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Old June 5, 2011, 09:34 PM   #1
Firearms86
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Gun Modifications

I want to buy a gun, but apparently it's too small to be on the California safe handgun roster. However, it has recently come to my attention that the barrel on a handgun can be extended or the handgun can be made single shot in order to be exempted from the roster, and that it's perfectly legal to do so. Does anyone know of any good gun shops or gun smiths in the LA area that do this?
Thanks!
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Old June 5, 2011, 09:54 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Got a citation on the law that says that? I'm not in California, but a friend of mine is an attorney and NRA-certified instructor in CA, and I have never heard of any way to get around the fact of a gun's NOT being listed on the CA DOJ list of approved handguns.

You do understand, I hope, that California's listing is of specific models, not just makes. If the list includes a Rock Island 1911 with a 5" barrel and stainless steel finish, the exact same pistol with a blued finish is NOT legal unless it appears as a separate item on the list. For that reason, I don't see any way you can take a gun that's off-list, modify it, and have it magically become legal. California does not allow you to manufacture your own handguns. You cannot buy a bare frame in California and build your own pistol on it. You can buy ONLY completed handguns, and if new they MUST be on the DOJ list.
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Old June 5, 2011, 10:58 PM   #3
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I am not sure why you would want to pursue this route. Just out of curiosity is this list so limited that you cannot purchase something that is already approved? Maybe if you provide some specifics someone could offer a little beneficial advice.
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Last edited by BarryLee; June 5, 2011 at 11:39 PM.
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Old June 6, 2011, 04:25 PM   #4
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The list is pretty limited, but It's because I want to purchase the gun as a collector's item, not to shoot it. The gun is a North American Arms .22 Short. The .22 LR & Mag are on the roster, but from a collector's perspective, it is in the .22 Short that we are interested in.
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Old June 6, 2011, 04:56 PM   #5
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As a collector's item - modifying a gun usually weakens its value. Also, there are lots of these around - why are they collectible besides personal interest?

I suppose it might be possible to get one of the longer NAA barrels - why not ask on the www.naaminis.com board.

I would check with a legal authority.

The gun is cute as is!
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Old June 6, 2011, 06:51 PM   #6
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http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...ht=single+shot

Mods, hope this is ok. A link to a Calguns thread explaining why, how and where...
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Old June 6, 2011, 08:32 PM   #7
Firearms86
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Thanks Wuluf! This is exactly what I was looking for!
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Old June 6, 2011, 10:50 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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  1. That link is for assault rifles, not pistols
  2. The section of the law discussing pistols stipulates a minimum barrel length of 6" and a minimum overall length of 10-1/2" even for single shot pistols
  3. The law cited requires that the conversion be performed by an 07 FFL or that the firearm be modified before it enters California.

Does your plan satisfy all that?

And where in that law does it say anything about being legal to UNconvert it once you have it?
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Old June 7, 2011, 08:23 AM   #9
vranasaurus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca


And where in that law does it say anything about being legal to UNconvert it once you have it?

You are asking the wrong question.

Where in the law does it say you can't?

That which isn't prohibited by law is permitted.
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Old June 7, 2011, 04:15 PM   #10
Aguila Blanca
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Oooookaaaay ...

We start with a law that says thou shalt NOT purchase any new firearm that is not on the DOJ list.

We than have an exception to that BLANKET prohibition, saying that the foregoing does not apply under certain very strict conditions -- such as converting to a single shot firearm.

So you have it converted and you buy it. Your story is that it is then legal to convert it back to the configuration that you were not allowed to buy from the factory? Good luck selling that to a court.
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Old June 7, 2011, 07:19 PM   #11
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Let's just go through the relevant portions of the California Penal Code:

Section 12125 (a) creates the prohibition on importing and selling "unsafe handguns":

Quote:
12125. (a) Commencing January 1, 2001, any person in this state who
manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state
for sale, keeps for sale, offers or exposes for sale, gives, or lends
any unsafe handgun shall be punished by imprisonment in a county
jail not exceeding one year.
Section 12126 defines an "unsafe handgun":

Quote:
12126. As used in this chapter, "unsafe handgun" means any pistol,
revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the
person, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 12001, for which any
of the following is true:

(a) For a revolver:

(1) It does not have a safety device that, either automatically in
the case of a double-action firing mechanism, or by manual operation
in the case of a single-action firing mechanism, causes the hammer
to retract to a point where the firing pin does not rest upon the
primer of the cartridge.

