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View Full Version : Q About LEOs w/ OLL Builds


gcrtkd
12-12-2007, 12:37 AM
Hi All-- Here's the deal... 2 weeks ago, I explained to my CA LEO buddy (a former Marine) that there are such things as civilian-legal ARs in CA. I showed him as much of the stuff that I could about OLL ARs off of CalGuns (thanks guys!) and I explained as best I could:

-w/ detachable mag you can't have any evil features
-w/ non-detachable mag, you can have all of the evil features you want, just as long as you don't ever allow the rifle to reach a CA-illegal confuguration
-what is a "detachable mag", the DOJ statement about a bullet or a casing being considered a "tool", and what a Prince 50 kit and a bullet button are

So, now I'm jealous... he calls me this afternoon from the gun shop and goes, "I just bought my AR!" He didn't ask for a letter from his chief to permit him to buy/possess an AW... he just wanted to do it on his own. Well, good for him... and good for CA gunners, I say. While we were on the phone, I told him though, "Remember, buddy... if you take that set screw out of the mag release button, that's a felony." He was incredulous and said that he thought that a LEO only needs a letter from their chief to buy an AW, but, that if he could buy an OLL build, then he could possess it in any state he wished (except full-auto, I guess).

This brings up a few questions which I haven't seen addressed in the forms and I was hoping that you guys know the answers so I can keep him on the right side of the law. (I like the statement that someone made a while back about CalGunners studying CA gun laws, "with Talmudic precision". I think that this is apt in this case.)

Some chiefs won't sign letters for some LEOs and many won't for reserve police officers, so the following questions come up with respect to sworn CA LEOs and OLL builds... some of these sort of repeat themselves... sorry.

1) When a CA LEO purchases an OLL AR build W/O AN AW LETTER FROM THEIR CHIEF, do all of the same rules apply to them as to civilians with respect to that rifle?

2) Is a letter from a LE chief permission to buy? or possess? an AW?

2a) Is a letter needed from a chief for a sworn CA LEO to possess, what by CA law is an AW?

3) If the letter from the chief is only permission to buy the weapon, can a LEO purchase an OLL build and then configure it in any manner they desire? (i.e., detachable mag @ same time as evil features?)

3a) I read in the OLL FAQ: "NEVER HAVE AN OFF-LIST LOWER RECEIVER WITH AN OPEN MAGAZINE WELL AND A PISTOL GRIP OR FOLDING (etc.) STOCK STILL ATACHED - EVEN FOR A MOMENT!!

ALSO, NEVER PUT A BARRELED UPPER RECEIVER WITH A FLASH HIDER ON AN OFF-LIST LOWER , UNLESS A NONDETACHABLE LO-CAP MAG HAS ALREADY BEEN AFFIXED."

Same question as 3), basically... if, at say this private tactical shooting course that we were going to take in LA, my buddy takes the set screw out of the Prince 50, does that automatically make him a felon for having created a banned AW, via CA law? Would it make him a felon if he took the set screw out and dropped the mag to reload?

4) Oh, and this came to mind... Obviously, most CalGunners are civilians, so they're stuck with the crappy 10 rd mag limitation. Can my buddy, as a LEO, attach whatever capacity mag he likes, as long as he follows whatever other rules apply to him? 30 rounder? 200 round drum (if they made it)?

5) Finally, if it is illegal for him to take the set screw out, or for someone with a bullet button and evil features to hit the button and drop the mag... how the hell do you reload one of these things legally? Do you have to strip off all of the evil features and then switch mags? Or can the rounds be pushed into the mag from the ejection port? (Sorry, I don't have too much familiarity with that aspect of these things.)

-Thanks guys!

bwiese
12-12-2007, 12:55 AM
1) When a CA LEO purchases an OLL AR build W/O AN AW LETTER FROM THEIR CHIEF, do all of the same rules apply to them as to civilians with respect to that rifle?

Yup. Cops have gone to jail for AW possession/sales.


2) Is a letter from a LE chief permission to buy? or possess? an AW?

2a) Is a letter needed from a chief for a sworn CA LEO to possess, what by CA law is an AW?[/quote]

Yes, indirectly. The letter is used to get an AW permit from DOJ.

