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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 10-02-2010, 11:24 PM
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Default Adjustable Gas System Rifles

I did a quick search and couldn't find anything, so here it goes.

On rifles that had an adjustable or closeable gas system such as FAL, M1A, LWRC M6A3, Some AKs, etc etc.

When you turn the gas system off making the needing to be hand cycled each round, does that legally qualify the rifle as a bolt-action allowing for lets say an AR-15 to use detachable magazines regardless of features?
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2010, 11:28 PM
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This would require a clarification of what a "semi-automatic" firearm is.

But I like where this is going....
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:34 PM
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Instead of bullet buttons, we could have gas system switches???

Me likey

Absolutely admire the way you think!

.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:40 PM
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In my opinion, one of these rifles stops being a semiautomatic rifle when the gas system is turned off in exactly the same way that an M16 stops being a fully automatic weapon when you flip its safety to the semi-auto position: It doesn't.

It seems reasonable to me that there would be a distinction between modifying an item (such as physically removing the gas tube on an AR and replacing it with a plug, requiring time and tools) vs. simply operating a control that's already present on the item. The former modifies the nature of the item, even if the change is reversible, while the latter just configures the item into a different mode of operation without affecting the nature of what it is.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 383green View Post
In my opinion, one of these rifles stops being a semiautomatic rifle when the gas system is turned off in exactly the same way that an M16 stops being a fully automatic weapon when you flip its safety to the semi-auto position: It doesn't.

It seems reasonable to me that there would be a distinction between modifying an item (such as physically removing the gas tube on an AR and replacing it with a plug, requiring time and tools) vs. simply operating a control that's already present on the item. The former modifies the nature of the item, even if the change is reversible, while the latter just configures the item into a different mode of operation without affecting the nature of what it is.
that's what the DOJ tried to say about the magazines.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:44 PM
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that's what the DOJ tried to say about the magazines.
They were mistaken because the original magazine latch was removed and replaced with a different one that requires a tool to operate, thus changing the nature of the rifle. The rifle was actually modified, as opposed to having an existing control flipped to another position.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:57 PM
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Soooo......

We just gotta come up with a "Bullet Switch" now instead of a bullet button.

.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:59 PM
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I ASSUME that if you have a gas regulator that has no hole in it, you're set. You could take out the piston too.

But hey, legally... I have no idea. I mean I know how it should be ruled, but logic doesn't apply here.

Crap, I didn't help.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choprzrul View Post
Soooo......

We just gotta come up with a "Bullet Switch" now instead of a bullet button.

.
Or we all buy LWRC M6A3 uppers.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383green View Post
In my opinion, one of these rifles stops being a semiautomatic rifle when the gas system is turned off in exactly the same way that an M16 stops being a fully automatic weapon when you flip its safety to the semi-auto position: It doesn't.

It seems reasonable to me that there would be a distinction between modifying an item (such as physically removing the gas tube on an AR and replacing it with a plug, requiring time and tools) vs. simply operating a control that's already present on the item. The former modifies the nature of the item, even if the change is reversible, while the latter just configures the item into a different mode of operation without affecting the nature of what it is.
Agreed.

An off list FAL clone with the gas port closed may still be regarded as a semiautomatic rifle just not running in semi auto mode. Kinda like the 'broken AW'...

Have the gas piston removed w/gas port closed, or remove the gas tube and close the gas port, in order to achieve manually cycled nonsemiauto status: this way the rifle operational status is protected by lack of constructive possession.

CGF will defend those charged w/ bogus AW charges if their firearm is indeed not operational as a semi auto.

Note also the above is referring to gas piston or direct impingement actions; blowback actions where there's no gas system and the mass of the bolt carrier determines operational profile would be most difficult to argue any nonsemiauto operation.
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Last edited by bwiese; 10-03-2010 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383green View Post
They were mistaken because the original magazine latch was removed and replaced with a different one that requires a tool to operate, thus changing the nature of the rifle. The rifle was actually modified, as opposed to having an existing control flipped to another position.
so, if it takes a tool to reset the gas system from closed to semi, what do you think?
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Old 10-03-2010, 9:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CalNRA View Post
so, if it takes a tool to reset the gas system from closed to semi, what do you think?

