What is a featureless firearm

 

By Jim Campbell

July 1st, 2018

It’s just more nonsense that the anti-gunners have thrown in the way of law-abiding citizens in California who want to own guns.

Never in your wildest imagination did they give thought to criminals and all illegal gun owners complying with their absurd desires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s also not forget that most shootings and homicides happen with pistols than long rifles making the situation moot according to the U.S. Justice Department. (Source)

They also fall far behind baseball bats, hammers, clubs and knives with the most dangrous room in the home being the kitchen.

 

 

Perhaps the best thing to do is nothing as President Trump has promised to reverse the Obama anti-gun agenda. (Source)

Q: Hold up. Before you talk about whatever it is you’re going to talk about, what in the hell is going on

 

 

The short version is that, in 2016, the State of California enacted new laws that expanded the “Assault Weapons Control Act” (AWCA), Cal. Penal Code section 30500, et seq

Basically, SB 880 and AB 1135 (2016) changed some definitions around so that “bullet button” (i.e., magazine-locked) rifles and pistols were ‘enveloped’ by the statutes, thus using the legislative magic wand to convert them from regular old everyday semi-automatic guns into super-scary-assaulty-killers-of-puppies-and-kittens-and-children-and-destroyers-of-mankind-and-oh-my-God-theres-a-tidal-wave-of-blood-highly-regulated-firearms.

(Oh, and the California DOJ, under Attorney General Xavier Becerra — sweethearts that they are — made s**t up and expanded the laws through their regulations to also include semiautomatic shotguns with magazine locking devices as “assault weapons.” We think that’s legally wrong, but until judges agree with us and others on that, be aware.)

Please see the entire article below.

 

 

The deadline for registering eligible firearms is 11:59 p.m. Pacific time tonight (June 30, 2018). See Cal. Penal Code sec. 30900(b)(1):

“Any person who, from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2016, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, as defined in Section 30515, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be readily removed from the firearm with the use of a tool, shall register the firearm before July 1, 2018, but not before the effective date of the regulations adopted pursuant to paragraph (5), with the department pursuant to those procedures that the department may establish by regulation pursuant to paragraph (5).”

You might want to check out one of our older posts for more on this stuff: California’s new gun laws: What every gun owner should know before Jan 1 [2018].

Q: Ok, so this is all about California’s bullsh*t “assault weapon” laws?

Yep. But those can put you in poke-me-in-the-a** prison, even if you’re an otherwise law-abiding resident or visitor, and potentially even if you’re a cop or active military, so we figured we’d talk about this again.

Q: Alrighty then.. So, what is a “featureless” firearm, then?

The statutes don’t define what “featureless” means, but the DOJ passed a regulation (at 11 C.C.R. § 5471(o)) that states: “Featureless” means a semiautomatic firearm (rifle, pistol, or shotgun) lacking the characteristics associated with that weapon, as listed in Penal Code section 30515.

So, in essence, if the firearm *is not* an “assault weapon” by characteristics (i.e., “evil features”), it is probably “featureless” for the purposes of the AWCA.


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Q: Ok, so if it’s not an “assault weapon,” then it’s not an “assault weapon”?

A: Yes ….

Q: What kinds of things make a firearm lack characteristics that would make in an “assault weapon” under Cal. Penal Code sec. 30515?

A: First, let’s look at what the statutes say. Penal Code section 30515 states, in relevant part:

(a) Notwithstanding Section 30510, “assault weapon” also means any of the following:

(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:

(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.

(B) A thumbhole stock.

(C) A folding or telescoping stock.

(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.

(E) A flash suppressor.

(F) A forward pistol grip.

(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

(4) A semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:

(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.

(B) A second handgrip.

(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearer’s hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.

(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

(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.

(b) For purposes of this section, “fixed magazine” means an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.

