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Thread: Hypothetical pistols with fixed 17 inch barrels.

  1. #1
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    Sorry for all my crazy posts in the CA section I'm just always trying to think of exceptions to the crazy CA laws as a mental exercise.

    In any case, it appears to me that the definition of "pistol", "revolver", and "firearm capable of being concealed," would not apply to a pistol with a barrel over 16" long. Of course I'm no lawyer and my interpretation could be wrong.

    12001. (a) (1) As used in this title, the terms "pistol,"
    "revolver," and "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person"
    shall apply to and include any device designed to be used as a
    weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any
    explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less
    than 16 inches in length. These terms also include any device that
    has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be
    interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
    (2) As used in this title, the term "handgun" means any "pistol,"
    "revolver," or "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person."
    So if someone had a pistol with a really long barrel that could not be interchanged with a smaller barrel, perhaps a custom semi-auto with a fixed 17" barrel, perhaps they could UOC without worrying about school zones? (And technically even UCC?) A 17" barreled pistol would be more convenient than a rifle.


    (Probably a real pistol that might qualify could not be a luger though since the barrel might be considered interchangeable... but I just wanted to post a picture of a handgun with a long barrel!)


    Is there something else in CA law that would make such a huge handgun illegal?

  2. #2
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    It's still a pistol.

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    Isn't it saying that the terms "pistol", "revolver", and "firearm capable of being concealed" shall apply to a device that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length?

    It looks like it is saying all three terms mean the same thing.

    Although "shall apply to and include" doesn't necessarily limit it to only what is included and may not exclude things which have barrels longer than 16", but if that were true couldn't it also be argued that a rifle with a barrel longer than 16" could be concealed upon the person and thus might not be excluded either? Just as a pistol is a pistol, something that is capable of being concealed is capable of being concealed.

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    You might be right. I'm not expert in definitions .

    Direct your inquiry to this poster at Calguns http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...mp;postcount=1



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    I found that Uberti makes the 1873 buntline revolver with an 18" barrel.

    http://www.uberti.com/firearms/revol...d_buntline.php

  6. #6
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    It's probably either a pistol, or an "assault weapon" under CA law, which would require a permit and registration. Both examples handgun pictures posted above are "assault weapons" under CA law, and I'm guessing there are none that wouldn't be.

    Anything that is able to be fired in a configuration shorter than 30 inches overall is an AW here. To save you years of research on the inevitable AW questions, see the CA AW flowchart found here: http://www.paul.net/guns/flowchart.html

    I don't imagine you could find a pistol with a 26" barrel (assuming the rest of the gun makes up the other 4"). And if someone does make them, I'm certain they won't be on the California Safe (aka "not unsafe") Handgun Roster, which means you couldn't buy them from FFLs.

    And even if you could find one for sale from a private party... why not just get a rifle?
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  7. #7
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    Wouldn't those length requirements only apply to rifles?

    12276.1
    (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall
    also mean any of the following:
    ...
    (3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length
    of less than 30 inches.
    12276 doesn't seem to define what rifle is, but according to 12020:

    (12) As used in this section, an "unconventional pistol" means a
    firearm that does not have a rifled bore and has a barrel or barrels
    of less than 18 inches in length or has an overall length of less
    than 26 inches.
    ...

    (20) As used in this section, a "rifle" means a weapon designed or
    redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the
    shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the
    energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single
    projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

    (21) As used in this section, a "shotgun" means a weapon designed
    or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the
    shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the
    energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a
    smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single
    projectile for each pull of the trigger.
    I'm not totally sure whether these definitions apply to 12276 though or if they only apply in the section from 12020 to 12040.

    As for whether it is a pistol for the purposes of 626.9 I am not sure. Does 626.9 use the same definition for "pistol", "revolver", and "firearm capable of being concealed on the person" as 12001? 626.9 does say that the definition of "firearm" is the same as 12001 but it does not specifically say that the other three terms mentioned were the same definition.

    626.9
    (c) Subdivision (b) does not apply to the possession of a firearm
    under any of the following circumstances:
    (1) Within a place of residence or place of business or on private
    property, if the place of residence, place of business, or private
    property is not part of the school grounds and the possession of the
    firearm is otherwise lawful.
    (2) When the firearm is an unloaded pistol, revolver, or other
    firearm capable of being concealed on the person and is in a locked
    container or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle.
    This section does not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful
    transportation of any other firearm, other than a pistol, revolver,
    or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person, in
    accordance with state law.

    ... (e) As used in this section, the following definitions shall
    apply:
    (1) "School zone" means an area in, or on the grounds of, a public
    or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1
    to 12, inclusive, or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the
    grounds of the public or private school.
    (2) "Firearm" has the same meaning as that term is given in
    Section 12001.

    (3) "Locked container" has the same meaning as that term is given
    in subdivision (c) of Section 12026.1.
    (4) "Concealed firearm" has the same meaning as that term is given
    in Sections 12025 and 12026.1.

  8. #8
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    Felid`Maximus wrote:
    12276 doesn't seem to define what rifle is, but according to 12020:

    (12) As used in this section, an "unconventional pistol" means a
    firearm that does not have a rifled bore and has a barrel or barrels
    of less than 18 inches in length or has an overall length of less
    than 26 inches.
    ...

    (20) As used in this section, a "rifle" means a weapon designed or
    redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the
    shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the
    energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single
    projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

    (21) As used in this section, a "shotgun" means a weapon designed
    or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the
    shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the
    energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a
    smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single
    projectile for each pull of the trigger.
    You are correct. I don't know what I was thinking...

    Since 12276 does not provide a definition, the court has to adopt one found elsewhere in statute. If more than one example exists, it must use the definition most beneficial to the defendant.

    So... these long handguns would be legal, unless they were designed to be fired from the shoulder.

    Thanks for the correction.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member brokenbarrel's Avatar
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    Felid`Maximus wrote:
    Sorry for all my crazy posts in the CA section I'm just always trying to think of exceptions to the crazy CA laws as a mental exercise.

    In any case, it appears to me that the definition of "pistol", "revolver", and "firearm capable of being concealed," would not apply to a pistol with a barrel over 16" long. Of course I'm no lawyer and my interpretation could be wrong.

    12001. (a) (1) As used in this title, the terms "pistol,"
    "revolver," and "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person"
    shall apply to and include any device designed to be used as a
    weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any
    explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less
    than 16 inches in length. These terms also include any device that
    has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be
    interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
    (2) As used in this title, the term "handgun" means any "pistol,"
    "revolver," or "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person."
    So if someone had a pistol with a really long barrel that could not be interchanged with a smaller barrel, perhaps a custom semi-auto with a fixed 17" barrel, perhaps they could UOC without worrying about school zones? (And technically even UCC?) A 17" barreled pistol would be more convenient than a rifle.


    (Probably a real pistol that might qualify could not be a luger though since the barrel might be considered interchangeable... but I just wanted to post a picture of a handgun with a long barrel!)


    Is there something else in CA law that would make such a huge handgun illegal?
    on long guns that are cut down,overall length has to be 26inches along with the 18 inch barrel i dont know about a handgun being streched?

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