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Lupara
11-07-2013, 10:09 AM
I've been researching current California laws as it has to do with "antique firearms" usage as compared to modern firearms useage. No one has been able to show me definitive California penal codes that clearly explain what rules apply to modern firearms and what rules apply to antique firearms.

I've drafted a letter to Cal DOJ as some here have suggested but then I find wording on the DOJ website saying that only county and state officials can ask for legal opinions. Does anyone here know if there is a way for a private citizen or a private attorney to get questions answered by Cal DOJ? I heard that DOJ issued a ruling on the AR "bullet button" issue, how was that initiated?

Any information on this would be appreciated, thanks

PoorRichRichard
11-07-2013, 10:11 AM
CalGuns "off topic" forum:D

chainsaw
11-07-2013, 10:24 AM
You contact a person who has been licensed by the state of California to give legal advice. Meaning a lawyer (and member of the bar). Note that the legal opinion from one lawyer is not an automatic "get out of jail card", since it is quite possible that the lawyer you hire happens to be wrong. It is also quite possible that the area you are interested in is a gray area, where the law is subject to interpretation. In our society, we have formal mechanisms for interpreting laws, and they are called "courts". The problem is that you can't just go to a court and demand an explanation, first you have to have standing. Which usually means: you have already been arrested, and are being tried for braking the law. Not a comfortable way to get a legal opinion.

Contacting the DoJ has become pointless. The DoJ used to respond to requests for clarification, and one deputy AG in particular (Allison) used to write lots of letters that ended up causing her to get wrapped around the axle. Since about 2006, the DoJ has completely clammed up. They are not in the business of giving free legal advice to individual citizens, exactly as their website says.

The "ruling" on the BB is not a ruling per se. It was part of a court case, and a DoJ agent was being questioned under oath. His words are now part of the record of that case, and as such can be quoted.

If the issue is federal, then contacting the ATF (typically the technical branch) can be fruitful.

My suggestion: Either ask the question here, in the 2A forum, and you'll get advice worth every penny (but often pretty good advice). Or hire an attorney, there are lots of good attorneys who specialize in gun law, some advertise on this site. Or print out the code, and read it carefully over and over, and ask detailed questions about its interpretation. Understanding the law is not actually that hard, for a person with normal critical thinking skills.

Librarian
11-07-2013, 11:39 AM
A lawsuit on the point is likely the best mechanism; unfortunately, that has the risk of one being arrested and losing.

Or, contact one of the gun law specialist firms - Calguns member CMonfort of Michel and Associates might be a good place to start.

Tincon
11-07-2013, 12:17 PM
You contact a person who has been licensed by the state of California to give legal advice. Meaning a lawyer (and member of the bar).


This; and


Or, contact one of the gun law specialist firms - Calguns member CMonfort of Michel and Associates might be a good place to start.

This.

Lupara
11-07-2013, 12:47 PM
Thank you, your explanation is very helpful.

I have both asked the advice of other fine folks on this forum site and have read all the California Penal Code Sections that describe lawful interaction with firearms in California. As I read the code sections I see implied rights having to do with antique firearms that others don't see, so I will set my Cal DOJ letter aside and try contacting a local attorney that, I understand, represents CalGun members on occasion.

I'll let all know what I find out.

Thanks again

cr250chevy
11-08-2013, 5:58 PM
Why do you need clarification? Aren't laws supposed to be written in a manner that the majority of citizens can understand them just by reading them? (Insert sarcastic face here).

curtisfong
11-08-2013, 10:58 PM
You can ask the DOJ or a cop, and from there, assume the opposite of everything they say is true.

JoshuaS
11-09-2013, 12:08 PM
While I agree the laws are confusing, it is not that difficult to see what rules apply to one as opposed to the other. Sell a cap and ball to your neighbor without background check? Legal. For the purposes of DROS and PPT laws the definition of firearm does not apply to antiques.

Stick a cap and ball in your coat and walk down the street? You are now illegally carrying a firearm.. The law isn't ambiguous on that.

Same with open carry. You will be arrested and rightly so.


This isn't hard.

16520. (a) As used in this part, "firearm" means a device, designed
to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a
projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.

(d) As used in the following provisions, "firearm" does not
include an unloaded antique firearm:
(1) Subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 16730.
(2) Section 16550.
(3) Section 16960.
(4) Section 17310.
(5) Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 26350) of Division 5 of
Title 4.
(6) Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 26400) of Division 5 of
Title 4.
(7) Sections 26500 to 26588, inclusive.
(8) Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive.
(9) Section 27510.
(10) Section 27530.
(11) Section 27540.
(12) Section 27545.
(13) Sections 27555 to 27570, inclusive.
(14) Sections 29010 to 29150, inclusive.

