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  #1  
Old 10-15-2012, 9:19 PM
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Default M4 with 20/30rd mags

I was told by a licensed gun dealer that as a active law enforcement officer I was able to purchase and legally own a M4 WITHOUT a bullet button and have 20 or 30 rd mags for it. This was news to me.

My department allows us to pull from the armory an M4 and has 20 rd mags in the soft case that goes with the gun. However we have to be AR certified through the department to carry / deploy it.

I highly doubt my Sheriff will sign the paperwork allowing me to Privately own such a gun.

The gun dealer said that since it was the same as the "patrol" rifle it was legal for me to have as a "training" gun, however I could not carry it in my patrol vehicle unless I was departments certified.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-15-2012, 9:26 PM
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Currently, the only tried and true way for you to purchase one is for your Sheriff to sign the authorization letter required by the penal code....and the other way would require you to be the California test case, as follows:

What about LEOSA and the CA Assault Weapons Ban?
• During LEOSA arguments, Rep. Scott offered an amendment to limit the weapons an officer could carry in other States to exclude semiautomatic assault weapons. This amendment was defeated by a vote of 13 yeas to 19 nays. (Which means you cannot be limited by an AW ban) (H.R. Rep. No. 560, 108th Cong., 2nd Sess. 2004 pg. 64-67)
• “If Congress enacts this legislation (LEOSA), police chiefs will be stripped of their authority to tell their own officers, for example, that they cannot bring guns into bars while off-duty; that they cannot carry…certain shotguns, rifles, or handguns….” (H.R. Rep. No. 560, 108th Cong., 2nd Sess. 2004 p. 85.)
• CA DOJ says, “An active officer can qualify with a pistol and carry an assault weapon. Doing so may violate departmental policy, though. Technically, a retired officer may carry anything that he can lawfully possess that is of a type of firearm with which he can qualify.” http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/leosiss.pdf
• In the case of People v. Drew Peterson, Case No. 08 CF 1169 (Oct. 1, 2010), by Judge Richard Schoenstedt of the 12th Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois. Question: Whether or not the defendant, a police officer, could be charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon given the implications of the Federal LEOSA legislation passed into law in 2004. Will County prosecutors in May of 2008 had charged Mr. Peterson with felony unlawful use of a weapon, contending he had illegally modified the rifle by shortening the barrel. Judge Schoenstedt said LEOSA precluded charging the defendant with the felony weapons charge. In his opinion, the judge wrote that:
“The defense argues simply that "LEOSA" applies to any firearm not specifically excluded (by LEOSA) whether or not that firearm is illegal by State law. The State's position is that "LEOSA" only applies to firearms that are legal by state law. The State argued that factors including concealed carry; possession; privately owned vs. department issued; and illegal firearms are not covered by "LEOSA" and are important considerations in their favor…[The judge found that] the intent of LEOSA is to allow qualified law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms, so that if the need arises, such an officer may unconceal; show; and ultimately use his weapon. LEOSA does not provide definitions as to the issue of carry or concealment, including whether it is permissible to have the weapon in a case, holster, waistband, and so forth. Similarly, LEOSA does not indicate that the size of the weapon is a factor in determining whether it can be concealed and carried. In fact, machine guns are typically larger than handguns and the machine gun is the only true firearm excepted from LEOSA…Under LEOSA, there is no distinction found by this Court that would treat a qualified law enforcement officer differently whether he possessed a firearm while on duty or off duty. The protection provided by LEOSA is simply not reduced or eliminated because an otherwise qualified officer fails to obtain permission from his department to use the weapon; or to arrange to have that weapon issued by his department…The State is essentially requesting this Court to assume or infer that the drafters intended to provide immunity only for State sanctioned weapons. In fact, it is possible to assume or infer the opposite in part because the evidence here shows that under different circumstances the officers of the Bolingbrook Police Department would have been able to possess and conceal carry this very weapon…Regardless, at trial it is the State's burden to prove each element of the offense charged. By these findings, it would be impossible for the State to do so. The defense's renewed motion to dismiss is granted.” http://www.policelawblog.com/blog/20...ns-charge.html
(The weapon was a modified Colt Sporter AR-w/ a barrel less than 16 inches in length)

So, what I am saying is, LEOSA exempts any qualified peace officer from the CA Assault Weapons Ban. Therefore, yes, you can legally own one without your agency's permission. However, you may be arrested and prosecuted, but you will ultimately prevail, as did those in other states, as seen in the example(s) above. Do not take this decision lightly....it could be a painful and expensive decision....eventually someone will do it, and they will prevail, paving the way for the rest of us.

