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California's Attorney General Plays Games with Gun Law
"Bring us your money, and help us save face...
but you'd better not try to protect your own life."

by Angel Shamaya
Founder/Director
KeepAndBearArms.com

March 13, 2001

 

Single Action Shooting Society -- Preserving America's Firearms Heritage, and Having a Dang Good Time Doing It !!The Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) is holding their 20th annual "End of Trail World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting and Wild West Jubilee" in April.  "End of Trail" is a world class shooting event that brings the best of the best from all over America and abroad. When I say "abroad," I mean New Zealand, Italy, Australia, Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland... abroad.  This is the World Championship of Cowboy Shooting. Of all the shooting sports, Cowboy Action Shooting has made a name for itself as a family event. From young children to seasoned citizens in their 80's or more, the American Firearms Heritage comes alive through SASS unlike anywhere else from sea to shining sea.

But due to some of California's gun "laws," many of SASS's longtime competitors hold some legitimate concerns about bringing their equipment into the state, and this is especially true for the large majority of folks who travel by road.  On January 1, 2000, California Governor Davis signed a ban on the importation of "large capacity magazines," and that ban does include replicas and remade models of guns made circa the War of Northern Aggression -- many of them used in competition at End of Trail.  And traveling with thousands of dollars worth of expensive guns and equipment in a state that also has a ban on self defense and property defense is quite a risk, indeed.  

In essence, some of the best shooters in the world who travel by highway to one of the premier competitions in the world must make a rather distasteful choice: 

"Should I travel unarmed and risk getting robbed and/or killed by criminals, or should I risk getting robbed and/or imprisoned (or killed) by government agents who enforce 'laws' that prohibit good people like me from defending my own life and property? 

"As I participate in the fastest growing, family-supported shooting sport in America, Cowboy Action Shooting, in which way should I endanger my family -- via criminals, or via government?"

If you ever want a Texas-sized migraine headache, read the myriad of so-called "gun laws" in the California statutes -- what happens in your brain while traversing the interwoven tapestry of confusion will take half a bottle of aspirin to undo. I braved the California statutes to illuminate not only the absurdity of some of their "laws," but to help you see clearly how the government puts their income and their "reputation" above the value of your own life and property.

Large Capacity Magazine Ban

California's wise ones banned firearms that were made before most of our grandfathers were born. If you doubt the veracity of that statement, read:

12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:

(2) Commencing January 1, 2000, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, or lends, any large-capacity magazinesource

(25) As used in this section, "large-capacity magazine" means any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, but shall not be construed to include a feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than 10 rounds nor shall it include any ;.22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device.  source

The Henry Rifle -- invented and made popular on the plains in the 1860s -- holds 14 rounds. The Winchester '73 (that is 1873) holds 13 rounds. A number of cowboy guns from days of old hold more than 10 rounds. And originals, replicas and redesigns of originals with "large capacity magazines" are used in competition at the SASS' End of Trail event.

If you don't see the quandary, believe me when I tell you that the good folks heading to California next month certainly do.

 

Juggling Laws for "Sport," "Entertainment," Money and to Minimize Their Reduced Public Image

The California lawmakers -- benevolent dictators that they are -- have actually stipulated in their so-called "law" books that they have the power to grant exemptions to their gun bans.  One of their stated powers is drafted into statute as follows:

12079. (a) Upon a showing that good cause exists, the Department of Justice may issue permits for the possession, transportation, or sale between a person licensed pursuant to Section 12071 and an out-of-state client, of large capacity magazines. (b) For purposes of this section, "large capacity magazine" shall have the same meaning as that set forth in paragraph (25) of subdivision (c) of Section 12020.  [shown above]  source

And what, you ask, might be a "good cause," according to the "Department of Justice?"  How about a 5-day event that brings 15,000 people a day, has national prestige, is the annual Trek of many of the most dedicated shooters in our nation, and certainly brings a big wad of cash into the state and local economy?

