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403 Handguns

by Ed Apple
March 19, 2001

"If this law were to be passed in all fifty states, the cost would be a whopping $14,000,000 a year to the gun industry."

We Californians are really lucky, thanks to our magnanimous leaders here, we have the right to buy and own any one of 403 guns. Yeah, you read that right. Because of the State's drop test requirement, that's how many handguns have been certified for sale here (as of 11:00PM, left coast time, March 17, 2001). 

Kalifornia Ztate FlagThe golden State has quite a racket going here. The fee for certifying a handgun is $200 per gun model! That means it cost Beretta $200 to get an okay for the "92 FS Compact Inox / Stainless Steel", and another $200 for the "92 FS Compact Type M / Blue Steel" model, both of which are 9mm's.

Since our illustrious leaders can't find the political "gravitas" to pull off an outright gun ban, they're trying to make it too expensive to sell or buy guns here.

Socialism is a long step on the short road to tyranny or a dictatorship, and we have more that our fair share of socialist democrats here.

What's happening to us could easily be exported to other states. Politicians are known for their greed, not their intelligence. But the wanna-be-tyrants in other states just might be smart enough to realize what the 'Rats in California are trying to do and how they are going about it.

If you don't think this is going to affect you, then consider that so far, at a minimum, Para Ordnance has spent $15,600 on 78 Guns, Ruger has spent $14,400 on 72 guns, Smith & Wesson has spent $9,400 on just 47 guns, and Beretta, Sig, Kimber, Glock, Springfield Armory, and Taurus all spent between $6,400 and $2,800. 

The anticipated costs of approximately $280,000 per year would be spread over the 1,400 anticipated handgun models. (Source: California Department of [In]Justice, Firearms Division)

"If this law were to be passed in all fifty states, the cost would be a whopping $14,000,000 a year to the gun industry."

If this law were to be passed in all fifty states, the cost would be a whopping $14,000,000 a year to the gun industry. That $500 handgun would now cost thousands of dollars. There would be no need for anymore anti-gun laws.

The already strapped gun industry can't afford to take this kind of hit, but there are about a thousand more guns to be tested, so they will pass on the cost of these tests to all consumers. The "feel good" laws here are going to affect all of us, no matter what state we live in. The option of moving to another state won't save you from this.

Couple this with the junk laws in some of the liberal Northeast states, and the financial costs to consumers will mount nation wide. A $500 pre-test handgun could eventually cost $550 to $600, if not more.

To be honest, I was surprised to see over 400 handguns already certified for sale. All these gun makers should be commended on their commitment to our right to keep and bear arms. They very well could have just said "see ya California," but so far they haven't. 
This is what the tests consist of:

"12127. (a) As used in this chapter, the 'firing requirement for handguns' means a test in which the manufacturer provides three handguns of the make and model for which certification is sought, these handguns not being in any way modified from those that would be sold if certification is granted, to an independent testing laboratory certified by the Attorney General pursuant to Section 12130. The laboratory shall fire 600 rounds from each gun, stopping after each series of 50 rounds has been fired for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the weapon to cool, stopping after each series of 100 rounds has been fired to tighten any loose screws and clean the gun in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, and stopping as needed to refill the empty magazine or cylinder to capacity before continuing. The ammunition used shall be of the type recommended by the handgun manufacturer in the user manual, or if none is recommended, any standard ammunition of the correct caliber in new condition. A handgun shall pass this test if each of the three test guns meets both of the following:" 

"(1) Fires the first 20 rounds without a malfunction that is not due to faulty magazine or ammunition." 
"(2) Fires the full 600 rounds with no more than six malfunctions that are not due to faulty magazine or ammunition and without any crack or breakage of an operating part of the handgun that increases the risk of injury to the user." 
"(b) If a pistol or revolver fails the requirements of either paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) due to either a faulty magazine or faulty ammunition, the pistol or revolver shall be retested from the beginning of the 'firing requirement for handguns' test. A new model of the pistol or revolver that failed due to a faulty magazine or ammunition may be submitted for the test to replace the pistol or revolver that failed." 
"(c) As used in this section, 'malfunction' means a failure to properly feed, fire, or eject a round, or failure of a pistol to accept or reject a manufacturer-approved magazine, or failure of a pistol's slide to remain open after a manufacturer-approved magazine has been expended." 

