Calguns.net  

Home My iTrader Join the NRA Donate to CGSSA Sponsors CGN Google Search
CA Semiauto Ban(AW)ID Flowchart CA Handgun Ban ID Flowchart CA Shotgun Ban ID Flowchart
Go Back   Calguns.net > Blogs > Kestryll
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Rate this Entry

Legalities of the Kimber PepperBlaster in CA

Posted 11-14-2013 at 11:35 PM by Kestryll

I live in Los Angeles, where the chances of obtaining a License to Carry a firearm for self protection are miniscule. Wanting something to use for defense and not being fond of the standard 'spray bottle' pepper sprays I was drawn to the Kimber PepperBlaster. Being concerned as to if these are legal to buy or carry here in California I called Kimber.

On the legal issue, it's clear and hazy..
The Customer Service rep said that Yes, they are legal in California.
Then he told me that Kimber however has a recent policy that they will not mail order them to California.
But he told me that Midway, CTD and Cabela's would because they are legal.

Since the legal issue was as clear as a crystal wine glass filled with mud I asked about the mechanism and propulsion system.

When the 'trigger' is pressed a primer is struck igniting a small disk of gunpowder which burns and expands in a chamber forcing a piston to compress the pepperspray pressurizing it and forcing it out the nozzle aerating it and forming the liquid pepperspray in to a mist of liquid particles moving very quickly.

The gunpowder and primer part are concerning but I'm not entirely convinced that this would qualify as a firearm.
The charge is used not to propel a projectile but instead compresses a piston much like the explosion in a car's cylinder propels a piston.

Also the law as I recall it says that the pepper spray must be fired in an aerosol which is by definition "a suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in gas <smoke, fog, and mist>" or more exactingly "Extremely-fine liquid droplets or solid particles that remain suspended in air as fog or smoke. These are non-gaseous microscopic bits (with radius from one-hundredth to one ten-millionth of a centimeter, or 100 to 0.001 micrometer)."

So we have a charge the does NOT fire a projectile nor does the gas exit the nozzle, it creates a compressed environment which then forces a liquid out of a nozzle at high speed creating an aerosol spray.

My reasoning says this does not fit the definition of a firearm but does meet the requirements to be an 'aerosol delivery system'. If the Pepper Blaster were to be considered a 'firearm' due to the gun powder compressor wouldn't the nail guns at Home Depot and Lowe's be considered as such too since they use .22 blanks to fire nails as a 'projectile'? I would think the Kimber Pepper Blaster would be less legally gray than those power hammers.

When the chemical leaves the nozzle it IS an aerosol spray, remember aerosol simply means an aerated liquid.
It is not encapsulated in a ball like a 'pepperball' or in a container that releases it at a later time.
It is a spray just like the pump spray bottle of Windex under most of our sinks. In fact very much like that in that unlike a pressurized can which uses two liquids at extremely differing boiling points, one to boil at room temperature pushing the other out through a nozzle aerating it in to an aerosol spray, this uses a compression pump to force the liquid through a nozzle.

I am very curious about the intent of this phrase, "by any method other than an aerosol spray.".
I suspect it has less to do with means of compression, pump or binary fluid, then it does with things like pepperballs or those old 'guns' that fired mace capsules as projectiles that you used to see advertised in magazines. One looked like a Chief's Special, others looked like semi-autos.

Because of these contradictions and the lack of clarity I sent an email to Cal DoJ asking for an opinion or clarification.

Quote:
Hello,
I have seen many conflicting opinions regarding the legality of the Kimber Pepper Blaster pepper spray device and would like some clarification.

Much of the confusion comes from how this part of the Penal code is interpreted or intended: [Cal. Penal Code 12401]) by any method other than an aerosol spray. Cal. Penal Code 12403.7(e)

In speaking with Kimber's Service dept. I was told that the Kimber pepper Blaster uses a small charge to push a piston compressing the liquid and the air in to an aerosol spray. An aerosol spray being defined as: "a suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in gas <smoke, fog, and mist>" or more exactingly "Extremely-fine liquid droplets or solid particles that remain suspended in air as fog or smoke. These are non-gaseous microscopic bits (with radius from one-hundredth to one ten-millionth of a centimeter, or 100 to 0.001 micrometer)."

