California Attorney General Kamala Harris has determined federal agents are not covered by an exemption that allows California law enforcement officers to purchase “unsafe” handguns denied to non-LEOs.
“The AG says the feds can only buy firearms listed on the Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale (like the rest of us),” attorney Chuck Michel wrote on CalGunLaws.com.
While it may sound absurd on the surface to allow police officers to walk around with guns the state has deemed “unsafe,” the language is deceptive. They’re not talking about things like guns that blow up in your hand due to faulty design, material defects or workmanship.
“To not be considered ‘unsafe,’ handguns must pass performance tests and have certain features that (in theory only) make the firearms allegedly safer,” Michel explained. “Most problematic for the California public is the recent development that before any semiautomatic pistol can be added to the Roster of guns approved for sale they must be equipped with ‘microstamping’ technology.
And this could be exacerbated if so-called “smart gun” legislation is passed, Michel surmised.
“The exception used … until recently by federal law enforcement officers, was the following,” Michel noted:
The sale or purchase of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, if the pistol, revolver, or other firearm is sold to, or purchased by, the Department of Justice, any police department, any sheriff’s official, any marshal’s office, the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, the California Highway Patrol, any district attorney’s office, or the military or naval forces of this state or of the United States for use in the discharge of their official duties. Nor shall anything in this section prohibit the sale to, or purchase by, sworn members of these agencies of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
“You might notice, as did the California’s Attorney General, that federal law enforcement officers are not mentioned in this exception!” Michel pointed out. “The ‘Department of Justice’ referred to in this section is the California Department of Justice, not a federal agency. So the AG’s analysis is correct: federal law enforcement is not exempt from the ‘unsafe handgun’ restriction.”
Until such time as the law is rewritten (and it “no doubt” will be, which will further demonstrate the inherent injustice of allowing law enforcement personnel privileges and immunities denied to the general public in terms of weapons they may possess with which to defend themselves and their families), Harris has probable cause to believe California gun laws, as currently written, are being violated. If she does nothing about it, she will be willfully, with deliberate indifference, turning a blind eye not just to “gun crimes,” but to the very concept of equal protection under the law.
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