As for the mags......CA peace officers are exempt from the prohibitions to purchase full capacity mags.
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Last edited by CalCop; 10-15-2012 at 9:28 PM..
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Old 10-16-2012, 5:52 AM
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Without the letterhead for personally registered AR to peace officer, you are out there on your own as to prosecution when you buy a new AR without a BB and use regular cap mags.

I wouldn't chance it, not worth it.
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Old 10-17-2012, 6:19 AM
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As far as magazines go, in CA an LEO can bring, buy, get as gift, own use on and off duty (or just for fun) ANY magazine for ANY firearm. Even if it has nothing to do with what they carry.

For example if You for some reson decide to buy a MAB 15 9mm (old french pistol) that You will never carry on or off duty or keep loaded for HD, You can still buy any magazines You want fot it.

The AR w/o a BB is different story.
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Old 10-17-2012, 6:34 AM
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The issue of import or manufacturing of regular capacity magazines is kind of a grey area, but you can buy and use whatever type of magazine you want as long as it is not used in any BB'ed AW.

For AW's, it would have to be registered preban or with a letterhead, if it's yours. For department guns, it's not an issue.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:25 PM
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"...but you can buy and use whatever type of magazine you want as long as it is not used in any BB'ed AW."

What about a BB'd AR pistol?
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Old 10-20-2012, 7:47 AM
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Don't put >10 round mags in bullet buttoned weapons, because fixed mag (BB'd) weapons with >10 round mags are "assault rifles." If you are going to do that, just carry a bona fide AR.
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Old 10-20-2012, 9:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalCop View Post
Don't put >10 round mags in bullet buttoned weapons, because fixed mag (BB'd) weapons with >10 round mags are "assault rifles." If you are going to do that, just carry a bona fide AR.
Same in BB'ed AW pistols. Don't put anything over ten rounds in anything BB'ed.

Even Saigas... which are limited to five rounds, from what I heard, in automatic shotguns.
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Old 10-20-2012, 2:04 PM
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Everyone says that even as an leo you cant put high cap mags in an ar but there has been no test case and with LEOs being exempt from the high cap restriction it could be argued that it does not make it an AW when used by LEOs. Bit would be something to ask the attorney general of the DOJ
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Old 10-20-2012, 3:53 PM
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A departmentally owned rifle is one thing, don't even think to buy your own AR without a department letter and then use + 10 rd mags with or without a bullet button.

CA. DOJ and the DA is NOTyour friend. They will hang you in a minute.

Use an issued rifle when using 10+ mags or get the Sheriff to sign a letter authorizing the personally purchased AR. Doing otherwise, you're hanging yourself out for a life altering event. Take this and the other advice here seriously. Licensed gun dealers are notorious for not knowing the law.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2012, 7:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancommando View Post
Everyone says that even as an leo you cant put high cap mags in an ar but there has been no test case and with LEOs being exempt from the high cap restriction it could be argued that it does not make it an AW when used by LEOs. Bit would be something to ask the attorney general of the DOJ
I don't think the magazine restrictions override the definition of an AW and LEO's have no exemption on using regular capacity magazines in a non-AW which is only so because of a BB.

Therefore, the BB'ed AR is a non-AW due to the fact that it has a BB. However, the use of any magazine which holds more than 10 rounds makes it an AW, which is illegal. You have a legal magazine that holds more than that, which is fine, but the minute you insert that magazine into the BB'ed non-AW, you have just manufactured an illegal AW which is not registered.

So, it's not the possession of the magazine that you have to worry about, it's the illegal manufacturing of the AW when you use it that way.

