Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Impressive stupidity

In a previous post, I, tongue-in-cheek, suggested that under the "strictest interpretation" of Ca law, one would be required to put a gun lock on any lower receivers they purchase. Apparently this was not as far from the truth as I though.

Sunday I purchased a STAG-15 lower receiver, and when filling out the paperwork to own this piece of aluminum with no moving parts, I was told that if I have a gun safe, I would be required to bring the model number in when picking it up, if I didn't have a safe, I would have to bring in a receipt to prove purchase of a gun lock.

A stripped lower receiver is not actually a gun. It's a piece of molded aluminum, with no moving parts, no firing pin, no barrel, no springs, no pins, no trigger, no nothing. It's a paperweight. An expensive paperweight. Yet since it has the "capacity" to become much more, it must be treated as a firearm. I guess, technically, that makes sense. Otherwise, you'd be able to assemble a gun with no control on any of the parts. But to require a lock be purchased with it? I don't know.

If we pull this "capacity" argument out a bit, we can find new laws on pretty much anything. Imagine having to register your pet rock for its "capacity" to become a dangerous weapon? What if you are a highly trained martial artist? Should you have to register your body as a lethal weapon? How would you lock it up to prevent others from using it? (or yourself, on accident?) These are silly arguments, but so is the idea of needing to prove purchase of a gun lock for something that simply has the capacity to become a weapon.

What if I had no intention of using it, but only chose to buy it as an aid to show people what a "Dangerous Assault Weapon" is? I'd still have to buy a trigger lock for a piece of aluminum that doesn't even have a trigger (or even a trigger guard to put the lock into).

I'm not arguing that we don't need gun locks, I think they serve a very valuable purpose, but to insist that one be purchased before the gun is even a gun? Feel free to enforce gun lock laws once the lower receiver joins with an upper receiver, and a barrel, and (for god's sake) a trigger. But until then? Trust I have the ability to handle a chunk of aluminum responsibly.

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