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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 08-12-2011, 7:46 PM
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Default Tool cannot be "Attached"? (Abstract question)

Yeah, I know....I tend to ask abstract, grey questions. I've got a background in philosophy and theology, and work in a law office...give me a break. I want to understand the concepts and ideas; half these questions are never meant to be specifically acted on so much as to better understand the law.

So, ignoring the obvious "don't play with grey if you can't pay the atty" truth/warning, here's my question. CA DOJ (if I recall correctly) has said in the past that you cannot have a "tool" attached to the firearm, as it ceases to become a tool. You can't have your Riflegear bullet-on-a-lanyard tool attached to your rifle. On the other hand, we have things like the Ultimate Bullet Button tool that are part of the magazine, but cannot be used while attached to the rifle. The consensus has been that these are ok.

My question: is an attached sling part of the firearm? For instance, I have a Saiga 12 with a one point sling hooked up to it. It'd be really nice and convenient if I could attach my RifleGear bullet button tool to the sling, that way I have the tool readily accessible. The sling is not a firearm. However, it is attached to the firearm, and the tool can be used while attached to the sling which is attached to the firearm. Does this make it (by some screwed up version of the transitive property) "attached to the firearm"?


*insert all the appropriate IANAL, YMMV, "don't play if you can't pay" disclaimers here*
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Old 08-12-2011, 7:51 PM
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i dont know but if i tie a wrench to a car that doesn't turn all the nuts into wingnuts does it?
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Old 08-12-2011, 7:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bohoki View Post
i dont know but if i tie a wrench to a car that doesn't turn all the nuts into wingnuts does it?
No, but CA DOJ maintains that clipping a tool to a firearm makes a detachable magazine, thus a banned semi-automatic rifle. :P
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Old 08-12-2011, 7:57 PM
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The nub attached to the currently installed magazine isn't a tool. Only a nub on a magazine not attached to the firearm in question is capable of being used as a tool. After all, you could also use the firing pin or front sight post (etc), but not while attached to the gun.
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Old 08-12-2011, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GettoPhilosopher View Post
No, but CA DOJ maintains that clipping a tool to a firearm makes a detachable magazine, thus a banned semi-automatic rifle. :P
i'd love to see that letter
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Old 08-12-2011, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by GettoPhilosopher View Post
No, but CA DOJ maintains that clipping a tool to a firearm makes a detachable magazine, thus a banned semi-automatic rifle. :P
Only if the tool is usable when attached to the firearm. Otherwise as soon as you inserted a full magazine (bullets attached to the rifle per 12031) you would have a detachable magazine.

I think if you sewed a small pocket into the sling to hold the tool, but had to remove the tool from the pocket to use it you might be OK. Theoretically.
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2011, 8:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Decoligny View Post
Only if the tool is usable when attached to the firearm. Otherwise as soon as you inserted a full magazine (bullets attached to the rifle per 12031) you would have a detachable magazine.

I think if you sewed a small pocket into the sling to hold the tool, but had to remove the tool from the pocket to use it you might be OK. Theoretically.
This is what I'm getting at. So in your opinion, clipping a tool like this to a sling is the same as clipping it to the firearm, and is thus illegal?
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Old 08-12-2011, 8:56 PM
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This is mostly based on the expert witness effect.

"Mr. State's Expert Witness, could you take exhibit A in Hand? Thanks. Can you take this magazine, exhibit B? Can you insert tab B into the slot in A? Thanks. Can you detach the magazine using nothing but Exhibit A?"

Insert boo,boo,bah,boooh sound here.

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  #9  
Old 08-12-2011, 9:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hoffmang View Post
This is mostly based on the expert witness effect.

"Mr. State's Expert Witness, could you take exhibit A in Hand? Thanks. Can you take this magazine, exhibit B? Can you insert tab B into the slot in A? Thanks. Can you detach the magazine using nothing but Exhibit A?"

Insert boo,boo,bah,boooh sound here.

-Gene
Yknow, slap me and call me an idiot, but I can't tell if you're saying it's perfectly defensible or a horrible idea. ;D I probably need more sleep.

