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  #1  
Old 01-26-2009, 4:15 PM
JohnnyAppleseed JohnnyAppleseed is offline
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Default Can I Make My Own .22 Caliber Flashlight Gun?

I'm pretty good with tinkering around. Recently I've seen videos on Youtube showing people creating "Pen guns" also known as "Zip Guns."

I was thinking that I could probably convert a Mini Maglight into a pretty awesome single shot .22. The problem is the law. Seems like it could be against the law to make a zip gun. I don't want to do anything illegal so I'm debating.

I've read a few sites with different interpretations. I've read the 3 requirements (regarding taxation, etc.) and it would seem Zip Guns would be a no-no for "commercial use" but maybe private use would be okay. Is there a bonafide expert on here who could help me out with figuring out if the mission I'm embarking on is legal?

I want to do it for "fun" more than anything, but it would be no fun having to do a couple years for having a concealed/modified/home made weapon. I read somewhere that even potato guns could be illegal? Oy vey. Help.

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2009, 4:21 PM
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Not legal here in CA.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2009, 5:19 PM
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Not legal.
Do not do this.
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2009, 5:23 PM
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For the love of Charleston Heston, don't do it!!!
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2009, 5:25 PM
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Strong front-runner for today's boneheaded question award.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2009, 5:35 PM
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I'm thinking it was a pretty darned good idea to ask first. Boneheaded would have been uploading a picture and saying "Hey guys check this out".
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2009, 5:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 461 View Post
I'm thinking it was a pretty darned good idea to ask first. Boneheaded would have been uploading a picture and saying "Hey guys check this out".
Lately that would probably just be considered fairly normal behavior
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2009, 6:23 PM
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Not a boneheaded question.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2009, 7:03 PM
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You can make a single shot pistol, but you can't make a zip gun.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2009, 7:11 PM
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where's the zip gun/home manufactured pistol legal dividing line? Or is it subjective?
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2009, 7:23 PM
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+1 Appleseed. I thought it was a good question, albeit boneheaded, you're thinking and I like that.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2009, 7:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smogcity View Post
where's the zip gun/home manufactured pistol legal dividing line? Or is it subjective?
Read the law.

Penal Code 12020
(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.
(c)(10) As used in this section, a "zip gun" means any weapon or device which meets all of the following criteria:
(A) It was not imported as a firearm by an importer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(B) It was not originally designed to be a firearm by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(C) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(D) It is made or altered to expel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2009, 8:17 PM
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its only illegal if you get caught
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2009, 8:27 PM
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You could always turn it into a fleshlight instead
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2009, 8:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LkPillsburyDude View Post
Not a boneheaded question.
Just a boneheaded idea. Who doesn't know 'zip' guns are verboten?
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  #16  
Old 01-26-2009, 10:23 PM
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Yeah, those are the evil kitten blasters with the shoulder thingy that goes up allowing you to "spray from the hip", right?
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2009, 3:12 AM
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12020 PC. No Go.
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2009, 3:27 AM
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Who gives a crap if its illegal, I'd be more scare of blowing off my fingers!!! That or having it go off and shooting myself...

You might be good at tinkering but that's like saying I'm good at doing eletrical work so I'm gonna try to build myself a nucular sub...
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2009, 5:06 AM
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It would qualify as an AOW under federal law, and merit a trip to the house of many bars under California law.
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2009, 5:50 AM
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Slight thread jack, but I noticed this little gem:

Penal Code 12020
(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.


Does this mean SKB, Pelican, etc are all committing felonies?! They offer camouflaged cases for guns....

What if I paint a pistol case desert camo?!

LOL...I know that isn't the intent, but it is the law. I expect the intent should have required language such as:

"
any camouflaging firearm container which allows the firearm to function while concealed."
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  #21  
Old 01-27-2009, 9:07 AM
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Quote:
You might be good at tinkering but that's like saying I'm good at doing eletrical work so I'm gonna try to build myself a nucular sub...
I think you need more background than that... Did you see the episode of The Simpsons when Homer did a bonehead move of doing...
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  #22  
Old 01-27-2009, 10:04 AM
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Penal Code 12020
(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

This is a stupid law. Sandbags are illegal! Hope it dose not flood.

No practice hand grenades, so no more plucky office desk signs.

No more unconventional pistols...........
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  #23  
Old 01-27-2009, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sig226 View Post
Slight thread jack, but I noticed this little gem:
"
any camouflaging firearm container which allows the firearm to function while concealed."
It means things like this.




Penal Code 12020
(c)(9) As used in this section, a "camouflaging firearm container" means a container which meets all of the following criteria:
(A) It is designed and intended to enclose a firearm.
(B) It is designed and intended to allow the firing of the enclosed firearm by external controls while the firearm is in the container.
(C) It is not readily recognizable as containing a firearm. "Camouflaging firearm container" does not include any camouflaging covering used while engaged in lawful hunting or while going to or returning from a lawful hunting expedition.
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  #24  
Old 01-27-2009, 11:49 AM
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Penal Code 12020
(c)(4) As used in this section, a "wallet gun" means any firearm mounted or enclosed in a case, resembling a wallet, designed to be or capable of being carried in a pocket or purse, if the firearm may be fired while mounted or enclosed in the case.
(7) As used in this section, "metal knuckles" means any device or instrument made wholly or partially of metal which is worn for purposes of offense or defense in or on the hand and which either protects the wearer's hand while striking a blow or increases the force of impact from the blow or injury to the individual receiving the blow. The metal contained in the device may help support the hand or fist, provide a shield to protect it, or consist of projections or studs which would contact the individual receiving a blow.
(12) As used in this section, an "unconventional pistol" means a firearm that does not have a rifled bore and has a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length or has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(22) As used in this section, an "undetectable firearm" means any weapon which meets one of the following requirements:
(A) When, after removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, it is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar.
(B) When any major component of which, when subjected to inspection by the types of X-ray machines commonly used at airports, does not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the component. Barium sulfate or other compounds may be used in the fabrication of the component.
(C) For purposes of this paragraph, the terms "firearm," "major component," and "Security Exemplar" have the same meanings as those terms are defined in Section 922 of Title 18 of the United States Code.
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  #25  
Old 01-27-2009, 11:56 AM
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OK, there is a legal way to make your own flashlight gun, just file a AOW Form 1 first. Once approved, you can make your flashlight gun.