The California Code of Regulations also have a bunch of important things to consider. For example, let’s take a look at some of the relevant definitions in section 5471 of Title 11:

  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(a): “Ability to accept a detachable magazine” means with respect to a semiautomatic shotgun, it does not have a fixed magazine.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(b): “Action” means the working mechanism of a semiautomatic firearm, which is the combination of the receiver or frame and breech bolt together with the other parts of the mechanism by which a firearm is loaded, fired, and unloaded.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(f): “Bullet-button” means a product requiring a tool to remove an ammunition feeding device or magazine by depressing a recessed button or lever shielded by a magazine lock. A bullet-button equipped fully functional semiautomatic firearm does not meet the fixed magazine definition under Penal Code section 30515(b).
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(k): “Contained in” means that the magazine cannot be released from the firearm while the action is assembled. For AR-15 style firearms this means the magazine cannot be released from the firearm while the upper receiver and lower receiver are joined together.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(m): “Detachable magazine” means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm without disassembly of the firearm action or use of a tool. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool. An ammunition feeding device includes any belted or linked ammunition, but does not include clips, en bloc clips, or stripper clips that load cartridges into the magazine. An AR-15 style firearm that has a bullet-button style magazine release with a magnet left on the bullet-button constitutes a detachable magazine. An AR-15 style firearm lacking a magazine catch assembly (magazine catch, magazine catch spring and magazine release button) constitutes a detachable magazine. An AK-47 style firearm lacking a magazine catch assembly (magazine catch, spring and rivet/pin) constitutes a detachable magazine.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(n): “Disassembly of the firearm action” means the fire control assembly is detached from the action in such a way that the action has been interrupted and will not function. For example, disassembling the action on a two part receiver, like that on an AR-15 style firearm, would require the rear take down pin to be removed, the upper receiver lifted upwards and away from the lower receiver using the front pivot pin as the fulcrum, before the magazine may be removed.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(o): “Featureless” means a semiautomatic firearm (rifle, pistol, or shotgun) lacking the characteristics associated with that weapon, as listed in Penal Code section 30515.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(p): “Fixed magazine” means an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.
  •  11 C.C.R. § 5471(q): “Flash suppressor” means any device attached to the end of the barrel, that is designed, intended, or functions to perceptibly reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter’s field of vision. A hybrid device that has either advertised flash suppressing properties or functionally has flash suppressing properties would be deemed a flash suppressor. A device labeled or identified by its manufacturer as a flash hider would be deemed a flash suppressor.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(t): “Forward pistol grip” means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp forward of the trigger.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(v): “Grenade launcher” means a device capable of launching a grenade.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(w): “Permanently attached to” means the magazine is welded, epoxied, or riveted into the magazine well. A firearm with a magazine housed in a sealed magazine well and then welded, epoxied, or riveted into the sealed magazine well meets the definition of “permanently attached to”.
  • 11 C.C.R. § 5471(hh): “Semiautomatic” means a firearm functionally able to fire a single cartridge, eject the empty case, and reload the chamber each time the trigger is pulled and released. Further, certain necessary mechanical parts that will allow a firearm to function in a semiautomatic nature must be present for a weapon to be deemed semiautomatic. A weapon clearly designed to be semiautomatic but lacking a firing pin, bolt carrier, gas tube, or some other crucial part of the firearm is not semiautomatic for purposes of Penal Code sections 30515, 30600, 30605(a), and 30900.
    • (1) A mechanically whole semiautomatic firearm merely lacking ammunition and a proper magazine is a semiautomatic firearm.
    • (2) A mechanically whole semiautomatic firearm disabled by a gun lock or other firearm safety device is a semiautomatic firearm. (All necessary parts are present, once the gun lock or firearm safety device is removed, and weapon can be loaded with a magazine and proper ammunition.)
    • (3) With regards to an AR-15 style firearm, if a complete upper receiver and a complete lower receiver are completely detached from one another, but still in the possession or under the custody or control of the same person, the firearm is not a semiautomatic firearm.
    • (4) A stripped AR-15 lower receiver, when sold at a California gun store, is not a semiautomatic firearm. (The action type, among other things, is undetermined.)
See also 11 C.C.R. § 5470:
(a) Except as provided in section 5472, an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, as defined by Penal Code section 30515, must be registered with the Department before July 1, 2018.
(b) A semiautomatic, centerfire or rimfire pistol with an ammunition feeding device that can be readily removed from the firearm with the use of a tool, commonly referred to as a bullet-button weapon, that has one or more specified features identified in Penal Code section 30515 is included in the category of firearms that must be registered.
(c) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle with an ammunition feeding device that can be readily removed from the firearm with the use of a tool, commonly referred to as a bullet-button weapon, that has one or more specified features identified in Penal Code section 30515 is included in the category of firearms that must be registered.
(d) A semiautomatic shotgun with an ammunition feeding device that can be readily removed from the firearm with the use of a tool, commonly referred to as a bullet-button weapon, is included in the category of firearms that must be registered.

