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Seaweed02
10-11-2012, 12:21 PM
Hello,

I had something happen today that bothers me for two reasons. One is because I believe I am right. The second reason is because if I am wrong, then I have to make it right.

This past weekend I had a friend help me with a home build AK. It took the whole day to complete the build. It started from a matching Yugoslavian M70b1 parts kit, and a receiver flat that I bought from AK-builder.com. The receiver isn't even finished yet, but still shiny steel. It has 6 U.S. made parts for 922r compliance, and a bullet button/mag lock device for California compliance, and of course I only had 10 round magazines. I took it out this morning to function test it. I had only fired about 40-60 rounds when I saw a BLM Park Ranger truck pull up and stop behind my truck.

Now I knew something was going to go wrong today when the Park Ranger pulled up and asked me if it was an "SKS". Now this is rifle I am holding up in my arms with the barrel pointing up, and the stock about waist level. In the magazine is a 10/30 round magazine, so it is full size and impossible to mistake for an SKS. He told me that the rifle was illegal and that he was going to have to confiscate it. I argued with him respectfully, and in the long run lost. He spent about 40 minutes looking on his laptop in his truck, before he finally said he was going to write it up and take it. He asked for my DL, and spent another 20 minutes in his truck, then got out and told me that he was going to give me a break and to take the rifle home and not bring it out again.

Is it illegal to build an AK at home from these parts kits?

Chewbaca
10-11-2012, 12:31 PM
He'll no !!! Your all good bro

Harrison_Bergeron
10-11-2012, 12:37 PM
Did you end up with any paper work on the incident? A written warning or anything?

If so, you should at least write his superiors a letter, at most see if CGF wants to do anything.

Bug Splat
10-11-2012, 12:37 PM
No, he was wrong and thats why he let you go. Its perfectly legal to build your own as long as you built it according to Cali law.

steelholder
10-11-2012, 12:45 PM
had a similar problem. i suppose the shiny receiver must have intrigued him, not sure why he mentioned the sks..

If he couldn't tell the difference between an sks and and ak style rifle most likely he didn't know much about the subject.I know there's a letter about building from the doj or atf to clarify guidelines etc , if you do a search you may find it here.

NorCalXJ
10-11-2012, 12:47 PM
It is completely legal to build an AK. A lot of authorities just aren't familiar with gun laws.

Bobby Hated
10-11-2012, 12:50 PM
i actually travel with copies of all relevant statutes when i have a AW with me. and a copy of my reg paper when i have my RAW's with me. that way its alot easier to teach dumb and dumber the difference between an AR an AK a SKS and an illegal AW.

Seaweed02
10-11-2012, 1:08 PM
I argued with him respectfully, and called him sir, the whole nine yards. He asked me about the magazines and I showed him where they were riveted to prevent them from holding more than 10 rounds, and that they were purchased from a California company called "Riflegear". He accepted that. But the M70b1 was on the banned list by Mitchel Arms. I pointed out that I was the manufacturer of this weapon and not any other company. He just didn't seem to get it.

When he got finished with the laptop research and still said he was going to confiscate it, I asked him to call his supervisor first. He said his supervisor had the day off, but that he was quite sure his supervisor would support his decision. I said, "well sir, then both you and your supervisor need to know a little more about the laws you are trying to enforce". He didn't like that too much, but he didn't write me any form of ticket.

He asked for my driver's license, spent 20 minutes in his truck. I thought he was writing up his ticket or report, or both. Then he came out and gave me the rifle back and told me to take it home and not bring it back out to the range again.

steelholder
10-11-2012, 1:09 PM
does someone have the letter or the legality flowchart for ak builds? couldn't find it through the search

Seaweed02
10-11-2012, 1:53 PM
does someone have the letter or the legality flowchart for ak builds? couldn't find it through the search

I also searched and could not find it. If someone has a link even to another website please pass it on to me on this thread so others can make use of it as well.

Thanks,

starsnuffer
10-11-2012, 1:57 PM
Sounds like neither of you did anything wrong. You're within your rights to home-build an AK, and he's within his rights to ruin your day and set you free.

