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  #1  
Old 03-19-2018, 10:16 AM
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Default is there a CA attorney in the house?

I just got the oddest call from the DOJ. Please look at post 26 & 27 at http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...0#post21408740. I'm dumbfounded.
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Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000.
The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2018, 10:28 AM
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Yep, pretty typical that state and local government employees are prohibited from providing legal interpretations or advice. Call a lawyer that specializes in gun laws, such as Bruce Colodny:
https://www.gunlaw.com/
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Old 03-19-2018, 2:22 PM
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Why are you dumbfounded? The DOJ (the Attorney General) is not your lawyer. Itís not their job to provide legal advice to individuals. If you want legal advice you need to hire a lawyer (or make do with amateur opinions such as your own or what you get on the Internet).
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Old 03-19-2018, 4:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
Why are you dumbfounded? The DOJ (the Attorney General) is not your lawyer. Itís not their job to provide legal advice to individuals. If you want legal advice you need to hire a lawyer (or make do with amateur opinions such as your own or what you get on the Internet).
So in your opinion the taxpayer-funded DOJ has no obligation to clarify any vague and poorly written laws they enforce? You are ready to be sheared fiddletown.


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Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000.
The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2018, 4:24 PM
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State DOJ can't make sense out of their own laws which is why they will not go on record and be held accountable. They can do as they want and change things as they want until someone gets them into court and a judge is willing to say "Stop" which he won't because he will have to define something and it will finally be set in concrete as they say. Then the appeals start and you are back at square one. In the meantime they are taking your guns and making them more hassle then they are wroth to keep.
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Old 03-19-2018, 4:25 PM
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I don't think the law is that vague and there are numerous threads on CGN that break down what is and is not legal. As with many other laws, I am not personally aware of a case where someone has been charged or convicted for having a "sniper" scope in the absence of other more serious charges. This is a fairly old law that is not in line with the items that you can purchase today.
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Old 03-19-2018, 4:32 PM
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Originally Posted by warbird View Post
State DOJ can't make sense out of their own laws which is why they will not go on record and be held accountable. They can do as they want and change things as they want until someone gets them into court and a judge is willing to say "Stop" which he won't because he will have to define something and it will finally be set in concrete as they say. Then the appeals start and you are back at square one. In the meantime they are taking your guns and making them more hassle then they are wroth to keep.
Whatever a state trial court says means squat in another court and, IIRC, isn't even binding on future rulings by that judge in another case.
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Old 03-19-2018, 4:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
Why are you dumbfounded? The DOJ (the Attorney General) is not your lawyer. Itís not their job to provide legal advice to individuals. If you want legal advice you need to hire a lawyer (or make do with amateur opinions such as your own or what you get on the Internet).
Is there any kind of exception that would allow one to request a private letter ruling, which would not have the same force as an AG Opinion?
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Old 03-19-2018, 5:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BC9696 View Post
So in your opinion the taxpayer-funded DOJ has no obligation to clarify any vague and poorly written laws they enforce?....
My, aren't you ignorant.

In fact, the AG has no such obligation to private citizens. The AG:
Quote:
  • Represents the People of California in civil and criminal matters before trial courts, appellate courts and the supreme courts of California and the United States.

  • Serves as legal counsel to state officers and, with few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions.

  • Assists district attorneys, local law enforcement and federal and international criminal justice agencies in the administration of justice.

  • Strengthens California's law enforcement community by coordinating statewide narcotics enforcement efforts, supporting criminal investigations and providing forensic science services, identification and information services and telecommunication support.

  • Manages programs and special projects to detect and crack down on fraudulent, unfair and illegal activities that victimize consumers or threaten public safety.
There's nothing there about providing legal services to individual residents of California.

With regard to providing legal opinions, the AG is (emphasis added):
Quote:
...authorized to give opinions on questions of law to state legislators, heads of state departments, district attorneys, county counsels, sheriffs, and to city attorneys in their prosecutorial capacities. For more information about requesting an opinion, please see our FAQs and the Guidelines for AG Opinions.pdf a downloadable resource provided for users' reference....
For more information follow the links above.