"12128. As used in this chapter, the 'drop safety requirement for handguns' means that at the conclusion of the firing requirements for handguns described in Section 12127, the same certified independent testing laboratory shall subject the same three handguns of the make and model for which certification is sought, to the following test:" 

"A primed case (no powder or projectile) shall be inserted into the chamber. For pistols, the slide shall be released, allowing it to move forward under the impetus of the recoil spring, and an empty magazine shall be inserted. For both pistols and revolvers, the weapon shall be placed in a drop fixture capable of dropping the pistol from a drop height of 1m + 1cm (39.4 + 0.4 in.) onto the largest side of a slab of solid concrete having minimum dimensions of 7.5 X 15 X 15 cm (3 X 6 X 6 in.). The drop distance shall be measured from the lowermost portion of the weapon to the top surface of the slab. The weapon shall be dropped from a fixture and not from the hand. The weapon shall be dropped in the condition that it would be in if it were dropped from a hand (cocked with no manual safety applied). If the design of a pistol is such that upon leaving the hand a 'safety' is automatically applied by the pistol, this feature shall not be defeated. An approved drop fixture is a short piece of string with the weapon attached at one end and the other end held in an air vise until the drop is initiated." 

"The following six drops shall be performed:" 
"(a) Normal firing position with barrel horizontal." 
"(b) Upside down with barrel horizontal." 
"(c) on grip with barrel vertical." 
"(d) on muzzle with barrel vertical." 
"(e) on either side with barrel horizontal." 
"(f) if there is an exposed hammer or striker, on the rearmost point of that device, otherwise on the rearmost point of the weapon." 
"The primer shall be examined for indentations after each drop. If indentations are present, a fresh primed case shall be used for the next drop." 

"The handgun shall pass this test if each of the three test guns does not fire the primer." (Source: 2001 Dangerous Weapons Control Laws Title 2 of Part 4 of the Penal Code and Other Selected Code Sections)

The "Potential cost impact on private persons or directly affected businesses: $1,600 initial application fee per applicant, $800 renewal fee per DOJ-Certified Laboratory. DOJ-Certified Laboratories will be required to pay the costs, not to exceed $1,500, for a post-DOJ-Certification inspection. Applicant and DOJ-Certified Laboratories will also be billed for the actual reasonable costs incurred during an inspection of an additional off-site location. Receipts will be provided to the applicant and DOJ-Certified Laboratories to substantiate these costs. Additionally, at least one person in charge of handgun testing must apply for and obtain a COE (Certificate of Eligibility) which costs $73 for the initial application and $17 annually thereafter. Manufacturers or importers will pay $200 per initial handgun listing, and $200 annually for maintaining a listing."

Incredibly, the CDOJ says that "Adoption of these regulations may (1) create or increase jobs within California; (2) create new businesses within California; and (3) result in an expansion of businesses currently doing business within California. Significant effect on housing costs: None." (Source: California Department of [In]Justice)

The Laboratory can in no way, shape, or form be a part of or connected to a "manufacturer/importer, wholesaler, distributor, or dealer of handguns." 

Only a moron would think that this kind of legislation would be good for business, unless the DOJ thinks that a large number of Laboratories will be built in the state. 

Like most lawmakers, most criminals are just not very bright; they seldom check to be sure that the barrel is unobstructed or that they have the right ammo for the gun, nor do they normally wear a holster. The concept of gun safety is a foreign concept to the vast majority of criminals. So, how this law is supposed to reduce crime or save lives is unclear, since it doesn't outlaw stupidity.

Also from Ed Apple:


Printer Version

And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787. Taken from Jefferson, On Democracy p. 20, S. Padover ed., 1939

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