THIRD TIME IS THE CHARMSteven Lieberman
THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM
This week, I wanted to have a conversation about freedom. Specifically, I wanted to talk about the phrase at the beginning of the Preamble of the Constitution that stipulates that the Bill of Rights were codified to “….secure the blessings of Liberty”
That will have to wait.
Sometimes, tyranny will intrude into even the most polite of conversations.
This happened last week, when the California Department of Justice finally found their ideal bureaucrat in the Office of Administrative Regulations.
Those of you that have “modern muskets”… California has identified you in the most despicable of terms. More to the point, they have decided what cosmetic features on your rifles are acceptable and what are not. Lastly, they have violated the concept of separation of powers and picked up where the legislature was not prepared to go.
So… to bring everyone up to speed:
Last year, the Legislature voted on a series of bills regarding firearms ownership. One of those bills was SB 880. Essentially, it said that a semi automatic rifle that had a bullet button affixed as a magazine release…. a device that was specifically created to allow for compliance under California law… was no longer effective. Up to this point, it was deemed that a semi automatic firearm, with one or more “evil features” and a traditional magazine release was an “assault rifle”. If the magazine was fixed in place, (a status that the bullet button allowed for) then it was not an “assault rifle”. SB 880 changed that. Now, if you have a rifle with a bullet button… then by definition, it is not exempt, and thus must be characterized as an assault rifle.
But the legislature did allow for a caveat. IF the weapon was owned before January 1 of 2018, then it could be registered as an “assault weapon”. Something that was prohibited for civilians to do up to this point.
DOJ decided that this exemption did not go far enough.
By definition, if following the law as developed by the legislature, the owner were to register the weapon as an “assault weapon”, they should be able to remove the bullet button and install a traditional magazine release. Since there is only one definition of “assault weapon”, and there are no sub categories, the registration process should have been remarkably simple.
DOJ thought otherwise. They crafted a new definition of “assault weapon”. Essentially, in their eyes there are two: Traditional “assault weapons” with regular magazine releases, and “Bullet Button Assault Weapons”… rifles that must live out their days with the bullet button fixed to the side.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here:)
They put forth their regulations and the methods to register the rifles. They did this in a manner that prohibited individuals from seeing the regs. The NRA and the CRPA squared up against DOJ and they backed down, voluntarily pulling their regulations in May.
Then, they tried again.
This time, they put forth substantially the same regulations they had put forth the first time, and they were rejected by the Office of Administrative Law.
So, they did what any good tyrant would do… they simply refiled.
This time, a new bureaucrat, (or perhaps the same one… but having had a counseling session with their masters)… approved the regulations.
So… as of this writing, you are free to register your “bullet button assault rifle” with the State of California.
I urge you not to.
First off… the registration process is unnecessarily intrusive and frankly potentially violates your Fifth Amendment rights.
While there is no law that states that you must “build out a rifle”, the registration process demands that you do. There are many people that have lowers that they purchased prior to the end of the year. No where in any legislation does it state that those lowers must be built into full rifles for registration. Yet, the DOJ demands that you do just that. They even want you to take photographs of the rifle and send them to Sacramento electronically.
Here is the thing… if you were to take your stripped lower, and assemble it in preparation for registration, and you affix a bullet button on it, you are committing a felony.
Yes… you need to commit a felony first, in order to become legally compliant.
Moreover, in the registration process they demand that you state date of acquisition of your firearm with a high degree of specificity. Many of you (and me as well) don’t have copies of our original DROS paper work. If we “guesstimate” when we picked it up…(information that DOJ has in their possession and can check)… and you get the date wrong: You’ve committed a felony.
Many of you know that as we moved forward towards registration last year, I was of the position that we should all register our guns and replace the magazine releases with traditional buttons. I wanted the State to scratch their heads, and wonder how they created a scheme where suddenly hundreds of thousands of rifles now had regular magazine releases on it.
Well… the State bypassed the rule of law, and created this bazaar registration mechanism that prevents that from happening.
So… now, I urge you all NOT to register your guns.
Go featureless… at least for the time being. Perhaps this really is the best course of action to make a political statement.
The tyrants wanted to force you to give up your modern musket and register it as an “assault rifle”. They wanted you to be forced into modifying your gun and make it less efficient, and less safe.
Show them how you feel by bypassing their unbelievably expensive registration system, and winding up with a regular magazine release to boot. Remember… if it is featureless, it can have a regular magazine release.
The weapon might look ridiculous, but then again sometimes we must make sacrifices in order to fight the forces of oppression.