MORGAN HILL, CA –-(Ammoland.com)- In a significant decision for firearms manufacturers, dealers, and purchasers throughout California, the State of California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) determined that the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms’ prohibition against the issuance of “assault weapon” permits to corporations and other entities to be an unlawful “underground regulation.”
Jay Jacobson of Franklin Armory petitioned the Office of Administrative Law after being informed by the Bureau of Firearms that only “individuals” could apply for permits.
“As a California businessman, I strive to comply with all requirements of the law – and so must DOJ,” said Jacobson. “Companies in the firearms industry, like ours, often face a dilemma of whether to stand up and challenge the regulatory agency that holds licensing authority over them or just accept and submit to unlawful policies. We chose to act in favor of a final resolution and, thankfully, had the support of the firearms community and Cal-FFL.”
As reported by Cal-FFL in April, the DOJ had held steadfast by its opinion that only “individuals” are able to obtain permits to sell “assault weapons” or “.50 BMG Rifles”. However, the express text of Penal Code section 16970 states that “any entity” within the definition of “persons” may obtain such permits. Franklin Armory argued that the DOJ policy conflicted with the express language of the Penal Code, which defines “person” for the purposes of the Assault Weapon Control Act as “an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, or any other group or entity, regardless of how it was created.”
In spite of the clear language of the Code, DOJ disagreed, arguing that the language does not permit corporations to obtain the requisite permits to manufacture and sell such firearms. OAL’s determination put the matter to rest.
“This has been an issue for years,” said firearms and civil rights attorney Jason Davis. “We had requested that this policy be abandoned in 2003, but the previous administrations refused and the underground regulation was perpetuated. Until Franklin Armory decided to take action, with Cal-FFL’s support, the willingness within the firearms industry to challenge DOJ on this issue simply didn’t exist.”
OAL received comments in support of Franklin Armory’s petition from Brandon Combs of California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, Inc., as well as attorney Clinton B. Monfort of Michel and Associates, P.C.
“This action should eliminate the burden, both financial and procedural, that law-abiding businesses face in this segment of the fast-growing firearms market,” said Brandon Combs of California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, Inc. “Though we often find ourselves on opposite sides of issues, we appreciate the DOJ’s professionalism throughout the process and look forward to working closely with their representatives to ensure a smooth application of this determination.”
The OAL Determination is captioned as 2012 OAL Determination No.8 (OAL FILE NO. CTU2012-0207-01) and can be viewed at http://www.scribd.com/doc/103439872/Cal-FFL-2012-OAL-Determination-re-DOJ-Corporation-AW-Permits.
About California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees
California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (www.calffl.org) is California’s premier non-profit industry association of, by, and for firearms manufacturers, dealers, collectors, training professionals, shooting ranges, and others, advancing the interests of its members and the general public through strategic litigation, legislative efforts, and education. For more information or to join, please visit Cal-FFL.