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  #1  
Old 09-13-2010, 8:23 AM
gidddy169 gidddy169 is offline
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Default Night Vision Rifle Scope or PVS14 Legal in CA?

I was wondering if I can use a rifle scope to hunt coyotes or other small varmints. From what I was reading it looks like it is illegal. It also looks like it is illegal to have a night vision rifle scope on a rifle in CA? It looks like I could use a pvs14 head mounted but not mounted behind a scope? I was looking at the D760 night vision rifle scopes.

Thanks
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Old 09-13-2010, 8:24 AM
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POSSESSION of a Night Vision rifle scope is an Illegal "Sniper Scope" PC 468
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Last edited by RomanDad; 09-13-2010 at 8:26 AM..
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Old 09-13-2010, 8:39 AM
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From what I understand, a sniper scope is one that uses active night vision, not passive night vision. So a passive night vision scope would be ok to mount on a rifle. I believe they have had shoots at Angeles with night vision scopes before? Here is what the PC says:

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.


You would just need to check the hunting regulations to see if its ok to hunt with one or not (think spotlight). Also, you can only hunt 1/2 before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset, to you have a very limited amount of time availible to use it.
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Old 09-13-2010, 8:56 AM
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Thanks I would assume these http://www.fyeo.com/contents/product...iflescope.html as well as pvs14 would not be passive.
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:07 AM
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My understanding is that you cannot have both the scope and illuminator mounted on the weapon. It seems most people around here put the illuminator on the rifle and use goggles.
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:09 AM
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So you can own it if it is for scientific or educational purposes?
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:09 AM
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If the sniperscope has an infrared illuminator as part of it, it's no-go. Don't possess it.

Do not just take the batteries out, either.

Several of the ATN scopes have attached IR illuminators.

Night scopes that use passive (i.e, 'starlight') illumination are legal.
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
If the sniperscope has an infrared illuminator as part of it, it's no-go. Don't possess it.

Do not just take the batteries out, either.

Several of the ATN scopes have attached IR illuminators.

Night scopes that use passive (i.e, 'starlight') illumination are legal.
Thank You. I was never clear on this.

I was told by LEO (I know bad place to get information) that inside even starlight illumination scopes were infrared illuminator tubes, they merely project toward you and not at the target. I was told many people read the law the illumination has to be at the target, when the law in fact doesn't say that.

If you have looked into this and I was told FUD by LEO, I will trust you.
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt@EntrepriseArms View Post
From what I understand, a sniper scope is one that uses active night vision, not passive night vision. So a passive night vision scope would be ok to mount on a rifle.
That's also my understanding, and most of the NV devices in use today are passive, not active. The active devices were the earliest type of devices, used in the 50s mainly.

I think most NV users use goggles that can work with their existing optics, rather than a device that is installed on the rifle. But I don't know much about this area. If you're going to buy one night vision device for security use, what should it be? Goggles, monocular, or mounted scope?
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2010, 9:28 AM
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Fish and Game has it's own set of regulations regarding this, might want to do a search here as this topic has come up before.
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:33 AM
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Some of the "starlight" passive technology scopes use a supplemental IR emitter to use in pitch black conditions wherein no stars, no moon, no ambient light, etc. This apparently puts the device into jeopardy as a prohibited device per the PC (which was written with the WWII/Korean War era IR sniperscopes in mind).

1. The PC prohibits devices "adaptable to use on a firearm" which IMHO means, technically, if there is a weapon mount made for it, it is in violation. Correct? Even if mounted in a headmount? Even if you don't own a weapon mount? In fact, even if you did not own a firearm, wouldn't a strict interpretation of the law mean that mere possession of the scope is a violation?
2. The PC specifies "telescope" so does that mean that there must be magnification?
2. If a starlight device has an IR emitter, if it is covered in tape is it safe to use on a firearm?
3. Same device, if worn on a headset and used with a NV compatible optic, is it OK?

Seems as if there is some wiggle room for both a defense and a prosecution due to the obsolete technology the code uses, therefore putting alot of devices in a grey area.

Last edited by eltee; 09-13-2010 at 9:50 AM..
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2010, 9:39 AM
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I have an Elcan Digital Hunter day/night model. I once had this installed on an AR-15 along with two IR flashlights. Was this a no-no, even to take to the range (no hunting with it)?
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
If the sniperscope has an infrared illuminator as part of it, it's no-go. Don't possess it.

Do not just take the batteries out, either.

Several of the ATN scopes have attached IR illuminators.

