California-Legal AR 15 Question

I’ve seen two types of CA-Legal AR 15s. One has the magazine affixed to the receiver. Rounds are loaded from the top. The other has a detachable magazine which can be removed via a “bullet button.” I just read the legislature is considering banning the latter, which will probably force my hand to purchasing one now. Is anyone familiar enough with these rifles to offer a recommendation with regard to a manufacturer?

I’m not familiar with the manufacturers, and i’m not qualified to offer you advice about which gun to purchase.

I will note, however, that if the proposed law banning the “bullet button” (SB 249) is passed, any “assault weapon” (as defined by CA law) with a bullet button will become illegal on July 1, 2013. So, even if you get in and buy a “bullet button” AR-15 now, if they pass the law your gun will still be illegal next July.

At least, that’s my reading of the bill itself, and of the news items about it. If i’m wrong, i’m sure someone will be along to correct me soon.

You might be willing to risk keeping an illegal gun. That’s not my business. But simply buying one early won’t make it legal if the law passes.

I would not risk owning an illegal firearm. I find it hard to believe they could ban something leagally purchased. Will have to look further.

As a rule weapons that are “banned” by legislation remain legal if they were owned/purchased/possessed/registered prior to the effective date of the legislation. If your interpretation of the law is in fact true, it would represent the first instance of that application that I am aware of.

Whose rule is this? Is it codified in law someplace?

There are plenty of examples of legislation banning firearms that did not grandfather existing firearms. And it’s not an ex post facto law, since you are currently breaking the law by possessing an illegal firearm, and it was not made illegal to own one of the firearms prior to the legislation being enacted. HTH

By “As a rule” do mean mean “usually” or “by law”? Because those are two different things.

If you mean “usually,” then surely you realize that, just because something has been the case in the past does not mean that it must always be the case. If you mean “by law,” then we would need to discuss the legalities, and work out what particular law or constitutional requirement would mandate that guns purchased prior to the effective date must remain legal.

It’s worth noting that the 1994 federal assault weapons ban (HR 4296, passed as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act) had a section specifically titled “Exemption for Firearms Lawfully Possessed Prior to Date of Enactment.” The fact that this section was placed in the legislation suggests, to me at least, that such an exemption would not be automatic, and would only apply if it was explicitly stated.

As far as i can tell, the proposed California law has no such exemption. Furthermore, the author and supporters of the bill have explicitly noted that a key purpose of the law is to remove from circulation firearms that they believe do not comply with the intent of California’s assault weapons ban. And finally, a group opposed to the law says, in its SB 249 Fact Sheet (PDF), that the law, if passed, would “Make hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Californians, including active law enforcement officers (who have no exemption under SB 249) into criminals on July 1, 2013.”

Which legislation was that? Even the .50BMG ban did not ban previously owned .50BMG firearms in California. As a practical matter, doing such a thing would be absurd. What are they going to do, go door-to-door to collect the now-illegal weapons?

mhendo, I mean “usually”, with usually substituting for “I have never seen it happen”. If you can post an example, I’ll be glad to accept it. Also, I thought gun-rights groups were fearmongering liars that misrepresented everything to fit their agenda. Funny that one of them should be used to bolster something like this.

If you want a civilized conversation about this issue, please don’t put words in my mouth or imply that i’m somehow being hypocritical by citing a gun rights group.

In my previous post, i outlined my understanding of the situation as accurately as i could, and included evidence from prior legislation and from the gun rights group. I’ve already conceded in this thread that my reading might be wrong, given that i’m neither a lawyer nor a gun owner.

I also never vouched for the accuracy of the “Stop SB 249” fact sheet. I simply presented is as one more piece of evidence suggesting that the California law might not have an exemption for bullet button guns purchased prior to the ban.

My apologies. It wasn’t an attack on you, it was just the irony of it that was too sweet to resist, and it just happened to be you that did it. Really, it was nothing personal.

Well, CA in it’s “Assault weapons " ban law, did allow for such weapons to be owned if they were registered timely, but they put many roadblocks and odd wording about it, there’s little doubt that mots of such weapons here in CA are actually illegal. So, 'technically” they may have been grandfathered in, but in reality they werent.

The Proposed Bill would apparently make most of the rest illegal, and do so even for those currently in possession. Mind you, it may well not pass. They propose a lot of crazy gun laws, few of which pass “as is”.

I note you didn’t provide any reference to support your assertion of the supposed rule. Given that you’ve made the claim, isn’t the onus on you to support it?

Anyhow, New Jersey’s ban on “assault rifles” did not provide for a grandfather clause. Neither did San Francisco’s handgun ban before it was struck down. That’s from 5 minutes of Googling.

Care to cite your assertions? Or did you forget we’re in GQ and not GD? :confused:

I didn’t forget. I followed that with a caveat that I was unaware of a single instance. Besides, it’s impossible to prove a negative. How does one prove the absence of something?

With regard to New Jersey’s ban which did not grandfather in any previously existing weapons, are said previously existing weapons illegal? How did New Jersey go about collecting said weapons? How many people were put in jail for possessing said weapons?

How 'bout that.

Thanks for leading me to New Jersey’s law. I did not know that. Is that the only instance?

Incidentally, reading about the NJ law seems to indicate that the state itself believes that they created over 100,000 felons. :eek:

Fair enough. No problem.

I will also note that the people who run the “Stop SB 249” website do, indeed, seem to have some of their facts wrong. For example, they assert that, if this law passes, it will be an ex post facto law, and therefore unconstitutional. But my layman’s understanding of the term suggests that they are wrong about this.

If i understand it correctly, a law that says, “From this date forward, ‘bullet button’ guns are illegal, and anyone selling, transferring, or possessing such a gun will be in violation of the law,” is not an ex post facto law because it does not criminalize behavior that happened before the law was passed. It only criminalizes behavior that occurs after the law was passed.

If the law said, “All ‘bullet button’ guns are illegal under California law, and anyone who has purchased, transferred, or possessed such a weapon since the passing of the original assault weapons ban has committed a crime,” then that would be an ex post facto law because it criminalizes acts that occurred before the law itself was passed.

As i said, i’m not a lawyer, but that’s how i understand it to work.

No, it’s not the only one. San Francisco’s handgun ban was also lacking in a grandfather clause. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

Well, it didnt make all those grandfathered guns legal, no. But you had a chance to turn them in or get them out of the city.:rolleyes:

And of course, the ban was unConstitutional.

Actually, the ban was struck since it was pre-empted by state law that specifically provided that municipalities had no power to regulate firearms in the manner in which San Francisco attempted to regulate them. Given that the ruling was issued by the California Court of Appeal, and not a federal court, there was no issue of constitutionality raised.

And in any event, Airman Doors made the erroneous claim that as a matter of rule, legislation banning firearms only applies to the possession/sale/transfer etc of firearms after the date of the ban. I think it’s safe to say that absent his citation of this purported rule, it’s simply factually incorrect (much like your assertion about the striking of SFO’s ban).

Hope this helps.

Umm, the California Constitution is still a Constitution.

No one is saying it isn’t. It’s not a matter of constitutionality. It’s a matter of preemption by a state law that specifically provided that municipalities could not pass laws such as the one SFO passed. I can’t type this out any slower. The law itself was unlawful. There was no issue of constitutionality raised nor decided.

I suppose I could play the same card that sent Airman Doors on his way itt:



Does the word constitution appear anywhere in the California Supreme Court’s conclusion?