Well the government out in California is at is again. This time they are trying to make all sorts of scary gun parts illegal. Senate Bill 249 (Yee SD-08 “Firearms: assault weapon conversion kits”) is a California State Senate bill authored by Senator Leland Yee designed to prohibit possession, importation, making, selling, transferring, or loaning, any conversion kit. If this Bill passes, beginning July 1, 2013, violating the newly added gun control laws would subject people to civil and criminal liability.
The law would also consider conversion kits a public nuisance. SB 249 would allow a prosecutor to bring a civil action against the person possessing such a kit. Such a civil action could impose a fine and require the owner to surrender their weapon without compensation.
According to the bill’s text, a conversion kit means either of the following:
- Any combination of parts that, when affixed to a firearm with a fixed magazine, are designed and intended to convert that firearm into an assault weapon as defined by one of the following: (A) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (B) Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (C) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515.
- Any part that, when affixed to a firearm with a fixed magazine, is designed solely and exclusively to convert that firearm into an assault weapon as defined by one of the following: (A) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (B) Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (C) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515.
So what’s the big deal?
For starters, the definition of a conversion kit within proposed Penal Code section 30527(a) of SB249 encompasses any combination of parts (plural) whether or not the individual possesses a firearm capable of accepting the combination of parts. Under this regulation, it is not necessary to even have a firearm to violate this provision; mere importing, making, selling, loaning, transferring or possessing the parts to a conversion kit is a violation.
This combination of parts within proposed Penal Code section 30527(a) of SB249 is not limited to magazine magnets and other locking device accessories, but applies to any parts designed or intended to convert a fixed magazine firearm into a so-called assault weapon. By itself, a magazine magnet cannot convert a non-detachable magazine firearm into their definition of an assault weapon. Other features are required. Arguably, all other features identified as assault weapon features are therefore included within this definition. Therefore, a conversion kit can conceivably include any of the following:
- A magazine locking device accessory that converts a firearm with a non-detachable magazine into a firearm with a detachable magazine
- Detachable magazine kits, OEM or aftermarket
- Pistol grips that protrude conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
- Thumbhole stocks
- Folding stocks
- Telescoping stocks
- Grenade launchers
- Flare launchers
- Flash suppressors
- Forward pistol grips
- Large capacity magazines
- Threaded barrels, capable of accepting flash suppressors, forward handgrips, or silencers
- A second hand grip
- A firearm with any of the above referenced items affixed in a manner that someone cannot remove them
- A firearm with the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip
- Firearm receivers
- Any other part used in an assault weapon
As such, the mere possession, importation, selling, of any combination of the above referenced parts could cause law enforcement to arrest someone and force them to defend themselves against allegations that they intended to convert a firearm into a so-called assault weapon.
Oppose SB 249
Please voice your opposition to Senator Yee. Contact Senator Leland Yee or you can e-mail him at email@example.com. Please also voice your opinion to your assembly member. Address your letter to your legislator and mail it to the State Capitol, Sacramento, 94248-0001.