And by the way, I'm a lawyer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy65 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
Why are you dumbfounded? The DOJ (the Attorney General) is not your lawyer. It’s not their job to provide legal advice to individuals. If you want legal advice you need to hire a lawyer (or make do with amateur opinions such as your own or what you get on the Internet).
Is there any kind of exception that would allow one to request a private letter ruling, which would not have the same force as an AG Opinion?
I've never had occasion to request, nor have I seen, anything like a private letter ruling from the California AG, although I have requested such advice from other state or federal regulatory agencies. I have on occasion been able to prevail, on behalf of a client, on a legislator or a regulatory agency to request an AG opinion of a matter.

It's necessary to conceptually distinguish role of the AG as the chief lawyer for the government of the State from the role of the AG as the head of a agency having administrative responsibility for certain regulatory functions. Asking for clarification of administrative requirements in connection with an activity within the administrative purview of the Department of Justice would be a different sort of thing from asking for an opinion about the meaning and application of a statute not necessarily within the administrative purview of the Department of Justice.

The OP was doing the latter, and that's the sort of thing one needs his own lawyer for.
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Old 03-19-2018, 5:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chewy65 View Post
Is there any kind of exception that would allow one to request a private letter ruling, which would not have the same force as an AG Opinion?
Not that I could locate and with the DOJ at the top of the ladder and refusing to clarify the letter and intent of the language used in this penal code, I see no other option with equal authority. Never had an enforcement arm refuse such a request. Have questioned the Fish & Wildlife staff in several states including CA when unable to interpret a regulation, done the same with the Bureau of Real Estate, the Insurance Commissioner, county health dept. and IRS. They always try to answer questions arising from confusing legalese or regulations/codes that conflict w/ one another. But not the CA DOJ. Probably because they are so used to being questioned by reporting outlets and litigants. I believe they duty to provide straight answers to us laymen.
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Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000.
The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.

Last edited by BC9696; 03-19-2018 at 6:13 PM..
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  #11  
Old 03-19-2018, 5:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BC9696 View Post
...Never had an enforcement arm refuse such a request. Have questioned the Fish & Wildlife staff in several states including CA when unable to interpret a regulation, done the same with the Bureau of Real Estate, the Insurance Commissioner and IRS. They always try to answer questions arising from confusing legalese or regulations/codes that conflict one another....
It appears that you were asking regulatory agencies questions regarding matters within the scope of their regulatory authority. That's not what you were asking the AG here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BC9696 View Post
...I believe they duty to provide straight answers to us laymen.
People believe all sorts of things that aren't true.
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Old 03-19-2018, 5:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BC9696 View Post
Not that I could locate and with the DOJ at the top of the ladder and refusing to clarify the letter and intent of the language used in this penal code, I see no other option with equal authority. Never had an enforcement arm refuse such a request. Have questioned the Fish & Wildlife staff in several states including CA when unable to interpret a regulation, done the same with the Bureau of Real Estate, the Insurance Commissioner, county health dept. and IRS. They always try to answer questions arising from confusing legalese or regulations/codes that conflict one another. But not the CA DOJ. Probably because they are so used to being questioned by reporting outlets and litigants. I believe they duty to provide straight answers to us laymen.
You really want a low level State Employee giving you legal advice???
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2018, 6:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 71MUSTY View Post
You really want a low level State Employee giving you legal advice???
No...you and fiddle just appear to have a comprehension problem. Legal advice would apply to specific personal instance or issue, asking the DOJ if the above-referenced code makes all night vision optics illegal to own should be a simple yes or no answer. I got no answer.
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Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000.
The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2018, 6:28 PM
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Kind of strange that the BATF seems to have no problem providing clarification of federal gun laws when requested.
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Old 03-19-2018, 6:39 PM
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Originally Posted by StuckInTheP.R.O.Ca View Post
Kind of strange that the BATF seems to have no problem providing clarification of federal gun laws when requested.
I think fiddletown addressed that in post #11. BATFE is a regulatory agency. It is not the government's lawyer.
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Old 03-19-2018, 6:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC9696 View Post
So in your opinion the taxpayer-funded DOJ has no obligation to clarify any vague and poorly written laws they enforce? You are ready to be sheared fiddletown.

