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mth
09-24-2007, 1:47 PM
I've always been a bit into robotics and general electronics and I'm just wondering, from a legal standpoint, is there anything that prohibits designing (or modifying) a weapon to be activated electronically instead of mechanically? For example, replacing part of the trigger group with a solenoid.

Does a person always have to be there to pull the trigger, or could you, for example, legally have a gun that was fired remotely (with a servo platform, sighted in camera with video feed, etc.)?

I don't really have any specific projects or intent in mind, it's more just an academic question.

AJAX22
09-24-2007, 1:57 PM
People have done it, however it gets into a really shakey area of law.

I've seen video of a guy with a ruger 10/22 equipped with a muzzlelite stock that has been apparently been outfitted with a paintball trigger/solinoid instead of a normal transfer bar. that would be just fine and dandy except that paintball electronics are programable as to rate of fire, burst fire etc.

there is another guy who did what you are describing with a computer controlled camera mounted to an airsoft gun that was motion tracking... I'd sugest you use airsoft for this (it will work the same as on a real gun, except it won't have as much recoil to deal with.

Fjold
09-24-2007, 1:59 PM
The Remington Etronix rifles had mechanical/electronic firing systems.

SemiAutoSam
09-24-2007, 2:22 PM
For those that care,thought I'd share photos of what looks to be a firing platform of sorts for the HK G3. Mounts to a 50 mm pipe and is powered by 12 VDC, which moves horizontally and vertically by remote, the trigger is actuated by switch as well.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/1356023_464c9353894c0.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/1356023_2_464c93538a45c.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/1356023_3_464c93538b3fb.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/1356023_4_464c93538c39b.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/1356023_5_464c93538d33b.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v38/Falcon007/1356023_6_464c93538e2db.jpg

five.five-six
09-24-2007, 2:33 PM
it is a prety tricky area of the law, if it is identified as a "spring gun" then you may find yourself in some trouble

Quiet
09-24-2007, 6:08 PM
there is another guy who did what you are describing with a computer controlled camera mounted to an airsoft gun that was motion tracking... I'd sugest you use airsoft for this (it will work the same as on a real gun, except it won't have as much recoil to deal with.
This is an official competition event at www.Defcon.org (hacker convention held in Vegas).
The event is called "Robot Wars" as has been held for the last 4 years.
Winner of this year's event, independently targeted and shot down 20 targets in 16.6 seconds.

http://www.airsoftrobot.net/images/DEFCON15/Defcon15_08_07_024.jpg
http://www.airsoftrobot.net/images/DEFCON15/Defcon15_08_07_019.jpg

Link to video demo of event.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ndkxEuISzg

Goto www.defconbots.org for more information about the event and for open source code used to control the bots.

SemiAutoSam
09-24-2007, 6:13 PM
They should just use a Pan Tilt.
With a camera mounted with a cross hair in the Lens'
Like something pictured here.

http://www.burlecctv.com/art/p_090.jpg

tyrist
09-24-2007, 6:40 PM
A remotely fired gun is illegal. You have to be holding the gun to fire it. The electronic trigger as others have said is programmable for burst and automatic fire and would probably land you in or facing a large legal bill possibly. You would have to be observed by a rather informed officer however.

M. Sage
09-24-2007, 6:40 PM
I've seen video of a guy with a ruger 10/22 equipped with a muzzlelite stock that has been apparently been outfitted with a paintball trigger/solinoid instead of a normal transfer bar. that would be just fine and dandy except that paintball electronics are programable as to rate of fire, burst fire etc. .

Some, but not all. Some of the older paintball electronics were semi-auto only. I have a couple that are that way. I remember when the old "select fire" electronic paintball guns required you take off a grip panel and play with switch positions.

It wouldn't be much more work to run a micro-switch to a solenoid and just attach it to a trigger, skipping the whole electronics issue.

virulosity
09-24-2007, 6:49 PM
A remotely fired gun is illegal. You have to be holding the gun to fire it. The electronic trigger as others have said is programmable for burst and automatic fire and would probably land you in or facing a large legal bill possibly. You would have to be observed by a rather informed officer however.

Can you site the PC?