(2) It does not meet the firing requirement for handguns pursuant
to Section 12127.

(3) It does not meet the drop safety requirement for handguns
pursuant to Section 12128.

(b) For a pistol:

(1) It does not have a positive manually operated safety device,
as determined by standards relating to imported guns promulgated by
the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

(2) It does not meet the firing requirement for handguns pursuant
to Section 12127.

(3) It does not meet the drop safety requirement for handguns
pursuant to Section 12128.

(4) Commencing January 1, 2006, for a center fire semiautomatic
pistol that is not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section
12131, it does not have either a chamber load indicator, or a
magazine disconnect mechanism.

(5) Commencing January 1, 2007, for all center fire semiautomatic
pistols that are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section
12131, it does not have both a chamber load indicator and if it has
a detachable magazine, a magazine disconnect mechanism.

(6) Commencing January 1, 2006, for all rimfire semiautomatic
pistols that are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section
12131, it does not have a magazine disconnect mechanism, if it has a
detachable magazine.

(7) Commencing January 1, 2010, for all semiautomatic pistols that
are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section 12131, it
is not designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters
that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol,
etched or otherwise imprinted in two or more places on the interior
surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are
transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is
fired, provided that the Department of Justice certifies that the
technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one
manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions. The Attorney
General may also approve a method of equal or greater reliability and
effectiveness in identifying the specific serial number of a firearm
from spent cartridge casings discharged by that firearm than that
which is set forth in this paragraph, to be thereafter required as
otherwise set forth by this paragraph where the Attorney General
certifies that this new method is also unencumbered by any patent
restrictions. Approval by the Attorney General shall include notice
of that fact via regulations adopted by the Attorney General for
purposes of implementing that method for purposes of this paragraph.
The microscopic array of characters required by this section shall
not be considered the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's
number, or other mark of identification, including any distinguishing
number or mark assigned by the Department of Justice, within the
meaning of Sections 12090 and 12094.

(c) As used in this section, a "chamber load indicator" means a
device that plainly indicates that a cartridge is in the firing
chamber. A device satisfies this definition if it is readily visible,
has incorporated or adjacent explanatory text or graphics, or both,
and is designed and intended to indicate to a reasonably foreseeable
adult user of the pistol, without requiring the user to refer to a
user's manual or any other resource other than the pistol itself,
whether a cartridge is in the firing chamber.

(d) As used in this section, a "magazine disconnect mechanism"
means a mechanism that prevents a semiautomatic pistol that has a
detachable magazine from operating to strike the primer of ammunition
in the firing chamber when a detachable magazine is not inserted in
the semiautomatic pistol.

(e) As used in this section, a "semiautomatic pistol" means a
pistol, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 12001, the operating
mode of which uses the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge
to extract a fired cartridge and chamber a fresh cartridge with each
single pull of the trigger.
Section 12131 establishes the requirement for the Attorney general to maintain a list of all handguns determined not to be "unsafe":

Quote:
12131. (a) On and after January 1, 2001, the Department of Justice
shall compile, publish, and thereafter maintain a roster listing all
of the pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being
concealed upon the person that have been tested by a certified
testing laboratory, have been determined not to be unsafe handguns,
and may be sold in this state pursuant to this title. The roster
shall list, for each firearm, the manufacturer, model number, and
model name.
Section 12133 (b) exempts single shot pistols:

Quote:
(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a
single-shot pistol with a barrel length of not less than six inches
and that has an overall length of at least 10 1/2 inches when the
handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled.

My opinion is that yes you could convert it back.

The law doesn't prohibit posession of handguns not on the roster. I would not define a person changing a single shot pistol to a semi auto as "manufacturing" unless done on a large scale or for commercial purposes.
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Old June 7, 2011, 08:16 PM   #12
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
My opinion is that yes you could convert it back.