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Old 08-12-2011, 9:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GettoPhilosopher View Post
... CA DOJ (if I recall correctly) has said in the past that you cannot have a "tool" attached to the firearm, as it ceases to become a tool.
CA DOJ has said nothing of the kind.

The only thing we have is the regulatory definition stating a 'detachable magazine...' is one that does not require a tool for removal nor disassembly of the action. It also states that a bullet (tip) can be a tool.

We don't know a whole lot beyond that in many ways and anything could 'go wild'. Perhaps there's a small chance that a screwdriver hanging from a string might still be considered a tool - BUT DON"T TRY THIS. It could easily go sideways in court - there's no great test for when something is part of the gun or not, and anything tied to the gun could readily risk being regarded as part of the gun itself. The troublesome red MagMagnet device that stocks on BulletButton clearly is NOT a tool and merely becomes an alternative mag catch actuator, allowing manual not-tool operation.

Lack of constructive possession kinda works both ways: when something's separated from the gun it's not regardable as part of the gun. Conversely, if it's attached to the gun you can't projectively 'wish it away'.


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On the other hand, we have things like the Ultimate Bullet Button tool that are part of the magazine, but cannot be used while attached to the rifle. The consensus has been that these are ok.
Yep, the "UBB tool" you write of cannot be used while the magazine of which it is apart is installed in the gun. So there are no worries about its attachment.loss of tool status when attached

When the magazine is separated from the gun, it is no longer part of the gun. With no constructive possession it can't be 'willed' or projected into the gun. A magazine is freestanding and neither detachable nor attachable as such, as its status is determined by the maglock latch [or lack thereof] within the gun - and if the magazine is separate it cannot be projectively regarded as part of the gun due to lack of constructive possession.

The UBB tool tip on that magazine is equally not part of the gun either when it's on a magazine removed from the gun.


Quote:
My question: is an attached sling part of the firearm? For instance, I have a Saiga 12 with a one point sling hooked up to it. It'd be really nice and convenient if I could attach my RifleGear bullet button tool to the sling, that way I have the tool readily accessible. The sling is not a firearm. However, it is attached to the firearm, and the tool can be used while attached to the sling which is attached to the firearm. Does this make it (by some screwed up version of the transitive property) "attached to the firearm"?
I would regard the UBB tool mounted on the sling as toplogically identical to a screwdriver hanging from a string tied to the gun, and thus equally problematic.
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2011, 9:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
CA DOJ has said nothing of the kind.

The only thing we have is the regulatory definition stating a 'detachable magazine...' is one that does not require a tool for removal nor disassembly of the action. It also states that a bullet (tip) can be a tool.

[...]

I would regard the UBB tool mounted on the sling as toplogically identical to a screwdriver hanging from a string tied to the gun, and thus equally problematic.
Y'know, we need a "When you absolutely need to sue every $*(&@)##@$ in the room" style poster with you, Gene, and Librarian's avatars on it. "When you absolutely need a straight, concise answer on a firearms question".

Thanks! Like I said, not sure if I'd *ever* try this anyways, but the concept was intriguing. Apologies for the semi-FUD, I guess the "don't attach your tool" bit got logged in my head and the actual source got muddied.
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2011, 10:03 PM
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What if you have a bullet or cartridge attached to the rifle or sling (directly, or via a string)? The code states "a bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool." Since it is so explicit wouldn't that mean the bullet or cartridge is still considered a tool even if it is attached to a firearm? Going a step further, what if that bullet or cartridge were attached in such a way that applying pressure to it would detach the magazine but the magazine could not be detached without the bullet or cartridge in place? In that case the cartridge is acting as a magazine release, but the law specifically states it is still a "tool"?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GettoPhilosopher View Post
No, but CA DOJ maintains that clipping a tool to a firearm makes a detachable magazine, thus a banned semi-automatic rifle. :P
I don't think it was DOJ.
They've issued precious little regarding the legality of the bullet button.

But "TRP" have always maintained that the tool must not be attached.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2011, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bwiese View Post
I would regard the UBB tool mounted on the sling as toplogically identical to a screwdriver hanging from a string tied to the gun, and thus equally problematic.
Hmm ...



Tool belt or unregistered assault sling?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gat View Post
What if you have a bullet or cartridge attached to the rifle or sling (directly, or via a string)? The code states "a bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool."

