Buyin’ Guns — the Free Way

I’ve taken a bit of a different tack than most folks. I’m not buyin’ EBRs right now.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t, and there are certainly many of my fellow Californians who are buying AR lower receivers (they were running $130 before tax in local shops until last Wednesday). My local gun shop had 50 or so stripped lowers in stock (DoubleStar and another brand, I think) as of last Friday, and by Monday they had four left and are now sold out. Kudos to them, they kept the price at around $130 instead of doubling it as appears to be the case elsewhere in the Bay Area. Josh has a similar tale here.

But no, I’m not buying ARs or other detachable-mag rifles. I’m buying paperless rifles. (If you don’t know why that’s important, you haven’t, as they say, been paying attention.)

What’s that, you say? You can’t do that in California?

Well, to borrow a phrase yes, we can! The state law has a couple of loopholes exceptions to the requirement that all gun sales go through an FFL and be reported to the State Bureau of Firearms. The exception I’m using is for long guns that are curios and relics (not necessarily on the Federal C&R list, although it helps) and more than 50 years old. Those may lawfully be transferred between two California residents without any paperwork.

Two Boomershoots ago, I casually insisted to Phil that a .223-caliber self-loader is sufficient for self defense; a .308 isn’t necessary. He and his wife just looked at each other knowingly, as if I were a misguided child. Well, after reading (and rereading, and rereading) Boston’s Gun Bible (and you should too!), I’ve come around to the realization that everyone needs a battle rifle, and an AR is not a battle rifle.

At the Gunbloggers’ Rendezvous (and yes, I know I’m horribly late with pics) I knew I was going to shoot a M1 Garand for the first time. It was going to be Derek’s but Kevin Baker’s Garand (above) found its way into my hands first. It’s a gorgeous rifle, wonderful to shoot, and given all the complaints about the Garand’s weight, I found it surprisingly light and balanced.

I wanted one.

So… this week I picked up a couple of General Patton’s favorite battle rifles. A .30-06 will go through just about anything I want it to, and will stop just about anything I want to stop. No poodle-shooter, this. Works for me.
A double dose of freedom: I now own battle rifles, and acquired them in the manner of free men and women. Unregistered. Feels good.

Here’s a picture of a couple of Garands. Are these mine? Well, that’s for me to know, nyah nyah nyah. ‘Cause I can, for the first time in my life, say that nobody else knows about a pair of my rifles except one other human being, and he sold them to me. And that’s a legal right I’m going to keep exercising, thank you very much!
So the rifles pictured might not be the ones I bought. But they sure are pretty, and that’s why I posted this pic.

Now I have to go about buying surplus ammo (from CMP, natch) and building up supplies of spare parts, and clips, and cleaning kits, and building a Garand library, and learning about disassembling and reassembling the rifles, and maybe get around to shooting them too.

And every bit of that will be doubly pleasurable, because it’ll be tinged with that extra gloss of Freedom.

This entry was posted in Have Gun, Will Travel, Kewel!. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Buyin’ Guns — the Free Way

  1. ML27 says:

    Howdy Bro’

    Now what you need to find is a range where they shoot NRA high power matches, and a good club. 18 odd years ago I shot some matches in AK, and then MO and Little Roack, AR. I found a really good bunch of guys there, willing to school a young USA 1LT on the old fashioned ways of rifle marksmanship.

    Hoo Raah!


  2. Phil says:

    Congratulations! I agree with ML27. Find yourself somewhere to shoot DCM matches. Good deal on ammo from them too usually.

  3. Cowboy Blob says:

    You, sir, are my hero. 🙂

  4. David says:

    I imagine Dirtcrashr can point me in the right direction for some matches. He’s not too far from me, and he does some amazing things with iron-sighted battle riles.

  5. Tony says:

    Oooooo those are purty!

  6. Josh says:

    You…you got a Tanker. *sniff* I’ve always wanted a Tanker.

    Congrats on going paperless. It is, as they say, food for thought.

  7. David says:

    Heh. Well now, I’m neither confirming nor denying that I got a Tanker. Some folks assume that because the BATFE takes the position that a Tanker is no longer a Curio or Relic firearm for purposes of 03 FFL interstate transfers, that such rifles can’t take advantage of the intrastate exemption in California Penal Code Section 12078(t)(2). I wholeheartedly disagree, as such a position ignores some long-standing rules of statutory interpretation. Nevertheless, I ain’t coppin’ to nothin.’ (grin)

  8. Rivrdog says:

    If you bought those Garands at market value, about $800-1000 each for good ones (and I know you don’t buy junk), you could have had one M1A1 or M14. The latter rifle is infinitely more useful.

    You could have kept the rifle in an adjoining state which permits their possession (all of CA’s adjoining states) and sent for it/fetched it when the SHTF and you aren’t worried about the CA Penal Code anymore.

    Or, you could move out of the benighted state.

  9. David says:

    The pair were actually a few hundred less than the California price of an M1A SOCOM or even an M1A Scout, both of which I dearly want (especially since shooting Linoge’s SOCOM — what a sweet little rifle that is). However, the purchase of that M1A wouldn’t be paperless in California, which is kind of the point. Remember, even private-party sales in Cali must be done through an FFL and reported to the BOF unless they fall under the exemption I used here.

    I still intend to get an M1A sooner rather than later, but I’ve got to recover from the dent of this purchase first.

  10. Pingback: GunPundit » Blog Archive » Paperless Rifles

  11. emdfl says:

    I got one of those in 7.62X51. Forgot all about it until my builder asked me if I wanted to sell it to him, heh. Nice acquisition there. Don’t forget to load up on clips.

  12. G.M. says:

    Nothin like a 100% home built from billet AR lower to make a paperless AR… thankfully I am not in CA.

  13. DirtCrashr says:

    C’mon over the hill to San Jose and shoot with us Zouaves. We have guys with M1A’s too – and AR’s. 🙂

  14. David says:

    You Betcha!

    And to think all along I thought whenever you mentioned “Zouaves” you were shooting Zouave rifles….

  15. DirtCrashr says:

    Heh! No it’s the Santa Clara Club who do the black powder and Cowboy stuff. But tomorrow is not a Match, we’re working on building the cover for our firing line. A LOT of improvements have been made – that the County pays for! 🙂
    “Registration”-wise it’s funny, I got my Garand through the CMP and submitted a notarized check-form that they processed there in Aniston, and they shipped me the rifle. But I have other stuff too! 🙂 And we’ll talk about it another time.

  16. Derek says:

    My goodness. How did I miss this? I will neither confirm or deny my jubilation for your alleged recent paperless purchase.

    While we’re on the topic of paperless… I understood that while it is one less DROS number the CA DOJ records, they still have no idea what firearm it would have been. SN for long arms are not recorded. I don’t think that CA DOJ has enough information to tell the difference between a Ruger Mini-14 to an M1A – at least on paper.

    But the feeling while conducting a FTF exchange is really something (at least for those of us in states who are not fortunate to have a state that remains “free.”

  17. David says:

    I did not know that, Derek. I was under the assumption that the electronic DROS, at least, has little drop-down boxes for different types of firearms. Maybe that’s just for handguns? I know when purchasing specialty pistols the dealers have always had to fiddle with the system figuring which category they fall in. But I confess I’ve never paid attention to what’s recorded with long guns.

    The other neat thing, of course, is contemplating the flood of guns that are becoming eligible for this type of transaction in the next few years. The selection of firearms available in the 1960s was, I understand, leagues beyond what was around in the 1950s.

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