-W

Flintlock Tom
10-11-2012, 1:57 PM
...Then he came out and gave me the rifle back and told me to take it home and not bring it back out to the range again.
This has always puzzled me: If the rifle is illegal you should be arrested. If the rifle is NOT illegal then there should be no problem "bringing it back out to the range again."
The ranger should make up his mind.

CK_32
10-11-2012, 2:00 PM
I would respectfully inform him be takes my rifle I take his job...

And to talk to his superior before he makes a big mistake and how your build is 100% CA legal.. Being it was of course.

Flintlock Tom
10-11-2012, 2:03 PM
Clarification, please.
Was his assertion: AK47=illegal? or "homemade AK47"=illegal?

CK_32
10-11-2012, 2:12 PM
Clarification, please.
Was his assertion: AK47=illegal? or "homemade AK47"=illegal?

From the story he didn't know what was legal or not so its all illegal...

FUD at its best right there.

BruinGuy
10-11-2012, 3:12 PM
You should contact the appropriate folks at the CGF and give the officer's name and location. This ranger needs to be set straight, and his office and superiors given some guidance. We don't want him confiscating legal weapons, nor telling people what legal firearms they can and cannot bring out to shoot on public land.

Seaweed02
10-11-2012, 3:13 PM
From the story he didn't know what was legal or not so its all illegal...

FUD at its best right there.

His assertion was that AK47 rifles were illegal. He kept referring to the grey area of the law, and how they could all be interpreted differently. I pointed out that the AK47 rifles were being sold down at the local gun store here in Redding. He didn't say anything, just looked at me for a few seconds.

Then he had his laptop going when I approached him in his truck, and he asked me if it was a "Mitchel Arms" rifle. I told him that I was the manufacturer of the weapon. He asked me where I had bought the parts and receiver, and I explained all of that to him.

When he ran my Driver's License he came out and asked me if I worked for the Department of Corrections here in CA, and I told him yes. Then I asked him how he knew that since I had not told him that, nor showed him my work ID or badge. He said he ran me on his computer. That is when he said he was going to give me a break.

CK_32
10-11-2012, 3:18 PM
I feel you should call up the office over there and inform them to have their guys be more on their gun laws.. Give them a brief discription but don't throw the guy under the bus since he let you go.. But just let it be known you were given hastle and they obviously aren't current on their basic gun laws.

Ytisfedup
10-11-2012, 3:24 PM
I feel you should call up the office over there and inform them to have their guys be more on their gun laws.. Give them a brief discription but don't throw the guy under the bus since he let you go.. But just let it be known you were given hastle and they obviously aren't current on their basic gun laws.

Oh hell no! THROW HIM UNDER THE BUS 100%. Name, badge #, time and place of stop. He'll think twice about harrassing a legal law abiding citizen again.

geeknow
10-11-2012, 3:28 PM
I feel you should call up the office over there and inform them to have their guys be more on their gun laws.. Give them a brief discription but don't throw the guy under the bus since he let you go.. But just let it be known you were given hastle and they obviously aren't current on their basic gun laws.

Agree,

This is an opportunity to educate them, and perhaps create a partnership. I would pull together all of the relevant flow chart(s), PC, and facts into a tidy package. In a non-threatening and respectful manner, I would get this info into his hands, for him to review and further his education on the subject.

No, it wasn't cool of him to announce that he was 'giving you a break, but dont come back'...but that's not the point in all this. Keep the bigger picture in mind, and use this as an opportunity to build a bridge and become a resource.

best,

g

wash
10-11-2012, 3:31 PM
One thing, if you made the receiver from a flat or an undrilled blank, you didn't buy it anywhere, you built it.

Before you built it, it was nothing.

If anyone else gets hassled, get names.

CSACANNONEER
10-11-2012, 3:35 PM
Homebuilt firearms are not something the average gun owner sees everyday let alone the average LEO. Most people don't have a clue about homebuilds. But, it sort of sounds like this officer just does not understand CA AW laws at all. Once he realized his mistake, he tried to save face by "giving you a break". If you are so inclined, print a few copies of ALL the flowcharts, laminate them and send them to his office for reference. Just remember that even the flow charts do not have any reference to homebuilds.

Inquirer
10-11-2012, 6:22 PM
Yeah, I second the notion that you should make a report of this. Being on BLM land and getting hassled out of there makes it easy for them to do it again which, frankly, is unacceptable. The guy didn't "give you a break", he was just wrong.

