“I have never understood why given the premise of the law that all handguns are unsafe unless deemed safe by the state, then the state turns around and says these guns are safe if bought by police officers. If the government has made some determination that the gun is unsafe, then it’s unsafe for everyone.” – Gun rights attorney Ronald Kilmer in ATF’s focus on firearm sales by police may be tied to gun seizure at Pasadena officer’s home [via sandiegouniontribune.com]

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52 Responses to Quote of the Day: Cop Carve-Outs and Gun Safety in California

  1. I think you answered your own question. The government has no right to determine if a firearm is safe or unsafe end of story. We need to stop our government from intruding into our personal lives it’s absolutely nauseating what these so-called political betters are trying to do to our constitution as a whole and to the people that live in this country. Screw California I hope it falls off into the freaking ocean.

    • I think the government has every right to say what is safe or not for their own employees, if anything, the list of firearms that are approved for police and military should be much shorter then what civilians can use (shouldn’t be limited).

    • Aren’t you guys missing the point? Why are we tolerating law enforcement carve outs? Aren’t these both violations of the 14th Amendment application of equal protection and an infringement of the 2nd?

      P.S. Hey Jimmy, where you buried at?

      • “Aren’t these both violations of the 14th Amendment application of equal protection and an infringement of the 2nd?”

        Now that is an interesting idea.

        Assuming we get SCOTUS hard-locked conservative with another conservative justice replacing a progressive one, a lawsuit like that dropped in SCOTUS’s lap in a few years might reap *big* benefits.

        TTAG Legal Eagles, would sponsoring a number of lawsuits like that and of similar angles be worthwhile thing to do, hoping to get one of them to stick in our favor? Perhaps ask some of our billionaire supporters to finance something like that?

        That strategy seemed to work when suing the tobacco companies into bankruptcy…

      • Not to mention this creates three classes of citizenry, political elite, militarized police and the lowly plebeians. The first two classes receive the full protections and rights offered by the constitution while the plebes are only offered the status of second class citizens

        I don’t remember certain men being created more equal than their fellow men

    • Governments do not have rights, people have rights. Governments have duties, to the people.

      So, IMO, the government, any government, has the duty to report that a consumer item is, in their opinion, unsafe, why they believe it is unsafe, and report their methodology for determination. The consuming public having been notified of the determination of the government then has the RIGHT to either continue to buy and use that product or not and the government has no authority to prevent this.

      This has been clearly established in the campaign against cigarettes but that successful methodology has not been utilized in the more politically charged areas of Second Amendment infringements or the War on Drugs.

      If your government does not think it is safe or wise for you to have a particular firearm, or any firearm, there duty is to present their case and then let the citizen decide. The entire point of the Second Amendment was that a government would ALWAYS determine that firearms were unsafe (to them) and attempt to control or ban them from the private citizen.

  2. Its not premise of law (legal law). Its premise of disarmament used by unethical legislators, news outlets, etc.

    Our rights to self protection (Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness) are above and therefore in part the basis for the Constitutional language.The Constitution regulates Government not the citizenry. If an ‘arm’ is for sale there is no basis of law to limit its acquisition. Further, if the self manufacture of an arm is to the same standards of those in the market or in military, there is no basis to regulate its use.

    By speaking in terms of a basis, or premise, of law as to gun regulations that do not bring in the paragraph above, we only continue to empower the unethical application of interpretation of law by the Judicial Branch. In ‘gun control’ our rights and the Constitution has become second to the whims of the lawmakers. Why we keep playing at this is beyond me.

  3. I have no sympathy for gun owners who live in places which are vehemently anti-gun but have the temerity to complain about it. With few exceptions, voting for the Democrat party is voting for gun restrictions. The days of the Blue Dog Democrat and the Dixiiecrat are largely gone(present governor of Louisiana being a rare exception).

    I guarantee you these states which are run by Democrats are filled with gun owners who were more than happy to vote for liberal Democrats to satisfy another pet issue of theirs. There’s no way Washington state ended up with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and both houses of the Legislature being Democrat if every gun owner in the state voted with their gun rights in mind.

    The Yankee Marshal just posted a video hoping for the removal of Wayne LaPierre from the NRA because “the NRA doesn’t fight hard enough for the gun rights of people in left wing states”. Well, why should the NRA spend money in places where gun owners weren’t willing to become single-issue voters?

    • The infuriating thing about TYM is that he proudly touts himself as a liberal. I want to ask him, ‘how’s that working for you, jackass?’

    • When large cities are present, you get liberal leadership for the state- just ask the folks of upstate new york.
      Remove NYC from the voting polls, and I’m sure you’d see an entirely different state. Same with California- remove LA, San Fran, San Bern, and all those southern cities and I believe you’d see a totally different state as well.