As an approved AOW, it would be exempt from all of 12020. You can't make a pen-gun, since that is specifically exempted from the AOW exemption , but a flashlight gun is not a pen-gun.
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  #26  
Old 01-27-2009, 1:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke6guj View Post
OK, there is a legal way to make your own flashlight gun, just file a AOW Form 1 first. Once approved, you can make your flashlight gun.

As an approved AOW, it would be exempt from all of 12020. You can't make a pen-gun, since that is specifically exempted from the AOW exemption , but a flashlight gun is not a pen-gun.
Jack, how do you avoid the zip gun issues for CA?
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Old 01-27-2009, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uclaplinker View Post
Jack, how do you avoid the zip gun issues for CA?
thats easy. zip gun issues are a 12020 violation. An approved AOW exempts you from ALL of 12020, so even if it was a zip gun, there is no violation. And it gets better. the payment of a $200 tax for the Form 1 may cover section (C) of 12020(c)(10) as either "tax paid on the weapon" or the Form 1 may exempt you from needing to pay the tax in the first place.

Quote:
(c)(10) As used in this section, a "zip gun" means any weapon or device which meets all of the following criteria:
(A) It was not imported as a firearm by an importer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(B) It was not originally designed to be a firearm by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(C) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(D) It is made or altered to expel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.

But even if the $200 tax doesn't void it as being a zip gun by covering section (C), the AOW status trumps the zip gun violation in the first place.

Here is the AOW exemption to all of 12020.

Quote:
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
(8) Any other weapon as defined in subsection (e) of Section 5845 of Title 26 of the United States Code and which is in the possession of a person permitted to possess the weapons pursuant to the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-618), as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto. Any person prohibited by Section 12021, 12021.1, or 12101 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code from possessing these weapons who obtains title to these weapons by bequest or intestate succession may retain title for not more than one year, but actual possession of these weapons at any time is punishable pursuant to Section 12021, 12021.1, or 12101 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Within the year, the person shall transfer title to the weapons by sale, gift, or other disposition. Any person who violates this paragraph is in violation of subdivision (a). The exemption provided in this subdivision does not apply to pen guns.

edit: Plus there exists the possibility that the zip gun regulations are unenforcable in the first place. We, as the public are already exempt from having to pay excise tax on firearms that we make for home use. It was brought up on the forum before that section (C) may be voided by that fact, and if so, then there is no way that a homemade firearm could meet all for requirements to be considered a zip gun.

Hopefully the Right People are looking further into section (C) for Don Anderson's case.
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Last edited by ke6guj; 01-27-2009 at 1:30 PM..
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  #28  
Old 01-27-2009, 3:11 PM
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Appreciate that... I'll file it away in my mental legal bank.

Thanks, as always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ke6guj View Post
thats easy. zip gun issues are a 12020 violation. An approved AOW exempts you from ALL of 12020, so even if it was a zip gun, there is no violation. And it gets better. the payment of a $200 tax for the Form 1 may cover section (C) of 12020(c)(10) as either "tax paid on the weapon" or the Form 1 may exempt you from needing to pay the tax in the first place.




But even if the $200 tax doesn't void it as being a zip gun by covering section (C), the AOW status trumps the zip gun violation in the first place.

Here is the AOW exemption to all of 12020.




edit: Plus there exists the possibility that the zip gun regulations are unenforcable in the first place. We, as the public are already exempt from having to pay excise tax on firearms that we make for home use. It was brought up on the forum before that section (C) may be voided by that fact, and if so, then there is no way that a homemade firearm could meet all for requirements to be considered a zip gun.

Hopefully the Right People are looking further into section (C) for Don Anderson's case.
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  #29  
Old 01-27-2009, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ojisan View Post
Not legal.
Do not do this.
+1 do not do this

(make a zip-gun) ETA: If you do, make sure you have proper legal counsel on speed dial, and the funds to defend your self.
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Old 01-27-2009, 7:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyAppleseed View Post
...I could probably convert a Mini Maglight into a pretty awesome single shot .22. The problem is the law...
That could be a problem....
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Old 01-27-2009, 9:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springfield45 View Post
Penal Code 12020
(a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

This is a stupid law. Sandbags are illegal! Hope it dose not flood.

No practice hand grenades, so no more plucky office desk signs.

No more unconventional pistols...........

using it to block water is fine - its only if you present it or use it as a weapon. So next 'emergency' when you are putting sandbags around your windows and doors, make sure you have a real gun handy for use as a weapon, and don't grab a sandbag!
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Last edited by DocSkinner; 01-27-2009 at 9:44 PM.. Reason: and I always liked that sign. Such a pitty...
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