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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 12-05-2012, 11:18 AM
PixelBender PixelBender is offline
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Default Photography and Real Firearms - In "Public"

I've been chatting with a friend about some recent work she did. The photographer provided prop guns with a the orange "blazer tip."

Anyone into guns or movies with lots of guns, could tell it's a fake POS.

I suggested using real guns, preferably prop guns, but real ones with missing parts would work as well. Missing parts such as firing pins, bolt carrier groups, or sealed (proper term?) barrels, and the like. Anything that would make the gun inert.

That brings me to the next part of this conversation. I wonder if it is legal to disable/deactivate a firearm for an outdoor photo shoot.

Sadly we live in California, and firearms outside the home, or outside of the range, are a REALLY big deal. I don't want to push any boundaries, but I would like to know where the line in the sand is with regards to using real firearms, in public, as props.

By public I dont mean at a mall or any CLEARLY STUPID place. I mean public as in not inside the home, studio, or range.

For example, an abandoned hospital, an old run down house, the LA River, the boonies (dry lake bead, forest, desert, etc).

Your response, as always, is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:33 AM
Mesa Tactical Mesa Tactical is offline
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I think you understand when you are breaking laws (GFSZ, etc). Otherwise, do whatever you want.

We have commissioned photo shoots using real shotguns, but always on private property (including behind our building). We aren't breaking any laws, so there is no issue. I think at a minimum you will need the permission of the property owner.

Now, even though you are legal, it might not be smart, if it's out on public. You might arouse the interest of the local constabulary, and despite all the chest thumping here about how one is within his rights, bla bla, bla, no one can legally tell you want to do etc, the sorry fact is an unhappy police officer can certainly ruin your entire photo shoot. What with paying models and photographers, that can cost a lot, no matter what your rights are.

So you will want to go to the local city hall and see if you can get a commercial photography permit and also make sure the police know what's going on. As long as you aren't breaking any laws you should be okay.

I'm not sure what you would gain by disabling the firearm. It's still a firearm, and all laws and restrictions still apply. If the shoot includes pointing guns at models, I'm not sure how I feel about that in any case. If there is no ammunition anywhere near the shoot then there is no way the weapons can be loaded and so they are no more dangerous than baseball bats. But I get queasy at the idea of people pointing even unloaded firearms at each other.

So we've done a little of this, informally. There are Calgunners around here who are in the film industry and so have a lot more concrete information and experience.
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Last edited by Mesa Tactical; 12-05-2012 at 11:36 AM..
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:15 PM
mej16489 mej16489 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelBender View Post
I've been chatting with a friend about some recent work she did. The photographer provided prop guns with a the orange "blazer tip."

Anyone into guns or movies with lots of guns, could tell it's a fake POS.

I suggested using real guns, preferably prop guns, but real ones with missing parts would work as well. Missing parts such as firing pins, bolt carrier groups, or sealed (proper term?) barrels, and the like. Anything that would make the gun inert.

That brings me to the next part of this conversation. I wonder if it is legal to disable/deactivate a firearm for an outdoor photo shoot.

Sadly we live in California, and firearms outside the home, or outside of the range, are a REALLY big deal. I don't want to push any boundaries, but I would like to know where the line in the sand is with regards to using real firearms, in public, as props.

By public I dont mean at a mall or any CLEARLY STUPID place. I mean public as in not inside the home, studio, or range.

For example, an abandoned hospital, an old run down house, the LA River, the boonies (dry lake bead, forest, desert, etc).

Your response, as always, is greatly appreciated.
AB144 is the bill for the outlawing of unloaded open carry (UOC) of hanguns. See PC26350

The reader's digest version is that it is illegal to UOC in public, in an incorporated city or in public, in an unincorporated area where discharge of a firearm is prohibited.

Beginning 1/1/13 a very similar law goes into effect for non-handguns.

There are exceptions to 26350 that would likely apply to your scenario.