Night scopes that use passive (i.e, 'starlight') illumination are legal.
Are you sure about that? I remember Big-5 was selling Russian gen 1 night vision scopes with IR illuminators mounted on the top. This was about 5 or 10 years ago. I was told you could possess them, but you couldn't mount it to a rifle. You basically had to use it as a hand held monocular. They ran about $139 or something like that. Since they were gen 1 they were junk anyways.
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Old 09-13-2010, 9:59 AM
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The PVS14 is passive. Therefore, it is legal to hunt with. It does have an IR illuminator for reading maps. However, it only works for a few feet at most. Clearly not of any value for hunting and it can not be sanely argued that you were using the IR to spot an animal.

Possession of a NOD with IR illuminator is only an issue with hunting.

My opinion is that it is much better to hunt with white light. I have done it both ways with top of the line Gen III technology. I prefer a good flashlight. No tunnel vision. And, the eyes of the predator reflect the light making spotting your prey easier.

Save the PVS14 for when the lights go out in OC/LA and bands of bad guys are going door to door looking to rape, rob, and murder.

Last edited by fnslpmark112; 09-13-2010 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:06 AM
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Mr. bwise,
Is this just a case of technology outpacing a law? Are the new thermal scopes legal for a civilian to mount on a rifle in California?
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkstep View Post
Mr. bwise,
Is this just a case of technology outpacing a law? Are the new thermal scopes legal for a civilian to mount on a rifle in California?
The only time a scope is illegal per CA statute is when it is used in conjunction with an IR illuminator.
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Old 09-13-2010, 3:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
Are you sure about that? I remember Big-5 was selling Russian gen 1 night vision scopes with IR illuminators mounted on the top. This was about 5 or 10 years ago. I was told you could possess them, but you couldn't mount it to a rifle. You basically had to use it as a hand held monocular. They ran about $139 or something like that. Since they were gen 1 they were junk anyways.
Just because it's for sale does not make it legal! In the 80's I bought a butterfly knife at a local store, two weeks later was arrested for having a switch blade ! Gotta make sure yourself as to weather it legal or not, your the one who is ultimately responsible for it.
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Old 09-13-2010, 3:37 PM
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OK, so am I correct in concluding that this is illegal?



Those are IR flashlights on either side of the scope.

I guess I need to be more careful what I build up...
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Old 09-13-2010, 3:43 PM
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If its 'telescopic' then yes it would be illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mzimmers View Post
OK, so am I correct in concluding that this is illegal?



Those are IR flashlights on either side of the scope.

I guess I need to be more careful what I build up...
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Old 09-13-2010, 3:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
If its 'telescopic' then yes it would be illegal.
Hmm...I don't know how to answer that. The scope is digital. It uses a CCD sensor just like a video camera. It does have a zoom ability, but I don't know whether that qualifies it as "telescopic."
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Old 09-13-2010, 3:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzimmers View Post
Hmm...I don't know how to answer that. The scope is digital. It uses a CCD sensor just like a video camera. It does have a zoom ability, but I don't know whether that qualifies it as "telescopic."

...and that's where it get's really confusing.

If the zoom function is performed using optic lenses, then I'd say its clearly telescopic. But if the zoom function is 100% digital, maybe...
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Old 09-13-2010, 3:54 PM
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Man, chalk another one up to these ridiculous "laws".

I've had a light on the side of my AR for a while now that came with an IR filter and was thinking of getting a night vision scope for the hell of it as I thought it'd be fun to night hunt with (not sure how to get around the "half hour after sunset" part at the moment).

Looks like I almost killed a kitten and endangered a bunch of children by owning a scary sniper scope!
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Old 09-13-2010, 4:00 PM
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OK; so, is a 2nd gen Russian 1pn51 passive night scope legal there or not? I need to know so I can know whether or not it can be sold to anyone in California or not from out of state.
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Old 09-13-2010, 4:10 PM
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Default I used to sell night vision devices and laser sites...

If the night vision device is passive IR and does not have magnification and is not used in conjunction with an IR illuminator, then it is legal.

The law [PC 468] was written by people who did not know how a night vision device worked and were relying on stuff they saw in the movies and how Korean War era active IR night vision scopes worked. The law has never been updated to keep up with technology.