Make an issue of it - not a stink, but an issue - and make sure that his department knows that they can't boot us out of public land just because they don't know the law.

Freedomisntfree
10-11-2012, 6:30 PM
Keep it at home ?? I woulda asked him if he was high.

Mac
10-11-2012, 7:17 PM
He was probably checking this site for Guidance.:D

monorailboy
10-11-2012, 7:55 PM
How come a home built gun does not have to be registered ? Can someone provide a link to the statute that states this.

ke6guj
10-11-2012, 8:09 PM
How come a home built gun does not have to be registered ? Can someone provide a link to the statute that states this.
it doesn't work that way. the statutes normally state what you can't do, not what you can do. Here is the statute, http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=pen&codebody=&hits=20 . you read that and look for where it says you can't do it. since you won't find it, that means that you can do it.

artoaster
10-11-2012, 8:10 PM
What a waste of taxpayer money on such a pompous fool as that BLM Park Ranger.

Give me his job and his benefits and let him work at Wal-Mart for awhile or flipping burgers.

Public servants they are, and they better learn quick!

Seaweed02
10-12-2012, 4:27 AM
I appreciate everyone's feedback. I don't know what to do, but I guess I have a few days to think about it. I have already taken people's advice though and printed out everything I could find on the subject. I will carry all of those things with me in a folder from now on, at least whenever I am shooting those rifles.

I could not find anything on the legality of manufacturing your own firearm. If anyone has a link to that subject, PLEASE list it here. I checked Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 as suggested but think that I found where it says you "cannot manufacture" without a license. Help please.

Mac
10-12-2012, 5:36 AM
I appreciate everyone's feedback. I don't know what to do, but I guess I have a few days to think about it. I have already taken people's advice though and printed out everything I could find on the subject. I will carry all of those things with me in a folder from now on, at least whenever I am shooting those rifles.

I could not find anything on the legality of manufacturing your own firearm. If anyone has a link to that subject, PLEASE list it here. I checked Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 as suggested but think that I found where it says you "cannot manufacture" without a license. Help please.

You probably already read this - right.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=86627

Seaweed02
10-12-2012, 6:49 AM
You probably already read this - right.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=86627

I had not read that before. But I did today, thanks to you for the link. And after reading the linked thread, I took an extra precaution as well. When I bought the parts kit, it came with it's own FCG. I of course built the rifle with Tapco G2 FCG parts for 922r compliance. But I still had the original FCG, and since I wasn't sure if it was an automatic FCG or not, I went out and disposed of it out in the country this morning. Just in case it was, because I am not smart enough to know the difference. Better safe than sorry. I drove down a country road and threw a piece out every mile or so until it was gone.

CSACANNONEER
10-12-2012, 6:55 AM
I had not read that before. But I did today, thanks to you for the link. And after reading the linked thread, I took an extra precaution as well. When I bought the parts kit, it came with it's own FCG. I of course built the rifle with Tapco G2 FCG parts for 922r compliance. But I still had the original FCG, and since I wasn't sure if it was an automatic FCG or not, I went out and disposed of it out in the country this morning. Just in case it was, because I am not smart enough to know the difference. Better safe than sorry. I drove down a country road and threw a piece out every mile or so until it was gone.

You littered? Really, that's not cool nor is it necesary. The only parts you'ld need to not have are those that don't look like the Tapco ones.

Sicarius
10-12-2012, 7:36 AM
The "break" was a professional courtesy being that you work for corrections. If any normal citizen got stopped, it would have likely ended differently... He really needs to be educated on this topic if he is willing to enforce it.
Kevin

Seaweed02
10-12-2012, 7:58 AM
On the BATF website there is a clear statement that says a person can manufacture a firearm as long as he doesn't intend to sell it. Everyone has told me this, but I wanted to find it so I could print it out and carry it with me when I go shoot the firearm next time. Here is the link:
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/manufacturers.html

Scroll down to number 7, and you will see that a person does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer if the weapon is not being made for sale. Hope this helps someone else as well. I have printed it out and am taking it with me in a nice folder.

Seaweed02
10-12-2012, 8:04 AM
You littered? Really, that's not cool nor is it necesary. The only parts you'ld need to not have are those that don't look like the Tapco ones.