On reading this it seems that the Kimber Pepper Blaster is a device that has a charge that does NOT fire a projectile nor does the gas exit the nozzle, it creates a compressed environment which then forces a liquid out of a nozzle at high speed creating an aerosol spray. When the chemical leaves the nozzle it is an aerosol spray, aerosol simply means an aerated liquid.

It is not encapsulated in a ball like a 'pepperball' or in a container that releases it at a later time like a grenade. It is a spray just like the pump spray bottle of Windex under most of our sinks. In fact very much like that in that unlike a pressurized can which uses two liquids at extremely differing boiling points, one to boil at room temperature pushing the other out through a nozzle aerating it in to an aerosol spray, this uses a compression pump to force the liquid through a nozzle.

I would like a clarification of not only the legality of the Kimber Pepper Blaster but of the term 'aerosol spray'. I suspect it has less to do with means of compression, pump or binary fluid, then it does with things like pepperballs or those old 'guns' that fired mace capsules as projectiles that you used to see advertised in magazines. One looked like a Chief's Special, others looked like semi-autos.

Thank you very much for your time, effort and prompt response.
I received a voice mail on my cell phone from a Mike at DoJ BoF yesterday.
He said that it's not really their area of interest since they only deal with firearms and do not regulate pepper spray so he can't give a definitive opinion.
He said, and this is not directly verbatim but darn close, 'It sounds like you did your homework on this and even called the manufacturer and they said it's legal. From the sound of it the pepper spray leaves the device as an aerosol spray and that is the important part. For our part it's not an issue we can give an opinion on since we regulate firearms not pepper spray.
I'd suggest contacting your local DA and getting their opinion on the issue.'

So it sounds, for all the weight that a voice mail from DoJ BoF carries, that they are not even looking at these as something their office would be interested in.

To follow up on this I'm sending this to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office:
Quote:
Hello,

I asked this question of the California Dept. of Justice Bureau of Firearms and after telling me that since they do not regulate pepper spray only firearms they could not give a definitive opinion they told me to contact my local District Attorney's Office and ask them.

I have seen many conflicting opinions regarding the legality of the Kimber Pepper Blaster pepper spray device and would like some clarification.

Much of the confusion comes from how this part of the Penal code is interpreted or intended: [Cal. Penal Code 12401]) by any method other than an aerosol spray. Cal. Penal Code 12403.7(e)

In speaking with Kimber's Service dept. I was told that the Kimber pepper Blaster uses a small charge to push a piston compressing the liquid and the air in to an aerosol spray. An aerosol spray being defined as: "a suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in gas <smoke, fog, and mist>" or more exactingly "Extremely-fine liquid droplets or solid particles that remain suspended in air as fog or smoke. These are non-gaseous microscopic bits (with radius from one-hundredth to one ten-millionth of a centimeter, or 100 to 0.001 micrometer)."

On reading this it seems that the Kimber Pepper Blaster is a device that has a charge that does NOT fire a projectile nor does the gas exit the nozzle, it creates a compressed environment which then forces a liquid out of a nozzle at high speed creating an aerosol spray. When the chemical leaves the nozzle it is an aerosol spray, aerosol simply means an aerated liquid.

It is not encapsulated in a ball like a 'pepperball' or in a container that releases it at a later time like a grenade. It is a spray just like the pump spray bottle of Windex under most of our sinks. In fact very much like that in that unlike a pressurized can which uses two liquids at extremely differing boiling points, one to boil at room temperature pushing the other out through a nozzle aerating it in to an aerosol spray, this uses a compression pump to force the liquid through a nozzle.