California Attorney General, King Bill Lockyer, wrote the following letter to Single Action Shooting Society President, Mr. Boyd Davis. Mr. Davis just forwarded it to his members, and one of his members handed me this letter:

Dear Mr. Davis,

The Department of Justice recognizes the sport and entertainment value associated with the 20th Annual END of TRAIL World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting event. This event to be held in Norco, California, April 25-29, 2001, will provide entertainment and sport for more than 15,000 individuals. We recognize the need of competitors to possess replicas of antique "cowboy" rifles for participation in your event. We have no objection to your regulated possession and use of such rifles as well as the possession of such rifles for the specific purposed of travel into and within our state for this year's event.

Additionally, our office will contact Riverside District Attorney Grove Trask along with Riverside County Sheriff Larry Smith and communicate our position of non-objection to the event and the rifles utilized by participants.

Finally, I appreciate your close working relationship with this office and wish you success in this year's event.

Randi Rossi, Firearms Division
For Bill Lockyer, Attorney General

(To view the actual letter, click any of these versions: 150dpi  100dpi  72dpi)

"We have no objection" to your owning and enjoying the use of guns that were used by our Grandfathers to secure our state. "We have no objection" to your possessing and shooting guns that literally created The West as a safe place for our forebears to live. How truly noble of him.  What he didn't say but did: "We need to save our ignorance-riddled hides from the huge embarrassment that could happen if we don't bend over backwards to lessen the severity of having banned guns that are older than the oldest living person on American soil."  Old King Bill is quite a piece of work, isn't he.  He bails himself and the lackeys at his table out of deep doodoo -- but makes it look like he's acquiescing out of some form of understanding and generosity.

What I am wondering is this: does any member of SASS who has plans to attend the event from out of state see just what a farce King Bill's temporary suspension of the Civil War Gun Ban truly is?

 

What's Wrong with This Picture?

Granting an exemption to the ban on bringing antique replicas/originals/redesigns into the state for such an important shooting event is good, right?  We should be happy King Lockyer is being so generous, shouldn't we?  While this is certainly good on one level -- for shooters at this event -- let's look deeper, please.

The Law Itself is Insane

First of all, there is the glaring reality of the "law" itself. The Henry rifle was brought to Americans while people were still mourning (or celebrating) the death of Abraham Lincoln, in 1865. And these gun-hating rights infringers have told the entire nation and world that a General in the United States Army who is moving from Tennessee to California will be an instant felon if he brings a remake of this frontiersman's gun into the state. The sheer audacity of this gun ban is so outrageous, virulent anti-gun legistraitor, Senator Don Perata (Demoncrat) introduced SB626 last month -- to amend the above Section 12020 to exclude antiques and antique replicas and to exempt the many law enforcement personnel who are blatantly violating certain aspects of the law.

Why would a gun-hating legiscriminal undo a gun ban?

  1. It makes them look as ridiculous and overbearing as they are.

  2. They need to extricate themselves from their BAN ALL GUNS position until it is more politically doable.

  3. It's too early to play the "Ban Civil War Guns" strategy that is their true intention.

Temporary Suspension of the Law is Proof

Next, there is the arbitrary, temporary suspension of a law that must be considered -- and understood. Where does this "you don't have to obey this law" line get drawn, and under what circumstances? What are the ramifications of such a temporary suspension of a law? What does this really mean?

As Jim March has shown us with his groundbreaking exploration into the capricious doling out of concealed carry "permits" in California, we see once again that, in the minds of those in power in California, there are exceptions to every rule. However, unlike the "if you know somebody important, you get a permit" system Mr. March has exposed, the one-time, telltale suspension of the Civil War Rifle Ban isn't being handed out far and wide, to our knowledge. It's safe to say that if you or I decide to host our own shooting event in California and we get "caught" with "contraband" 19th century replicas/originals/redesigns, we could be slapped with a felony and stripped of our gun rights for life.  (Of one thing I am certain: they wouldn't have an easy time taking me in on that charge.)