In fact it appears various SoCal PDs authorize their cops or deputies to buy OLLs and file for AW permits, then convert the legal OLL rifle into an AW after the DOJ LE AW permit arrives.


3) If the letter from the chief is only permission to buy the weapon, can a LEO purchase an OLL build and then configure it in any manner they desire? (i.e., detachable mag @ same time as evil features?)

See above. The formal letter is used to get a DOJ AW LE permit. The way the law works, that DOJ permit actually allows manufacture as well as acquisition/possession of an AW.


3a) I read in the OLL FAQ: "NEVER HAVE AN OFF-LIST LOWER RECEIVER WITH AN OPEN MAGAZINE WELL AND A PISTOL GRIP OR FOLDING (etc.) STOCK STILL ATACHED - EVEN FOR A MOMENT!!

ALSO, NEVER PUT A BARRELED UPPER RECEIVER WITH A FLASH HIDER ON AN OFF-LIST LOWER , UNLESS A NONDETACHABLE LO-CAP MAG HAS ALREADY BEEN AFFIXED."

That's a bit outdated and was the product of initial hyperconservative paranoia at the end of 2005.

An off-list lower is just that - a lower, regardless of presense/absence of stocks or grips or mags. It's not (1) semiauto or (2) centerfire until the upper is attached.

However, when the semiauto upper is mounted that lower better either have a 10rd fixed mag if rifle has 'evil features' - or no evil feature can be present (and something like a Monster Man grip is used, which does not conform to the legal definition of pistol grip.)

Same question as 3), basically... if, at say this private tactical shooting course that we were going to take in LA, my buddy takes the set screw out of the Prince 50, does that automatically make him a felon for having created a banned AW, via CA law? Would it make him a felon if he took the set screw out and dropped the mag to reload?

Yes! Because after that a mag could be dropped, reinserted and dropped without use of a tool.

By contrast the special latching mechanism of the BulletButton device always requires a tool (even if it's a bullet tip) to remove the magazine. When it latches back in, it again requires tool for removal. That makes that setup continually compliant by avoiding the 'detachable magazine' definition, and avoids triggering the primary generic definition of AW. (For AW matters, a magazine is detachable if and only if it takes a tool to remove. A loose Prince 50 by contrast, allows a mag to be inserted and removed without a tool.)


4) Oh, and this came to mind... Obviously, most CalGunners are civilians, so they're stuck with the crappy 10 rd mag limitation. Can my buddy, as a LEO, attach whatever capacity mag he likes, as long as he follows whatever other rules apply to him? 30 rounder? 200 round drum (if they made it)?

Of course it does. He doesn't have an AW permit so he's restricted to non-AW configurations... The alternate definition of generic AW is a semiauto centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine holding over 10 rounds.

Anytime you have a fixed mag, it must be 10 rounds or less or you've created an illegal AW by an alternate definition.



5) Finally, if it is illegal for him to take the set screw out, or for someone with a bullet button and evil features to hit the button and drop the mag... how the hell do you reload one of these things legally? Do you have to strip off all of the evil features and then switch mags? Or can the rounds be pushed into the mag from the ejection port? (Sorry, I don't have too much familiarity with that aspect of these things.)

This is the contrast with the BulletButton vs. other methods of affixing (screws, Prince50, etc.)

If you have a BulletButton, you can have all evil features mounted. The Bullet button never 'comes loose' and always requires the mag to be unlatched with a tool after it's been reinserted. Thus we have the case where a non-detachable mag (per 11 CCR 5469(a)) is still removable. The BB-affixed 10rd mag can be removed using a tool, loaded and reinserted - and the cycle continues after that mag is empty, a tool (even a bullet tip works) is again required to remove magazine. Even though the magazine is removed, it's not a 'detachable magazine' per regulatory definition.

By contrast, taking the setscrew out of other types of mag fixing devices renders a loose unrestricted mag well that can freely accept/release mags without use of a tool. These guns are illegal AWs if they have any evil features from 12276.1PC (pistol grip, telestock, flash hider, etc.)

Crazed_SS
12-12-2007, 12:59 AM
It's pretty simple.. if a LEO doesnt have a letter authorizing him/her to have a real AR, then he's pretty much bound by the same rules as you and me.

