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.