E Pluribus Unum
09-24-2007, 7:06 PM
Can you site the PC?

This has been discussed before: Here ("http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=56577&highlight=illegal)

The fish and game code forbids online shooting or spearing of animals... It appears at first glance that target shooting would be legal.

F&G Code:
3003. (a) It is unlawful for any person to shoot, shoot at, or kill
any bird or mammal with any gun or other device accessed via an
Internet connection in this state.

They later describe it as:
(f) For the purposes of this section, "online shooting or spearing"
means the use of a computer or any other device, equipment,
software, or technology, to remotely control the aiming and discharge
of any weapon, including, but not limited to, any firearm, bow and
arrow, spear, slingshot, harpoon, or any other projectile device.

It is conceivable that a liberal DA could use that definition to include targets as well; worse has been done.

JHC
09-24-2007, 7:08 PM
A remotely fired gun is illegal. You have to be holding the gun to fire it. The electronic trigger as others have said is programmable for burst and automatic fire and would probably land you in or facing a large legal bill possibly. You would have to be observed by a rather informed officer however.

Damb, I must be breaking the law everytime I test a new build as I strap it down to the bench and remotely pull the trigger with a string,... oops I just ratted myself out, are those sirens?;)

Yankee Clipper
09-24-2007, 7:13 PM
A remotely fired gun is illegal. You have to be holding the gun to fire it. The electronic trigger as others have said is programmable for burst and automatic fire and would probably land you in or facing a large legal bill possibly. You would have to be observed by a rather informed officer however.
The above post is correct: a remote firing, unattended, firearm is for obvious reasons illegal. And a burst, automatic firing firearm, mechanical or electronic, is, for all intensive purposes, illegal in this state. An electronic trigger that replaces a mechanical trigger's *legal* functions, does not, as far as I know, break any laws. Suggest you do your own research into federal and California law to confirm your legal standing. Alternatively, you could have a law firm, with firearm adjudication experience, do it for you. I'm sure that at some point in the future electronic triggers will be come as common as mechanical triggers are now. It's a matter dependability, dependability, dependability.

virulosity
09-24-2007, 7:23 PM
Hmm... There is a student at the college I graduated from in June that I am friends with and he is doing a remotely operated gun turret for his engineering senior project. Does this mean that the University is breaking the law by allowing this project?

ldivinag
09-24-2007, 9:47 PM
did you guys watch the movie SHOOTER?
www.precisionremotes.com

E Pluribus Unum
09-24-2007, 10:43 PM
Hmm... There is a student at the college I graduated from in June that I am friends with and he is doing a remotely operated gun turret for his engineering senior project. Does this mean that the University is breaking the law by allowing this project?

If he shoots an animal with it; yes.

mth
09-25-2007, 8:50 AM
Thanks for all the replies :)

Besides the F&G code, can anyone else cite applicable laws? I'd imagine this is more ATF territory than Calif. penal code, but unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with Federal laws to know where to look.

I think probably the biggest obstacle would be the "machine gun" factor, as several others have pointed out. If a shoestring can become a machine gun, who knows what they'll make of an electronic firing mechanism that could be easily modified to repetitively fire.

Hopefully it wouldn't be considered a spring gun unless used as some sort of trap, which is probably a bad idea anyways.

That G3 firing platform is neat :) Any idea what it was used for?

ohsmily
09-25-2007, 9:31 AM
The above post is correct: a remote firing, unattended, firearm is for obvious reasons illegal. And a burst, automatic firing firearm, mechanical or electronic, is, for all intensive purposes, illegal in this state.

Can you cite penal code or other statute that concerns the "intensive" purposes in this circumstance? What about a remote firing while you are standing there? What about a string attached to trigger pulled from 20 feet away? What about the eTronix trigger mechanism in Remington rifles?

I am genuinely interested in a solid answer to the above.

(by the way, for future reference, it is "intents and purposes", not "intensive purposes")

mooster
09-25-2007, 12:10 PM
The folks at PRI are great guys to work with. About 2 years ago they set up a demo for our team and we got to shoot an M240 with their setup.