Q: I hear about “compliance” parts for “featureless” guns. Is there anything I need to be careful about?

A: Definitely. There are a few dangers when it comes to these kinds of issues. Some examples:

  • The part(s) do not actually function to remove a firearm from the scope of the AWCA.
  • The part(s) are dependent on other, not-installed parts to successfully remove a firearm from the scope of the AWCA.
  • A law enforcement officer / prosecutor doesn’t agree with your or the product manufacture’s interpretation of the law.
  • A law enforcement officer / prosecutor doesn’t really know what the law is, but will seize your property and make you prove your innocence anyway.

These are not the only scenarios, either.

And as attorney John Dillon of Gatzke Dillon & Ballance, LLP recently noted:

[F]irearm and firearm parts manufacturers are doing everything they can to provide Californians with multiple options for firearms and firearms parts that: (1) render the firearm compliant under the law; (2) allow the firearm to maintain standard parts/features and properly function; and (3) allow California gun owners to avoid the requirement to register their firearms as assault weapons.

Many products on the market appear to accomplish these goals. However, it is extremely important that every gun owner and dealer ensure that their firearm products are compliant. Gatzke Dillon & Ballance LLP has provided the following letter titled, California Firearm “Compliance” Products and Devices, warning of various designs of rear take-down pins that allow the user to separate the upper receiver from the lower receiver without requiring the rear take-down pin to be removed from the upper receiver rear take-down pin locking lug. Thus, these products may not be deemed compliant, depending on how the California Department of Justice enforces these new laws.

You can — and probably should — read his memo here.

Q: What if I’m not absolutely, positively sure about my guns or some compliance issue?

A: You really should get legal advice from a lawyer that really knows California and federal firearms laws inside and out. Some lawyers with California firearms-related criminal / compliance experience include:

If you are unsure about your firearm’s configuration, its legal status, or its registration status — i.e., if you do not have affirmative confirmation of a firearm’s status as having been registered as an “assault weapon” — you should take measures to help reduce legal risk, such as by disassembling the action of the firearm. See, e.g., Cal. Penal Code § 30515.

Q: Someone told me that some gun part was certified by the DOJ. What’s up with that?

The California DOJ does not provide legal advice to gun owners, or firearm or parts manufacturers. There are no CA DOJ “certified” firearm products. Period.

Jury trials and experts are very expensive. Even if you win, you can almost never get your money back. Playing with fire with “assault weapon” issues usually means tens of thousands of dollars lost — or more, and potentially much more — not to mention jail or prison time, probation, loss of rights, and other costs (job loss, impacts to family, etc.).

There are many prosecutors in California — 58 district attorneys, plus the Attorney General himself, as well as local municipal (city) attorneys with limited prosecutorial powers. Don’t trust your property and freedom to chance.

If you don’t believe us, talk with a criminal defense attorney. You probably should, anyway.

Q: Is there anything else I should know or do before midnight tonight?

If you have (or plan to have) a “featureless” firearm in California, you might want to check out this post for more about how what the law says and what DOJ is doing may be two totally different things. And as we noted in an Alert yesterday:

California DOJ’s California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) system has experienced significant outages and issues that may affect or prevent an intended registration of a “Bullet Button Assault Weapon.”

The registration deadline is SATURDAY, JUNE 30, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.

If you attempt to register a firearm using CFARS, you should document the experience in as much detail as possible (date, time(s), issue(s), etc.), and take screenshots, pictures, or videos if possible.

If you are prevented from registering a firearm before the deadline, or if your registration is rejected or denied by DOJ, please contact our Legal Action Hotline ASAP at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline, by e-mail, or call the Hotline toll-free at (855) 252-4510 (24/7/365).

Our attorneys throughout California will continue to make every effort to protect California gun owners, including through our active litigation and direct communications with DOJ.

NOTE: Some have reported that Cal. DOJ may be using information/photos provided in the firearm registration process to acquire a warrant to search and seize property / firearms. If you are not completely sure about your firearms and the laws that could apply to them and you, it would be wise to seek legal advice. BE CAREFUL!

 

 

As history has shown, many of California’s hundreds of law enforcement agencies and thousands of police officers are probably not very well-trained in “assault weapons” laws and regulations, including what to do with a firearm that is in the process of registration but is not yet registered to the owner.

And remember that a person who transports an unregistered assault weapon “is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for four, six, or eight years.” Cal. Penal Code § 30600.