26375. Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open
carrying of an unloaded handgun by an authorized participant in, or
an authorized employee or agent of a supplier of firearms for, a
motion picture, television or video production, or entertainment
event, when the participant lawfully uses the handgun as part of that
production or event, as part of rehearsing or practicing for
participation in that production or event, or while the participant
or authorized employee or agent is at that production or event, or
rehearsal or practice for that production or event.

There is no such exception for PC626.9 for handguns (The CA Gun Free School Zone)
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:21 PM
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This would not end well.

Just sayin'
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:40 PM
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As some one who works in the film business, and as a semi-pro photographer, and as someone who was just today wondering the same thing, I would suggest the following:

Still shoot on private property: Just need permission from the owner. Usually, they need a certificate of liability insurance that will cover their asses (when someone falls off of a ladder, for example). I would be OK with having guns on set, but would dedicate one assistant to babysit them: either the model is holding them, or the assistant is. No one else. Get some fake ammo from ISS if you need it. I think they will sell to anyone.

Still shoot on public property: You need a permit for a "commercial" still shoot, (from FilmLA) for which you will need liability insurance in place. Not that expensive, Tom Pickard offers a good package for about 500 bucks a year.

If you have guns you should have an armorer or someone who has an Entertainment Firearms Permit. Guns should be listed on the permit.
Of course, in order to hire this person, you will also need Workman's Comp in place, 800 bucks per year for billings less than 12K. Unless you can convince yourself (and the armorer) that the armorer is an independent contractor.

Isn't California fun?
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelBender View Post
I've been chatting with a friend about some recent work she did. The photographer provided prop guns with a the orange "blazer tip."

Anyone into guns or movies with lots of guns, could tell it's a fake POS.

I suggested using real guns, preferably prop guns, but real ones with missing parts would work as well. Missing parts such as firing pins, bolt carrier groups, or sealed (proper term?) barrels, and the like. Anything that would make the gun inert.

That brings me to the next part of this conversation. I wonder if it is legal to disable/deactivate a firearm for an outdoor photo shoot.

Sadly we live in California, and firearms outside the home, or outside of the range, are a REALLY big deal. I don't want to push any boundaries, but I would like to know where the line in the sand is with regards to using real firearms, in public, as props.

By public I dont mean at a mall or any CLEARLY STUPID place. I mean public as in not inside the home, studio, or range.

For example, an abandoned hospital, an old run down house, the LA River, the boonies (dry lake bead, forest, desert, etc).

Your response, as always, is greatly appreciated.
I find it troubling that you suggested that somebody do something and now you are trying to find out if it is legal.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:52 PM
PixelBender PixelBender is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBenson View Post
As some one who works in the film business, and as a semi-pro photographer, and as someone who was just today wondering the same thing, I would suggest the following:

Still shoot on private property: Just need permission from the owner. Usually, they need a certificate of liability insurance that will cover their asses (when someone falls off of a ladder, for example). I would be OK with having guns on set, but would dedicate one assistant to babysit them: either the model is holding them, or the assistant is. No one else. Get some fake ammo from ISS if you need it. I think they will sell to anyone.

Still shoot on public property: You need a permit for a "commercial" still shoot, (from FilmLA) for which you will need liability insurance in place. Not that expensive, Tom Pickard offers a good package for about 500 bucks a year.

If you have guns you should have an armorer or someone who has an Entertainment Firearms Permit. Guns should be listed on the permit.
Of course, in order to hire this person, you will also need Workman's Comp in place, 800 bucks per year for billings less than 12K. Unless you can convince yourself (and the armorer) that the armorer is an independent contractor.

Isn't California fun?
Thats so over the top. Does this apply to me, if I'm on sight, with my my own arms?

Also... To reply to what Mesa Tactical said... "If the shoot includes pointing guns at models, I'm not sure how I feel about that in any case."

Not a chance in hell. I feel the EXACT same way. Even if I'm at the gun store where every single gun is "unloaded" I still refuse to let my guard down. The second you're lax and forgo better judgment for assumptions and should be's and not-a-big-deals, that's when someone gets hurt. Be it at the range, the gun store, home, or anywhere else. Treat a gun as if it where loaded, regardless of "how safe" you're environment might be. If anything, it's like firearms training. You may not be in a fight, but you're training for one. Guns may not be loaded but you still treat them as such because one day you might find out that it was in fact loaded. Safety first. Always.