I would like a clarification of not only the legality of the Kimber Pepper Blaster but of the term 'aerosol spray'. I suspect it has less to do with means of compression, pump or binary fluid, then it does with things like pepperballs or those old 'guns' that fired mace capsules as projectiles that you used to see advertised in magazines. One looked like a Chief's Special, others looked like semi-autos.

Thank you very much for your time, effort and prompt response.
I received a reply from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, this is what I received:

Quote:
Dear Mr. Nordberg,

We are prevented by law, from answering legal questions.

Sincerely,

XXXX XXXXXX
Field Deputy/Webmaster
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210
http://da.lacounty.gov
webmail@da.lacounty.gov
I was not happy with this reply as it was just more shuffling and dancing around trying not to do their job.

I sent this as a reply asking who to speak with next.
Quote:
Hello Mr. Xxxxxxx,

Thank you for the reply, I understand that you can not give legal advice but this leaves me in a bit of a dilemma.

I contacted the manufacturer who told me it is legal to sell in California but recommended that I contact my State's law Enforcement Agency for specific clarification in California.
I contacted the California Dept. of Justice Bureau of Firearms, the highest LEA in the State who told me they only deal with firearms, pepper spray is not their field of regulation and I am advised to contact my local D.A's office for a definitive opinion.
I contact my local D.A.'s Office and am told they can not by law clarify what is legal and what is not.

So I have to ask, short of randomly being arrested for possession of a possibly illegal item how am I to find out whether or not this device is legal to own and carry?

As you can see from my previous email I am not just asking at random but have put a fair amount of time, effort and research in to this in order to insure that I and others would be able to know whether or not this device was legal to own and carry in California. I very much want to obey the law but as of right now the entities charged with both educating the public about the law and enforcing those laws are telling me they don't know or they are forbidden by law from telling me what the law is.

So if Federal LE doesn't care because it's a matter of State and local law, State LE doesn't know because it's not their bailiwick and local LE is forbidden from clarifying the legal status of a device how is a citizen expected to follow the law and remain law abiding?

In short everyone responsible for clarifying the law is either passing the buck or blocked from doing so.
So now what am I suppose to do?

Thank you,

Paul Nordberg
I received another reply, unfortunately this was another referral down the chain. I was directed to ask the local Police.

Quote:
Dear Mr. Nordberg,

I understand your frustration with this. Perhaps you could call a police department and see what they say? They are the ones who would arrest an individual if it violates the law.

Sorry, I'm no help to you.


Sincerely,

XXXX XXXXXX
Field Deputy/Webmaster
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210
http://da.lacounty.gov
webmail@da.lacounty.gov
( We can not respond to legal questions and in fact, we are actually prevented from answering legal questions per the California Business & Professions Code section 6131.)
Having pursued a determination of the legality of the Kimber PepperBlaster through all regulating agency with no indication of illegality I took the next step. I ordered one from a major retailer. It was delivered to my door and I have possessed and carried the Kimber PepperBlaster as a self defense tool for over two years now. The issue of it's legality is still somewhat vague however I feel that sufficient due diligence and effort has been made to remain in compliance with the law that I am comfortable carrying it.

Sadly this is the level of both effort required and vagueness expected that we in California have to deal with.

Paul Nordberg
President, Calguns.net
Vice President, Calguns Shooting Sports Assoc.
Director, The Calguns Foundation
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 2067 Comments 1
« Prev     Main     Next »
Total Comments 1

Comments

  1. Old Comment
    cyberfish2's Avatar
    "We are prevented by law, from answering legal questions."
    WTF? Isn't that their job?
    Posted 01-28-2016 at 8:16 AM by cyberfish2 cyberfish2 is offline
 


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:41 AM.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Proudly hosted by GeoVario the Premier 2A host.
Calguns.net, the 'Calguns' name and all associated variants and logos are ® Trademark and © Copyright 2002-2016, Calguns.net an Incorporated Company All Rights Reserved.