Summary...
Active IR scope with magnification = illegal
Active IR scope with no magnification = legal
Passive IR scope with magnification = legal
Passive IR scope with magnification and an IR illuminator = illegal
Passive IR scope with no magnifcation = legal
Passive IR scope with no magnification and an IR illuminator = legal
Active IR goggles with magnification = legal
Active IR goggles with no magnification = legal
Passive IR goggles with magnification = legal
Passive IR goggles with magnification and an IR illuminator = legal
Passive IR googles with no magnification = legal
Passive IR goggles with no magnification and an IR illuminator = legal

Part in bold defines what is illegal.
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 09-13-2010, 4:16 PM
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Theres goes my plans to adapt my night vision to my scope...
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Old 09-13-2010, 4:49 PM
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Thanks Quiet. There was a lot of FUD here. You beat me to correcting it, and did a better job than I would have. This comes up every few months. The bottom line is that you can not have a scope with BOTH an active IR light source AND any form of magnification. That is all that the law prohibits. Many of the scopes that are out there have an illuminator that can be removed without damaging either unit. Take it off, and you are good to go. Get an IR spotlight that is not attached to the rifle, and you can zap anything you are allowed to hunt at night until your heart's content. Or get a night vision scope that you wear, such as a monocular or binocular, and use it with a magnified scope set up on the rifle. Or finally, use a 1x scope with or without an illuminator. Because of that very critical "and", as well as the specific "electronic telescope", you have to meet some very exact requirements to violate the law. Any combination that does not meet all of the requirements can not be illegal under that particular law. Had this law been written by anybody with half a brain, it would have simply said "no night vision of any sort for hunting". Simple, no wiggle room, very clear. Instead, they tried to get cute, and left it wide open for us.

-Mb

One other thought. Because the prohibition is on an electronic telescope, you might also be able to get away with a 1x night scope mounted to your rifle with a separate magnifier set up to view it, and an IR illuminator attached to it. While the net result is exactly what the law sets out to prohibit, the telescope is NOT electronic, and the night vision device is NOT a telescope. The IR illuminator is moot because neither of the other prohibited conditions are met. I don't know if I would try to push it with this set up, but under the letter of the law, it should be legal...
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Old 09-24-2010, 9:33 PM
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I hope i'm reading this right, so If I bought a PVS-14 mounted to a helmet and a surefire with IR illuminator on my rifle that combo would be illegal. But if the PVS was mounted to the helmet with the illuminator mounted to the helmet as well,that would be ok? (non-hunting scenario)
I was trying to buy some nice NVGs with some kind of illuminator for a rock climbing helmet, but im pretty hesitant now.

Sorry if this is considered necro-posting
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Old 09-25-2010, 4:14 AM
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Soooooooooo

Snipers only operate at night? Couldnt any scope be considered a "sniper scope", I mean I could use my 10x scope to "snipe" day or night. An acog could be used to "snipe" as well.
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Old 09-25-2010, 7:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troth020390 View Post
I hope i'm reading this right, so If I bought a PVS-14 mounted to a helmet and a surefire with IR illuminator on my rifle that combo would be illegal. But if the PVS was mounted to the helmet with the illuminator mounted to the helmet as well,that would be ok? (non-hunting scenario)
I was trying to buy some nice NVGs with some kind of illuminator for a rock climbing helmet, but im pretty hesitant now.

Sorry if this is considered necro-posting
If the PVS14 is set up in it's NVG configuration, it is legal to have an IR illuminator (flashlight/laser) attached to the firearm.

As long as the night vision device is not mounted/attached to the firearm, it will be legal.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by problemchild View Post
Soooooooooo

Snipers only operate at night? Couldnt any scope be considered a "sniper scope", I mean I could use my 10x scope to "snipe" day or night. An acog could be used to "snipe" as well.
But only during snipe season.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:52 AM
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are thermal imaging scopes not available to civilians? that would be the way to go, provided you had the cash
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreiter View Post
are thermal imaging scopes not available to
civilians? that would be the way to go, provided you had the cash
They are available.
However, some manufacturers only sell to Gov/Mil/LE, but that's just due to their policy.

Be prepared to spend lots of $$$$$ for thermal imaging.
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Old 09-25-2010, 1:24 PM
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I would think that these would be perfectly legal as long as you weren't using the detachable IR illuminator.

http://www.atncorp.com/nightvision-w...atnaries-mk350

http://www.atncorp.com/nightvision-w...atnaries-mk390

http://www.atncorp.com/nightvision-w...atnaries-mk410
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Old 04-04-2012, 5:15 PM
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Yes I know this is a old topic but ....