If you are unsure about your registration status — i.e., if you do not have affirmative confirmation of a firearm’s status as having been registered as an “assault weapon” — you should take measures to help reduce legal risk, such as by disassembling the action of the firearm. See, e.g., Cal. Penal Code § 30515.

“Action” means the working mechanism of a semiautomatic firearm, which is the combination of the receiver or frame and breach bolt together with the other parts of the mechanism by which a firearm is loaded, fired, and unloaded. 11 C.C.R. § 5471. According to the DOJ’s regulations, a weapon clearly designed to be semiautomatic but lacking a firing pin, bolt carrier, gas tube, or some other crucial part of the firearm is not semiautomatic for purposes of Penal Code sections 30515, 30600, 30605(a), and 30900. 11 C.C.R. § 5471(hh).

With regards to an AR-15 style firearm, if a complete upper receiver and a complete lower receiver are completely detached from one another, but still in the possession or under the custody or control of the same person, the firearm is not a semiautomatic firearm. And a stripped AR-15 lower receiver, when sold at a California gun store, is not a semiautomatic firearm. (The action type, among other things, is undetermined.) 11 C.C.R. § 5471(hh)(3)-(4).

Q: Anything else?

A: Yes!

NEVER EVER consent to a search. NEVER EVER talk with a law enforcement officer without your lawyer present and having been provided with specific legal advice. NEVER EVER waive any of your rights unless you are damned sure you know what the consequences of doing so are.

Do not ever consent to a search, no matter what. Even if the officers are friendly, you think it’s just a “simple misunderstanding,” or that you can talk your way out of the situation, do not consent to a search and demand a warrant. Remember that police themselves are legally allowed to lie to you in order to get you to consent to a search or provide reasonable suspicion of a crime.

– Ask if you are being detained or under arrest, or if you are free to end the encounter and leave.

– If you are not being detained or under arrest, politely end the encounter.

– If you are being detained or under arrest: TELL THEM (out loud) that you want to speak with your lawyer and that you are exercising your right to remain silent. Then, DO NOT SAY ANY MORE until you have a lawyer present and have been provided legal advice. (Courts have held that even if you tell them you’re exercising your right to remain silent, if you keep talking, anything you say may be used against you anyway.)

– Contact an attorney. Some lawyers with California firearms-related criminal / compliance experience include:

– Report the issue to our Legal Action Hotline at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/hotline, by e-mail, or call the or call toll-free at (855) 252-4510 (24/7/365).

Q: This is nuts. Do they really expect me to comply?!

As we said before, we fully understand and appreciate that everyone is sick of being criminalized and treated like second-class citizens. But, as we noted in another article,

failing to register an assault weapon in accordance with the statutes means:

  • During a law enforcement encounter, an unregistered “assault weapon” will almost certainly be confiscated and lost forever;
  • An unregistered “assault weapon” firearm may be considered a “public nuisance” and subject to seizure, destruction, and fines (Cal. Penal Code section 30800);
  • A person who, among other things, transports, lends, or imports an unregistered “assault weapon” may be subject to a stiff felony and who, “upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for four, six, or eight years” (Cal. Penal Code section 30600);
  • And so on…

These are potentially life-changing consequences.

We strongly encourage everyone to do their own research, talk with an attorney to get specific legal advice, and make informed decisions.

Q: Who is Firearms Policy Coalition?

A: We’re a real grassroots group made up of rockstar members across the United States (we call them the FPC Grassroots Army), constitutional and civil rights activists, policy experts, campaigners, and even some lawyers stop by from time to time.

Q: How can I Join FPC and help support gun rights?

A: You can Join FPC’s Grassroots Army right here.

Q: But I still have questions!

A: Many people do — what is the meaning of life? — but if you read through everything and still have questions….send us a note here and we’ll do our best to get your question answered.

Q: I hate you/whatever. 

A: That wasn’t a question. But if you think this is just another dead parrot post, feel free to file a complaint. (Related: Tears are delicious!)

 

THE END

 

 

About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement. Obama nearly destroyed our country economically, militarily coupled with his racism he set us further on the march to becoming a Socialist State. Now it's up to President Trump to restore America to prominence. Republicans who refuse to go along with most of his agenda RINOs must be forced to walk the plank, they are RINOs and little else.
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4 Responses to What is a featureless firearm

  1. JAFC says:

    The object of this in California is to disarm everybody except the AntiFa/John Brown Gun Clubs. So go figure.

    Like

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