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Update on Seizures by CA DOJ

Friday, February 13, 2004

Confusion still abounds over the definition of an "assault weapon." Last year, a Robinson Armament model M96 rifle was seized from a dealer. The Cal. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) used the store`s transaction records to locate other M96 rifles and went door-to-door confiscating them without compensation. However, the M96 rifle is perfectly legal, and is not an "assault weapon."

At the urging of NRA attorneys and others, officials in the DOJ`s Firearm Div. reversed the agents` decision. This situation raises the question, if specialized DOJ agents don`t know which guns are "assault weapons," how is the average gun owner to know? This vagueness led District Attorneys in Fresno and Mendocino counties to file a lawsuit (Hunt v. Lockyer), that is still in litigation and challenges the 1999 amendment to the state`s "assault weapon" law that still confounds gun owners, dealers, police, and prosecutors as to what features of a firearm are prohibited. Thankfully, approximately one week after seizing the model M96 rifles, DOJ agents began returning the guns to their rightful owners. We`ll keep you posted on any developments on this front.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.