When I asked Jim March to read the rough draft of this report to make sure it was accurate and covered all obvious bases, his response was so exacting it's easiest to just share the quote directly:

"The *only* addition I'd make is a little more emphasis that 'selective enforcement' of any law is generally enough to get the courts to take a very dim view of it. Also, the rule that the AG can suspend enforcement on special occasions CANNOT properly apply here because there's no way to ensure that a traveler to the event will have the 'selective non-enforcement' recognized by agencies elsewhere in the state. They'll have no personalized documentation that they're covered, and such a document is the only real protection possible.

"Even if the Riverside County Sheriff's office gets alerted, somebody driving in from Oregon will cross...lesse...20 to 30 counties(!) before getting to the site! Let's not even start counting the number of possible LEO agencies encountered, including Highway Patrol and the various cities.

"This is a bad joke. The document is probably illegal on it's face, unenforceable, and is strong evidence that the law itself is a disgusting mess that should be drop-kicked by the courts."

Jim March, March 13, 2001
http://www.ninehundred.com/~equalccw/

Digging Much, Much Deeper

Finally, and most importantly -- and the real reason I invested this time with you today -- we must assess the depth of the gross misprioritization revealed by this hilarious-but-disturbing situation: In the warped minds of California bigshots...

Sport, Entertainment, an Influx into the Economy and even something so superficial and inauthentic as "saving face" are more important than Life Itself.  (Your life, that is; they've got bodyguards.)

1)  There is a ban on carrying a gun for self-defense in California.  Unless you are a friend of someone high up in government, are a cop or some other special class of person with rank and title and position, according to the Union of Soviet Socialists of Kalifornia, if you carry a loaded firearm to defend your own life and/or property, you are going to jail, will be fined, and could be slapped with a felony for the rest of your life if you get caught -- especially if you resist their treasonous actions against you in any way whatsoever.  No letter has surfaced from King Lockyer lifting the ban on self-defense in this matter -- only the ban on antiques and replicas, for sporting and entertainment purposes, and only for this event.

2)  Many of the good people who travel to the End of Trail event take several guns to the event. One close friend of mine who has gone to End of Trail for the last twelve consecutive years estimates the value of the equipment he takes to be approximately $22,000 -- and that's just the guns. The vehicle in which he and his beautiful wife travel is worth more than twice the median annual income for American citizens, and the other gear in that vehicle would cost another ten or twenty thousand dollars to replace, at least. And how much value might their lives and safety be worth? 

But if they carry a loaded and accessible firearm to defend their lives, their property, and their "traveling home" and to do their civic DUTY by making certain that their weaponry doesn't get into the hands of criminals, and if they get "caught," they run the very real risk of:

  • having their entire collection confiscated,

  • being slapped with a felony for life and thus stripped of their entire (huge and magnificent) gun collection,

  • being put in jail for up to a year, and

  • being fined as a final spit in the face.

People who fought in wars and nearly died at the order of their country are being told, 

"Sure, you can come and bring your banned cowboy guns. Bring your family, and spend lots of money. Drive all the way to California, and help us save the embarrassment our ridiculous 'law' could cost us -- but don't you dare bring a gun to protect your own life; you are expendable."

Read just a sampling of the California "legal" code that insults these Americans so egregiously, or save yourself the headpounding and skip to the next section:

12031. (a) (1) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when he or she carries a loaded firearm on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory. (2) Carrying a loaded firearm in violation of this section is punishable, as follows:

(F) Where the person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11106, as the registered owner of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, by imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both that fine and imprisonment.

(4) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under Sections 12021 and 12021.1 of this code, Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or any other law with a greater penalty than this section.

(5) (A) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 836, a peace officer may make an arrest without a warrant:

(ii) Whenever the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has violated this section, whether or not this section has, in fact, been violated.

