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View Full Version : Kel-Tec Su-16 and OAL laws


Patriot
04-12-2008, 2:38 PM
The Kel-tec Su-16 (with a 16+ inch barrel) isn't considered either a SBR

(2) As used in this section, a "short-barreled rifle" means any of
the following:
(A) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in
length.
(B) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(C) Any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration,
modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an
overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less
than 16 inches in length.
(D) Any device which may be readily restored to fire a fixed
cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in
subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive.
(E) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to
convert a device into a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C),
inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in
subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, may be readily assembled if
those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same
person.

or an AW

Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall
also mean any of the following:
...
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length
of less than 30 inches.

because, though it is 24.9" folded (Kel-tec Su-16CA, website specs (http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/su16ca.html)), it cannot be fired from a folded position, correct?

Given that is the case, on what basis was the 'if it cannot be fired from that configuration, it doesn't violate SBR/AW laws' determination made? Is there a letter or some other formal indication?

Do we know whether this applies just to the Su-16 or to longarms generally?

gosparx
04-12-2008, 2:45 PM
You are right about the reason the gun is legal when shorter than 30" is because it's non-functional when folded... but I've always had the same questions as to who/what decides what does and does not qualify for that exception and what is the definition of 'non-functioning'.

I've got an AK that when I fold the stock, the trigger and charging handle are blocked... making the gun "non-functional" from a practical point of view... but I doubt that is what they mean by 'non-functioning'.

(and yes, I am working on making a stock that when folded doesn't block the trigger or charging handle and at the moment this AK has a nice long barrel extender on it so that it is well over 30" when folded)

hoffmang
04-12-2008, 3:32 PM
There is a DOJ letter somewhere on that. If we can't find it someone can just send a PRAR to DOJ to request a copy.

-Gene

Patriot
04-12-2008, 5:12 PM
There is a DOJ letter somewhere on that. If we can't find it someone can just send a PRAR to DOJ to request a copy.

-Gene

I'd be interesting in seeing what it says if someone can locate a copy.

The Kel-tec SU-16 is an interesting niche - AFAIK there are no other CA-legal folding rifles. There are plenty of folding stocks out there, where the firearm can - if the stock does not obstruct the rifle's working - technically be fired. There are also plenty of rifles that can be taken down, though disassembly precludes operation. The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 folds in a slightly different way, but the extended OAL issues and PG + detachable mag means it isn't CA-legal.

As far as OAL and folding, it seems there are two examples of how a rifle could be legal in this respect if the requirement is akin to "cannot be fired while folded."

With the Su-16, the entire trigger assembly folds down and away from the action:

http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj251/cgpatriot/MVC-005F.jpg

The Sub-2000 separates the bolt and rear of rifle from the chamber/barrel:

http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj251/cgpatriot/subk.jpg

As gosparx pointed out, occluding access to the controls (charging handle, trigger, bolt) might technically prevent a rifle from being fired as well. If I understand it correctly, the rifle 'cannot' be fired closed because a person cannot operate controls necessary to fire the rifle (trigger/charging handle) because the folding stock is in the way. My concern with this example is that it might be possible to slightly unfold the stock so that the rifle can be fired while OAL is still <30" :confused:. In comparison, AFAIK both Kel-tec designs make it mechanically impossible to fire the rifle until completely unfolded.

Out of curiosity I would like to see if any approval language is SU16-specific or phrased more broadly.

bohoki
04-12-2008, 6:11 PM
when a kel tech is folded it is pretty much disassembled

a bit like if you took a camp carbine out of its stock and left it connected via a sling form the stock to a barrel clamp sling mount

now that brings up an interesting situation

you possibly could fire a camp carbine with the stock removed

how could you take it apart for cleaning without mometarily putting it in an illegal configuration

dfletcher
04-12-2008, 6:46 PM
I think I could fire my Mini without the stock. Maybe only once or twice but I'm sure it would go "bang". Probably my M1 carbine also and a SOCOM also.

GW
04-12-2008, 8:05 PM
I think I could fire my Mini without the stock. Maybe only once or twice but I'm sure it would go "bang". Probably my M1 carbine also and a SOCOM also.

I think that might prove painful.:eek:

RANGER295
04-13-2008, 8:10 AM
This is interesting. There are actually quite a few weapons that could be fired without a stock. I have several old .22ís that can be fired without the stock (I tried it with one once). I think you could fire an M1A without a stock (not practically). There are several weapons that could be fired without the buttstock assembly. The AR and AK are examples of these.

I too have wondered about the SU-16. I think it is a change in position on regulation away from being out of compliance. I also find it to be pretty flimsy and donít like it. The weapon just has no heft to it. I like a solid weapon.

There is another option for folding rifles in this state however. Any rim-fire is ok as long as you meet the 26Ē requirement.

Patriot
04-13-2008, 10:53 AM
now that brings up an interesting situation

you possibly could fire a camp carbine with the stock removed

how could you take it apart for cleaning without mometarily putting it in an illegal configuration

This is interesting. There are actually quite a few weapons that could be fired without a stock. I have several old .22ís that can be fired without the stock (I tried it with one once). I think you could fire an M1A without a stock (not practically). There are several weapons that could be fired without the buttstock assembly. The AR and AK are examples of these.

I too have wondered about the SU-16. I think it is a change in position on regulation away from being out of compliance. I also find it to be pretty flimsy and donít like it. The weapon just has no heft to it. I like a solid weapon.

There is another option for folding rifles in this state however. Any rim-fire is ok as long as you meet the 26Ē requirement.

If I read it correctly, the SBR definition in 12020 says "readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge" where the rifle restored to firing configuration would have <16" barrel or <26" OAL. That seems reasonably straightforward.

12276.1(a) appears more ambiguous to me because it doesn't have the "fire a fixed catridge" and "when so restored" language. As it only applies to centerfire semiautomatic rifles, I agree that rimfires shouldn't be at issue here.

I am not all that well-versed on the technical definitions of "rifle," "pistol," etc., but IIRC the best "rifle" definitions we have in CA includes the language "fired from the shoulder"

As used in this section, a "rifle" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

[See these two threads
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=89651
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=89238]

which would probably exclude stock-less "rifles." I don't know how/if this applies to a rifle with the stock temporarily removed (for cleaning, e.g.). Quoting from one of these threads about a purpose-built stock-less "rifle"

it was also the general consensus that this was REALLY walking the razors edge and asking to get dragged into court.

If the CA definition of "rifle" for the purposes of determining OAL includes being fired and/or being fired from the shoulder, one might reasonably assume that folding rifles patterned after the two Kel-tec examples given earlier would not violate the OAL requirement, since they can neither be fired nor shouldered in any meaningful way until fully unfolded (and therefore of legal length). Unfortunately, I see no indication of this in 12276 itself. :( That's why I am interested in what DOJ had to say about SU-16s.