At least that's how I interpret it.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:17 AM
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Notorious is right. LEOs can buy any magazine they want. But, CA law says LEOs can't have unregistered assault weapons. A fixed mag weapon (BB'd) with a >10 round mag, IS a CA-defined assault weapon. So, the cop can have the mag, but once he puts it in the BB'd weapon, he now has an unregistered assault rifle. (Which LEOSA allows, but that is a different argument altogether.)
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
Even Saigas... which are limited to five rounds, from what I heard, in automatic shotguns.
I think you are referring to US Code 922r. That code says that imported weapons must remain in their imported "sporting" configuration. If you use "hi-cap mags" (>5 for shotgun >10 for rifle), you just made it "unsporting." If you "unsport" your Saiga, it can have no more than 10 imported parts from the 922r parts list. As imported, Saiga shotguns and rifles have 14 imported parts from the list. To get your count down to 10 and make the "hi-cap mags" legal, you need to replace the magazine with a US made hi-cap (counts as three parts: mag body, follower, floorplate) and one other US part, which could be a hammer or trigger. So...as long as you replace either the hammer or trigger, CA LEOs can have large capacity US made mags in their Saiga rifles all day long without issue. (Edit: I believe the Saiga shotgun needs a mag lock device so that it is not a CA defined Assault Shotgun.)

Here are links to explain:
http://www.dinzagarms.com/922r/922r.html

http://gunwiki.net/Gunwiki/LegalFederal922rParts

http://gunwiki.net/Gunwiki/BuildSaigaVerifyCompliance
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Last edited by CalCop; 10-22-2012 at 7:01 PM..
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2012, 6:18 PM
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You're right about the Saiga... it's a Federal regulation. What's the CA AW regulations with regards to magazine fed semi automatic shotguns?
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
I don't think the magazine restrictions override the definition of an AW and LEO's have no exemption on using regular capacity magazines in a non-AW which is only so because of a BB.

Therefore, the BB'ed AR is a non-AW due to the fact that it has a BB. However, the use of any magazine which holds more than 10 rounds makes it an AW, which is illegal. You have a legal magazine that holds more than that, which is fine, but the minute you insert that magazine into the BB'ed non-AW, you have just manufactured an illegal AW which is not registered.

So, it's not the possession of the magazine that you have to worry about, it's the illegal manufacturing of the AW when you use it that way.

At least that's how I interpret it.
Im not going to be the test case, however a legal argument could be made that with the LEO high cap magazine exemption this would remove the high cap restriction for AW and not classify an AW as such if it is an LEO with high cap mags and a BB who is in possession of the AR. Again, I am not going to be the test case nor am I saying that anyone else should do it, but the way the laws are written it would be a viable legal defense should it arise.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancommando View Post
Im not going to be the test case, however a legal argument could be made that with the LEO high cap magazine exemption this would remove the high cap restriction for AW and not classify an AW as such if it is an LEO with high cap mags and a BB who is in possession of the AR. Again, I am not going to be the test case nor am I saying that anyone else should do it, but the way the laws are written it would be a viable legal defense should it arise.
An exemption for purchase/importation/manufacture of a large capacity mag in no way, shape or form has any effect on the fixed-mag greater then 10 rounds = assault weapon statutes...

If anything makes it a gray area its LEOSA.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
An exemption for purchase/importation/manufacture of a large capacity mag in no way, shape or form has any effect on the fixed-mag greater then 10 rounds = assault weapon statutes...

If anything makes it a gray area its LEOSA.
thats your opinion as there is no case law currently stating such, again I am not saying to try it but should it arise because I know there are LEO's without a department letter running around with 30 round ar mags at home. Again there COULD be a legal defense based on the current exemption for LEOs to possess and use high cap mags that would remove this criteria from the AW definition.
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Old 10-22-2012, 6:46 PM
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I know there are LEO's without a department letter running around with 30 round ar mags at home.
LEOs don't need letters to purchase 30 round AR mags....there's no controversy there. http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/exemptpo.php

Non LEOs can possess 30 round AR mags.
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Old 10-22-2012, 6:57 PM
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You're right about the Saiga... it's a Federal regulation. What's the CA AW regulations with regards to magazine fed semi automatic shotguns?
CA PC defined Assault Shotguns:
30510(c) All of the following specified shotguns:
(1) Franchi SPAS 12 and LAW 12.
(2) Striker 12.
(3) The Streetsweeper type S/S Inc. SS/12.
and/or:
30515(a)(6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:
(A) A folding or telescoping stock.
(B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.
(7) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine.
(8) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by urbancommando View Post
thats your opinion as there is no case law currently stating such, again I am not saying to try it but should it arise because I know there are LEO's without a department letter running around with 30 round ar mags at home. Again there COULD be a legal defense based on the current exemption for LEOs to possess and use high cap mags that would remove this criteria from the AW definition.
Ummm... no. The disconnect here is that while LEO's can purchase new magazines over ten rounds and civilians can possess existing magazines over ten rounds, there is nothing in the law whatsoever that allows for the manufacturing of an unregistered AW, which happens whenever anyone, LEO or not, inserts a magazine that holds more than ten rounds into a BB'ed weapon, carbine or pistol.