(e) In order to determine whether or not a firearm is loaded for the purpose of enforcing this section, peace officers are authorized to examine any firearm carried by anyone on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or prohibited area of an unincorporated territory. Refusal to allow a peace officer to inspect a firearm pursuant to this section constitutes probable cause for arrest for violation of this section.

(f) As used in this section, "prohibited area" means any place where it is unlawful to discharge a weapon.

source

12025. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when he or she does any of the following: (1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (3) Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which he or she is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (b) Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable, as follows:

(6) By imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment if both of the following conditions are met:

(A) Both the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person and the unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from that firearm are either in the immediate possession of the person or readily accessible to that person, or the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is loaded as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12031.

(B) The person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 11106, as the registered owner of that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

source

 

But What About All These Other California "Laws"?

We could invest time digging around Headache Central to find more "laws" in California related to:

  • "unlawfully" discharging a firearm (should they need to protect themselves from a pirate at a roadside rest area while in transit to End of Trail)
  • bringing a .45 with more than 10 rounds in the magazine (my friend's preferred self-defense gun with which he trains extensively in his commitment to remain alive and well)
  • discharging a firearm from your vehicle (could easily happen when traveling to or from End of Trail and attacked in your car)
  • the felony for knowingly traveling to End of Trail with someone who is "unlawfully" carrying a loaded firearm and/or a concealed firearm
  • being in possession of "too much ammo"  (I haven't had the heart to go digging and find that little monster, but I'm told there is a nasty little clause drafted by one of many traitors in California that 'grants' some government agents the power of arrest for having too much ammo, so I thought I'd throw it in as a possibility.)
  • possession of a handgun -- while traveling to End of Trail -- that is not listed in the exalted King's registry
  • resisting unconstitutional search and seizure when some traitor government agent attempts to rob you of your liberty and your property because he puts unconstitutional "laws" above his oath to defend your constitutional RIGHTS  (ALL of these laws are unconstitutional -- both state and federal constitutions -- regardless of what any treasonous wretch in a judge's robe has said.)
  • carrying a 15" hunting knife that is part of your Cowboy Shooter costume -- FELONY in California
  • etc. etc. until your brain explodes, but why bother.  The point is made.

Questions for King Lockyer

Are you also temporarily lifting your preposterous ban on self-defense for travel to and from the event you have blessed with your golden touch?

Or are you telling these good people who are bringing their families, a lot of money and the American Heritage to your state that they must submit to the first criminal who chooses to ignore your "laws" and hijacks them?

Are you instructing "law" enforcement officers (once known as peace officers) around the state to grant safe passage to these fine people?  (Safe. You know... like you are when you have armed protection.)

Or are you going to support some of these people getting pulled over, searched under your wide open "probable cause" clause, stripped of their guns and thrown in jail to face your screwed up, anti-rights court system?

Perhaps you will grant me some of your holiness by responding in time to let some of my SASS friends know the answers to these glaring questions -- before the event takes place.

 

Conclusion

The Redcoats Are Coming

Some of the most recommended home defense guns are still the lever action guns used at virtually every SASS event in America -- banned from importation in California if they hold more than 10 rounds, and many do. Colonel Jeff Cooper and the good people up at Gunsite have courses in the effective use of lever action guns, including those with California-defined "large capacity magazines." The government in California, like some of the wrongheaded, un-American governments in the Northeast, has proven quite clearly that they mean to eventually ban ALL guns.  We MUST revive the "Come and take it!" attitude throughout this nation. "Give me liberty or give me death" lives in the hearts of true patriots, and we must see to it that this attitude spreads like a wildfire.

What role did non-politically-active SASS Shooters Play in the Enactment of this "Law"?

SASS has a reputation among certain shooting circles of being "more politically active" than some other shooting organizations. Still, sadly, the SASS shooters who have ignored activism in defense of other types of firearms have reaped a certain "reward" of sorts for their inaction. I hope this situation has opened the eyes of those SASS members -- and shooters at large -- to show just how serious the threat to our gun rights truly is. And I am hopeful that the spur hurts enough to motivate a great many shooters to get busy defending our rights, too.

