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View Full Version : I don't understand the legal implications for owning high-cap magazines


its mcgavin son
07-06-2011, 4:19 PM
Specifically, 15-round Glock magazines and USGI 30-round alum. magazines. If I am somehow detained and searched by law enforcement, am I safe from judicial punishment for owning a Glock magazine if the high-cap magazine is loaded and inserted into the firearm if I have my CCW?

Also, from my understanding, my pistol-gripped AR is legal, equipped with a bullet-button device, however, if anything greater than a 10-round mag is inserted in the rifle, it's considered an assault weapon, right? Hypothetically asking, would I be arrested for possession of 30-round alum. bodies with live ammunition in them, separate from the weapon system?

Glock22Fan
07-06-2011, 4:24 PM
Specifically, 15-round Glock magazines and USGI 30-round alum. magazines. If I am somehow detained and searched by law enforcement, am I safe from judicial punishment for owning a Glock magazine if the high-cap magazine is loaded and inserted into the firearm if I have my CCW?

Also, from my understanding, my pistol-gripped AR is legal, equipped with a bullet-button device, however, if anything greater than a 10-round mag is inserted in the rifle, it's considered an assault weapon, right? Hypothetically asking, would I be arrested for possession of 30-round alum. bodies with live ammunition in them, separate from the weapon system?

Let us not consider the legality of how you actually acquired the magazines, but you are legally clear unless the D.A. can prove that you acquired them within the last three years (statute of limitations).

Therefore, your best resort is to not volunteer anything except "Possessing these magazines is not illegal, I want to talk to my lawyer."

On the AR side, I don't keep up to date on what is legal and what is not, so I'll let someone else answer that one.

IGOTDIRT4U
07-06-2011, 4:26 PM
FWIW, most AR mags are stamped with a manufactured date. I don't know about SA handgun mags, though.

stix213
07-06-2011, 4:29 PM
You will not find a law that criminalizes owning 11+ round mags in California.

If law enforcement has any evidence you illegally acquired 11+ round magazines (a violation of PC 12020, a wobler felony), then I wouldn't be surprised if arrest occurs.

If you already own 11+ round AR mags, I'm surprised you don't have a featureless AR to use them with. Is your pistol grip that awesome?

I am not a lawyer

stix213
07-06-2011, 4:31 PM
FWIW, most AR mags are stamped with a manufactured date. I don't know about SA handgun mags, though.

Manufacture date does not matter, since you can exchange all parts in old mags with new parts from parts kits, to maintain your existing legally owned magazines.

The Shadow
07-06-2011, 4:33 PM
You're not supposed to understand it. You're supposed to quake in your shoes at the thought of doing it, and obey.

But seriously, if you're caught with a 30 round mag in your BB'd rifle, they will nail you for having an AW. Merely possessing the mags is no big deal. And like glock 22 said, if you obtained them 3 or more years ago, you're good to go. So I'd simply store them away for a period of time if the firearm is new to the market, and not an AW, and just wait it out until the statute of limitations is up. Then fill them up and rock and roll.

IGOTDIRT4U
07-06-2011, 4:37 PM
Manufacture date does not matter, since you can exchange all parts in old mags with new parts from parts kits, to maintain your existing legally owned magazines.

No, but it helps to point out that they are at LEAST 3 years old if LEO questions that.

Glock22Fan
07-06-2011, 4:43 PM
No, but it helps to point out that they are at LEAST 3 years old if LEO questions that.


Best to let your lawyer point that out. They (LEO) have a well-practised way of worming things out of you that you didn't mean to say. This in itself sounds harmless, but the next question may not be, and if you have been lulled into answering, you are likely to continue answering. "Possession is not illegal, talk to my lawyer" is all you should say unless you can produce invoices for the items dated more than three years ago and issued in California.

wash
07-06-2011, 4:45 PM
Don't point out anything to a police officer unless it is "I don't want to say anything without my lawyer present".

Since they are legal pre-ban magazines, you could tell him that. Just don't tell them anything they could use in court (and don't have your day old Visa receipt for them in the same bag...).

Sniper3142
07-06-2011, 4:46 PM
Best to let your lawyer point that out. They have a well-practised way of worming things out of you that you didn't mean to say. This in itself sounds harmless, but the next question may not be, and if you have been lulled into answering, you are likely to continue answering. "Possession is not illegal, talk to my lawyer" is all you should say unless you can produce invoices for the items dated more than three years ago and issued in California.

^ This!

infernl
07-06-2011, 4:48 PM
Here's a question I've been meaning to ask regarding this topic - OP - I hope you don't mind.

So, what if your father gave you a bunch of magazines that he had brought home with him when he was stationed overseas in the late 60s?

wash
07-06-2011, 4:53 PM
If he gave them to you in 1999, you are fine. If he gave them to you in 2007, you are OK but can't take them out of state and then bring them back. If he gave them to you yesterday, you could get arrested.

Cute stories don't help you.

Glock22Fan
07-06-2011, 5:15 PM
If he gave them to you in 1999, you are fine. If he gave them to you in 2007, you are OK but can't take them out of state and then bring them back. If he gave them to you yesterday, you could get arrested.

Cute stories don't help you.

If he or you ignore the advice to keep your mouth shut and let your attorney do the talking.

Librarian
07-06-2011, 5:17 PM
See also the sticky in the handgun forum, http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=387409

MudCamper
07-06-2011, 9:20 PM
Many people get confused when there is more than one law involved. That is the case here.

12020 (a)(2) makes manufacturing, importing, selling, transferring 11+ round mags illegal. Possession is legal, and this law is about magazines. It has absolutely nothing to do with assault weapons.

12280(b) makes it illegal to possess an assault weapon. A fixed mag rifle with a 11+ capacity mag is an AW and is illegal to possess.

12280(a) makes manufacturing an AW illegal. Put your 11+ round mag in your BB rifle and you just violated this section also.

So, bring in a 11+ round mag from Nevada, and pop it into your BB rifle and you just violated 3 laws. Keep your legal 11+ round mag away from your BB rifle and you are legal.

kmca
07-06-2011, 9:56 PM
If he gave them to you in 1999, you are fine. If he gave them to you in 2007, you are OK but can't take them out of state and then bring them back. If he gave them to you yesterday, you could get arrested.

Cute stories don't help you.

Umm...there's nothing illegal about possessing them, but your father could be in big trouble for giving them to you.