That said...

Whats with this dude tcrpe?
"This would not end well. Just sayin' "

There's always someone who is unable to see the bigger picture. I can't think of a better place outside of a studio lot, or FilmLA to ask a question like this. Sure it wont end well if I was a jack *** and said "ehhh it's not a big deal" Anything involving guns, should be treated as A VERY BIG DEAL. Again, safety first, that doesn't just mean physical safety, that also means legal safety.

A few good(cliche?) pictures isn't worth loosing my freedom and life over.


Thanks JBBenson, mej16489, and Mesa Tactical for constructive responses.
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Last edited by PixelBender; 12-05-2012 at 1:05 PM..
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Carson View Post
I find it troubling that you suggested that somebody do something and now you are trying to find out if it is legal.


Oooooohhhh kay.... They're my guns dude. I suggested we use real guns. Hence why this post is here in the first place. My exact words where "We could use real guns next time, but I have to make sure it's even legal."
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelBender View Post
Also... To reply to what mej said... "If the shoot includes pointing guns at models, I'm not sure how I feel about that in any case."
Simply for clarity; that wasn't me.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PixelBender View Post

Whats with this dude tcrpe?
"This would not end well. Just sayin' "
Well, dude, I assume that by "in public" you meant "in public."

That is where members of the herd public, not involved, will have their cell phones in hand.

This would not end well . . . . . . . . . but try it.

Also, what would you have to gain for the risk?
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2012, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
Simply for clarity; that wasn't me.
Fixed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBenson View Post
As some one who works in the film business, and as a semi-pro photographer, and as someone who was just today wondering the same thing, I would suggest the following:

Still shoot on private property: Just need permission from the owner. Usually, they need a certificate of liability insurance that will cover their asses (when someone falls off of a ladder, for example). I would be OK with having guns on set, but would dedicate one assistant to babysit them: either the model is holding them, or the assistant is. No one else. Get some fake ammo from ISS if you need it. I think they will sell to anyone.

Still shoot on public property: You need a permit for a "commercial" still shoot, (from FilmLA) for which you will need liability insurance in place. Not that expensive, Tom Pickard offers a good package for about 500 bucks a year.

If you have guns you should have an armorer or someone who has an Entertainment Firearms Permit. Guns should be listed on the permit.
Of course, in order to hire this person, you will also need Workman's Comp in place, 800 bucks per year for billings less than 12K. Unless you can convince yourself (and the armorer) that the armorer is an independent contractor.

Isn't California fun?
Yep, this is completely correct. Not over the top.
If you are filming with a firearm, or something that looks like a firearm, be prepared for the police to get a call from concerned person... they will come to your set and draw their own weapons on your actors. I have personally experience this. You need a 'rent a cop' on set, as well as firearms handler and filming permits. Any time you direct someone like actor to point gun in certain direction, you are legally liable for any consequences should something happen.
PixelBender... listen up!
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2012, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
Simply for clarity; that wasn't me.
Fixed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
Simply for clarity; that wasn't me.
Fixed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:11 PM
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Originally Posted by D Harry View Post
PixelBender... listen up!
Been listening. Thanks for the info. Sounds to me like the overhead for using real firearms on public land, or a set somewhere that isn't private property, is way over my budget and honestly not worth the trouble. It would almost be easier to just make it a BLM trip and have some fun shooting targets and ask the girls to pose while shooting. But yeah...

tcrpe, sorry for the tone. I misunderstood what you where saying and all to often I dont take the time to ask for clarification. I apologize.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:12 PM
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In public?In an anti-gun area like California? Lolz.

For a solution, the OP should film in Montana, where the cops show up because the neighbor wondered why you're NOT openly armed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:21 PM
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Is it legal to hack the orange muzzle off a toy gun? I know they have to be sold that way, but can you legally alter them? I'm a little shocked I am even asking whether it's legal to alter a toy.