DOJ is a politician run organization. Their allegiance is to their boss, the Attorney General, a political appointee. If you're expecting anything from DOJ resembling supporting the public taxpayer, you'd be mistaken.

Their methods are shoddy, they've been taken to task by the State Auditor more than once, and they don't cooperate with local prosecutors who ask them for their videos when they confiscate guns.

They don't represent you and would be illegally practicing law if they told you what was legal or not. You want them to tell you what's legal ? They cannot by law.
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Old 03-19-2018, 7:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC9696 View Post
No...you and fiddle just appear to have a comprehension problem. Legal advice would apply to specific personal instance or issue, asking the DOJ if the above-referenced code makes all night vision optics illegal to own should be a simple yes or no answer.....
And exactly when were you admitted to the Bar? I know what legal advice is better than you do. I practiced law for more than 30 years to earn my living. So itís you who have the comprehension problem.

And btw, p7m8jg, in California the AG is elected.
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Old 03-19-2018, 9:00 PM
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Look, I don't enjoy flame wars but if you're trying to tell these Calguns members that the California DOJ, a political organization, is legally obligated to give specific legal advice that applies to a citizen's personal situation then I would vehemently disagree that is not the case under the law. And if you get prosecuted for relying on the DOJ legal advice, you would lose.

Now, if you have experience different from mine, then great, let's hear it. But to all the Calguns members who follow these forums, I would seriously encourage all of you to seek legal advice from someone who you pay and is under a a legal duty to advise you properly. Then if/when you get prosecuted and or/convicted you can file a state bar complaint that they failed to do so.

Admitted to the State Bar in 1990. Began practicing criminal /prosecution law in 1993. Been a cop/peace officer since 1978.
Worked in five different counties. Which means nothing when someone on these boards gets prosecuted for relying on a "post" in one of them.

Last edited by p7m8jg; 03-19-2018 at 9:02 PM..
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Old 03-19-2018, 9:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy65 View Post
Is there any kind of exception that would allow one to request a private letter ruling, which would not have the same force as an AG Opinion?
Chewy,

In addition to Fiddletown's robust reply, I've never seen any provision for DOJ to issue letter opinions and have never seen one issued. The Federal BATF does issue such opinions, but they seem to have a very different customer focus than does our state DOJ.

If it's any consolation, DOJ treats California public agencies just as shabbily as it does the public. In addition to the criteria cited by Fiddletown, DOJ will not issue an opinion to any of the listed agencies until that agency's internal counsel has researched the question and authored it's own opinion. That takes quite some time, and exposes the question to the internal politics of the agency seeking guidance. Quite often, DOJ opinions are sought when there is disagreement on an issue at the local government level.

Here's a good example: Many LE agencies have struggled in establishing procedures to meet their disclosure requirements under the Brady v Maryland decision. That case requires unsolicited disclosure to the defense of certain information that may affect an officer's credibility (it also requires more, but that's out of the scope of my example). The Brady case only placed the disclosure duty on prosecutors (both to evaluate what information must be disclosed, and to make the disclosure). What the prosecutor had knowledge of, they could evaluate and pass on the defense. What they didn't know, LE agencies generally kept secret. Then came Kyles v Whitely in 1995 that extended the duty to disclose to LE agencies. Kyles created a real interesting "Catch-22". Peace officer disciplinary records have a high level of confidentiality under state law. A prosecutor would be on pretty solid ground acting in violation of the state law confidentiality statute in order to fulfill a federal case law obligation. But what about the LE agency releasing the privileged information to the prosecutor so that it could be evaluated under Brady and released if deemed appropriate? No clear answer was reached through the case law process and the issue remained problematic for many years.

After a lot of wrangling between agencies having an interest in the question (and being frustrated by the internal counsel requirement), the DA of Ventura formulated a question for the Attorney General to issue an opinion on, primarily whether he had the right to access peace officer records, in violation of state law, in order to meet his duties under Brady and Kyles.

It took the Attorney General more that 3 1/2 years to respond and the finally-issued opinion completely sidestepped the original question - How does the state law confidentiality privilege reconcile with federal case law requirements.

