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View Full Version : Would This Device Be Considered A "Firearm"?


10TH AMENDMENT
11-16-2007, 11:27 AM
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Patriot
11-16-2007, 11:31 AM
12001. (a) (1) As used in this title, the terms "pistol,"
"revolver," and "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person"
shall apply to and include any device designed to be used as a
weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any
explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less
than 16 inches in length. These terms also include any device that
has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be
interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
(2) As used in this title, the term "handgun" means any "pistol,"
"revolver," or "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person."
(b) As used in this title, "firearm" means any device, designed to
be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a
projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.

IANAL but it looks pretty clear to me

artherd
11-16-2007, 11:36 AM
This is almost certinly a firearm.

More importantly, may we respond to the (unlawful) use of a taser with lethal force?

Hunter
11-16-2007, 12:18 PM
http://www.kimberamerica.com/images/lifeactlineup.jpg

Piper
11-16-2007, 12:20 PM
There is very little in the California Penal code on Tasers and in fact the law says nothing about a Taser being illegal to carry concealed. In fact 12651 PC says that a minor over the age of 16 may legally possess a "stun gun" with written parental permission. While the Penal Code also says that a stun gun and Taser are two different types of weapons, it doesn't prevent a person over the age of 16 from possessing a Taser so long as the person has written permission from parent or guardian.

Cpl. Haas
11-16-2007, 12:27 PM
From what I understand, Taser X26 and C2 devices are not considered firearms under People v. Heffner because they use the rapid release of compressed gas (Nitrogen I believe) to fire the probes, not charges like those found in much older stun guns.

(b) As used in this title, "firearm" means any device, designed to
be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a
projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.

I may be wrong, but releasing compressed gas is neither an explosion, nor combustion.

Patriot
11-16-2007, 12:31 PM
I certainly am no expert and don't want to contradict some who have posted, but the OP was not asking about a taser:

Read the description of the device [Kimber LifeAct Guardian Angel Self Defense Gel Projection Device 10% OC ]:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...astid=11152007

Does the fact that the OC gel substance (i.e. the "projectile") is propelled by a "pyrotechnic charge" qualify it as a "firearm"?

The question is this:

Would the concealed carry of this device in public be in violation of California Penal Code section 12001?

Piper
11-16-2007, 1:36 PM
My apologies for misunderstanding the question, but my answer still stands, I would say no unless the person is a convicted felon or other person restricted by law.

chiefcrash
11-16-2007, 3:28 PM
i think the question becomes: does a fluid constitute a projectile?

on a side note, i've seen these for sale over at Bullseye in San Rafael...

camillus522
11-16-2007, 4:50 PM
I have one of these small two shot devices (in fact so do my wife and 2 teenage daughters). i figured they are considered pepper spray devices so i would be interested to know of a "firearm" status. I purchased these from a local gun store. I have also recently (unfortunately) been detained by a local LEO (campus PD) and they stated "oh it's pepper spray... that's legal on campus." This incident is still pending a resolution so when it has i will post more about this on the forum later.

megavolt121
11-16-2007, 5:05 PM
This will be an interesting point to argue. In all seriousness, it'll probably be "up to the 58 DAs" to determine.

CSACANNONEER
11-16-2007, 5:11 PM
I'm sure we'll have an answer in TWO WEEKS!

Sam Hainn
11-16-2007, 9:40 PM
I bet if you were stopped with it most LEO would assume it was a nifty pepper-spray device and nothing more, no different than the aerosol kind.

camillus522
11-16-2007, 10:50 PM
I bet if you were stopped with it most LEO would assume it was a nifty pepper-spray device and nothing more, no different than the aerosol kind.

That's pretty much what happened in my case.

Shotgun Man
11-17-2007, 1:13 PM
The question is this:

Would the concealed carry of this device in public be in violation of California Penal Code section 12001?

I would have to agree with those who say this does qualify as a firearm.

One of the patents was listed at Kimber's website (http://www.life-act.com/specifications.php)

So I was reading the patent at http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6951070-fulltext.html:

"The striking unit 13b is now shot against the firing charge 9b by the force of the spring 33b (FIG. 11), as a result of which this charge 9b is ignited by the firing bolt 34. The ignited firing charge 9b then causes the propellant charge 7 to burn.

The propellant gases from the burning propellant charge 7 then flow into the pan interior 24, which is used as an expansion space. Once a sufficient propellant gas pressure has built up, the piston 21, which acts as a propellant disk, is driven forward. The piston 21 presses against the filling 15 which, for its part, acts on the closure element 19 which acts as a bursting disk. The closure element 19 tears open along its thinned material lines 17, which are arranged in the form of a star; however, it remains held at its edges, as shown in FIG. 2. The piston 21 is driven by the propellant gases toward the storage space end area 25, forcing out the filling 15 through the main nozzle channel 31 and through the secondary nozzle channel 32. "

So the "firing charge"-- like a percussion cap maybe?-- ignites the propellant gases which drives the piston which forces out the "filling."