Don't get cute; the gas system should be missing a part or parts, or parts need to be changed out, to move from manually cycled back to semi auto status
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:42 AM
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Bill is correct, of course. Flipping a control from one position to another doesn't change the rifle into a different kind of rifle, even if you use a tool to do it.
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Old 10-03-2010, 1:34 PM
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The Adams Arms gas system has a position that closes the gas valve thereby making it a single shot firearm. You press the gas piston button and rotate 90-degrees up and it is now restored to being a gas operated, self loading firearm...you can push the button and turn with your fingers. If you had it locked down with a nut that required a tool...maybe you would be OK?
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Old 10-03-2010, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911su16b870 View Post
If you had it locked down with a nut that required a tool...maybe you would be OK?
No. It's still the same semiautomatic rifle it was before. This would be no different than doing something to an otherwise unmodified M16 to temporarily prevent the safety selector from being flipped to the auto position: It's still the same machinegun it was a moment ago.

If you want to change it to a different kind of rifle for legal purposes, then remove some important functional parts and replace them with ones of different design, such that they can no longer perform the unwanted function. Flipping a switch doesn't change the rifle, nor does putting a nut on top of the switch afterwards.
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Old 10-04-2010, 5:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CalNRA View Post
so, if it takes a tool to reset the gas system from closed to semi, what do you think?
I believe that works with the bullet button only because the law specifically mentions using a tool to detach the magazine. if you can find such a law for the difference between semi-auto and single shot, you'd have something interesting.
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Old 10-04-2010, 7:42 AM
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If you have a FAL or Adams Arms gas piston gun, the way to do it would be to buy a spare gas plug and weld/braze/solder the gas hole on the plug shut so that no matter what position it's in it will not fire semi-auto unless you change out the gas plug.

You can't bullet button a gas plug but having two gas plugs and the one that disables semi-auto function in your gun would be legal and the standard semi-auto gas plug would not trigger constructive posession since the California "assault weapon" ban does not have constructive posession.

At the same time it's not a good idea to have police contact with your rifle set up as a bolt action and the standard gas plug present (to avoid the police swapping them).
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Old 10-04-2010, 7:54 AM
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Having the gas piston not installed and the gas port closed is an option on some rifles.
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Old 10-04-2010, 9:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow Repair View Post
I believe that works with the bullet button only because the law specifically mentions using a tool to detach the magazine.
Bingo! Also, operating the bullet button isn't changing the rifle from one configuration to another. It remains a fixed-magazine rifle as the magazine is removed and replaced, and this is one of the things that sets the bullet button design apart from some of the other magazine-fixing schemes. It was the replacement of the original magazine latch with the bullet button latch which changed the rifle from detachable-magazine status to fixed-magazine status. The fact that the bullet button requires a tool to be operated addresses the specific wording of CA's legal definition of detachable vs. fixed magazines; it's not a general-purpose approach. Recall that the M-14 required a tool to flip its selector from semi-auto to full-auto: Even if the rifle is in semi-auto mode, and even if you don't have the tool to flip the selector, it's still classified as a full-auto weapon. Also, consider the Rashid rifle, whose gas valve is adjustable with a tool. It'd still likely be considered a semi-auto rifle for legal purposes with the gas valve shut off, even if the gas valve tool isn't present.

Bwiese's and Wash's suggestions above are good, because they involve removing a key functional part and replacing it with one that is not capable of performing the unwanted function. CA AW laws don't have constructive possession terms, but in my opinion it's still wise to store any parts which would restore semi-auto operation far away from the converted rifle to make it less likely that another person could quickly and easily convert the rifle into a restricted configuration, either with innocent ignorance or with malicious intent.
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