Gun Control

Deputies Help Californians Understand How Black Market Works by Selling "Unapproved" Guns

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This clearly wouldn't have happened had California deemed the gun "safe."

Two Sacramento deputies face federal charges for selling guns  that officers and active military members are allowed to own, but not us dumb, hapless non-uniformed folks. According to KTVU in San Francisco, at least two of the guns ended up in the hands of criminals and one was used in a police standoff:

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagoner said the deputies were charged with serving as straw buyers by purchasing the restricted handguns. They then sold the handguns at a profit to unqualified buyers through licensed dealers, prosecutors said.

California law bars citizens from buying handguns that have not been deemed safe by the state Department of Justice, but the law exempts peace officers. The deputies are accused of using their peace officer exemption to buy dozens of weapons over more than a year then selling them to others for a profit.

Yes, they're facing federal charges for selling guns the state of California deems unsafe for the public. If you're not quite sure what that means, they explain:

The weapons include easily concealable semiautomatic pistols that shoot high-velocity .223 caliber bullets, the same long-range ammunition used by the U.S. military for its M16 and M4 rifles.

Also sold were handguns that fire .50 caliber pistol bullets, a less powerful version of the same large-caliber round used in machine guns and sniper rifles. Investigators say semiautomatic handguns built to look like Israeli-made Uzi submachine guns were also bought and sold.

The state Department of Justice also restricts sales of other models of handguns with features that may have advantages for law enforcement but aren't considered safe for the general public. For instance, the department's standards require that semiautomatics can't be fired if the magazine is removed, to prevent the accidental firing of a bullet left in the chamber. They also require a visible indicator if a round is in the chamber ready to be fired.

The stories are not clear as to why the deputies face federal charges for violating state law. They funneled the gun sales through a licensed dealer, but it's possible the mandated process outlined in the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act was not followed, given that two ended up in the hands of criminals.

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  1. The weapons include easily concealable semiautomatic pistols that shoot high-velocity .223 caliber bullets, the same long-range ammunition used by the U.S. military for its M16 and M4 rifles.

    There’s the five-seven but that shoots .17 right, and I’ve seen some crazy ass .223 “pistols” that no sane person would categorize as “easily concealable”. Maybe one of you racist, gun-nut, militia types could point one out, but I haven’t heard of one. Here’s one I found that is freakin huge, dudes.

    Also sold were handguns that fire .50 caliber pistol bullets, a less powerful version of the same large-caliber round used in machine guns and sniper rifles.

    I don’t know the specifics here, but are they implying that a Desert Eagle is even comparable to a Barrett.

    Investigators say semiautomatic handguns built to look like Israeli-made Uzi submachine guns were also bought and sold.

    Oh noes! *clutches pearls* It looks like an Uzi!

    Media reports on guns are almost as bad as the ones on drugs. Like when they describe methicathinone analogues as “chemically similar to LSD!”

    1. There’s the five-seven but that shoots .17 right, and I’ve seen some crazy ass .223 “pistols” that no sane person would categorize as “easily concealable”.

      With America’s obesity epidemic, things that weren’t concealable 10 years ago can be kept between fat folds or pressed neatly between someone’s back-fat and Rascal seat. Perhaps that’s why Bloomberg declared war on sugary sodas. It’s just the next weapon in his assault on gun rights.

      1. *doodles Rascal design with machine gun mount*

        Ahh, to be fat and American. Think I’ll go take in a TRAKTUR PULL this evening, fine sir!

      2. Yeah, but what you gain in concealability you lose in accessibility. This is one of the issues I’m having with my “summer carry” options. Putting my LCR all the way on the side leaves it pretty accessible but prints like crazy in summer wear. Putting it about halfway between the front and side conceals it nicely under my inner tube but I know it’s going to be a pain in the butt. Plus, an experienced criminal may be able to interpret the altered jiggling as a clue to its location.

