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“When guns are outlawed…” retiring COPS get to be outlaws, too! :-)

… along with the rest of us “ordinary citizens” that the California Legislature intended to criminalize…. :-)

“Oh the tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…”

…the Public! :-)

The “tangled web” of California firearms laws has ensnared a new, unintended, class of victim – retiring police officers! California’s bizarre attempts to restrict the Second Amendment Rights of ordinary citizens, through laws that turn ordinary semiautomatic rifles into “assault weapons” through additions of such innocuous things as thumb holes in the stocks, flash suppressors, or magazine-release buttons, now pose problems when police officers RETIRE and become ordinary citizens, once again! :-)

And the demographics of the Baby Boomers means that such officers are retiring in LARGE NUMBERS….

I personally remember, when I lived in Columbus, OH, the cost of AR-15 semiautomatic rifles DOUBLING from about $600 to about $1200 virtually “overnight” as the result of “assault weapons” bans, increased demand, and the desire to price such rifles “out of reach” of many people… many people, but not such folks as drug dealers, who seem to have an inexhaustible supply of cash! “Assault weapon” is a “political,” rather than “technical” term. True weapons of warfare are capable of firing in semiautomatic mode, as well as in “bursts” of a few shots, and also “fully automatic” modes. Such weapons have been banned from general ownership by ordinary Americans since the early 1900’s, with laws regulating the possession of machine guns.

Things got “strange” in a famous North Hollywood shootout in 1997, during which TWO bank robbers (video) in body armor with automatic weapons held down LAPD police officers (“automatic” as in “fully automatic” or “machine guns” – see how effective LAWS are with regulating the behavior of CRIMINALS? :-) ). The out-gunned LAPD cops, who had shotguns, revolvers, and pistols, grabbed more powerful rifles from a gun store to “even the odds.” (With the decreasing number of California gun stores, resulting from “goofy” laws, I WONDER whether that particular gun store in Hollywood is still around! :-) I believe that the LAST gun store in San Francisco closed some time ago!) Police agencies later lobbied for an exemption in California’s assault weapons ban, so that officers could purchase their OWN weapons privately for use on the job, since police departments could not afford the cost (remember, suitable semiautomatic rifles now cost over TWICE as much as before, as the result of misguided legislation).

The exemption became law in 2001, effective in 2002.

Today, about 1,300 of the nearly 10,000 LAPD officers possess what the California Legislature has defined to be “assault rifles,” and more than 500 of these were purchased by the officers themselves. Statewide, California officers have purchased around 7,600 of these “banned” weapons through the legal exemption of 2001.

Now, hundreds (thousands?) of Baby Boomer California cops are reaching retirement age. Their police departments STILL cannot afford to re-purchase the firearms from retiring officers (many of whom probably do not want to surrender them ANYWAY) at the inflated prices created by anti-gun legislation. Should these retiring police officers be made into a special class of “ordinary citizen,” once they retire, and allowed to KEEP their weapons? :-)

Now, THAT seems like a bad precedent to set in a supposed democracy.

See the trouble that you get into when you deny ordinary citizens their Constitutional Rights? :-)

Always “quick to do the wrong thing,” SOME California legislators think that it might be time to TIGHTEN UP on laws banning “assault weapons” (whatever THEY are)! :-)

‘One state lawmaker says maybe it’s time to tighten up California’s assault weapons exemption.

“I think it’s much more questionable whether we should allow peace officers to have access to weapons or firearms that a private citizen wouldn’t have access to if the use is strictly personal,” said Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, a Democrat who represents the Sacramento region.’

And it’s not just state politicians who are jumping into the fray – local politicians can’t keep their hands off THIS one! :-)

Oakland City Councilwoman Jane Brunner questioned the policy, particularly for a department that has a reputation for excessive force, most recently against Occupy protesters.

“I do not believe the police officers should be able to buy them personally anymore,” she said. “Particularly after everything that has happened in Oakland, we need to make sure our officers are following protocol.”

The 2001 update to state law required law enforcement officers to register the weapons with the Justice Department.

About 7,625 assault weapons have been registered with the DOJ over the last decade, with some officers buying more than one weapon. For the first 11 months of 2011, 844 officers bought 861 weapons, according to the DOJ figures.

I find it interesting that, in a state that seeks to deprive ordinary citizens of legal rights “guaranteed” :-) by the U.S. Constitution, local government would be so worried about police officers following “protocol.” (Note added March 2, 2012: How about we ask police officers to “obey the law” instead of “protocol?” I know, I know, if California legislators don’t obey the law, how can we ask ordinary police officers who endanger their lives protecting us and who actually WORK for a living?)

The RIGHT solution, of course, which would likely NEVER be acceptable to California Democratic politicians, would be to throw out the existing, unconstitutional California state firearms laws that are on the books, let the retiring cops keep their semiautomatic weapons, and restore the SAME Constitutional Rights to other ordinary citizens. Crime rates would likely GO DOWN. Criminals don’t obey the law anyway. That is why they are “criminals.”

Don’t panic! The right solution will never happen in California! :-)

-Bill at

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