(f) As used in Sections 17280 and 24680, "firearm" has the same
meaning as in Section 922 of Title 18 of the United States Code.




In any and all other cases it does include "antiques". With a very narrow exception, the same open carry restrictions. And banned from CCW without a license too.

chainsaw
11-10-2013, 7:31 PM
You can ask the DOJ or a cop, and from there, assume the opposite of everything they say is true.

That advice is wrong.

Dvrjon
11-10-2013, 8:25 PM
I heard that DOJ issued a ruling on the AR "bullet button" issue, how was that initiated?

Any information on this would be appreciated, thanks
The "ruling" on the BB is not a ruling per se. It was part of a court case, and a DoJ agent was being questioned under oath. His words are now part of the record of that case, and as such can be quoted.
Not correct. The Bullet Button arose during regulatory hearings on 2000 on the assault weapons ban. The Final Statement of Reasons discussing this is here: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/regs/fsor.pdfSeveral comments were made that claimed that an assault weapon pursuant to PC section 12276 has a detachable magazine requiring the use of a bullet tip or cartridge to remove it from the firearm. The comments claimed that if a bullet or ammunition cartridge were to be considered a tool, these types of firearms statutorily defined as assault weapons would not meet the definition of having a detachable magazine. For that reason the Department added “For the purpose of this definition, a bullet or ammunition cartridge is not a tool.”

The Department further researched the claims and confirmed that it is necessary to identify a bullet or ammunition cartridge as a tool to allow certain firearms with fixed magazines to remain fixed by definition. The definition was again revised to read “detachable magazine means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor the use of a tool being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool.
And the Bullet Button was in force.

Now, to the OPs question. Some suggestions have been made and may work. Additionally, you have the ability to write to your elected representatives in the Assembly or the Senate, and ask them to provide a Statement of Legislative Intent regarding the legality of carrying concealed an antique black powder pistol.

Cheers.

JR

Librarian
11-10-2013, 8:55 PM
That advice is wrong.

It may prove to be wrong in any given instance, but it's a very good way to set expectations in California.

chainsaw
11-11-2013, 6:43 AM
… The Bullet Button arose during regulatory hearings on 2000 on the assault weapons ban. … And the Bullet Button was in force. …

The bullet button relies on the concept of a magazine that is attachable but not detachable without the use of tools, and detachable with the use of tools. That concept was discussed here in 2005 or 2006, after the OLL revolution; the first year of OLLs we used either featureless rifles (which can have detachable magazines), typically by replacing the pistol grip with an SRB, Monsterman fin, or U15 stock, or top-loading rifles with magazines that are neither attachable nor detachable (usually by using a Prince kit to lock them down). All of these designs are based on the various parts of the CA AWB, which were in force by 2000.

The memo you describe here is from 2000. All it does in this particular instance is describe the text of the 2000 AWB, which was passed by the legislature in 1999.

Please explain how a memo from 2000 can rule on the legality of a device that didn't even exist until about 5 years later.

Dvrjon
11-11-2013, 8:16 AM
All of these designs are based on the various parts of the CA AWB, which were in force by 2000.

The memo you describe here is from 2000. All it does in this particular instance is describe the text of the 2000 AWB, which was passed by the legislature in 1999.

Please explain how a memo from 2000 can rule on the legality of a device that didn't even exist until about 5 years later.

1. It's not a memo. It is the official record of public hearings, comments and regulatory decisions made during the promulgation of regulations in support of the AWB. It also does not simply describe the text of the AWB, but provides a discussion on the points raised during the public comment period and the resulting decisions made on the regulations.

The Roberto-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989, required the OAG to establish regulations to implement the law. You can find this reference today in PC 30515(c):
California Penal Code Section 30520.
(a) The Attorney General shall prepare a description for
identification purposes, including a picture or diagram, of each
assault weapon listed in Section 30510, and any firearm declared to
be an assault weapon pursuant to former Section 12276.5, as it read
in Section 3 of Chapter 19 of the Statutes of 1989, Section 1 of
Chapter 874 of the Statutes of 1990, or Section 3 of Chapter 954 of
the Statutes of 1991, and shall distribute the description to all law
enforcement agencies responsible for enforcement of this chapter.
Those law enforcement agencies shall make the description available
to all agency personnel.
(c) The Attorney General shall adopt those rules and regulations
that may be necessary or proper to carry out the purposes and intent
of this chapter.

