comes to California
fulfills Feinstein's fantasy
By Daryl N. Davis
They said it would never
happen. Any suggestion that it would was derided as "NRA paranoia." They
told us they only wanted "reasonable controls."
Well, it has happened.
Gun confiscation is now the law in California. Thank you, Dan Lungren!
In a letter dated
November 24, 1997, The Man Who Would Be Governor declared that SKS rifles
with detachable magazines, unless the owners can prove they acquired the
rifles prior to June 1, 1989, are illegal "and must be relinquished to
a local police or sheriff's department." This is a reversal of the opinion
held by Mr. Lungren from the time he took office in January 1991, and which
has been conveyed in numerous training sessions for peace officers, criminalists
and prosecutors during the past four years.
When the Roberti-Roos
Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA) became law in January 1989, it included
"SKS with detachable magazine." At that time, there were two distinct models-one
with a fixed magazine (Type 56) and one with a detachable, AK-47 magazine
(Type 84). President Bush banned importation of the Type 84 in 1990. Later
that year, aftermarket detachable magazines (which are not interchangeable
with the AK-47 magazine) became available for SKS rifles originally designed
to use only a fixed magazine.
Until September 1997,
Mr. Lungren's position had been that only the Type 84 was an "assault weapon."
He allowed the sale of the aftermarket detachable magazines and of SKS
rifles equipped with them. He also allowed the sale of the SKS Sporter,
basically a Type 84 that, in compliance with the import restrictions imposed
by President Bush, had its bayonet lug ground off and was fitted to a sporting
stock rather than a military stock.
In September 1996,
the Attorney General's office asked the state Supreme Court to "on its
own motion order review of the Court of Appeals decision..." in the Dingman
case. James Dingman had been convicted of possession of an unregistered
assault weapon (Type 56 with detachable magazine) and his conviction was
upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth District. Chief Deputy Attorney
General (now candidate for Attorney General) David Stirling wrote:
"The impact of the court's
opinion cannot be over stated because of the millions of SKS rifles and
after-market magazines currently in circulation. Tens of thousands of California
citizens may become criminals simply by using a perfectly lawful rifle
with a lawfully purchased magazine without adequate notice that such activity
brings them within the proscriptions of the AWCA."
In October 1996,
in response to the "unprecedented" request by the Attorney General, the
Supreme Court granted review of the Dingman case. In February 1997, the
Attorney General's office filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court
in support of Dingman; they asked that the opinion of the Court of Appeals
1997, in response to a series of blatantly biased and aggressively uninformed
hit pieces in the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Lungren reversed himself. He withdrew
his amicus brief in the Dingman case, stating that it "inaccurately reflects
the view of the Attorney General." Deputy Attorney General Paul Bishop,
who had worked on the AWCA project since 1989, was transferred.
Thanks to Mr. Lungren,
"tens of thousands of California citizens" must either surrender their
lawfully acquired property without compensation or become felons. Gun dealers
throughout the state face felony prosecution, on individual counts, for
each detachable magazine SKS they sold during the six years Mr. Lungren
assured them it was legal to do so. Furthermore, the opinion does nothing
to clarify what constitutes a "SKS with detachable magazine." Must the
magazine be affixed to the rifle? With the rifle? The rifle in the owner's
gun safe and the magazine buried somewhere in a box of miscellaneous parts
in his/her garage?
On CBS's "60
Minutes" on February 5, 1995, Senator Dianne Feinstein declared, "If I
could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright
[firearms] ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America turn
them all in, I would have done it." Thanks to Dan Lungren, Feinstein's
fantasy is well on its way to becoming reality. Whether Mr. Lungren's fantasy
of currying favor with the loony Left at the Los Angeles Times becomes
reality, remains to be seen.
What Should I Do?
1. If a law enforcement
officer attempts to confiscate your SKS, live to fight another day. DO
NOT RESIST! Do get a receipt, though.
2. Contact Governor
Wilson and firmly but politely express your outrage at this situation.
In addition to infringing the Second Amendment, the AG's position creates
a taking of private property without just compensation (Fifth Amendment)
and an ex post facto application of the Assault Weapons Control Act (Article
I, Section 9, Paragraph 3).
Gov. Pete Wilson
Sacramento, CA 95814
3. Become active
in your local NRA Members Council. You may call the Silicon Valley Members
Council at 408-235-9175, 24 hours a day, for up to date legislative information
or for information on contacting a Members Council in your area.