That 3 year response period was pretty typical of other DOJ opinions that my department had either been involved in, or was following.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p7m8jg View Post
Look, I don't enjoy flame wars but if you're trying to tell these Calguns members that the California DOJ, a political organization, is legally obligated to give specific legal advice that applies to a citizen's personal situation then I would vehemently disagree that is not the case under the law....
If you don't want a flame war perhaps you should try actually reading my posts in this thread. And for someone who claims to be a lawyer, you're amazingly sloppy about getting your facts straight.

So just for a little recap:
  1. In post 3 I wrote:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
    Why are you dumbfounded? The DOJ (the Attorney General) is not your lawyer. Itís not their job to provide legal advice to individuals. If you want legal advice you need to hire a lawyer (or make do with amateur opinions such as your own or what you get on the Internet).
  2. And in post 9 I wrote:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
    ... the AG has no such obligation to private citizens. The AG:
    Quote:
    .....
    There's nothing there about providing legal services to individual residents of California.

    With regard to providing legal opinions, the AG is (emphasis added):
    Quote:
    .....
    For more information follow the links above.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by p7m8jg View Post
...But to all the Calguns members who follow these forums, I would seriously encourage all of you to seek legal advice from someone who you pay and is under a a legal duty to advise you properly. ....
Which was pretty much what I said in post 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p7m8jg View Post
... Admitted to the State Bar in 1990. ...
And I was admitted in 1976. But my question about the Bar, wasn't directed to you -- something you would have known if you had read my post 17 with the sort of care and attention I'd normally expect of a lawyer. In context I was clearly asking BC9696 in response to the statement of his I quoted.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:57 PM
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As a fellow lawyer, I think that we need to constantly remind ourselves that the vast majority of those on this website are not lawyers or legally trained. So, we should not expect them to understand or grasp the all of the legal nuances we do, even when it is very clear and obvious to us. If understanding the law was that easy, law school and the bar exam would not be required. So, I think we should give them some slack, even when they put forth dumb or ill informed ideas. We should take the opportunity to clarify the situation for those who are following the threads.
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Old 03-20-2018, 9:31 AM
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The only thing the DOJ guys are required to tell you is "you have the right to remain silent".
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Old 03-21-2018, 1:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
...

And btw, p7m8jg, in California the AG is elected.
Ahhh-when was Xavier Becerra elected?
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Old 03-21-2018, 3:39 AM
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Originally Posted by squeeze View Post
Ahhh-when was Xavier Becerra elected?
Okay, to be more precise, in California the Attorney General is an elective office.

Becerra was appointed to serve the remainder of Kamala Harrisí term after she resigned as AG after she was elected to the U. S. Senate.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Chewy,

In addition to Fiddletown's robust reply, I've never seen any provision for DOJ to issue letter opinions and have never seen one issued. The Federal BATF does issue such opinions, but they seem to have a very different customer focus than does our state DOJ.

If it's any consolation, DOJ treats California public agencies just as shabbily as it does the public. In addition to the criteria cited by Fiddletown, DOJ will not issue an opinion to any of the listed agencies until that agency's internal counsel has researched the question and authored it's own opinion. That takes quite some time, and exposes the question to the internal politics of the agency seeking guidance. Quite often, DOJ opinions are sought when there is disagreement on an issue at the local government level.

Here's a good example: Many LE agencies have struggled in establishing procedures to meet their disclosure requirements under the Brady v Maryland decision. That case requires unsolicited disclosure to the defense of certain information that may affect an officer's credibility (it also requires more, but that's out of the scope of my example). The Brady case only placed the disclosure duty on prosecutors (both to evaluate what information must be disclosed, and to make the disclosure). What the prosecutor had knowledge of, they could evaluate and pass on the defense. What they didn't know, LE agencies generally kept secret. Then came Kyles v Whitely in 1995 that extended the duty to disclose to LE agencies. Kyles created a real interesting "Catch-22". Peace officer disciplinary records have a high level of confidentiality under state law. A prosecutor would be on pretty solid ground acting in violation of the state law confidentiality statute in order to fulfill a federal case law obligation. But what about the LE agency releasing the privileged information to the prosecutor so that it could be evaluated under Brady and released if deemed appropriate? No clear answer was reached through the case law process and the issue remained problematic for many years.

