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View Full Version : What is a pistol grip in CA?


MrTuffPaws
04-12-2007, 11:30 AM
So reading the law, it states:

12276.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall
also mean any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to
accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action
of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine
with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length
of less than 30 inches.
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a
detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor,
forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely
encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon
without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the
barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location
outside of the pistol grip.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the
capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:
(A) A folding or telescoping stock.
(B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action
of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.
(7) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a
detachable magazine.
(8) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
(b) The Legislature finds a significant public purpose in
exempting pistols that are designed expressly for use in Olympic
target shooting events. Therefore, those pistols that are sanctioned
by the International Olympic Committee and by USA Shooting, the
national governing body for international shooting competition in the
United States, and that are used for Olympic target shooting
purposes at the time the act adding this subdivision is enacted, and
that would otherwise fall within the definition of "assault weapon"
pursuant to this section are exempt, as provided in subdivision (c).


So, the word "conspicuously" means:

1. easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable: a conspicuous error.
2. attracting special attention, as by outstanding qualities or eccentricities: He was conspicuous by his booming laughter.

The above is from an online dictionary.

So, does anyone have an opinion of when a grip becomes readily visible?

I have to go now, but if I can later I would like to post some pictures to see just what in your guys' opinions is considered a pistol grip.

BTW, I know about the federal law about the webbing of the thumb, but that does not apply in CA that I am aware of.

fairfaxjim
04-12-2007, 11:53 AM
The definition is not found in the law, but rather in the CA Code of Regulations, Title 11, Division 5, Chapter 39, Department of Justice Regulations for Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines.

ARTICLE 2. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED TO IDENTIFY ASSAULT WEAPONS The following definitions apply to terms used in the identification of assault weapons pursuant to Penal Code section 12276.1:

(a) "detachable magazine" means .......

(b) "flash suppressor" means ......

(c) "forward pistol grip" means .......

(d) "pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon" means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp in which the web of the trigger hand (between the thumb and index finger) can be placed below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while firing.

(e) "thumbhole stock" means .......

You may see these same regs with different numbers on them, as they were renumbered in June '06, with no changes to the regulations.

fun2none
04-12-2007, 11:53 AM
http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/chapter39.pdf

If you can fire the gun while the web of the hand below the top most portion of the trigger using pistol style grasp, it's a pistol grip.

bwiese
04-12-2007, 11:59 AM
Yep, 11 CCR 5469(d) is the operative regulatory definition.

No other definition of "pistol grip..." applies to that phrase (or subphrase) in 12276.1.

This is specifically why the MonsterMan grip is legal, and why the U15 stock cannot be regarded as having a pistol grip, either. (In addition, the U15 stock cannot be consdiered a thumbhole stock, either.)

Lohse
04-12-2007, 12:05 PM
Yep, 11 CCR 5469(d) is the operative regulatory definition.

No other definition of "pistol grip..." applies to that phrase (or subphrase) in 12276.1.

This is specifically why the MonsterMan grip is legal, and why the U15 stock cannot be regarded as having a pistol grip. (In addition, the U15 stock cannot be consdiered a thumbhole stock, either.)

Don't you mean legal?

bwiese
04-12-2007, 1:11 PM
Don't you mean legal?

I sure as hell did. Brain-f*rted while typing.

In case it's not perfectly clear, the MonsterMan grip is a legal non-pistol grip that, in and of itself, will not transition a semiautomatic centerfire rifle w/detachable magazine into an illegal AW.

MrTuffPaws
04-12-2007, 3:00 PM
Ah, thanks. I did not know that def applied to CA law as well.

bwiese
04-12-2007, 3:15 PM
Ah, thanks. I did not know that def applied to CA law as well.

"As well"?? That is only for California law - it's in California Code of Regulations - and has nothing to do with Fed law.

Regulations & regulatory definitions are used to clarify technical aspects of statutory law. They can have the force of law themselves - esp in cases like this where whether or not a given item is described by the regulatory definition then goes on to trigger the Penal Code-defined AW status.

Wolfpack331
06-26-2007, 8:58 PM
I read in another thread, that you can cut the pg 3/4 the way up to a stub? Is this true?

Jicko
06-26-2007, 9:05 PM
I read in another thread, that you can cut the pg 3/4 the way up to a stub? Is this true?

Stub..... NO (too dangerous....IMHO)

Cut it all the way till it can ONLY hold the safety detent spring and hex screw.... probably OK...

:xeno:

Many threads talk about this exact issue, and many got pics too.

ybz
06-26-2007, 9:16 PM
i think if you want to explore the dictionary with respect to the grip, you may have a better chance arguing the definition of beneath as in: A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.

What does beneath mean? does it mean below as in directly below the action???

if so, there could be an argument made for a bullpup design where the grip is nowhere near beneath (i.e. directly below) the action... and it couldn't be considered a foregrip either since it's behind the trigger...

i guess is depends on what your definition of the word beneath is... :rolleyes:

hoffmang
06-26-2007, 9:35 PM
This is the image that the CA DOJ uses to define beneath the action:

http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/DOJ-Pistol-Grip-Definition-Image.jpg

I think you'd have a very hard time convincing a judge that its not controlling.

-Gene

Wolfpack331
06-27-2007, 11:15 AM
I cut the grip off my BW5 and it sucks ergonomically. I dont want an oar.
any ideas? I figured if I left a small amount at the top there is nothing for the fingers to grasp only a resting place for the "Web". Would that still be a PG?
I did a search and came up with 200 threads of uselessness.

I may be trying to beat a dead horse to death but at least I'll feel better when Im done.