Regulations are controlled through the Administrative Procedures Act through the California Office of Administrative Law. Look here: http://www.oal.ca.gov/administrative_procedure_act.htm

The final regulations which arose from this process are now within the California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 11 section 5469 (formerly section 978.20).

Title 11. Law
Division 5. Firearms Regulations
Chapter 39. Assault Weapons and Large- Capacity Magazines
Article 2. Definitions of Terms Used to Identify Assault Weapons
§ 5469. Definitions.

The following definitions apply to terms used in the identification of assault weapons pursuant to Penal Code section 30515:

(a) “Detachable magazine” means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool. Ammunition feeding device includes any belted or linked ammunition, but does not include clips, en bloc clips, or stripper clips that load cartridges into the magazine.
Look here:http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=CCR-1000&SPC=Timeout

2. When the State established the regulation that a bullet can be a tool to release the magazine, the industry was able to respond with the bullet button.

Cheers.

JR

chainsaw
11-11-2013, 10:42 AM
The question asked by the OP was (and I quote):
I heard that DOJ issued a ruling on the AR "bullet button" issue, how was that initiated?
You keep responding with documents from 2000.
The bullet button was created in 2005.

Please explain how a document from 2000 can rule on the legality of an artifact that didn't exist in 2000, and only started existing 5 years later. It can't.

Correct answer: There is a statement from a DoJ official on the legality of the bullet button. It came out in about 2007 or 2008, by Agent Chinn (can't remember whether he's spelled with one or two n at the end), as part of a lawsuit. Don't believe me? Ask Gene or Bill.

Dvrjon
11-11-2013, 12:39 PM
The question asked by the OP was (and I quote):

You keep responding with documents from 2000.
The bullet button was created in 2005.

Please explain how a document from 2000 can rule on the legality of an artifact that didn't exist in 2000, and only started existing 5 years later. It can't.

Correct answer: There is a statement from a DoJ official on the legality of the bullet button. It came out in about 2007 or 2008, by Agent Chinn (can't remember whether he's spelled with one or two n at the end), as part of a lawsuit. Don't believe me? Ask Gene or Bill.

omg.
Without the regulatory definition of a bullet as a tool to release the magazine, there would be no "bullet button". That definition was put in place in regulation in 2000.

OK. I don't believe you.
Now, to your case law. I suspect you are referring to Haynie v. Pleasanton, but that was in 2011, not 2007/9 (although it probably started in 2009). In that action, DOJ finally sought dismissal because: (http://ia700507.us.archive.org/10/items/gov.uscourts.cand.225676/gov.uscourts.cand.225676.26.1.pdf)

Page 5, Motion to Dismiss, 2011.
14 are subject to the AWCA and which weapons are exempt from it. Plaintiff Haynie was arrested
15 in Alameda County for allegedly violating the AWCA , when Pleasanton Police thought that his
16 Colt AR-15 was a banned weapon. FAC ¶ 12. However, the rifle possessed by Haynie was
17 equipped with a “bullet button,” a device which required the use of a tool to remove the
18 magazine, taking the weapon out of the statutory definition of an assault weapon. FAC ¶15.
19 Therefore , charges were never filed, and Pleasanton stipulated to Plaintiff Haynie’s factual
20 innocence and agreed to pay for Haynie’s bail bond costs.

As Gene said in 2011, regarding this filing: (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=6348460&postcount=13)

This filing is an admission in a Federal Court by the Attorney General of California that a properly installed bullet button on an off list rifle is not a semiautomatic centerfire rifle with the capacity to accept a detachable magazine.

You can't get much more affirmative or official than that. It's in some ways more binding than an official AG "opinion" as it's a position taken in an adversarial Federal action.

-Gene
Note that this is not an official finding or opinion, as Gene noted. This assertion to the Court that the "bullet button" takes the weapon out of the statutory definition of an assault weapon appears to be the first overt assertion by OAG that the bullet button was legal. Oh. I have no clue what this whole "Agent Chin(n)" BS is, but clearly, if a DOJ official had issued a statement on this on 2007/8 Gene would not have made his statement in 2011.

But to put the fine tip on my point, you can't have a legal bullet button if the bullet is not defined as a tool. And that happened in 2000 during regulatory proceedings.

I'm done with you on this.

Cheers and best wishes.

JR

taperxz
11-11-2013, 2:08 PM
omg.
Without the regulatory definition of a bullet as a tool to release the magazine, there would be no "bullet button". That definition was put in place in regulation in 2000.