Even if they are toys, if you are using realistic toys in public, be ready for a visit from Officer Friendly.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mesa Tactical View Post
Is it legal to hack the orange muzzle off a toy gun? I know they have to be sold that way, but can you legally alter them? I'm a little shocked I am even asking whether it's legal to alter a toy.

Even if they are toys, if you are using realistic toys in public, be ready for a visit from Officer Friendly.
There is a new law (have to go find it) that states that any toy gun has to be made out of bright colored plastic now. Removing the orange tip is "technically" illegal, but Airsofters have been doing it for years. My self included. It's a toy, and unless you're using it in a stupid manner, i.e shooting at people outside of a field, or playing airsoft on the side of a freeway or on public property, you dont really run the chance of there being an issue, but you never know. The whole bright colors plastic thing came about because of some kid who allegedly "pointed" a "replica" at a cop, and they shot him. Or something like that.

The bright plastic thing is a california law btw. I went to Disneyland and they where selling bright green and orange plastic (joker?) pirate guns. I was like ... WTF happend to the days when you could buy a wood flint lock replica? Jesus times change.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:33 PM
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Originally Posted by PixelBender View Post
I went to Disneyland and they where selling bright green and orange plastic (joker?) pirate guns. I was like ... WTF happend to the days when you could buy a wood flint lock replica? Jesus times change.
Times do change. When Adventureland first opened, the rifles in the shooting gallery were .22s.
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Old 12-05-2012, 1:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mesa Tactical View Post
Times do change. When Adventureland first opened, the rifles in the shooting gallery were .22s.
Must have been before my time
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Old 12-05-2012, 2:04 PM
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Don't know much about the law side but I work in entertainment and we rent Guns all the time. We very well may have to get permits, or other hoops to be able to do this I'm not in the department that does all that.

They have everything from plastic crap, to real guns that have been permanently disabled internally, and they also have real guns available. Depending on what exactly your trying to get in your photo/video shoot they can usually steer you in the right direction.

Things that involve any sort of live fire they usually require that one of their employees delivers, monitors and returns it each day but the permanently disabled ones usually they can ship and or anyone can go pick them up since they are just REALLY fancy paper weights.

I've even seen in where they will bring in safes, bolt them down and have 24/7 armed guards for shoots using lots of weapons. It was actually on a shoot where I held my gun for the first time and decided when I was ready thats what I wanted.

This looks like a pretty old list but you can see even some places where you wouldn't necessarily think have one and LA obviously exploding with them.

EDIT: On key thing I forget to mention, we do all of this while out on public streets and such while filming "on location".

Last edited by trevorlc; 12-05-2012 at 2:07 PM..
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Old 12-05-2012, 4:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PixelBender View Post
There is a new law (have to go find it) that states that any toy gun has to be made out of bright colored plastic now. Removing the orange tip is "technically" illegal, but Airsofters have been doing it for years. My self included. It's a toy, and unless you're using it in a stupid manner, i.e shooting at people outside of a field, or playing airsoft on the side of a freeway or on public property, you dont really run the chance of there being an issue, but you never know. The whole bright colors plastic thing came about because of some kid who allegedly "pointed" a "replica" at a cop, and they shot him. Or something like that.

The bright plastic thing is a california law btw. I went to Disneyland and they where selling bright green and orange plastic (joker?) pirate guns. I was like ... WTF happend to the days when you could buy a wood flint lock replica? Jesus times change.
Removing the orange tip isn't technically illegal, it is illegal, and it's a Federal law. That said, I've never heard of a responsible airsofter (not some idiots running around in a public park) getting popped for removing the orange. A lot of airsoft manufacturers ship their guns with way more orange than is required by law. I don't have the exact number at hand, but I think it's something like 2 - 4mm.

As to the colored toy issue, one of our favorite state senate douches, Kevin DeLeon, tried to get a law passed requiring all airsoft guns to be brightly colored, but he failed. And minor FYI, Disneyland merchandise isn't a valid indicator of state law...