      Reading a couple of posts on my facebook friend’s page, people were claiming they were liberal, then they moved to LA and found out they weren’t even close; LA dragged them even further left the longer they stayed there.

      • After California Gun Rights Groups and Gun Owners failed to get ONE-THIRD of the votes needed to put the Propositions on the November 2016 Ballot that would have given us the chance to overturn the multiple infringements commonly referred to as the “gunpocalypse” or “Gunmageddon” passed in the Summer of 2016, I pretty much gave-up on any hope the People of California would ever stand-up for their Second Amendment Rights. Downright disgusting.

    • You guys know that in California we often don’t even have a Republican on the ticket? The top two vote getters in the Primaries advance even if they are both Dems. This happened in our Senate race last year, two absolutely terrible choices (Harris and Sanchez) is what we ended up with on the ballot.

      • And now they’re moving to Texas, mainly Austin, and—like ghetto dwellers fleeing the violent inner-city—they bring the very culture that caused the problem with them. Yuck. Austin used to be a pretty nice town; now it feels like LA.

    • While I agree with you for the most part some people don’t have a choice where they live either due to work, family, or other issues. For instance I am currently in the military and I am getting stationed in Massachusetts for multiple reasons both family related and for career reasons. As such I had to leave many of my guns back home and am having to slog through the MA CCW permit process. Also while I will be living in Boston because I am not a resident I have no voting rights in that city or state. Which is why either national reciprocity or something similar would be fantastic.

      • Come to NH! We’ve got coast. We’ve got cities that tipped us toward the Hildebeast. We’ve got legislators that want to allow temporary residents (e.g., college students) to vote in NH elections. We’ve also got permit-less carry, open or concealed and no firearm rosters.

        • Believe meI tried very hard for portsmouth/kittery, sadly it was not in the cards. Closest I could get was Boston. I was stationed up in maine and loved Maine and New Hampshire.

    • I’ve known more than one resident of Chiraq who BOTH:
      * supported the handgun ban.
      * ILLEGALLY owned a handgun in direct violation OF that ban.

      In my 60 years on this planet, I’ve seen oil shortages, ammunition shortages, computer chip shortages, even meat shortages. I have never ONCE seen a shortage of mindless imbeciles.

      • In the 1960’s, the democrat Congress gave idiots, morons, lazy people , careless people, and IMBECILES endangered species protections. Today, we are overrun with with those folks. The Nation’s average IQ drops by 2 to 3 points per year.

      • “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

    • Ahhh, Massachusetts has a (R)= RINO GOVERNOR. Charlie”The Barker” Baker, who has come out for DemoCRAPPIC gun control, and “No Fly, No Buy-Secret government watch lists…..No friend of the US Constitutional-Bill of Rights…..

  4. Until we POTG start getting all our friends and neighbors to vote single issue (like the abortion rights activists of the past) we will never have success on the national level for unfettered gun rights as laid out in the 2nd Amendment.

    We need to make the politicos of both parties pay at the ballot box when they infringe our rights. It does no good to get half measures. We need true believers in offices up and down the spectrum; from city, county, state and National offices.

    Trump is an excellent example of a newbie who listened to the majority of the population and built his campaign around those issues deemed important. There are others out there who will run for office just like him.

    Don’t agree with everything he says or does but he is far better than any other alternative I can see on the horizon.

    • A major problem with single issue voters is they are easily manipulated. you could have a strong 2A candidate who is completely inappropriate for office. it’s the same for people who vote straight R or D without any idea of what the candidate really stands for.

      Unfortunately politicians will say anything to get elected and once in office will do what ever it takes to stay in power. This does not mean follow the will of the voters it means following the money to insure they can get their “message” out so often it’s believed even if not true.

  5. It is a question of certification. A cop can show he or she or Che (catch my clever gender for communists) had training and regular qualifications; private citizens don’t have a way to document their skills so they are assumed to be incompetent. Even explosives are not dangerous in the hands of trained people

    • Wait, wait…still looking…still not finding the part of 2A that specifies qualifications other than being “…the People…”

    • This is just another one of those disingenuous rationales, not a real reason at all. Remember that California has that silly “firearms safety test” and “safe handling test”? Are those insufficient for gun owners to know which end the high-velocity lead comes out of? Is a 20+ year documented history of safe gun ownership insufficient to demonstrate competence with newer guns that work exactly the same way? Nonsense. Lack of documentation isn’t the reason, because in California everything about gun ownership is documented, just to mess with people.

  6. I would think a smart lawyer could exploit the fact that many departments in CA issue guns that are not on the ‘Safe’ approved list. Anytime there is a lawsuit resulting from an accidental shooting you could go after the police for issuing an ‘unsafe’ handgun that is so horrible it isn’t allowed to be sold in CA. To the typical jury member not into guns this could be a compelling argument.