Surveyor
06-27-2007, 2:34 PM
I cut the grip off my BW5 and it sucks ergonomically. I dont want an oar.
any ideas? I figured if I left a small amount at the top there is nothing for the fingers to grasp only a resting place for the "Web". Would that still be a PG?
I did a search and came up with 200 threads of uselessness.

I may be trying to beat a dead horse to death but at least I'll feel better when Im done.

Check out this post, and the thread that it comes from. User "Radd" has a bullet button type mag lock for the HK91. He's working on one for the MP5 as well.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?p=656095#post656095

762cavalier
06-27-2007, 5:03 PM
I thought the definition of a pistol grip was " a device that allows a weapon to be spray-fired from the hip without reloading".:whistling:

Shane916
06-27-2007, 5:09 PM
I thought the definition of a pistol grip was " a device that allows a weapon to be spray-fired from the hip without reloading".:whistling:

You nailed it! Isn't that the reason pistol grips were created in the first place?!? Ergonomic shirgonomics! It's all about the spraying and not having to reload!

CALI-gula
06-27-2007, 5:22 PM
What is a pistol grip in CA? It allows the rubber from your rear tires to be spray-fired from the tubbed fenders without retreading. :p

http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/prod/large/huu-1536010_w.jpg

.

E__WOK
06-27-2007, 8:51 PM
How about a pistol grip coming out from the side or top? I have no idea how it will be fired...

hoffmang
06-27-2007, 10:18 PM
The gang banger "homie" grip has been discussed here before. I believe it would be legal.

-Gene

anotherone
06-28-2007, 12:30 AM
I've always thought of a "pistol grip" as being anything the DOJ says is a "pistol grip" and has a DA and court that agree.

bwiese
06-28-2007, 12:48 AM
I've always thought of a "pistol grip" as being anything the DOJ says is a "pistol grip" and has a DA and court that agree.

Untrue.

Relevant to generic AW matters in 12276.1PC, "pistol grip..." phrasing is formally defined in CA regulatory code, 11 CCR 5469(d) quite nicely.

The definition is so good that there's zero wiggle room the DOJ can play - DOJ phone staff are even kinda-sorta recommending MonsterMang grips whenever folks call in with compliance questions about OLL rifles. [They don't mention them by exact product tradename, but folks get the idea.]

What's really odd is that Alison keeps overfocusing on the fixed mag stuff while highly ergonomic, highly-usable, non-pistol-gripped off-list rifles proliferate - and which can use detachable mags. You'd figure that upsets her, but I guess I can't figure out her own personal rationality.

hoffmang
06-28-2007, 12:02 PM
I grabbed it from their site previously as it looked like they were not going to continue hosting it.

I'm poking around to try to find it but...

-Gene

10TH AMENDMENT
06-28-2007, 10:58 PM
I grabbed it from their site previously as it looked like they were not going to continue hosting it.

I'm poking around to try to find it but...

-Gene

Thanks, Gene.

I couldn't find it for the life of me. I wonder if they removed it...and wonder why if in fact they did. :confused:

MonsterMan
06-28-2007, 11:51 PM
Yeah, those pics have been down for a while. I tried to look them up a while back and they were no where to be found.

I think they want us to be confused about the issue rather than having clear pics of the diagram as to what is and isn't legal.

As if "pistol grip" is that hard to understand. :rolleyes: I think we are way past that point.:cool:

Gene, do you have the M1 with the line on it also?

10TH AMENDMENT
06-29-2007, 8:23 AM
I will have to search my many flash drives to find my downloaded copy of that page.

I would love to know the reason for removing those illustrations.

BTW, Gene, the purpose of those illustrations was to pictorially define what constituted "the top of the exposed trigger", not what "below the action of the weapon" means. The issue that these illustrations was supposed to resolve was what the "web of the hand below the top of the exposed trigger" definition meant.

hoffmang
06-29-2007, 9:09 AM
10TH,

You are quite correct sir. We should pull those pages back together and I'll re-host them on my server. The Internet Archive would probably do that. I'll dig through later today.

-Gene

10TH AMENDMENT
06-29-2007, 9:51 AM
10TH,

You are quite correct sir. We should pull those pages back together and I'll re-host them on my server. The Internet Archive would probably do that. I'll dig through later today.

-Gene

I really do hope you can find those pages. I'm hitting a brick wall.

I know at the very least I printed a hard copy of those pages way back when...but I don't relish the idea of searching through numerous files in my file cabinets to locate them.

However, If I do find them, I'll scan them and post them or e-mail them to you to host.

I think this is an important find because they could possibly be useful as supporting evidence in some future legal or regulatory proceeding...you never can be too prepared I always say!

CALI-gula
06-29-2007, 10:05 AM
For what it's worth, and incidentally, this WAS the link to the DOJ pistol grip example photos:

caag.state.ca.us/firearms/regs/pistolgrip.htm

Clicking the link does go direct to the DOJ page, but it says "Page Not Found -Sorry, the item that you requested could not be found!"

Ironically, the following images come from sources found showing the original link name through google images, but the actual properties source appear to be as having been copied and saved in the past by/from Monster Man or mud.

http://mud.mm-a1.yimg.com/image/2086509437

http://mud.mm-a1.yimg.com/image/2087744959

http://mud.mm-a1.yimg.com/image/2086510058

http://mud.mm-a1.yimg.com/image/2086507722

.

fun2none
06-29-2007, 11:01 AM
The DOJ-FD pistol grip information page has been archived at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20010331221359/http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/regs/pistolgrip.htm

Calguns.net should definitely host a copy of it.

10TH AMENDMENT
06-29-2007, 12:29 PM
The DOJ-FD pistol grip information page has been archived at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20010331221359/http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/regs/pistolgrip.htm

Calguns.net should definitely host a copy of it.

Thanks a ton, fun2none.

You just made my day!