After a lot of wrangling between agencies having an interest in the question (and being frustrated by the internal counsel requirement), the DA of Ventura formulated a question for the Attorney General to issue an opinion on, primarily whether he had the right to access peace officer records, in violation of state law, in order to meet his duties under Brady and Kyles.

It took the Attorney General more that 3 1/2 years to respond and the finally-issued opinion completely sidestepped the original question - How does the state law confidentiality privilege reconcile with federal case law requirements.

That 3 year response period was pretty typical of other DOJ opinions that my department had either been involved in, or was following.
Crim Law is not by bag, but I have heard of Brady and some of the situations in which it has messed up a prosecution. As for those private letter rulings, it has been decades since I had to read them and then they were from the IRS. I don't remember much of them, but that they were only binding on the government as to the person/entity requesting the ruling and the requirements for getting one were pretty stiff as far as framing a narrow, exact issue.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BAJ475 View Post
As a fellow lawyer, I think that we need to constantly remind ourselves that the vast majority of those on this website are not lawyers or legally trained. So, we should not expect them to understand or grasp the all of the legal nuances we do, even when it is very clear and obvious to us. If understanding the law was that easy, law school and the bar exam would not be required. So, I think we should give them some slack, even when they put forth dumb or ill informed ideas. We should take the opportunity to clarify the situation for those who are following the threads.
Heck, according to some papers on my wall, I have been one nearly as long as fiddletown, but I don't grasp much of this stuff. Part of the problem for me, at least, is how precisely you frame the question and that bears heavily on the how precise an answer I could give them. The end result all to often is that the lay person doesn't feel that they got an answer to their question, but without them stating all the pertinent facts it can be difficult if not impossible to give them a simple "yes, it is legal" or no it is not. Then again, without going to law school and then gaining experience in the affected area of law, they really cannot be expected to know the scope of the date needed to reach a simple opinion.

Sometimes lay folk might know the law fairly well, sometimes not. Take the average LGS employee. The worse person to go to for answers on firearms laws.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:32 PM
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...As for those private letter rulings, it has been decades since I had to read them and then they were from the IRS. I don't remember much of them, but that they were only binding on the government as to the person/entity requesting the ruling and the requirements for getting one were pretty stiff as far as framing a narrow, exact issue.
I've understood the term "private letter ruling" to be something of a term of art applicable to the IRS. But other regulatory agencies will often provide some sort of formal guidance, clearance, approval, direction, etc., with regard to matters within their regulatory jurisdiction. And yes, how binding they might be on an agency will depend a lot on how the question is framed.

So if I request a private letter ruling from the IRS (or something similar from another agency) I will need to describe in excruciating detail the exact circumstances and exactly what I (well, actually my client) plan to do. And whatever the agency says will only really mean anything if the circumstances exactly match what I described in the request and if I do exactly what I said in the request I would do.

And I've seen all sorts of responses such as, "The agency will take no adverse action, but only if the circumstances and actions are exactly as describe.", to, "The agency will probably be disposed to not take adverse action if the circumstances are as described but will need to review the exact situation before deciding."

We would go through these sorts of exercises to be able to get as good a handle on possible risks as we can, and also because often investors like to get some regulatory input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy65 View Post
....without going to law school and then gaining experience in the affected area of law, they really cannot be expected to know the scope of the date needed to reach a simple opinion....
We learn early on that clients don't necessarily tell us everything that's important, and we have to do some of our own investigating. It's not [always] because they're trying to withhold something. It's usually simply that they don't know what is, or is not, potentially material.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:11 PM
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Given that thermal scopes/optics are passive and do not use infrared, I do not see how PC468 can be applied. That doesn't mean there aren't additional codes that may apply but finding anyone that can or will answer this question definitively is tough and trying to get it in writing from a regulating agency is virtually impossible.