What Else is on the Anti-Gun Legislative Agenda That Deserves the Attention of Cowboy Shooters?

Dianne Feinstein has introduced a virtual ban on .50 caliber guns.   In essence -- though there are no crimes being committed with .50 caliber rifles, nor records of but one I can find on American soil -- Mrs. Feinstein would like .50 caliber guns regulated in the same class as machine guns. The $200 tax to procure a machine gun, the extensive background check, and the ban on the importation or manufacture of new machine guns for anyone but "law" enforcement personnel was and is wholly unConstitutional. (See infringe.)  I hope the Cowboy Shooters will stop to consider the fact that there are "bigger than a .50" guns that date back to the time period from which many of their current favorite guns hail. I am also hopeful that SASS shooters and the general shooting community at large will see the importance of defending guns "even though I don't own one", including the "not even used in crime" .50 caliber.

If you want gun rights activists to work in defense of guns that you own but they don't, perhaps it's time to consider reciprocation by giving some of your time to the cause of Freedom.

(Read the text of the so-called Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 2001Contact your Senators to express your concerns, and ask your shooting friends to increase their vigilance while you do the same.)

A Quote from an Old Cowboy Shooter and Former Texas Ranger

"I find it extremely interesting that the gun that my granddaddy and great granddaddy carried as former Texas Rangers, and the gun I carried as a Texas Ranger -- both on my side and in my pickup truck -- that the gun my grandparents carried on their horses in saddle scabbards, in fact the gun that won the West (Winchester '73) is now banned from being brought into the Gestapo state of Kalifornia.  This is an insult to all my relations in law enforcement, to me and my current family, and as an active competitive sports shooter in many events, and as a veteran of Vietnam. This will be the last year -- the last event -- that I will attend in Kalifornia for any type of shooting event, and if you don't understand that, read the above again.

"To all sponsors of any and all shooting events in the state of California, wake up and smell the roses. It's time to bail out of this state and meet together as brothers and sisters under arms, and invest our time and hard earned money together in another state that respects the Constitution and our right to keep and bear arms.

"And to my fellow California shooters: we are in NO way or shape giving up on you or withdrawing support to reinstate your gun rights; we are adamantly stating that we no longer support the state criminals, and neither should you."

Resolution

Until such time as the bans on self defense and a host of firearms owned by SASS members are lifted, we support SASS in taking all of their national events out of California entirely. We support all other shooting organizations to immediately do the same.

We support all people traveling with family or alone into the State of California to the End of Trail event (and anywhere else, any time at all) in taking whatever measures are necessary to assure their own personal safety and that of their precious family members -- and to prevent their guns (or any property that rightly belongs to them) from getting into the hands of criminals.

The state government in California (and quite a few other states) is too dark and deluded to entrust good, lawful, decent people with the most effective means of self-defense -- but that choice is not up to the government; it's up to you.

Get It Straight

If you believe the government has the power to deny you the ability to defend your own life and property, in your reality, they do. But there is a larger reality than that with which you allow a government agency to design or deny your life, and it's called The Truth. The Truth regarding self defense and liberty defense is quite simple; no flowery words are needed:

You have an inalienable right to self defense, and you have an untouchable right to defend your liberty, period.

If you are letting your right wither through not exercising it, or out of fear of government force, I encourage you to ask yourself the following question:

Do I empower the government with authority over my very life and safety and the lives and safety of my loved ones -- even to the point where I or those I love might die a gruesome death at the hands of murderers?

If your answer is "yes,"

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."  ~~ Samuel Adams

If your answer is "no," and if you live in an area where the right to self defense is being denied the government worshippers around you, I commend you for standing in what is right, and I welcome you to the fold of we who support, condone and cherish civil disobedience -- for it made our country the greatest nation on Earth, and surely will do so again.

 

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? [...] The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!" —Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (Chapter 1 "Arrest")

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