If you are going to be shooting video/film in public using real or imitation guns, man up and get a permit.
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Old 12-05-2012, 6:25 PM
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Most LA prop houses rent reasonably realistic rubber guns.
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Old 12-05-2012, 8:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JBBenson View Post
[... $$$ ....]
If you have guns you should have an armorer or someone who has an Entertainment Firearms Permit. Guns should be listed on the permit.
Of course, in order to hire this person, you will also need Workman's Comp in place, 800 bucks per year for billings less than 12K. Unless you can convince yourself (and the armorer) that the armorer is an independent contractor.

Isn't California fun?
Or you could spend $300 on gas / hotel and go to Nevada and film whatever you want, with any guns you want, probably with no fees.

The porn industry has just been kicked out of California, and mainstream movies and TV are also fleeing the state. You can do the same for your firearms filing. It's cheaper and less likely to cause hassles for you.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:03 AM
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Since nobody mentioned it. Even if you disable the gun...it's still a gun subject to the law.

Carrying of holstered replica firearms in public is also illegal in California for anyone not holding the proper permits (TV, movies, etc).
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCWFacts View Post
Or you could spend $300 on gas / hotel and go to Nevada and film whatever you want, with any guns you want, probably with no fees.

The porn industry has just been kicked out of California Los Angeles County, and mainstream movies and TV are also fleeing the state. You can do the same for your firearms filing. It's cheaper and less likely to cause hassles for you.
Corrected it for you.

You are right on the second one. My wife's old employer found it was much cheaper to film in places like Canada, even allowing for airfares, hotels etc., than in California.
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Last edited by Glock22Fan; 12-06-2012 at 10:45 AM..
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  #27  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:02 PM
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If your shoot is in view of the public, you will be "brandishing a firearm". You should contact: http://www.filmla.com/ to get a permit to do your shoot. If your friend needs more guidance, or something more than what is in your safe, check out www.moviegunguy.com
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  #28  
Old 12-07-2012, 5:53 AM
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Short story:
I have a friend that speaks with a heavy accent, he came here from a communist country and was granted political asylum. He loves America and he loves guns. Had a gun collection numbering in the hundreds. Decided to sell some of the guns and was taking photos in his own backyard. Neighbor called him in as a potential terrorist, after all he has an accent and guns Swat, DOJ, helicopter, deputies all came to visit. Hilarity did not ensue. Every single gun was run by guys with laptops. All were good to go and they said "sorry about that" (the guns in the face, screaming & yelling, handcuffs and all the little inconveniences that go with a full on raid of your house)

Moral of the story? work with a voice coach and get rid of the accent......
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Last edited by psssniper; 12-07-2012 at 5:56 AM..
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  #29  
Old 12-07-2012, 6:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesa Tactical View Post
Is it legal to hack the orange muzzle off a toy gun? I know they have to be sold that way, but can you legally alter them? I'm a little shocked I am even asking whether it's legal to alter a toy.

Even if they are toys, if you are using realistic toys in public, be ready for a visit from Officer Friendly.
Not legal under CA laws [PC 20150(a)].


Penal Code 20150
(a) Any person who changes, alters, removes, or obliterates any coloration or markings that are required by any applicable state or federal law or regulation, for any imitation firearm, or any device described in subdivision (b) of Section 16700, in a way that makes the imitation firearm or device look more like a firearm, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) This section does not apply to a manufacturer, importer, or distributor of imitation firearms.
(c) This section does not apply to lawful use in theatrical productions, including motion pictures, television, and stage productions.
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  #30  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:33 PM
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All my airsofts came w black tips no orange... Am I going to jail? But serious they did come black... BTW OP gun wrangler and permits I am thinking... I have played around a bit doing stunt work but never did any gun stuff but I asked and was told all had to be handled by a gun wrangler...
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  #31  
Old 12-08-2012, 7:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesa Tactical View Post
Times do change. When Adventureland first opened, the rifles in the shooting gallery were .22s.
I remember real .22s in the shootin' gallery. Loooooong time ago.
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