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View Full Version : 20 & 30 (>10) Round Magazine Laws?


Nanook
04-15-2008, 11:20 AM
Hi Folks,

So I feel I have a good grasp of on part of the laws governing >10 round magazines. I'm referring to OLLs specifically here. One cannot import, manufacture, lend or sell a full capacity magazine in CA. Thusly, it is not illegal to own, find or buy one from a CA dealer, including the recently discussed armored car operator selling scenario.

Hypothetically speaking, once said 30 round magazine is in one's possession, it is legal to own, provided one did not acquire it illegally, but what happens when one inserts it in to an OLL with a BB and other fun/evil features? So is it legal to own, but never to use in one's OLL?

I have been reading so much here, that the second paragraph is hazy for me and I'd like to clarify. I have searched, but couldn't find what I'm looking for.

Thanks!

-N

AJAX22
04-15-2008, 11:28 AM
I can't speak to the legality of the armored car scenario.... I just don't know the details as well as I should.

However I do know that you CANNOT insert a +10 round mag into a BB gun as ANY semi auto centerfire rifle with a +10 round fixed mag capacity is an instant Assult Weapon regardless of features.

If you want to run your legally owned pre 2000 full capacity magazines you need to do so in a featureless build that is NOT equipped with a magazine locking device.

bwiese
04-15-2008, 11:29 AM
Thusly, it is not illegal to own, find or buy one from a CA dealer

Yes, it ain't illegal to own (unless that were perhaps a continuing element of the crime triggered by an illegal acquisition). And I consider "finding one" to be in BS category. And no, Virginia, dealers can't sell hicap mags. The other scenario is being evaluated and decisions will be made post-Heller.

once said 30 round magazine is in one's possession, it is legal to own, provided one did not acquire it illegally, but what happens when one inserts it in to an OLL with a BB and other fun/evil features? So is it legal to own, but never to use in one's OLL?A BB or Prince50 or even a screwed down mag catch renders the rifle to have what would be regarded as a 'fixed' magazine.

Remember that the secondary definition of a generic rifle-based AW per 12276.1PC is a semauto centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine holding over 10 rounds - so you don't wanna go there.

If you wanna use detachable magazines of any (legal) capacity on your semiauto centerfire rifle, remove all evil features and use either a MonsterMan grip or a California Rifles U15 stock.

BONECUTTER
04-15-2008, 11:30 AM
Hypothetically speaking, once said 30 round magazine is in one's possession, it is legal to own, provided one did not acquire it illegally, but what happens when one inserts it in to an OLL with a BB and other fun/evil features? So is it legal to own, but never to use in one's OLL?

-N

No evil features you could run 150 round drum mags if they are legally possessed.

Evil features.....no more then 10 rounds fixed. If it holds more then 10 (even if fixed) its an AW.

Hopi
04-15-2008, 11:38 AM
No evil features you could run 150 round drum mags if they are legally possessed.



Can you please describe a situation where a magazine could be 'illegally possessed'?
I don't believe there exists a situation where they could be illegally possessed. If you are detained/arrested while in the act of importing them, you would trigger import laws, not possession laws. Maybe I'm wrong.

bwiese
04-15-2008, 11:44 AM
Can you please describe a situation where a magazine could be 'illegally possessed'?
I don't believe there exists a situation where they could be illegally possessed.

Whoa, let's not get too far off the reservation.

If the hicap mags were illegally imported or manufactured, I think it could be argued that a continuing crime exists derived from the initiating illegal activity. Let's not confuse strength of 'burden of proof' issues with actual legality/illegality.

Hopi
04-15-2008, 11:45 AM
Let's not get too far off the reservation.



Ha. Is that a reference to my screen name? :eek:

BONECUTTER
04-15-2008, 11:47 AM
Can you please describe a situation where a magazine could be 'illegally possessed'?
I don't believe there exists a situation where they could be illegally possessed. If you are detained/arrested while in the act of importing them, you would trigger import laws, not possession laws. Maybe I'm wrong.

You are correct but you would be amazed the amount of people I hear who admit to doing wrong.

Big O
04-15-2008, 12:21 PM
So does this mean inserting a 20 round magazine one legally purchased in the previous century makes an M1A assault weapon?