If someone made a scope that used ultraviolet instead of infra red light then this whole law would not apply .... just a thought
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Old 03-26-2013, 2:59 PM
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wow. i was reading this thread and i tell you what, i really cant understand how some guys can do it. i havent counted but it seems to me that the same exact answer was given multiple times in this thread, just re-worded. i was a firearms dealer for YEARS, and delt with and ordered for alot of police officers, DFG officers, sheriffs deputies,ect. it was always my understanding that, as some have already mentioned, you can use, buy and possess a night vision rifle scope as long as it DID NOT have an IR illuminator attached to it in any way, even if it doesnt have batteries in it.i had a ruger 22k hornet i used for a long long time to shoot critters after dark and never went to jail for it, and i was even checked several times by DFG and the sheriffs department in the field.it was sort of trying to try to explain to the dfg warden that your out shooting yotes and critters after dark with a night vision scope when their convinced that because your in the woods after dark shooting that you MUST be poaching deer. i even had one one time threaten to take my rifle because of the illegally mounted night vision scope on it, and i threw a comiption fit right on the spot, told them to call the sheriffs and their supervisor and have them respond on scene,ect that what i wad doing was legal and he had no cause or right to take my weapon. after waiting about 3 hours and debating with them for another hour, they finally came to the conclusion that i was 100% correct.yea, even with the PC right there in their faces, the DFG warden still couldnt get the concept. of course i am not in any way giving advise on what you should do as every situation is completely different, but what it boils down to is even being right, are you willing to take the heat and stand up if they happen to give you a ration over it...i dont own one anymore, but i am actively searching for one in a reasonable price range on ebay,ect. not to use to hunt with but what ill do is line it up,take it of the rifle and put it back in the box ( with the IR illuminator stored seperately of course in a whole other part of the house) just in case we are attacked by aliens, zombies start crawling from their graves or we go into an all out civil war and i need it. you would be pleasently suprised at how far and how clear you can see with a NVRS with no IR on it on a moonlit starlit night. ive shot yotes out at around 350 yards on open terrain years ago with the el-cheapo i owned...'nuff said.
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  #36  
Old 04-23-2014, 12:12 AM
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Are Thermal optics legal?
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Old 04-23-2014, 7:34 AM
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It is illegal to hunt using any type of light amplifying electronic device in Ca. Per Fish and Game code. That includes googles or monoculars. Doesn't matter if it's passive or not.
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Old 04-23-2014, 8:16 AM
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par·a·graph
noun \ˈper-ə-ˌgraf, ˈpa-rə-\

: a part of a piece of writing that usually deals with one subject, that begins on a new line, and that is made up of one or more sentences



Sorry, but folks - if you want anybody to be able to clearly understand your thoughts and respond appropriately, you need to learn a bit of grammar.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddingShooter View Post
wow. i was reading this thread and i tell you what, i really cant understand how some guys can do it. i havent counted but it seems to me that the same exact answer was given multiple times in this thread, just re-worded. i was a firearms dealer for YEARS, and delt with and ordered for alot of police officers, DFG officers, sheriffs deputies,ect. it was always my understanding that, as some have already mentioned, you can use, buy and possess a night vision rifle scope as long as it DID NOT have an IR illuminator attached to it in any way, even if it doesnt have batteries in it.i had a ruger 22k hornet i used for a long long time to shoot critters after dark and never went to jail for it, and i was even checked several times by DFG and the sheriffs department in the field.it was sort of trying to try to explain to the dfg warden that your out shooting yotes and critters after dark with a night vision scope when their convinced that because your in the woods after dark shooting that you MUST be poaching deer. i even had one one time threaten to take my rifle because of the illegally mounted night vision scope on it, and i threw a comiption fit right on the spot, told them to call the sheriffs and their supervisor and have them respond on scene,ect that what i wad doing was legal and he had no cause or right to take my weapon. after waiting about 3 hours and debating with them for another hour, they finally came to the conclusion that i was 100% correct.yea, even with the PC right there in their faces, the DFG warden still couldnt get the concept. of course i am not in any way giving advise on what you should do as every situation is completely different, but what it boils down to is even being right, are you willing to take the heat and stand up if they happen to give you a ration over it...i dont own one anymore, but i am actively searching for one in a reasonable price range on ebay,ect. not to use to hunt with but what ill do is line it up,take it of the rifle and put it back in the box ( with the IR illuminator stored seperately of course in a whole other part of the house) just in case we are attacked by aliens, zombies start crawling from their graves or we go into an all out civil war and i need it. you would be pleasently suprised at how far and how clear you can see with a NVRS with no IR on it on a moonlit starlit night. ive shot yotes out at around 350 yards on open terrain years ago with the el-cheapo i owned...'nuff said.
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  #39  
Old 04-23-2014, 8:46 AM
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Snipe hunting is done with shotguns. So, there is no reason for a scope.
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Old 04-23-2014, 9:05 AM
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Necropost... Anyway, my biggest concern with something like the PVS14 is that is was legitimately acquired. Could be an issue.
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