Skip to comments.California's Legislature Says Hunting Rifles Are 'Assault Weapons' Because...Why Not?
Posted on 10/04/2013 11:14:23 AM PDT by neverdem
California Gov. Jerry Brown will soon decide whether to sign a bill that expands his state's "assault weapon" ban to cover any centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine. That's a very broad category, the National Rifle Association notes, since "millions of semi-automatic rifles have magazines that can be removed with the push of a button," including "classic hunting rifles like the Remington Woodsmaster, Browning BAR, and the Ruger 99/44, among many others." The actual language of the bill, S.B. 374, refers rather confusingly to "a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds." The NRA argues that the bill's definition of a fixed magazine"an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action"is ambiguous, since "'disassembly of the firearm action' is undefined and nobody (least of all the legislators who voted for it) knows what it means, or for that matter even what a firearm 'action' actually is." But the intended target seems to be any rifle with a detachable magazine that fires rounds of a caliber bigger than .22 (generally the upper limit these days for cheaper, flimsier rimfire cartridges). Hence Fox News says the bill "exempts .22-caliber rim fire rifles," although the legislation does not directly address caliber.
As with the existing "assault weapon" law, current owners could keep the newly prohibited models, provided they registered them with the state by July 1, 2015. But "unlike with previous registration requirements," the NRA says, "there is no planned public education campaign to notify people about the new law and its mandates. So the tens of thousands of firearm owners who do not hear about or understand SB 374 are out of luck if found with an unregistered firearm that falls under the new definition of 'assault weapon.' And even those who do register their firearms on time will be precluded from ever selling them or passing them down to their children or grandchildren."
But expanding the definition of "assault weapon" to cover equally lethal guns that lack irrelevant features inevitably means banning many models commonly used for legitimate purposes. For anti-gun activists, that may have been the plan all along. The problem for them is that the Supreme Court has said the Second Amendment protects the right to own guns "in common use" or "typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes." So while an "assault weapon" is whatever legislators say it is, since the term has no independent or objective meaning, the Constitution imposes limits on how far this charade can be carried.Unlike California's current definition of "assault weapon," the new one does not hinge on arbitrarily selected military-style features such as flash suppressors or folding stocks. Instead it apparently aims to ban all rifles capable of firing more than 10 large or medium-sized cartridges without reloading. Those are real functional differences, although one can still argue about how much they matter to mass murderers or run-of-the-mill criminals.
For example, the Remington 870 pump-action shotgun used in last month's massacre at the Washington Navy Yard is, according to its manufacturer, "the best-selling shotgun of any type in history." It is hard to imagine that the Supreme Court would uphold a ban on such a popular firearm, despite its indisputable connection to mass murder. Or suppose legislators, suddenly noticing that pistols are the guns favored by mass shooters (as well as ordinary thugs), decided to label them "assault weapons." It is clear from the Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago that such word games would not justify banning handguns. The NRA, which is threatening to sue if Brown signs S.B. 374, argues that banning a wide range of popular hunting rifles cannot pass constitutional muster either.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
California is the lead State in reducing us to a government dictatorship since the communists rule this State.
Whitetail deer consider my browning A Bolt in 270 Win an assault weapon.
And I’m sure the federal courts will rubber stamp the new laws.... When the Supreme Court rules that gay marriage is legal, any law that even smells like it might be an infrigement on gay marriage is ruthlessly smacked down by the federal courts. But the Supreme Court rules that the constitution guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms (Heller) and the federal courts bend over backwards to marginalize the ruling to the point that an “individual right to keep and bear arms” only applies to a single shot black powder musket that must be kept unloaded and locked in a safe at all times.
It’s a weapon. I can commit assault with it therefore it’s an assault weapon.
Brown is a gdamn out-of-control lunatic. Yesterday when he signed the illegal alien driver’s licence bill into law, he said “this affirms what it means to be American”. I almost fell over.
And each day we draw nearer and nearer to the “last straw”.
Thankfully, the only group that loathes the Obamadork more than this audience is our military.
I wonder how thoroughly they were taught about obeying “unlawful orders”. Once upon a time, this was stressed to new recruits. Betcha it’s not done very strongly now...but thankfully, most military types are sharp and will figure things out.
More Lib/logic. Common ASSAULT weapons found in too many American homes...steak knives, carving knives, baseball bats, frying pans, screwdrivers, tire irons, golf clubs, electrical cords, pillows(!), household cleaners, , the family auto, hammers, electric hedge trimmers.
I’m not sure just what calibers the above are available in.
Oh, I forgot. Alfred Hitchcoks favorite...the FROZEN leg of lamb, used to crush a husbands skull, then cooked and fed as sandwiches to the investigating police.
“Show me the man, I’ll show you the crime”
“We’re Californians and we’re brain dead because.... we choose to be!”
A Salt Weapon.
“Der ver zwei peanuts valking along der strasse, und von vas assaulted...peanut....HO HO HO HO!”
They could just call all center fire “hunting rifles” with a scope deadly “Sniper Rifles,” and ban those.
My bar stool is an assault weapon if need be. California is nuts.
my 14 is good to at least 100yds without a scope. Of course my vision is not what it once was.
I need a scope. Nevermind.