The law doesn't prohibit posession of handguns not on the roster. I would not define a person changing a single shot pistol to a semi auto as "manufacturing" unless done on a large scale or for commercial purposes.
But Section 12125(a) does not allow the manufacture of "unsafe" firearms, and I think the law (and a court) would regard converting a single shot back into ... whatever ... as manufacturing. The BATFE does. If you have a Remington clone black powder revolver and you install a Kirst cartridge conversion, if you mill out the loading notch on the right side so that the cylinder can be reloaded without removing it from the frame, you have "manufactured" a modern firearm and thereafter the firearm must be treated like any other modern, cartridge firearm.
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Old June 11, 2011, 08:03 PM   #13
Firearms86
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Does anybody know of any new places that offer 07 FFl services in SoCal?
Thanks!
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Old June 12, 2011, 12:47 AM   #14
Jim March
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Actually, the best way to import an NAA mini that's off-roster would be to somehow make it more than 7.5" long as measured parallel to the barrel.

As long as a single action revolver is that length or more, and has five shots or more, it is roster-excempt.

Sooo...hrm...yeah, that's absolutely doable . Let's see...we could bolt a Bowie-knife bayonette to it or extend the grips in some insane wrist-rocket-like fashion.

For the record: the SA revolver exception was meant to allow SASS players to buy Colt SAAs, USFAs, Ubertis and other "true clones" of the SAA that lack a drop-safe feature. The 7.5" overall length thing was all about making sure minirevolvers by Freedom Arms and NAA did NOT fit into this exception...but with some custom grips or some kind of weird barrel attachment (bolt a cheap riflescope on it anyone?) it should be easy to make the 7.5" cutoff.

That's where I'd go with it.

With DA revolvers that either meet or are close to the 7.5" limit, the solution is an SA conversion - put in a hammer that's had the DA sear notch shaved off.
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Old June 14, 2011, 02:18 AM   #15
Firearms86
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Thanks Jim. That could do the trick. Would you recommend me any gunshops for this?
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Old June 14, 2011, 03:00 AM   #16
Jim March
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Personally, I'd buy a set of grips off the NAA website and modify them myself. Drill a couple of holes front to rear each side, put some steel or brass rods in, rig a leather "wrist rocket" strap between the two rods. The rods would need to be...hmm...for the 22Short version, call it 6" to be safe. Send the modified grips to the out-of-state seller, have him bolt them on, ship you the gun. Done.
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Old June 14, 2011, 05:34 AM   #17
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This sounds like far to much trouble for a firearm and one good way to loose your 2nd amendment rights. Personally I would not live in CA, CT,MA, IL, NY, or any other restrictive state with such high crime rates.
Just my opinion no disrespect intended.

Mace
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Old June 17, 2011, 03:10 AM   #18
Firearms86
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Thanks Jim! I'll give that a try and see if an out-of-state seller wants to bolt them to the gun. Thanks again!
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Old June 19, 2011, 02:37 AM   #19
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I contacted some out-of-state shops and they either don't ship to CA at all, or they don't modify for CA. Does anybody know of any particular shops that might want to modify and ship to CA?
Thanks!
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Old June 19, 2011, 08:17 AM   #20
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You need to find an FFL07 to have the gun shipped to in California and have them do the modifications to make it legal and then they can transfer it to you.

But my understanding is it has to be a licensed manufacturer who does he modification not just any old gun shop.
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Old June 19, 2011, 11:26 AM   #21
Jim March
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Not on a grip panel swap!

Look, there's federal standards for what constitutes "making a new gun" when you modify an existing one. Swapping calibers generally does it! Swapping grip panels? No. Not even if the new grips are 6" long.
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Old June 19, 2011, 08:59 PM   #22
Firearms86
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Any recommendations in the LA area or in California?
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Old June 19, 2011, 09:25 PM   #23
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NAA MIGHT make you a .22 short gun with a longer barrel. They offered them at one time. Contact them.
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Old June 19, 2011, 11:02 PM   #24
Firearms86
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I want the modifications to be reversible though, because the reason why I like the NAA .22 Short is because of its miniature size.
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Old June 29, 2011, 08:15 PM   #25
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I was doing further research on this subject, and I came across an article that read that incomplete handguns were exempt from the roster. So could shipping the mini revolver in parts work?
Thanks!
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