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Dangerous Hunks of Metal

Armed Canadian outlines the utter absurdity of some of our firearms laws, complete with pictures.  Can people seriously look us in the face and say this crap is reasonable?

5 Responses to “Dangerous Hunks of Metal”

  1. Carl in Chicago says:

    Well, it is kind of funny when you think about it.

    But if he was in dreaded Illinois (from where his receiver originated, and which he’d not trade MD for), he’d find his argument doesn’t hold water. Many states make exeptions for the “enclosed in a case” rule, such as when the firearm is broken down or in a non-functioning state. I think that DSA receiver would pass both criterea…it’s broken down, and in a non-functioning state.

    But nonetheless, here’s hoping his FAL build is fun and educational!

  2. Matt says:

    In Illinois, can you transport a firearm outside of a locked case with just an FOID? Say a complete shotgun or AR-15 but with the barrel or upper simply removed. Or with just a cable/trigger lock fitted to prevent functioning?

    Is the law mute on whether the firearm is functional or not? Federal law, for example, is not. 18 USC 921(a)(3)(B) is not. Merely the “frame” or “receiver” itself is the gun.

    As always, I am curious about the laws of other states. I suspect that IL is probably not that permissive. Maryland treats “regulated firearms” (which my FAL receiver is since I had to wait 7 days to get it) under strict transport requirements just like handguns (which are regulated here as well). In those cases, MD mirrors Federal interstate transport requirements in addition to “peaceable journey” requirements tossed in for good measure.

    More pointedly, are you willing to gamble in the gun-friendly state of Illinois in transporting a complete pistol frame absent a case on the seat next to you when you get pulled over by one of Daley’s finest? I’d wager you’d probably be facing gun charges. I wouldn’t put it past the police or the DA to do exactly that. They would here in Montgomery County, my intentions or lack of functional components on the receiver notwithstanding.

    Sometimes it isn’t worth tangling with the bureaucracy. As a gun owner, I’m always better off not giving them the excuse.

  3. Carl in Chicago says:

    Matt:

    I appreciate your post and agree with your overall premise. And don’t get me wrong…I do not consider Illinois to be a gun-friendly state. I moved here from Texas! What a shocker.

    Per your question (and from the Illinois Criminal Code):

    (720 ILCS 5/24‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 24‑1)
    Sec. 24‑1. Unlawful Use of Weapons.
    (a) A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:
    (4) Carries or possesses in any vehicle or concealed
    on or about his person except when on his land or in his own abode or fixed place of business any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or other firearm, except that this subsection (a) (4) does not apply to or affect transportation of weapons that meet one of the following conditions:
    (i) are broken down in a non‑functioning state;
    or
    (ii) are not immediately accessible;
    or
    (iii) are unloaded and enclosed in a case,
    firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container …

    So, based on a straight read, a firearm that is broken down in a non-functional state can be right next to you in your vehicle, uncased (as long as you possess a valid Firearm Owner IDdentification card). Based also on a straight read, if the firearm was not immediately accessible (as is clearly the case if locked in a trunk), then the firearm can be unloaded and uncased.

    Granted, I’d not want to test these waters in Illinois, but that is what the Criminal Code says….you do not commit Unlawful Use of Weapon as long as it meets ONE of the following (from above). I carry firearms (outside Chicago; I have never possessed a firearm in the city) in my vehicle unloaded and enclosed in a case…sometimes accessible, sometimes not.

  4. Carl in Chicago says:

    Oops, forgot to turn off italics after the ICC quote….my apologies.

  5. Matt says:

    Carl,

    Much appreciated! Agreed on the straight reading of the law you’d be fine transporting an uncased, but rendered non-functional, firearm. The trick then becomes how a prosecutor with their own bias and agenda might choose to lawyerly define “non-functional”. Maybe they might consider a disassembled gun as “functional” since you could put it back together quick without tools. Lawyers are sneaky that way in redefining terms to suit their desires.

    Ultimately, you may prevail against such accusations but at what personal cost? It shouldn’t be that way. It’s upsetting to think that mere transport of a firearm automatically makes you suspicious and guilty in the eyes of those tasked with enforcing the law.

    Go interstate and you will be chaining or locking up that “hunk of metal”.

    America might be a gun owner’s paradise but it isn’t without cost.

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