OK. I don't believe you.
Now, to your case law. I suspect you are referring to Haynie v. Pleasanton, but that was in 2011, not 2007/9 (although it probably started in 2009). In that action, DOJ finally sought dismissal because: (http://ia700507.us.archive.org/10/items/gov.uscourts.cand.225676/gov.uscourts.cand.225676.26.1.pdf)



As Gene said in 2011, regarding this filing: (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=6348460&postcount=13)

Note that this is not an official finding or opinion, as Gene noted. This assertion to the Court that the "bullet button" takes the weapon out of the statutory definition of an assault weapon appears to be the first overt assertion by OAG that the bullet button was legal. Oh. I have no clue what this whole "Agent Chin(n)" BS is, but clearly, if a DOJ official had issued a statement on this on 2007/8 Gene would not have made his statement in 2011.

But to put the fine tip on my point, you can't have a legal bullet button if the bullet is not defined as a tool. And that happened in 2000 during regulatory proceedings.

I'm done with you on this.

Cheers and best wishes.

JR

You need to stop relying on Genes words. His analysis has been wrong a few times. On top of that, your version of the story is convoluted and mis interpreted.

I think even Gene would correct you of your errors and understanding of the events.

Most of the "bullet being a tool" debacle had more to do with the SKS and nothing to do with the Bullet Button which was introduced 5-6 years later. Even if a bullet wasn't allowed to be a tool, an awl, nail, screwdriver ect. would be.

Which really blows a big hole in your analysis.

Dvrjon
11-11-2013, 5:05 PM
You need to stop relying on Genes words. His analysis has been wrong a few times. On top of that, your version of the story is convoluted and mis interpreted.

I think even Gene would correct you of your errors and understanding of the events.
First, it was Chainsaw who invoked Gene, not I.

The irony of this is too much:
You state that we should not rely on Gene's words as his analysis has been wrong, and then you state Gene would correct the errors and misunderstandings. You discredited the validity of your authority and then invoked him as the knowledgeable source? :facepalm:

THAT will blow a big hole in your analysis.
Most of the "bullet being a tool" debacle had more to do with the SKS and nothing to do with the Bullet Button which was introduced 5-6 years later.
If you read the Final Statement of Reasons previously provided, you will find that the public hearings on the regulations garnered some 1300 separate comments. DOJ indicates 4 of these comments related to the SKS. You will find this on page 2/85 and labeled as comment A1.2. Four comments out of 1300 is not "most".
Even if a bullet wasn't allowed to be a tool, an awl, nail, screwdriver ect. would be.
But then, it would be an Awl Button, or a Nail Button, or a Screwdriver Button. But it wouldn't be a BULLET Button.

Which really blows a big hole in your analysis.

Look, none of this is convoluted. It was part of the regulatory process mandated by law. If that process had not defined a bullet as a tool for magazine release, the release known as the Bullet Button would probably be called the car key button.:)

And that was, and is still, the point.

/thread

taperxz
11-11-2013, 5:29 PM
First, it was Chainsaw who invoked Gene, not I.

The irony of this is too much:
You state that we should not rely on Gene's words as his analysis has been wrong, and then you state Gene would correct the errors and misunderstandings. You discredited the validity of your authority and then invoked him as the knowledgeable source? :facepalm:

THAT will blow a big hole in your analysis.

If you read the Final Statement of Reasons previously provided, you will find that the public hearings on the regulations garnered some 1300 separate comments. DOJ indicates 4 of these comments related to the SKS. You will find this on page 2/85 and labeled as comment A1.2. Four comments out of 1300 is not "most".

But then, it would be an Awl Button, or a Nail Button, or a Screwdriver Button. But it wouldn't be a BULLET Button.

Which really blows a big hole in your analysis.

Look, none of this is convoluted. It was part of the regulatory process mandated by law. If that process had not defined a bullet as a tool for magazine release, the release known as the Bullet Button would probably be called the car key button.:)

And that was, and is still, the point.

/thread

Wow! You do realize that Bullet Button is a trade mark name don't you?

You do realize that there are other magazine locks in the market place too, do t you? Please do a little more research on the subject.

Tissue paper> Kleenex.

Mag lock> Bullet Button

Dvrjon
11-11-2013, 6:38 PM
Oh my gosh, I see it now.
You're right!
I apologize.
/thread.

taperxz
11-11-2013, 6:56 PM
Cheers.

Now I get it.

Ninety
11-11-2013, 7:09 PM
From what I understand Antique long guns aren't covered under the new open carry laws...

someone correct me if I'm wrong but you can open carry an antique long arm right?