FlyingPen
04-15-2008, 12:21 PM
Whoa, let's not get too far off the reservation.

If the hicap mags were illegally imported or manufactured, I think it could be argued that a continuing crime exists derived from the initiating illegal activity. Let's not confuse strength of 'burden of proof' issues with actual legality/illegality.

Is there a statute of limitations on that?

Hopi
04-15-2008, 12:25 PM
So does this mean inserting a 20 round magazine one legally purchased in the previous century makes an M1A assault weapon?

No. Only firearms with fixed magazines have capacity limits of 10.

m1match
04-15-2008, 12:29 PM
Read Bwiese' post carefully- if you have a BB equipped rifle with "evil features", ie pistol grip, flash suppressor, forward hand grip, etc, inserting a greater than 10 rd. mag into it automatically creates an AW violation under California law. If you have a "featureless rifle", like an M1A or Mini 14, one that you can legally possess with detachable magazines, (and no evil features like flash suppressor, forward handgrip, etc) you can use legally possessed magazines of greater than 10 rd capacity all you want.

Hopi
04-15-2008, 12:34 PM
Read Bwiese' post carefully- if you have a BB equipped rifle with "evil features", ie pistol grip, flash suppressor, forward hand grip, etc, inserting a greater than 10 rd. mag into it automatically creates an AW violation under California law. If you have a "featureless rifle", like an M1A, Mini 14, OLL with Monsterman grip (and no evil features like flash suppressor, forward handgrip, etc) you can use legally possessed magazines of greater than 10 rd capacity all you want.

Also, even w/out evil features, if you have a BB/P50 equipped firearm, you still cannot legally use a magazine with a capacity greater than 10. This seems redundant, but there is a looooong active discussion re: Bullet Buttons and 'pre-ban' mags.

A fixed magazine, with or without evil features, is an assault weapon if the magazine can hold more than 10 rounds.

bwiese
04-15-2008, 1:18 PM
So does this mean inserting a 20 round magazine one legally purchased in the previous century makes an M1A assault weapon?


There is no issue of (legal) use of pre-2000 magazines in any firearm that can have a detachable magazine.

The only issue would be if that 20rd magazine were *fixed* (i.e., nondetachable, requires a tool to remove, etc) to the gun: then the gun would be an AW since it would trigger the alternate definition of AW.

Remember also that an M1A with a flash hider is an AW since it's a semiauto centerfire w/detachable mag plus one evil feature (the flash hider)

Some of what I call the 'Thirty Caliber Idiots' down in SoCal appear to have panicked when they heard about "M1A Guy's" bust by LA Gun Police a year or so ago - and instead of removing their flash hiders, they appear to have more fully documented their poor reading skills by creating fixed magazine M1As using 20rd mags. Real bright guys, those.

bwiese
04-15-2008, 1:27 PM
Is there a statute of limitations on that?

Perhaps, but unsure of the 'continuing crime' aspects vs overriding SOL. Real lawyers have to deal with crap like that.

adamsreeftank
04-15-2008, 3:25 PM
The idea that an M1A with a legal 20 rounder in its original configuration is totally legal, but if you bolt that same magazine in, or even if the gun breaks and you need a tool to remove the legal mag, then it has turned into an illegal assault weapon just shows how rediculous the law is and how poorly it was written.

Nanook
04-16-2008, 10:01 AM
Wow, thanks for all the informative replies! I had a feeling that's the way it was.

A shame, as I was following the armored car company thread with bated breath, but all those mags would be just "ammo holders" unless I neutered my gun... :(

FABIO GETS GOOSED!!!
04-16-2008, 1:43 PM
And no, Virginia, dealers can't sell hicap mags.

It's been a while but I thought that last year you were saying that FFLs could sell hicap mags?

Pont
04-16-2008, 2:05 PM
What legal basis do you have for this statement? If you import a high capacity mag, the only crime you have committed is the importation, I think the law is pretty clear on that. As has been stated many times before, if possession is not regulated (and it isn't), it doesn't somehow become regulated if the magazine has illegal origins. When the only crime is illegal importation, then the ONLY crime you can be charged with is illegal importation, seems simple to me.

Let's say someone could "prove" person X sold 1000 kilos of crack, but that the sale occured 10 years ago; in that case it's clear that the statute of limitations protects person X. How would this any different than proving person X sold/imported a high capacity magazine outside the statute of limitations?