    • That wouldn’t work for several reasons. One, most cops carry Glocks, and the Gen 3 Glock is on the Roster. More importantly, it is not a roster of “safe” firearms, it is a roster of “not unsafe” handguns.

  7. I don’t think the word ‘safe’ means the same thing in Sacramento as it does everywhere else.

  8. Kalifonia BS gun control.
    The its safe for the serfs to own list, is NOTHING more than to make buying a firearm difficult.
    INFRINGEMENT. Simple as that.

  9. i live in CA, and its really not an issue. We know the reason the cops get the carve out.

    Its because the ca government does not care one wit about safety. That is and always has been a red herring. Its the same with the microstamping, the ugly gun ban, etc etc etc.

    The goal is to disarm the civilian sector that the CA government does not believe should be allowed to be armed.

    When they say anything else, they are lying.

  10. Agree. I live in MA and there is definitely a majority that sacrifice rights abuse for voting for an other personal gain. We have quite a few folks with the ‘ you all are idots’ come try to take mine but, don’t vote.

    • I lived and worked in New England for a while and am actually going back, and always astounded me how different MA was from VT NH and ME. Of course you have people who are from MA retiring in Kittery and Portland and trying to change it into another MA. I think the only reason they haven’t often alway with it is because they only have one or two major population centers and they all way rent very big unlike New York City which ruins things for rural up state new York, or Seattle high ruins things for eastern washington. I loved my time my time and the people in maine so much I actually bought a house and am going to retire there when it’s that time. I just hope it’s still the same place when I do.

  11. In it’s infinite wisdom, the government of California has figured out that some guns are more unsaferer than others. Duh.

    Who are we to question the obviously correct conclusions of our betters? They’re betterer than us and should make these decisions for us. That’s why they’re in power. Don’t believe me? Just ask them!

  12. As long as you remember that “No cop can remember all the laws.” but for a seventh grade dropout WITHOUT a badge, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”, it all makes perfect sense.

    Likewise, in 1996, the Chicago Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police went on National Public Radio to tell millions of people that those convicted of beating their wives should be able to own, possess and carry firearms… but ONLY if they also carried a badge.

    All animals are equal. Some animals are MORE equal than the others…

  13. I think there was a lawsuit in California that challenged some of the carve outs for LE The judge completely ignored the equal protection clause and the 14th Amendment and ruled that public safety overrode the Constitution.

  14. Not mentioned yet: There was a carve out for the Handgun Safety Legislation. It specifically exempts Single Action Revolvers from having to pass the drop test. Anybody that knows sixguns ought to keep in mind that Colt Single Actions(and their millions of replicas) don’t have a transfer bar and are likely to discharge when dropped. It has been so well documented that these weapons are regularly carried with the hammer resting on an empty chamber.

    This Legislation NEVER was about any kind of safety!

    • You are right about the carve out BUT….single action revolvers designed prior to 1898 qualify as “antiques” under federal law, as do cap and ball pistols and muzzle loading rifles, among other arms; this includes replicas of those weapons. And that is the source of the carve out, not a belief that they are “safe.”

  15. One has to understand that the California “not unsafe firearms roster” had a humble beginning, but with the numerous accretions (ummm, amendments) over the years, it has become a purely political tool to limit the number of firearms sold in the state. Originally, the law sought to eliminate “Saturday Nite Specials” and similar handguns, guns that were just as likely to not fire as they were to catastrophically fail. (Yes, there is a racist/political component, as this was the type of firearm of choice in the “poor” communities). It sought to accomplish this goal through two requirements: 1. the gun had to be drop safe from 14′ onto a concrete slab; and 2. the gun had to pass reliability testing. (Although some purists complain, this resulted in the Series 80 Colt 1911, for one, as that gun incorporates a sear block, while the Series 70, as I understand it, did not.) That’s really not bad.

