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Thread: Is it a weapon if it fires blanks?

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Is it a weapon if it fires blanks?

    I have been following the story of LA swat teams "Big weapon theft" online at police one. Today they said they have arrested two suspects. It starts out saying, "Not really Guns folks, they only fire blanks", on the other hand two guys get arrested for possession of "machine guns". Laws are different all over, so, help me understand this please.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    In some cases and some jurisdictions a blank firing pistol is considered a weapon. If it's used to holdup a bank? If it's brandished?

    So you'll need to be very specific. (Ain't weapons laws great? You need a portable lawyer to decipher them even if you know them).
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    I have been following the story of LA swat teams "Big weapon theft" online at police one. Today they said they have arrested two suspects. It starts out saying, "Not really Guns folks, they only fire blanks", on the other hand two guys get arrested for possession of "machine guns". Laws are different all over, so, help me understand this please.
    Here's a related article to the particular case you are referring to:
    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/...lity-burglary/

    My understanding is that the 'assault weapon' charges actually have nothing todo with the burglary.

    In CA there are crimes for 'imitation firearms' (12550+ , 417.4, 171.5+) plus lots of municipal code violations.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Thank you, I can understand better.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Will it get you shot if you point it at a cop??
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    Blanks can and do kill people. They don't fire a solid projectile, but a lot of fast moving hot gasses emerge from the muzzle. Some people have been foolish enough to put guns to their temples and fire a blank, and have died.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Most states do not differentiate between items that fire a metallic projectile and items that merely cause the realease of gasses under pressure. Actually that is said backwards - most states changed their defintion of a firearm to include blank-firing devices as firearms.

    The California AG goes into detail here http://www.scribd.com/doc/266160/Opi...General-981004 about how a "firearm" is defined under California law. Since the items stolen expelled a projectile (simunition pellet) they are defined as being firearms. Regarding your question of blank-firing devices -- my guess is that a prosecutor would posit, if blank-firing items were not specifically defined as being a firearm, that a blank ejects a projectile (the wad) and therefore meets the definition of a firearm.

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    In some cases and some jurisdictions a blank firing pistol is considered a weapon. If it's used to holdup a bank? If it's brandished?

    So you'll need to be very specific. (Ain't weapons laws great? You need a portable lawyer to decipher them even if you know them).
    If you have a wooden dowel in your pocket and claim that it is a gun during a robbery, you will be charged with "ARMED robbery" just as if you had a real gun.

    With a blank pistol, the deception is even more realistic, so no problem at all in it being considered a weapon if used in an illegal activity.

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Not according to my ex.
    "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
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