Remote weapon stations are very interesting systems but I urge EXTREME CAUTION if you decide to develop something. Control loops, sizing of motors, position accuracy, mounts, etc seem simple on paper but are a whole different animal when you put a gun on it. Even the guys in our industry have issues with "safety qualified" systems.

2 years ago I went to the NDIA small arms conference in Albuquerque. ARDEC brought their SWORDS UGV - basically a TALON mated with the PRI RWS. At the firing line, a glitch in the controller's station caused the vehicle to pivot; slewing a loaded and charged M249 into the crowd. Lots of yelling, screaming, folks running and hitting the dirt.

N6ATF
09-25-2007, 12:31 PM
I've always been a bit into robotics and general electronics and I'm just wondering, from a legal standpoint, is there anything that prohibits designing (or modifying) a weapon to be activated electronically instead of mechanically? For example, replacing part of the trigger group with a solenoid.

Does a person always have to be there to pull the trigger, or could you, for example, legally have a gun that was fired remotely (with a servo platform, sighted in camera with video feed, etc.)?

I don't really have any specific projects or intent in mind, it's more just an academic question.

Fairly certain MythBusters (San Francisco, CA) has done this many times, and they have multiple LEOs as advisors.

E Pluribus Unum
09-25-2007, 6:08 PM
Fairly certain MythBusters (San Francisco, CA) has done this many times, and they have multiple LEOs as advisors.

LEOs are not lawyers... they actually know very little about "law". They are experts at statutory law... but there are many other areas of law to consider.

It would be like this:

A man works his whole life rebuilding transmissions but never even changes his spark plugs; after 10 years he is asked to rebuild an engine never having done it before, only seeing them while working on the transmission. He may have picked up some mechanical know-how along the way and may be able to muttle through it, but he is no engine mechanic.

tyrist
09-25-2007, 9:23 PM
I am not able to find the section but it was near the section about firearm traps.

drclark
09-25-2007, 10:34 PM
Not remote control, but "electronic" fire control group

I would think some sort of piezo-electric trigger-device that generates a electrical impulse once per actuation (similar to a push button propane grill igniter) would be interesting. Replace the hammer, firing pin with some sort of "wiring" to a contact on the bolt face. Develop a new type of primer that ONLY ignites as a result of the electrical impulse (i.e. WILL NOT ignite in a conventional centerfire rifle).

I have no idea if such a system could be made to be completely safe and reliable in all environments that modern firearms are subject to. However, if it could be made to work, the implications of such an "electofire" rifle would be interesting w.r.t. to the CA awb which specifically bans centerfire rifles.

Getting BATFE approval would probably be difficult since possession of such a rifle and a soldering iron would probably be defined as a machine-gun. However, simply drilling a 3rd hole in an AR or AK receiver could also get you in trouble as well…

I would bet that creating a practical electrically-fired primer would be the hardest part. Imagine the types of safety problems that might arise if the ammo could "cook off" when simply exposed to a static discharge of high enough potential....

drc

N6ATF
09-25-2007, 11:18 PM
LEOs are not lawyers... they actually know very little about "law". They are experts at statutory law... but there are many other areas of law to consider.

It doesn't matter. If they are not arresting you, and are not being reprimanded by their superiors or prosecutors or grand juries or judges for not arresting you after multiple occurences over 4 years, then that's what I consider legal. It's not like MythBusters is only seen in cities that are NOT San Francisco.

The only exemption I see is if having a LEO present makes the use of these devices legal.

mth
09-26-2007, 10:08 AM
Not remote control, but "electronic" fire control group

I would think some sort of piezo-electric trigger-device that generates a electrical impulse once per actuation (similar to a push button propane grill igniter) would be interesting.
[...]

Legally I was interested in remote control as well, but I think there would be some interesting ways to do this. Perhaps even a spark plug that protrudes into the case as a way of igniting something like a priming compound (probably would cause a slow burn if you just had the powder and a spark plug). Of course, you would also need a better gas seal around the bolt face and so on, but it would be interesting to experiment.

supersonic
09-26-2007, 10:40 AM
This should clear up any questions regarding the subject:
http://www.hyskore.com/precision-rifle-rest-additional.htm
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