If he attaches a 30 rd mag to a fixed-mag build, he has an AW
If he removes the set screw, he has an AW

Etc, etc..

Either way, he should read up on all the laws and talk to his dept about the issue if he's unsure about anything

gcrtkd
12-12-2007, 1:19 AM
Thanks a lot BWiese & Crazed--

I appreciate the time you two took to respond... esp. considering it's 0100 here in San Jose. If it's after midnight and we're talking about guns, doesn't that mean something?

I am going to forward the link for this thread to my buddy and make sure he knows that my suspicions were correct about loosening/removing the set screw on his Prince 50. I have been wondering for a couple of weeks whether the bullet button required the "tool" to be used both for removing AND inserting the mags. If I were to get an OLL build, I think I'd go with the BB... I know it's wrong, but it feels so right! As for the >10 rd. mag capacity for LEOs question... this was something that I did not know about the "alternative CA AW definition"... that 10 rd mag max was included therein, even for LEOs. I'm going to have to apologize for blue-balling him on that one.

Ahhh well, such is life in CA. Fingers crossed for Heller/Parker & Ron Paul...

-gcrtkd

bwiese
12-12-2007, 1:27 AM
I am going to forward the link for this thread to my buddy and make sure he knows that my suspicions were correct about loosening/removing the set screw on his Prince 50.

Good. And we can use your friend to spread the word in SJPD since they've had some 'knowledge issues' there.


I have been wondering for a couple of weeks whether the bullet button required the "tool" to be used both for removing AND inserting the mags. If I were to get an OLL build, I think I'd go with the BB... I know it's wrong, but it feels so right!

It's NOT *wrong*. It allows a non-detachable (but removable) magazine in full complaince with 12276.1PC and 11 CCR 5469(a).


As for the >10 rd. mag capacity for LEOs question... this was something that I did not know about the "alternative CA AW definition"... that 10 rd mag max was included therein, even for LEOs.

It's in the Penal Code and was even in the FAQ.

I fully expect however someone will be stupid and have a fixed 20rd mag: I believe it's already happened with the Thirty Caliber Idiots down in LA area after LAPD Gun Unit started going after M1A folks with flash hiders that were't reg'd AWs. Seems these M1A guys that thought they could get by with this panicked, saw what the AR guys were doing but didn't think it all the way through, and screwed down 20rd fixe mags - so they had two ways the gun was an AW, not one - further digging themselves in the hole.

gcrtkd
12-12-2007, 1:46 AM
BWiese--

No, no... you're right. The 10 rd definition is in the FAQ... I was just so focused on the "Non-detachable mag = evil features allowed" definition while explaining things to my buddy that, when the high-cap mag issue popped into my head, I thought, "Wait a second! I may be onto something..." Mea culpa. I told him in the e-mail that I just sent that he's stuck w/ 10 rounders w/o a letter.

Also, I didn't mean "wrong", like using a BB is a crime... I meant wrong like, "Oh god... how could someone emasculate an AR in such a way???" Maybe I should have said, "It's right... but it feels so wrong." (BTW, the m-w.com definition of emasculate is pretty funny/sad in this context: to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit. (Hmmm, apparently, we have no crying emoticon.))

Sorry, but my amigo isn't SJPD, though I live in their jurisdiction. Is there a firearms expert that they have who OLL information could be relayed through to prevent misunderstandings re: OLLs? Thinking about it just briefly doesn't bring any specific person or position to mind. It's not like you could just call 311 and say, "Hey, I have some information about CA-legal ARs and I want to tell you about it." Oh well, food for thought.

I don't know about you guys, but I have work tomorrow... getting sleepy...

-gcrtkd

Hoop
12-12-2007, 9:51 AM
4) Oh, and this came to mind... Obviously, most CalGunners are civilians, so they're stuck with the crappy 10 rd mag limitation. Can my buddy, as a LEO, attach whatever capacity mag he likes, as long as he follows whatever other rules apply to him? 30 rounder? 200 round drum (if they made it)?


He'll learn to love those 10 rounders when he sees what 223 ammo is going for these days...

USN CHIEF
12-12-2007, 10:02 AM
He'll learn to love those 10 rounders when he sees what 223 ammo is going for these days...

Hoop, I will be using this as my signature until I find a better one:43: