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Old 03-10-2014, 2:19 AM
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Librarian Librarian is offline
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Default LAW: Things we know, and things we don't

Some questions cannot be answered with certainty.

That is frustrating, but this is California, and it is easy to argue that Our Fine Legislators have no interest in making things easy.

The typical sources for opinions offered here - and to reiterate, nothing here is legal advice - are the 'black letter' Penal Code and other California codes and regulations, and court cases.

Sometimes we can get guidance from the Attorney General, and that can help. Unfortunately, the AG is not charged with answering questions from the public. The duties of the Attorney General are defined in the California Constitution, Article 5, Section 13 - http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_5. The AG's web page on opinions says
Quote:
As the chief law officer of the state, the California Attorney General provides legal opinions upon request to designated state and local public officials and government agencies on issues arising in the course of their duties. The formal legal opinions of the Attorney General have been accorded "great respect" and "great weight" by the courts.
Nothing in there about 'public'.

In order to serve public inquiry, the AG would need to value that purpose enough to staff the state offices with enough people with the correct training to answer legal questions. Especially related to firearms, that has not been true for the last two or three elected AGs; calling/writing the Firearms Division is an unlikely way to get an accurate answer for any but the simplest questions.

But a number of questions regarding the interpretation of California statute remain unanswered. All of our guesses and rationalizations are nothing compared to one court case where a judge makes a ruling that clarifies.

Herewith is a partial list of Questions With No Certain Answer in California law ...

re: transportation of a handgun
What is a 'secure' container?
Does attaching a container to a vehicle make that container a 'utility compartment'?
Does 'pass through seat' access to a vehicle trunk make that trunk unsuitable for transporting a handgun without an additional locked container?
re: Magazines
What exactly is a 'conversion kit?
Is one part a 'kit'?
What exactly is 'manufacturing'?
What does 'permanent' mean when modifying a magazine?
Can I use a 30-round 5.56 mag as a 10-round .458 SOCOM mag?
- - - (We think so, if one is careful - but we do not know for sure.)
re: 'Slidefire' stocks, trigger kits and similar
Are these illegal 'multiburst trigger activators' under California law? (Note that ATF opinions are Federal, and have no influence on California law.)
re: Unlicensed concealed carry
What is a 'public place'? (We have a little bit of guidance, but not much.)
Can an employee of a business carry concealed at work?
re: modification to handguns influential in self-defense prosecution
The claim is often made that some modifications to a self-defense weapon e.g. trigger 'weight' may be used against a defendant. Citations to specific cases are so far lacking.
================================================== ================

There are two major ways to react to such questions:
live with the uncertainty, and do the best you can

or

be wealthy and happy to spend lots of money on lawyers and
be happy to take risks (including jail time and loss of 2A rights if you might be wrong, or right but unable to convince a California judge and jury), and
do some of the things we are not sure of; get arrested, and
make some law with your court case.
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- Thomas Sowell
I've been saying that for years ...

There is no value at all complaining or analyzing or reading tea leaves to decide what these bills really mean or actually do; any bill with a chance to pass will be bad for gun owners.

The details only count after the Governor signs the bills.


Gregg Easterbrook’s “Law of Doomsaying”: Predict catastrophe no later than ten years hence but no sooner than five years away — soon enough to terrify people but distant enough that they will not remember that you were wrong.


Not a lawyer, just Some Guy On The Interwebs.



Last edited by Librarian; 08-30-2014 at 9:57 AM..
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Old 04-04-2018, 7:36 AM
Dirtlaw Dirtlaw is offline
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Uncertainty is often a blessing because it can allow argument where none was intended. And yes, litigation often is as much a gamble as it is a search for the truth.
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