Sorry Cannoneer, I didn't think of it that way because the parts are metal and not paper or plastic. But I didn't want to put it in the trash and have someone else find them and use them for an illegal purpose. So I drove by and threw them in the miles of fields covered in lava rocks and weeds. You're right I should have drove to different trash cans and that would have accompished the same thing.

steelholder
10-12-2012, 8:56 AM
Your good don't worry, just next time crush them or cut them up

Flintlock Tom
10-12-2012, 9:07 AM
If it's not illegal to have the FA parts why is everyone going to such lengths to dispose of them? Are you worried a homeless person is going to fish them out of your trash and build a machine gun?
Why not just leave them in your spare parts box?

Seaweed02
10-12-2012, 9:20 AM
If it's not illegal to have the FA parts why is everyone going to such lengths to dispose of them? Are you worried a homeless person is going to fish them out of your trash and build a machine gun?
Why not just leave them in your spare parts box?

What if I made this guy's supervisor so mad by telling him/her that the Rangers need to be trained prior to enforcing the law, that he/she gets a warrant to search my house and those parts were found? I could go to prison just for having them right? Or at least face charges. It was easier just to get rid of them.

Not a homeless person. Someone at the dump though might be able to. Or might recognize what they are and turn them in to LE, who may trace them back to me. I don't know it just seemed better to throw them in different places and that way they will never be used again. They will rust, erode, and in a few years be part of the earth again.

Harrison_Bergeron
10-12-2012, 9:45 AM
There are very few people in the world that could pick up a FA AK trigger group and know what it is. I'd bet that less than half of CGN could.

CSACANNONEER
10-12-2012, 9:57 AM
If it's not illegal to have the FA parts why is everyone going to such lengths to dispose of them? Are you worried a homeless person is going to fish them out of your trash and build a machine gun?
Why not just leave them in your spare parts box?

Constructive possession of a MG is a federal felony.

AKSOG
10-12-2012, 10:01 AM
You're fine. He is wrong

arslin
10-12-2012, 11:12 AM
Constructive possession of a MG is a federal felony.

Pretend you are a pirate, put on a eye patch throw it in some oil can (with oil) rap it in thick plastic, and pick a random location in your back yard to bury it. :Pirate:

yar!

sffred
10-12-2012, 11:22 AM
Tag

RalphAdopolis
10-12-2012, 11:29 AM
I think you handled it very well, I'm sure it was frustrating for you and for anyone else who has dealt with the ignorant, but in the end you did not get a ticket and you kept your rifle and at the same time you became a little more educated (I know I was).

we should flood their fax machines with flow charts and any other paperwork that states what is legal and what is not.

nicoroshi
10-12-2012, 12:36 PM
Seaweed,
I carry a copy of the AW flow chart in my rifle case.
I am sorry you were hassled but your rifle is in a CA legal configuration, and the ranger was in the wrong.
I agree this is a good opportunity to educate rather than one to 'lay the smack down'.
Perhaps a trip to their office with a few copies of the flow chart, and print outs of the BATFE site (home built firearm thing you mentioned earlier) would be in order.
Being the teacher rather than the disgruntled sportsman in this instance would be a better option all the way around IMHO.

As for FA parts:
I cut up the auto sear, and throw them away. The rest of the parts should be OK.
Image of an auto sear for you>>>
http://www.copesdistributing.net/images/HPIM5629%20copy.jpg

Seaweed02
10-15-2012, 8:26 AM
I would like to know the "what if's".

If that Ranger had confiscated my rifle, Could he or his department have been sued for violating my second amendment rights? Does anyone know?

Flintlock Tom
10-15-2012, 9:28 AM
Constructive possession of a MG is a federal felony.

Don't you have to have all the parts for "constructive possession" of a MG?

And, if it's illegal to "possess" them, why is it legal to sell them?

CK_32
10-15-2012, 9:35 AM
Don't you have to have to have all the parts for "constructive possession" of a MG?

And, if it's illegal to "possess" them, why is it legal to sell them?

Not really.. All they need is enough to prove intent to construct a MG/AW.

And because some but very few can legally own and buy these parts. Thus why they manufacture/sell.