The two laws are separate and does not overlap. That is, having a legal magazine which holds over ten rounds does not in any way shape or form, negate the prohibition against manufacturing of an AW without permission... which from what I understand, can only happen if you are a SOT or manufacturer with the proper licenses.

LEO's who buy an AW with a letterhead is not manufacturing, but merely legally registering it under the legal provisions thereof.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:25 PM
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Ummm... no. The disconnect here is that while LEO's can purchase new magazines over ten rounds and civilians can possess existing magazines over ten rounds, there is nothing in the law whatsoever that allows for the manufacturing of an unregistered AW, which happens whenever anyone, LEO or not, inserts a magazine that holds more than ten rounds into a BB'ed weapon, carbine or pistol.

The two laws are separate and does not overlap. That is, having a legal magazine which holds over ten rounds does not in any way shape or form, negate the prohibition against manufacturing of an AW without permission... which from what I understand, can only happen if you are a SOT or manufacturer with the proper licenses.

LEO's who buy an AW with a letterhead is not manufacturing, but merely legally registering it under the legal provisions thereof.
Again, that is your opinion, I never stated it was fact or fiction merely that it COULD be used as a defense should it ever arise. Its a hypothesis nothing more, there is in fact no legal case law either for or against it so therefore you cant say for certain it would not be a viable defense.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:46 PM
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Again, that is your opinion, I never stated it was fact or fiction merely that it COULD be used as a defense should it ever arise. Its a hypothesis nothing more, there is in fact no legal case law either for or against it so therefore you cant say for certain it would not be a viable defense.
You're absolutely right that without an actual court case that goes all the way up the appeals ladder, nobody would be able to say definitively what the wise men in robes would say, but I will take a bet any day against your position if a case ever goes to trial and upward.

As a matter of fact, I would wager that if we posit this question to a big crowd of lawyers, which side it would lean toward.

Viable or not, first question you have to ask is if it is reasonable or even logical. Because if we are to accept your position, it would mean any citizen that legally possesses a magazine over ten round capacity can also use it the same way because they have every right to use their legally possessed magazine, the same way a LEO can buy and possess and use the magazine.

The only difference is that a LEO can buy a new one, that's it. There is no other difference in the law with regard to magazines. So now that both parties are legal in possession of said magazine, why would it be different if both inserted said magazine into a BB'ed AW? I would think that there is nothing in the legislative record to state such an intent by anyone when drafting the AW or magazine limit laws.

LEOSA is a totally different matter, that is a way more acceptable and viable argument since it was used successfully, albeit under a different circumstance, to defend Drew Petersen's possession of a SBR in IL.
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Old 10-23-2012, 9:50 AM
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You're absolutely right that without an actual court case that goes all the way up the appeals ladder, nobody would be able to say definitively what the wise men in robes would say, but I will take a bet any day against your position if a case ever goes to trial and upward.
I would be astonished if a judge even let the argument be presented in front of a jury.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:47 PM
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I would be astonished if a judge even let the argument be presented in front of a jury.
The lawyer might be fined for presenting frivolous arguments.
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Old 10-24-2012, 8:40 AM
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If you have a RAW and then become L/E, you can buy new 10+ mags and use them in your preban ?
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Old 10-24-2012, 8:58 AM
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If you have a RAW and then become L/E, you can buy new 10+ mags and use them in your preban ?
There is no preban in CA with regard to Assault Weapons. Its either registered (RAW) or not. From the sage words of bweise; DROS at time of purchase was NOT registration.

So, presuming it is indeed a Registered Assault Weapon (RAW) and you have legally acquired Large Capacity Magazines; Yes, you may use them in a RAW.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:03 AM
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If you have a RAW and then become L/E, you can buy new 10+ mags and use them in your preban ?
The only difference between your RAW and the Leo RAW is that he can still register them with a letterhead while your deadline expired in 2001. All other rules are the same, except he doesn't have to lock it up while transporting on duty.
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