I don't think anyone is arguing that it actually *is* illegal simply to possess a "high-cap" magazine. But it sure isn't going to be a legal cakewalk when (not if) they try and nab you for it.

I bet they'd try to get around the statute of limitations by saying that using the illegally obtained magazine was a continuation of the original crime.

gspam1
04-17-2008, 10:27 AM
Read Bwiese' post carefully- if you have a BB equipped rifle with "evil features", ie pistol grip, flash suppressor, forward hand grip, etc, inserting a greater than 10 rd. mag into it automatically creates an AW violation under California law. If you have a "featureless rifle", like an M1A or Mini 14, one that you can legally possess with detachable magazines, (and no evil features like flash suppressor, forward handgrip, etc) you can use legally possessed magazines of greater than 10 rd capacity all you want.

By "legally possesed magazines" do you mean acquired before 2000? If someone had a CA legal version of a Springfield M1A (has muzzle brake not flash supressor), they could not buy a new 20 round detachable magazine for it, correct?

Thanks!

thefifthspeed
04-17-2008, 10:36 AM
By "legally possesed magazines" do you mean acquired before 2000? If someone had a CA legal version of a Springfield M1A (has muzzle brake not flash supressor), they could not buy a new 20 round detachable magazine for it, correct?

Thanks!

correct

.223
04-18-2008, 2:40 AM
INCORRECT. It is perfectly legal to buy and use 20 round magazines. You just can't sell them without a permit.


Nor can one import or manufacture.

thefifthspeed
04-18-2008, 3:34 AM
INCORRECT. It is perfectly legal to buy and use 20 round magazines. You just can't sell them without a permit.

By the letter of the law you are correct but I think what the poster was getting at is could he aquire high caps for rifle now in which case the answer would be no because someone in the chain would be violating the law.

sloguy
04-18-2008, 3:58 AM
as i read this thread, it becomes painfully obvious that many people are visual learners. we need a video showing what not to do, and what is ok. so, a group of us are headed out to nevada for the area52 oll shoot. why dont we make a video showing all the errors that a unknowing calgunner could make and explain things while doing them while we are NOT in california. kind of a video training aid to show calgunners exactly whats california legal and what isnt. including how to properly disassemble the rifle without violating any california laws, and detach a locked magazine for cleaning, without accidentally creating a ca aw.

id need help writing a script, or at least a detailed list of all the variations in the details that people get confused about.

ill have a good video camera when i go to area52, someone want to help with the list of do and donts? id hate to make a video and then find out that i missed something important and cant afford gas money to drive back to nevada just for a few minutes of needed film.

gspam1
04-18-2008, 7:41 AM
INCORRECT. It is perfectly legal to buy and use 20 round magazines. You just can't sell them without a permit.

Wow, now I'm really confused. That was the once piece of CA's magazine rules I thought I had understood (nothing over 10 rounds unless documented as pre-ban). Let me ask it in a practical way.

If I'm at a CA shooting range, with a Springfield M1A Scout with a muzzle brake, can I shoot brand new 20 round detachable magazines without breaking the law?

Thanks!

thefifthspeed
04-18-2008, 3:33 PM
Wow, now I'm really confused. That was the once piece of CA's magazine rules I thought I had understood (nothing over 10 rounds unless documented as pre-ban). Let me ask it in a practical way.

If I'm at a CA shooting range, with a Springfield M1A Scout with a muzzle brake, can I shoot brand new 20 round detachable magazines without breaking the law?

Thanks!

Yes you can.
What the confusion is over is how the term "buy" is thought of by people. Some techincal people like many calgunners take the term literal by the letter of the law in which case like other have said there is nothing that says it is illegal to buy a high cap magazine. But often when you tell people that it is not illegal to buy a high cap mag then many people assume plain and simple "I want one, I'll go buy one" in which case when you go to aquire one someoneone would be breaking the law by:
Either you importing or manufacturing one
Or by another person selling or leanding you one

To be really simple: If you have an M1A and didn't own any high capacity magazines before 2000, just stick with the 10 rounders.

gspam1
04-18-2008, 4:07 PM
Thanks thefifthspeed! I'll stick with the 10 rounders then.