So I think you have an explosion or combustion that expells a projectile, in this case the OC gel, as contemplated by PC 12001.

But it is fundamentally different from any real gun that I've heard of, in that a piston actually propels the projectile. I know my break action Beeman air rifle operates on a simlar principle.

If I was defending some guy on this, I would try arguing that distinction and says that the legislature did not intend to catagorize such a device as a gun.

But if the DA wanted to screw you, he could, and the appellate courts would probably back him up.

I'm not a lawyer; no legal advice here.

Patriot
11-17-2007, 1:18 PM
But it is fundamentally from any real gun that I've heard of, in that a piston actually propels the projectile. I know my break action Beeman air rifle operates on a simlar principle.

If I was defending some guy on this, I would try arguing that distinction and says that the legislature did not intend to catagorize such a device as a gun.

But if the DA wanted to screw you, he could, and the appellate courts would probably back him up.

I'm not a lawyer; no legal advice here.

I think that it would survive casual neutral scrutiny as a OC SD device, but that - technically speaking - it could easily be considered a firearm.

I don't think your hypothetical defense would hold water since "captive piston" systems have been known (but not widely implemented) for some time:

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/DGL.html
http://world.guns.ru/ammo/sp-e.htm

Shotgun Man
11-17-2007, 1:22 PM
[...]

I don't think your hypothetical defense would hold water since "captive piston" systems have been known (but not widely implemented) for some time:

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/DGL.html
http://world.guns.ru/ammo/sp-e.htm

You raise a valid point. Probably wouldn't work.

Shotgun Man
11-17-2007, 5:29 PM
Some good replies.

I think that the whole crux lies in whether the gel could reasonably be characterized as a "projectile".

Yes, I considered that. I concluded even a molecule could be a projectile. It's basically anything that is projected.

sorensen440
10-18-2008, 8:04 PM
I hate to necro but did we ever find out the answer?

M. Sage
10-18-2008, 8:20 PM
From what I understand, Taser X26 and C2 devices are not considered firearms under People v. Heffner because they use the rapid release of compressed gas (Nitrogen I believe) to fire the probes, not charges like those found in much older stun guns.



I may be wrong, but releasing compressed gas is neither an explosion, nor combustion.

Releasing compressed gas can be explosive.

Why do you think we chain welding tanks to the wall? Even if it's just the oxygen (ain't going to explode), the results of a dropped tank can be very bad. If someone were to do something stupid, like cut the side of the tank, the tank is going to, well, explode, even if it's full of an inert gas like nitrogen.

Gun powder is a chemical means of generating gases rapidly. The barrel, chamber and bullet combined with the speed those gases are generated creates pressure. Don't confine it, and gunpowder doesn't explode when ignited.

i think the question becomes: does a fluid constitute a projectile?

Projectile is defined as:
1. A fired, thrown, or otherwise propelled object, such as a bullet, having no capacity for self-propulsion.
2. A self-propelled missile, such as a rocket.

Is a fluid an object? I'd have to say yes...

tankerman
10-18-2008, 9:10 PM
Well, the state allows them to be sold, no drop test, no DROS/10 wait.

Shenaniguns
10-18-2008, 10:26 PM
Both of those items are legal to carry concealed (except in gov buildings etc...) and my Wife carries the Life Act and I carry a C2.

http://www.taser.com/research/Pages/ConsumerFAQs.aspx

http://www.life-act.com/regulations.php

tgriffin
10-18-2008, 10:30 PM
Well, the state allows them to be sold, no drop test, no DROS/10 wait.

I think therein lies a solid defense....

sorensen440
10-18-2008, 10:33 PM
Is this something that would be worth writing the doj on ?
I certainly wouldn't want to carry one not knowing for sure

Shenaniguns
10-18-2008, 10:39 PM
Is this something that would be worth writing the doj on ?
I certainly wouldn't want to carry one not knowing for sure



Give them a reason to ban them??? :rolleyes:

You think that major companies like Taser International and Kimber would risk breaking the law selling them here?

FortCourageArmory
10-18-2008, 10:41 PM
As tankerman said, these devices do not require a DROS or a 10-day wait. They are not classified as firearms by the DOJ. End of story.... Who wants one? ;)

nicki
10-19-2008, 1:33 AM
Tasers lmitations concern me.

