SB 249 More gun grabbing in California

On June 26, 2012, in General, by admin

SB 249 FAQ

Q: Who is the STOP SB 249 campaign and stopsb249.org?

A: The STOP SB 249 campaign is a coalition made up of The Calguns Foundation, Cal-FFL, and and thousands of law-abiding California gun owners and civil rights advocates opposed to SB 249. For more, please visit our About page.

Q: How do we STOP SB 249?

A: See the list of actions on our Take Action page at http://stopsb249.org/take-action.

Q: What is SB 249?

A: Senate Bill 249 (Yee SD-08 “Firearms: assault weapon conversion kits”) is a California State Senate bill authored by Senator Leland Yee designed to prohibit possession, importation, making, selling, transferring, or loaning, any “conversion kit.”

If this Bill passes, beginning July 1, 2013, violating the newly-added gun control laws would subject people to civil and criminal liability.

Penal Code section 17(a) makes a violation of the proposed law a misdemeanor since the proscribed conduct addressed in the bill is not listed as an infraction. (“A felony is a crime that is punishable with death, by imprisonment in the state prison, or notwithstanding any other provision of law, by imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Every other crime or public offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions.” Emphasis added.)

“Conversion kits” could also considered a public nuisance. SB 249 would allow a prosecutor to bring a civil action against the person possessing such a kit. Such a civil action could impose a fine and will require the owner to surrender their weapon without compensation.

For a thorough evaluation of SB 249 and it’s many hidden (and some not-so-hidden) dangers, please see the Davis & Associates legal analysis here.

Q: What exactly is a “conversion kit”?

A: According to the bill’s text, “a conversion kit means either of the following:

(1) Any combination of parts that, when affixed to a firearm with a fixed magazine, are designed and intended to convert that firearm into an assault weapon as defined by one of the following: (A) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (B) Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (C) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515.

(2) Any part that, when affixed to a firearm with a fixed magazine, is designed solely and exclusively to convert that firearm into an assault weapon as defined by one of the following: (A) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (B) Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (C) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515.”

Q: What is the problem with SB 249?

A: There are many. For starters, the definition of “conversion kit” within proposed Penal Code section 30527(a) of SB249 encompasses “any combination of parts” (plural) whether or not the individual possess a firearm capable of accepting the combination of parts. Under this regulation, it is not necessary to even have a firearm to violate this provision; mere importing, making, selling, loaning, transferring or possessing the parts to a “conversion kit” is a violation.

This “combination of parts” within proposed Penal Code section 30527(a) of SB249 is not limited to “Mag Magnets” and other locking device accessories, but applies to any “parts” designed or intended to convert a “fixed magazine” firearm into an “assault weapon.” A “Mag Magnet” cannot, by itself, convert a “non-detachable magazine” firearm into an “assault weapon.” Other features are required. Arguably, all other features identified as “assault weapon features” are therefore included within this definition. Thus, a “conversion kit” can conceivably include any of the following:

A magazine locking device accessory that converts a firearm with a “non-detachable magazine” into a firearm with a “detachable magazine;”
A detachable magazine kit, OEM or aftermarket;
A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon,
A thumbhole stock;
A folding;
A telescoping stock;
A grenade launcher;
A flare launcher;
A flash suppressor;
A forward pistol grip;
A large capacity magazine;
A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
A second hand grip,
A shroud that is not attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel,
A firearm with any of the above referenced items affixed in a manner that they cannot be removed;
A firearm with the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip;
A firearm receiver;
Any other part used in an “assault weapon.”

As such, the mere possession, importation, selling, of any combination of the above referenced “parts” could cause someone to be arrested and defend oneself against allegations that they intended to convert a firearm into an “assault weapon.”

And, because of the broad scope of affected items, firearms retailers would effectively have to cease operations as they could not lawfully sell or possess more than one of any item described above without facing potential criminal and civil liability.

Q: What training will law enforcement receive in order to identify these “conversion kits” and how will it be paid for?

A: SB 249 does not provide for or mandate training for the law enforcement officers charged with enforcing this bill. Any training would be left to the discretion–and funding–of overworked and cash-strapped law enforcement agencies like your local police department. Worse, there is zero public outreach or education planned as part of the bill. SB 249 potentially makes law-abiding gun owners, and anyone who possesses a “conversion kit”, a criminal and subjects their firearms to confiscation – and they may never know it until they are arrested and/or their firearms are seized.

 

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