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Old 04-21-2021, 5:26 PM
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Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post
The above discussion is thorough, but needs to acknowledge the difference between compliance and registration without intermixing the terms. While registration rates are very low, I believe that the compliance rate is very high. Converting a potential featured AW to either fixed magazine or featureless is compliance with the law. I’m sure sales figures of the latest generation of fixed magazine and featureless devices would support a very high compliance rate.

Magazines, on the other hand...waiting for the legal process to conclude.
I would remind you that "compliance" is a bit of a fungible term, as it is used, depending on individual, agency, context, etc. Your post is evidence of that. You define it this way (emphasis mine)...

Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post
Calculating a compliance rate is impossible. For AWs there are multiple ways to comply with the law besides registration; featureless, fixed magazine, disassembly. The same for magazines where people are likely to do their own conversions. There simply is no data to estimate compliance rates. CA doesn’t even know how many ARs or magazines are owned in CA beyond an order of magnitude estimate.
I define it consistent with the law in terms of what is defined as so-called "assault weapons." If you go featureless, fixed magazine, or disassembly, according to the laws, as they are currently written, the firearm is NO LONGER designated as a so-called "assault weapon" by the State? As such, it would be in compliance with... what? A legal firearm which is not a so-called "assault weapon?"

The ONLY method of compliance (in this State and, presumably, in others) which allows one the ability to legally retain possession of a so-called "assault weapon" is registration. Otherwise, all you have is a rifle and, in some cases, not even a semi-automatic one; whether that be via disassembly or conversion to single shot or 'bolt action.'

In short, while part of our argument against so-called "assault weapon" bans is that such rifles are no different than many others in function, just appearance, if we now begin referring to certain firearms as "assault weapons" which do not meet the definition as codified by law, isn't that 'poking the bear' in terms of virtually inviting them to add them to the list of so defined "assault weapons?" After all... "If gun owners think of them as 'assault weapons,' then, perhaps..."

Admittedly, part of this comes down to how one thinks about so-called "assault weapons." It's part of the legerdemain that the anti-civil rights forces have employed and why I use "so-called" in conjunction with "assault weapons." For me, however, it's not about the language so much as it is about a caveat; an indication that there's more to what's going on than a tangible, fixed definition of a specific weapon type.

If we were to accept the premise of "military-like" or "military-style" or "used by the military" or "weapons of war," then virtually EVERY firearm type would or could be classified as a so-called "assault weapon" in that the military has used and virtually every type of firearm (and 'arm') has been utilized in "war."

If we push the premise that what is being legislated as so-called "assault weapons" is a gradual expansion from actual "military issued" to virtually every firearm, I would think that helps our cause. Thus, if we argue that what they propose banning is simply a type of firearm commonly used for lawful purposes, that such common use includes (but is not limited to) self-defense, that it is not unusual and dangerous (a conjunctive test as held by Alito in his concurring opinion in Caetano*), and that, functionally, it is little or no different than myriad other firearms, I suspect we'd be far better off, legally and PR wise, than arguing...

We have so-called "assault weapons," even if some of them are 'featureless' (they don't appear to be "military-style") or fixed magazine (which for a great many is unacceptable, for various reasons) or is simply disassembled (but could be 'reassembled' in a matter of seconds).

Remember, Biden has posited the idea that so-called "assault weapons" be designated NFA items; with registration and all that entails being the only legal way to retain them as such. In California, that would effectively mean no one could be in legal compliance while still retaining possession of a so-called "assault weapon" or in possession of such parts that one could be assembled. Thus, it would become a 'battle' to get the permissible parts designated as substantively different; i.e., for all practical purposes, it would no longer be about assembling a "machine gun" and would, instead, be about assembling a semi-automatic firearm.


* As Justice Alito wrote in a concurring opinion to Caetano, one which Justice Thomas joined...

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction, holding that a stun gun “is not the type of weapon that is eligible for Second Amendment protection” because it was “not in common use at the time of [the Second Amendment’s] enactment.” ... This reasoning defies our decision in Heller, which rejected as “bordering on the frivolous” the argument “that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment.” ...

The Supreme Judicial Court’s holding that stun guns may be banned as “dangerous and unusual weapons” fares no better. As the per curiam opinion recognizes, this is a conjunctive test: A weapon may not be banned unless it is both dangerous and unusual. Because the Court rejects the lower court’s conclusion that stun guns are “unusual,” it does not need to consider the lower court’s conclusion that they are also “dangerous.”...

As to “dangerous,” the court below held that a weapon is “dangerous per se” if it is “ ‘designed and constructed to produce death or great bodily harm’ and ‘for the purpose of bodily assault or defense.’” ... the relative dangerousness of a weapon is irrelevant when the weapon belongs to a class of arms commonly used for lawful purposes... If Heller tells us anything, it is that firearms cannot be categorically prohibited just because they are dangerous...

As the foregoing makes clear, the pertinent Second Amendment inquiry is whether stun guns are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes today... The more relevant statistic is that “[h]undreds of thousands of Tasers and stun guns have been sold to private citizens,” who it appears may lawfully possess them in 45 States... While less popular than handguns, stun guns are widely owned and accepted as a legitimate means of self-defense across the country. Massachusetts’ categorical ban of such weapons therefore violates the Second Amendment.

The lower court’s ill treatment of Heller cannot stand... “Self-defense,” however, “is a basic right.”... I am not prepared to say that a State may force an individual to choose between exercising that right and following her conscience, at least where both can be accommodated by a weapon already in widespread use across the Nation... If the fundamental right of self defense does not protect Caetano, then the safety of all Americans is left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned about disarming the people than about keeping them safe.
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