't know what the legality is of an officer asking to see what model you are sporting to see if it's on the list, but assuming you are in compliance, there should be no reason to be harassed. That being said, there are still a few LEO out there that may be unfamiliar with the "off list" exemptions.

CHS
06-10-2011, 8:31 AM
great answers! I've been lurking the forums for a thread for "legal questions".

Here are some new-shooter questions to add...


You really are better off doing a search and/or starting your own thread.


1. Can I carry/transport (ie. in the trunk of my car with ammo and firearm separate) another person's firearm?


Yes. The ammo and firearm don't have to be separate.


2. do I need any special certifications or permits to legally transport/carry another person's firearm?


No.


3. what laws or regulations are in place for storing a handgun that is not mine? The situation here is, if I plan to travel about within state of CA to rural areas and camp, and I borrow another person's firearm can I store it under the pillow of my tent loaded and ready to go?


You may "borrow" a friends firearm for up to 30 days. Any longer than 30 days constitutes an illegal transfer.

You may store a loaded handgun in a tent at a camping site. It doesn't have to be yours. However, if the purpose of this handgun is self defense (as opposed to hunting and/or plinking), then you may run into drama if you ever have to actually use it as it will not be registered to you. Note, I'm not saying it's illegal, just that it may add slightly more drama to what will already be a sticky situation.

If this road/camping trip of yours is going to take longer than 30 days you may wish to simply purchase a handgun. If you don't have the money to purchase a handgun your friend that is loaning you the handgun can transfer it to you (at a dealer, will cost $35, plus you need an HSC and 10-day wait) and it will effectively be "yours" as far as the law is concerned. You guys can draft up a contract or something that states you will transfer the handgun back to him at the end of your camping/road trip. Then the gun is actually registered to you and you can keep it longer than 30 days.