Since it is so explicit wouldn't that mean the bullet or cartridge is still considered a tool even if it is attached to a firearm?

Going a step further, what if that bullet or cartridge were attached in such a way that applying pressure to it would detach the magazine but the magazine could not be detached without the bullet or cartridge in place? In that case the cartridge is acting as a magazine release, but the law specifically states it is still a "tool"?
If one were to tie a cartridge or projectile to the firearm, silly as that might look, one would have created an ambiguous situation similar to the original example; creating ambiguity is probably a Bad Thing.

I can't envision your second example - but the question becomes: why fiddle with esoteric arrangements when there are already simple, inexpensive, effective solutions widely available?
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BoxesOfLiberty View Post
Hmm ...



Tool belt or unregistered assault sling?
If, while it's all still attached to the rifle, it can actuate the bullet button, it's probably a semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and a feature and thus banned.

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Old 08-13-2011, 6:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hoffmang View Post
If, while it's all still attached to the rifle, it can actuate the bullet button, it's probably a semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and a feature and thus banned.

-Gene
Now that's a stretch.
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Old 08-13-2011, 7:04 AM
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So technically that makes the "ultimate bullet button tool magazine" trigger BSAR (banned semi auto rifle... did I say that right?) status?

Technically, the tool is attached to the rifle, may not be actually attached to the bullet button, but it's attached to the rifle. If a magazine was attached to the empty pistol of a UOCer in any way, would it trigger loaded status?

It's a bit too early for me, I'm a grave shift guy, so not enough sleep...



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Old 08-13-2011, 7:38 AM
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hopefully we won't need to worry about this much longer.
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Old 08-13-2011, 7:40 AM
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Seems to me that everyone has missed the obvious: A sling IS a tool. It is a tool used for carrying the firearm and at times it is a tool used for assistance in aiming the firearm. The firearm can be carried and aimed without it just fine. Quick detatch swivels make it a non-permanent attachment.

Of particular note is that DOJ allows bullet buttons because the mag becomes part of the firearm and requires a tool to remove it. Following DOJs logic, if it doesn't require a tool to remove it, how can the sling be considered part of the firearm???

Seems to me that DOJ can't have it both ways.

.
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Old 08-13-2011, 8:07 AM
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Window_Seat,

That was answered a few posts before your own. The UBB cannot be used while attached to the firearm, just as a firing pin cannot be used as a bullet button while still attached to the firearm.

Ryan
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Old 08-13-2011, 8:35 AM
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Oh, I can make this even more interesting. What if you have a rigid piece sewn into the side of your glove capable of actuating the BB? You could say then you are using your hand/fingers to remove the mag but is that any different than holding a tool with your fingers to do it?
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Old 08-13-2011, 8:44 AM
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What about two Ultimate Bullet Button Tool magazines taped/clamped together "Jungle Style" lol
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Old 08-13-2011, 9:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
I can't envision your second example - but the question becomes: why fiddle with esoteric arrangements when there are already simple, inexpensive, effective solutions widely available?
think of a mag release like an AK or M1a. PUt a shroud on it so that it can't released without a tool from being used. Mount a single-round carrier under the trigger guard that holds one round of ammo that has the bullet tip lined up with the the release hole of the mag-lock. Push the round forward and it activates the release. the ammo is removable and usable at any time. It isn't a permanent part of the rifle.
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Old 08-13-2011, 9:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MatrixCPA View Post
Oh, I can make this even more interesting. What if you have a rigid piece sewn into the side of your glove capable of actuating the BB? You could say then you are using your hand/fingers to remove the mag but is that any different than holding a tool with your fingers to do it?
no, the glove would be the tool.
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Old 08-13-2011, 9:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MatrixCPA View Post
Oh, I can make this even more interesting. What if you have a rigid piece sewn into the side of your glove capable of actuating the BB? You could say then you are using your hand/fingers to remove the mag but is that any different than holding a tool with your fingers to do it?
I would still say that's a tool. And that glove is sticking to *you*, not the gun and serves as a tool purpose.
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Old 08-13-2011, 9:38 AM
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Detachable: Removable without a tool.

Attached: Requires a tool to remove.