1. Tasers are limited to 18 feet(cord length)
2. Carry only 2 shots

Still, the fact that they don't kill or seriously injure a attacker does have some benefits, even for us.

Still, I prefer someting in the 9mm, 40cal or 45ACP range myself.

Nicki

SJgunguy24
10-19-2008, 1:45 AM
Tasers lmitations concern me.

1. Tasers are limited to 18 feet(cord length)
2. Carry only 2 shots

Still, the fact that they don't kill or seriously injure a attacker does have some benefits, even for us.

Still, I prefer someting in the 9mm, 40cal or 45ACP range myself.

Nicki

Yep, if someone is attacking me or my family, i'll call an air strike if I could.

I've always been taught to end the fight. Knee's ,arms, eyes , testicals it dosen't matter stop it now.

The Civi tasers don't have the voltage that the LEO version has. Those guy's always get the cool toys.

SJgunguy24
10-19-2008, 1:49 AM
I got out of a Spud Launcher charge, because it was powerd by co2. The cops didn't believe me, just because I was 18 at the time automaticly makes me stupid.

The co2 is not a very portable version.

leelaw
10-19-2008, 2:08 AM
This is almost certinly a firearm.

More importantly, may we respond to the (unlawful) use of a taser with lethal force?

You think that major companies like Taser International ... would risk breaking the law selling them here?



Modern Tasers from Taser International are not firearms. The barbs are not projected by a pyrotechnic charge. Tasers of yesteryear were set off by pyrotechnic charges, but these days it is done with compressed gas.

If the OC gel in the devices posted in the OP are truly release by a pyrotechnic charge, then I'd say it violates the letter of the law. (Kimber's video says "legal in most cities")

Spirit of the law, I doubt that an otherwise law abiding citizen has to worry. Might it be used to hook up some felon who is carrying one? Yeah, probably. Do I see someone being arrested for carrying one around when they're Joe Citizen (Plumber? ;) )? No.

If someone attacks you unlawfully with a Taser or OC, I'd fully expect your immediate retaliation to be deemed self defense.

leelaw
10-19-2008, 2:13 AM
Yep, if someone is attacking me or my family, i'll call an air strike if I could.

I've always been taught to end the fight. Knee's ,arms, eyes , testicals it dosen't matter stop it now.

The Civi tasers don't have the voltage that the LEO version has. Those guy's always get the cool toys.

The civilian Tasers (C2, X26C) work at a slightly lower voltage, and with less pulses per second.

The voltage just means that it won't arc through as much clothing ot make contact with the skin. The X26 Tasers used 50,000 volts to create an ionized "bridge" between the barbs and skin, but the pulses themselves operate much closer to 1,200 volts.

On either Taser, I wouldn't count on reloading. The C2 takes a bit of prying to remove the cartridge, and while the X26C take less effort, it's still a bit of time.

Shenaniguns
10-19-2008, 8:42 AM
Tasers lmitations concern me.

1. Tasers are limited to 18 feet(cord length)
2. Carry only 2 shots

Still, the fact that they don't kill or seriously injure a attacker does have some benefits, even for us.

Still, I prefer someting in the 9mm, 40cal or 45ACP range myself.

Nicki



So if you don't live in a CCW issuing county, what do you carry for Self Defense?

jamesob
10-19-2008, 10:43 AM
tasers and oc aka pepper spray are legal to carry concealed in california.

motorhead
10-19-2008, 11:11 AM
if it doen't have to ship to an ffl, no. i'd be willing to bet kimber got a not a firearm letter from atf before marketing this.

leelaw
10-19-2008, 12:46 PM
if it doen't have to ship to an ffl, no. i'd be willing to bet kimber got a not a firearm letter from atf before marketing this.

The concern isn't what ATF deems a firearm, but what California deems a firearm.

Kinda like how under the Fed AWB, an AR15 with detachable mag and pistol grip was legal, but it was still illegal under CA AWB.

jaymz
10-19-2008, 2:02 PM
According to the PC below.........It's NOT a firearm, as it does not have a barrel. Right?:confused:


12001. (a) (1) As used in this title, the terms "pistol,"
"revolver," and "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person"
shall apply to and include any device designed to be used as a
weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any
explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less
than 16 inches in length. These terms also include any device that
has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be
interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
(2) As used in this title, the term "handgun" means any "pistol,"
"revolver," or "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person."
(b) As used in this title, "firearm" means any device, designed to
be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a
projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.

motorhead
10-19-2008, 2:21 PM
does not expel a projectile.
i love these theoretical discussions of ca law. BTW-if god is all powerful, can he microwave a burrito so hot that he himself can't eat it?