Penal Code 468
Any person who knowingly buys, sells, receives, disposes of, conceals, or has in his possession a sniperscope shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
As used in this section, sniperscope means any attachment, device or similar contrivance designed for or adaptable to use on a firearm which, through the use of a projected infrared light source and electronic telescope, enables the operator thereof to visually determine and locate the presence of objects during the nighttime.
This section shall not prohibit the authorized use or possession of such sniperscope by a member of the armed forces of the United States or by police officers, peace officers, or law enforcement officers authorized by the properly constituted authorities for the enforcement of law or ordinances; nor shall this section prohibit the use or possession of such sniperscope when used solely for scientific research or educational purposes.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:56 PM
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Chewy,I've never seen any provision for DOJ to issue letter opinions and have never seen one issued.
Well please allow me to show you one.

The CA DOJ used to give opinions under republican admins. IMO they should give opinions. Many state's AG do give opinions. But under anti-2A admins, they would rather see you squirm, promote FUD, and worry to the point of not even trying, possibly even go to jail in spite of your efforts to try and comply - before giving you an opinion.

The bottom line is that an anti-2A administration will never issue opinions, not because they can't or shouldn't - but because it does not further their efforts to deny us our 2A rights at every turn, by hook or crook. By not providing an opinion, the default answer to any question is always "don't do it".

Here is one such letter - it gives two important opinions. Just an example of how it used to be done, and in my opinion how it should still be done. And there are more examples of these types of CA DOJ opinions floating around.

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Old 03-22-2018, 7:49 AM
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Well, ^ that letter also classifies a Browning M2 as a rifle, which it is not. Which is a perfect example of how good DOJ is at clarifying their own laws and regulations.
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Old 03-22-2018, 9:08 AM
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Originally Posted by SkyHawk View Post
Well please allow me to show you one.

The CA DOJ used to give opinions under republican admins. IMO they should give opinions. Many state's AG do give opinions. But under anti-2A admins, they would rather see you squirm, promote FUD, and worry to the point of not even trying, possibly even go to jail in spite of your efforts to try and comply - before giving you an opinion.

The bottom line is that an anti-2A administration will never issue opinions, not because they can't or shouldn't - but because it does not further their efforts to deny us our 2A rights at every turn, by hook or crook. By not providing an opinion, the default answer to any question is always "don't do it".

Here is one such letter - it gives two important opinions. Just an example of how it used to be done, and in my opinion how it should still be done. And there are more examples of these types of CA DOJ opinions floating around.

Skyhawk,

Thanks for providing the exemplar letter. As I said, I've never seen the DOJ do such a thing. It's not the role of state agencies to provide legal advice, but it is fair to expect state agencies to clearly state the content of the laws they enforce.

But I also cannot pass up the opportunity to also observe that the letter appears to classify a Browning 1919 and M2 when equipped with a pistol of butterfly grip as a "Rifle."

While I'm pleased to learn that DOJ did, at some point in the past, provide such letters, I'd be even more tickled if the letters were accurate in their content.
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Old 03-22-2018, 1:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
Well, ^ that letter also classifies a Browning M2 as a rifle, which it is not. Which is a perfect example of how good DOJ is at clarifying their own laws and regulations.
It's a non-rifle rifle, fully semi auto

PS - the 1919A6 had a shoulder stock, and one can be fitted to the 1919A4. And even the big 50 can be installed in AA mounts with shoulder hooks.

And without knowing the precise context under which the question was asked, it is hard to knock the DOJ response. But I presume the topic was AW law, and among other things, perhaps the status of a shoulder stock equipped 1919 that also had a pistol grip.

Even without a stock, they are DROSd as long guns in CA. CA does not have as many firearms categories as the feds do. I'm not as curious that the DOJ called them rifles.

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Old 03-22-2018, 2:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
Chewy,

If it's any consolation, DOJ treats California public agencies just as shabbily as it does the public. In addition to the criteria cited by Fiddletown, DOJ will not issue an opinion to any of the listed agencies until that agency's internal counsel has researched the question and authored it's own opinion. That takes quite some time, and exposes the question to the internal politics of the agency seeking guidance. Quite often, DOJ opinions are sought when there is disagreement on an issue at the local government level.
Here is an example of where my dad did what Rick is talking about.
I found it recently while going through some of his things.





I also though some of you legal types might find this interesting.




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