Detachable: Not part of the firearm. (think 'accepts removeable magazine...')

Attached: Part of the firearm.

So, by DOJs line of reasoning, if it doesn't require a tool to remove it, external detachable devices are NOT part of the firearm. If you have to use a tool to detach something from the firearm, then it IS indeed part of the firearm.

Back to having a sling with a bullet button release tool on it:

If the sling itself is detachable from the firearm, how could DOJ possibly justify calling the sling an integral part of the same firearm that has a magazine in it that requires a tool to remove it so as to be considered non-detachable?

The bullet button tool would be an integral, and permantely attached part of the sling, but the sling would never be an integral part of the firearm if it has quick detach swivels that do not require a tool for removal.

How much simpler could it be?

In Gene's court scenario above, cross examination combined with DOJ's BB letter would show the glaring obviousness of the prosecution's misapplication of 'attached' and 'detachable'.

Hoping the big brains can weigh in where I am wrong here.

.
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Old 08-13-2011, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Window_Seat View Post
So technically that makes the "ultimate bullet button tool magazine" trigger BSAR (banned semi auto rifle... did I say that right?) status?

Technically, the tool is attached to the rifle, may not be actually attached to the bullet button, but it's attached to the rifle. If a magazine was attached to the empty pistol of a UOCer in any way, would it trigger loaded status?

It's a bit too early for me, I'm a grave shift guy, so not enough sleep...



Erik; not yet saved by the bell.
The tool is attached to the rifle but you cannot use that specific tool to remove the mag... You have to use another tool (in the forum of another magazine) that is detached from the rifle to remove the attached magazine.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:45 AM
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Instead of clipping riflegear's BB tool to the sling, why not attach to your shirt/shirt collar? Then it is disconnected from the weapon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixCPA View Post
Oh, I can make this even more interesting. What if you have a rigid piece sewn into the side of your glove capable of actuating the BB? You could say then you are using your hand/fingers to remove the mag but is that any different than holding a tool with your fingers to do it?
I like this idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffmang View Post
If, while it's all still attached to the rifle, it can actuate the bullet button, it's probably a semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and a feature and thus banned.

-Gene
Gene, Really? one would have to remove the tool from the belt to use it, much the same as keeping a bullet, or other tool, in one of those MIAD grips. One would have to physically remove the tool from contact with the BSAR to enable the action, to remove the magazine.
-I think I just confused myself.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffmang View Post
If, while it's all still attached to the rifle, it can actuate the bullet button, it's probably a semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and a feature and thus banned.

-Gene
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Originally Posted by Ubermcoupe View Post
Gene, Really? one would have to remove the tool from the belt to use it, much the same as keeping a bullet, or other tool, in one of those MIAD grips. One would have to physically remove the tool from contact with the BSAR to enable the action, to remove the magazine.
-I think I just confused myself.
key words bolded. As in, while the round is still in the sling, you manipulate the sling into a position where you can use the round to detach the magazine. Hence, it could be argued that the round of ammo is part of the gun, and not a tool.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:54 AM
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So, where is there a "time limit" stating how long your tool is on the bullet button without your hand on it, to consider it to be "attached"?

For instance, if you insert said tool, and take your hand off it for 1 second then grab it again....in that 1 second time frame it's been attached is illegal? (gasp at the foolhardy!)

Sounds like checkers, if you accidently take your finger off the piece you've moved, you've committed the act and thus you're SOL...
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ke6guj View Post
key words bolded. As in, while the round is still in the sling, you manipulate the sling into a position where you can use the round to detach the magazine. Hence, it could be argued that the round of ammo is part of the gun, and not a tool.
How could your sling be considered to be part of the firearm if it does not require a tool to remove the sling??? Case in point, I present the Uncle Mike's Quick Release Sling Swivel w/cup:



Obviously this piece has been designed for quick release without the aid of any kind of tool. Just exactly like this piece:



Now, compare those two images to a bullet button that obviously requires a tool to release the magazine:




Can someone explain how the sling could ever conceivably be considered part of the firearm when used with the quick release swivels? If it is not part of the firearm, it is indeed a separate tool.

.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by hoffmang View Post
If, while it's all still attached to the rifle, it can actuate the bullet button, it's probably a semiautomatic rifle with a detachable magazine and a feature and thus banned.