    But what came later were amendments not to protect the people from shoddy and unsafe guns, but to protect people from their own stupidity and lack of familiarity with firearms, and in particular, semi-auto handguns. The first step was the loaded chamber indicator (LCR), a device that was intended to tell people when there was a loaded round in the chamber. Apparently, and still to this day, there are people who think that dropping a mag means the gun is unloaded, and they don’t check the chamber. The next step was to require manual safeties (which is why we only have Glock Gen 3s, for example, and Springfield XDs but nothing newer). This was supposed to protect people from “inadvertently” getting their bugger hook on the bang switch before they were ready to fire,” (and to protect the children). Still, accidents happened, so then it became magazine disconnects, automatically “safing” a loaded firearm when the mag was dropped. I don’t believe any of these served their “intended” purpose of increasing safety, since of course the number of accidental deaths and injuries from firearms nationwide is quite small (app. 500 deaths +/- from all firearms, and 3500 +/- injuries). But it did serve a “hidden” purpose of limiting the number of handguns certified for sale to the public.
    The final straw (so far anyway) was the microstamping law. This law was never intended as a safety requirement, but was advertised and sold as a method of assisting the police in tracing firearms used at crimes scenes by unique identifiers imprinted on each casing from a semiautomatic firearm when fired. Theoretically, at least, the police would be able to tell what firearm, by serial number, had left casings at a scene through tracing. (That this law was utterly stupid and easily circumvented did not escape opponents, but they were overruled and Gubernator Arnie, a “law and order” kind of guy, signed it into law.) The one saving grace of the law was its implicit recognition that the technology to stamp casings (in two separate places as specified in the text) did not exist, and thus the law was not to go into effect until the Attorney General certified that the technology existed and was unfettered by a patent that would preclude its use by all manufacturers.
    Then along came Kamala Harris, formerly the San Francisco City Attorney (and of course a Democrat) was elected to the post. Her anti-gun credentials were impeccable. Through various maneuverings, a technology that engraved a unique identifier on the tip of the firing pin became free from patent protection. The important point about this technology is that it engraves the microscopic identifier only on the tip of the firing pin, and the firing pin only leaves a single impression on the primer. Not only does this location assure that the engraving will soon be indecipherable, it does not imprint the identifier on two places on the casing. Nonetheless, to support her then expressed desire to fill the Governor’s chair (subsequently supplanted by her successful run for U.S. Senator, replacing Babs Boxer), Kamala certified that the technology existed, thus immediately banning any new or “materially changed” semi-automatic firearm from the Roster. Moreover, to ensure that any improved versions of rostered firearms would be eliminated as soon as possible, the AG’s Office enacted a very broad definition of “material change,” and this included, in the case of a Ruger handgun, a change from a cast takedown pin to a MIM pin. Changes in color (black to stainless for example) or different grips were OK, but everything else had to stay exactly the same if the manufacturer wanted to continue selling that model in this state.

    There have been two challenges to the AG’s certification, one in state court and one in federal court. Fairly recently, a California Court of Appeal held that the plaintiffs were entitled to a trial on the merits as to whether the AG’s certification was valid, and specifically to present evidence that the technology to stamp a casing in two places does not exist. Unfortunately, the California Supreme Court took up the case on the State’s petition, and there is some indication that the State will argue that the only permissible attack on the law is to show that it is unconstitutional, a much different claim than Plaintiffs seek to prove.
    So yes, although originally enacted for salutary purposes, the Roster law has become a gun banner’s dream. If they could only find a way to eliminate new model revolvers….

    • There are some guns that are safe after dropping a mag, all this means is to be familiar with the model you own. As far as the guns that are safe without a mag, having one in the chamber with the mag out about 1/2 an inch is a safe way to keep it, when you grab it in the dark, you push the mag home and it will fire. Quiet, safe(for you), and dangerous for the bad guy.

  16. The “roster of approved handguns,” was passed by the same people that have been approving gun control, long before and after it became law. It was not as difficult to get handguns on the roster, in the early days, but it was always a terrible law nevertheless.

    Anything that restricts the Second Amendment in California is on the gun ban wish list. If newly written legislation, is a restriction upon the Second Amendment, it generally goes farther than any helpful legislation in the leftist controlled legislature. I can even remember cries for a stiffer testing amendment in the early days. Because the roster was not doing a good enough job of failing handguns for sale.

    Here’s a teachable moment: When you allow the closing, of the so called “gun show loophole,” there is always the possibility for further constitutional infringing gun laws. Because it’s basically a buying choke point, that gun prohibitionists will use, to pass laws like a bogus safety roster. It was immediately apparent how disingenuous the claim was from the start; that the roster somehow promoted “safety,” when police are allowed an exemption for possession of so called “not unsafe” handguns.

  17. I wonder why Shannon Watts didn’t get an article for what she said today on MSNBC.

    “Make no mistake, there is a life or death battle for gun safety going on in this country. It is caring Americans versus the gun lobby and the gun lobby has a 30-year head start.

    You know, that horrific day at Virginia Tech, there were so many heroes. And we’re not asking everyone to be a hero in this country, we’re just asking them not to be silent. There are 90 percent of us who actually support things like stronger gun laws, and we have something we didn’t have 30 years ago–we have an army of caring Americans fighting for stronger gun laws in state houses and board rooms. And we need everyone watching right now to join that fight, because it is a battle in state houses across the country.”

  18. Well, if the handgun had a powerful union behind it… Oh, forget it – it’s California.
    (help us!)

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