Says CRPAF & FFLGuard.
San Diego, CA –-(Ammoland.com)- The People v. Nguyen decision specifically holds that a person who possesses the parts that could be put together to make an illegal “assault weapon,” and who intents to assemble the parts to make the unregistered “assault weapon,” can be convicted of attempted illegal “assault weapon” manufacturing and attempted illegal “assault weapon” possession.
That someone can be convicted of attempting to commit a crime if there is evidence of their intention to commit it (usually established through a confession although circumstantial evidence may be used as well) is not a remarkable proposition in criminal law. Much more problematic however, is language in the Nguyen decision which implies that possession of the unassembled parts of an “assault weapon” alone could form the basis for “assault weapon” possessing offenses. The troublesome language appears in the decision as the result of a botched legal strategy employed in the case.
California and federal law specifically states that possession of the parts for “machineguns” and “short-barrelled” rifles or “short-barrelled” shotguns, even though not assembled, constitutes violations of state and federal law and are illegal to possess, even if there is no intention to assemble the parts. If that law was extended to “assault weapons” the Nguyen ruling could have far reaching and terrible implications for California firearm owners and dealers if it remains a published opinion and stands as legal precedent.
For years, the DOJ has taken the position that possession of the parts of a Category 3 “assault weapon” (i.e. a firearm that meets the definition of an “assault weapon” because of its characteristic, not by make and model designation) is not a violation of California law. In fact, DOJ recommends the practice of taking off the prohibited features of a registered Category 3 “assault weapon” when a licensed firearm dealer acquires such a firearm for the purpose of selling it to the public. http://oag.ca.gov/firearms/regagunfaqs#8.
Nonetheless, prosecutors citing the Nguyen decision could argue that the Nguyen ruling should be interpreted to preclude the simple possession of unassembled “assault weapon” parts. This could jeopardize thousands of gun owners who innocently possess of the parts, which can be used for a variety of completely legal purposes, and have no intention to assemble an illegal “assault weapon.”
In an effort to prevent the Nguyen decision from becoming dangerous legal precedent in California, the attorneys for the CRPA Foundation and FFLGuard at Michel & Associates, P.C., have filed a request for depublication of the decision with the California Supreme Court.
If the request is granted, the depublished decision could not be cited as legal precedent.
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The NRA and CRPA joined forces in 1993 to fight local gun bans being written and pushed in California by the gun ban lobby. Their coordinated efforts became the NRA/CRPA “Local Ordinance Project” (LOP) – a statewide campaign to fight ill-conceived local efforts at gun control and educate politicians about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The NRA/CRPA LOP has had tremendous success in beating back most of these anti-self-defense proposals.
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