-Gene
There are a few more words on that definition we van work with:

"detachable magazine" means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed READILY from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.

Removing the firing hand from the weapon, picking up another device (even if tethered to the rifle) to use to release the mag would have a difficult time convincing a jury it's now a detachable magazine.

(I am not going to be the test case for this argument)
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by choprzrul View Post
Can someone explain how the sling could ever conceivably be considered part of the firearm when used with the quick release swivels? If it is not part of the firearm, it is indeed a separate tool.
.

To add to that, we all know the receiver is the firearm.
Not the stock, not the sling or the barrel or any other part thats not the receiver.

IANAL, But it would SEEM (not advocating) to me that as long as it's not attached to the serialized receiver itself, it's not attached to a firearm.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Window_Seat View Post
So technically that makes the "ultimate bullet button tool magazine" trigger BSAR (banned semi auto rifle... did I say that right?) status?

Technically, the tool is attached to the rifle, may not be actually attached to the bullet button, but it's attached to the rifle. If a magazine was attached to the empty pistol of a UOCer in any way, would it trigger loaded status?

It's a bit too early for me, I'm a grave shift guy, so not enough sleep...



Erik; not yet saved by the bell.
No, because when it is attached to the rifle, it can not be used to remove the magazine.

One on a 2nd magazine (which is not a part of the rifle nor attached to the rifle) must be used to remove the magazine.

This differs from the cartridges in the sling because they do not have to be removed from the sling or the rifle in order to remove the magazine.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by choprzrul View Post
Of particular note is that DOJ allows bullet buttons because the mag becomes part of the firearm and requires a tool to remove it. Following DOJs logic, if it doesn't require a tool to remove it, how can the sling be considered part of the firearm???

Seems to me that DOJ can't have it both ways.
DOJ does not "allow" bullet buttons.
The DOJ and the 58 District Attorneys in the State of California have simply been unsuccessful in obtaining a conviction in the last 6 years.
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A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GOEX FFF View Post
So, where is there a "time limit" stating how long your tool is on the bullet button without your hand on it, to consider it to be "attached"?
"Attached" is "attached"
The illegality comes if the tool is functional when attached. At that point, it ceases to be a "tool" and becomes an "attachment"

The MagMagnet is an attachment because it will remain attached to the rifle, in a position that allows it to operate the mag release, without it being held in place.

The red bullet button wrench MAY be used illegally. It is able to become an attachment by threading it onto the mag release stud, but if it is not threaded on, then it will not remain in a position to release the magazine by any force other than gravity.... hold the rifle in it's normal firing position and the tool will fall out, or if it doesn't, it will the moment the rifle is fired.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 08-13-2011, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOEX FFF View Post
So, where is there a "time limit" stating how long your tool is on the bullet button without your hand on it, to consider it to be "attached"?

For instance, if you insert said tool, and take your hand off it for 1 second then grab it again....in that 1 second time frame it's been attached is illegal? (gasp at the foolhardy!)

Sounds like checkers, if you accidently take your finger off the piece you've moved, you've committed the act and thus you're SOL...
Yes, you're seeing the problem.

This is the fundamental problem with the MagMagnet device.

If it sticks on, it's part of the mag catch ==> part of the gun, and in essence just becomes a revised shape/design of the original mag catch.

Even if the MagMagnet were nonmagnetic, if debris or gunk + tight fit allowed it to stick on it's still a no-no.

If it sticks on for even a microsecond it's very easily argued it loses the tool status and assumes "part of the gun" status. Contrast that with the bullet tip exemplar or a screwdriver/punch that falls to the ground (and doesn't stick to gun) if the hand holding it is removed.
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Old 08-13-2011, 3:34 PM
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i'd love to see that letter
People do understand that that DOJ and BATF "Letters" that are sent out are worth less than the paper they are printed on correct? They mean literally nothing.
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Old 08-13-2011, 4:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke6guj View Post
key words bolded. As in, while the round is still in the sling, you manipulate the sling into a position where you can use the round to detach the magazine. Hence, it could be argued that the round of ammo is part of the gun, and not a tool.
ahhh! I get it now!
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