MigNoche
10-15-2012, 9:59 AM
I have been harassed by BLM Rangers a few times. They thoroughly inspect all my gear, run serial #'s, and usually give me a lecture. I have since learned that my 4th amendment rights were violated during these interactions. I will no longer allow anyone to run the #'s on my guns when I am legally shooting on BLM land. They will take advantage of anyone who does not know better.

5thgen4runner
10-15-2012, 10:11 AM
The "break" was a professional courtesy being that you work for corrections. If any normal citizen got stopped, it would have likely ended differently... He really needs to be educated on this topic if he is willing to enforce it.
Kevin

That's what I think. Op works for "them".

Seaweed02
10-15-2012, 10:21 AM
I have been harassed by BLM Rangers a few times. They thoroughly inspect all my gear, run serial #'s, and usually give me a lecture. I have since learned that my 4th amendment rights were violated during these interactions. I will no longer allow anyone to run the #'s on my guns when I am legally shooting on BLM land. They will take advantage of anyone who does not know better.

I have been told that "if" he had taken my legally home built AK then he would have been violating my 2nd amendment rights, just as they have violated your 4th amendment rights.

What I want to know is, if they take my legally built weapon, can I sue them? And would it hold up? Any input from a lawyer would be nice as well.

CK_32
10-15-2012, 10:28 AM
I have been told that "if" he had taken my legally home built AK then he would have been violating my 2nd amendment rights, just as they have violated your 4th amendment rights.

What I want to know is, if they take my legally built weapon, can I sue them? And would it hold up? Any input from a lawyer would be nice as well.

You could always sue them.. But I doubt it would hold up.. I'd see the best outcome your rifle is returned the officer gets written up or a nice slap on the wrist along with the department and they touch up on their laws lazily and probably focus on what they can get you/us for next time than focus on what's ok for us to use to make a point and get the last laugh and attention off them selves and make us the bad guys again...

So in turn they will know the laws but probably use them against us than for us and you will be out some $$ for court fees and have a spiteful range officer/department.

EM2
10-16-2012, 11:27 AM
Sounds like neither of you did anything wrong. You're within your rights to home-build an AK, and he's within his rights to ruin your day and set you free.

-W



Actually, NO, he is not.
Law Enforcemnet have no rights as such, rather they have authority which seems to be abused quite a bit lately.

Words do mean things and to use them correctly could help our cause considerably.

cvc04
10-16-2012, 11:38 AM
It sounds like he knew he was wrong and let you go. He told you not to come back with it because he doesn't like to work and trying to figure out if your rifle is legal is too much work for him.

a1c
10-16-2012, 11:53 AM
The "break" was a professional courtesy being that you work for corrections. If any normal citizen got stopped, it would have likely ended differently... He really needs to be educated on this topic if he is willing to enforce it.
Kevin

No, the break was most likely an ego-driven move from a LEO who didn't want to admit he didn't know what he was doing, or that he was wrong and didn't want to recognize it.

Plenty of Calgunners have posted similar encounters with BLM rangers or DFG wardens who had a similar attitude at first when encountering a shooter with an "evil" rifle, asked a bunch of questions, asserted all sorts of FUD about high capacity magazines, fixed magazines, bullet buttons or forward grips, threatened to write a ticket or confiscate a weapon, and then went their own ways after much patronizing or grumbling.

I'm anything but a LEO basher - I know many and my wife works with them everyday. Most of my encounters (including outside my stomping grounds) have been courteous and professional. But there are LEOs out there who have little training or knowledge of firearm laws, and BLM rangers and DFG wardens are among those. This is not their primary field, and some of them just go by short memos or what they remember from their training, and this kind of experience is unfortunately quite typical.

I frankly don't blame them (except when they let their egos in the way like with this guy, who told the OP not to bring back a perfectly legal rifle to the range). I blame the ineptitude of California lawmakers.

eclectic
10-16-2012, 12:24 PM
I think solid preparation on the behalf of CG-ers would be a great start, too. If we carry the flowchart or similar document w/ relevant statutes with us when we shoot, we can make these guys' lives a hell of a lot easier which will, in turn, earn us some respect and consideration.

I do believe that a reprimand is not out of order though... This guy should know what he did was wrong.

Saying that he did the right thing by letting you go after detaining you while he figured out the law is like saying somebody did the right thing by backing up after they parked on your foot.