        1. Yeah, but what you gain in concealability you lose in accessibility.

          My best solution is an Airweight .38 in a FIST K-5 Kydex pocket holster and Croft and Barrow cargo shorts.

      3. With America’s obesity epidemic, things that weren’t concealable 10 years ago can be kept between fat folds or pressed neatly between someone’s back-fat and Rascal seat.

        Ten years ago I was around (and probably “over”) 360 pounds and concealing more than a deringer was organic, extra-virgin oil of seven hells. Now, at less than 2/3 that weight, I can carry a 5-shot .357 or a .40 with ease.

      1. Catchy. It’ll be in my head for at least a day.

      2. I approve of this post.

    2. A Five-Seven is a 5.7mm round, not .17.

      1. I don’t know how I got that mixed up. I was thinking of this gun, which:

        A. uses a .17 hmr, and
        B. is nothing like a goddamn five seven.

        1. Check this out.

          .17 machine gun. So cute, I want one.

    3. There’s the five-seven but that shoots .17 right

      No. The Five-Seven shoots the 5.7x28mm round (hence Five-Seven), which has the same diameter bullet as the .223. It just has a much shorter case, so it doesn’t achieve the same velocity. The bullet itself is also somewhat shorter in length and hence lighter, running to about half the weight as the .223, on average.

      .17 caliber would be 4.3mm.

      1. Yeah, don’t know how I mixed that up.

        But, I can’t say that I’m not disappointed that it took the H’nR commenters six goddamn hours to correct me.

        Good catch to R and MLG.

        1. What can I say, I like to sleep in.

    4. Apparently, for reporters, all pistols are easily concealable.

      Heck, I’ve seen people claim that the SW 500 magnum is easily concealable and that thing is a foot long and weigh 10 lbs unloaded.

      1. They have a 4″ barrel of the SW 500 (though it still weighs the same as a light bowling ball). I suppose using a climbing harness as a belt could hold it up enough to make it “concealable”.

    5. Also .223 cal and the nato 5.56 mm aren’t quite the same size, though some guns can fire both.
      Its dangerous to fire the 5.56 in a .223 weapon as the 5.56 is a much more powerful round.

      And yeah, the article seem to imply that weapons of the same caliber are near equally powerful.

      If that were the case, well I’ve got a .32 cal pistol that should outperform an AK-47.

      1. 5.56 isn’t “much more powerful” than a .223 – they are just RATED for a higher case pressure. In a proper barrel, both cases being loaded to their max pressures – the difference in muzzle velocity isn’t going to be very high – I would think on the order of 100fps or less.

    6. A Bushmaster Type 97S or Type 21S pistol without a Buffer Tube sticking way out the back (or a mini-stock on the end of a short buffer) is pretty damn concealable under a jacket with a 1 point shoulder sling. That’d be a really concealable .223 with a 30rd’er magazine :-D. In full auto (since LEOs have access to Class 3), I would think that little guy is just about the scariest thing I could think about encountering in close quarters.

  2. I’ve been reading about this out here in CA. Nobody seems to understand why the federal charges, but everybody (in the Bay Area and Sactown) supports any gun charge levied against any person at any time. The consensus in the media is that they sold guns so they’re bad people, period. Even the typical cop-fellating that goes on has dosappeared from this story, probably because they weren’t on duty shooting some hapless hobo with their “illegal” guns.

    1. Straw purchases are federal felonies, no? Regardless of what kind of firearm you’re buying.

      1. Unless it’s done by the DOJ, ATF or DEA.

      2. There’s also the bit about selling firearms without an FFL.

        You can sell guns without a license so long as you aren’t doing it as a business, which is typically defined as doing it regularly with the intent to either provide sole or supplementary income.

        1. Even if you’re selling guns privately, you have to go to an FFL to do the transfer. (unless you’re transferring to your spouse or very restricted class of blood relatives)

          1. Add “In California.”

  3. 1) There are no “easily concealable semiautomatic pistols that shoot high-velocity .223 caliber bullets”, unless you consider wearing a trench coat.
    2) .50 cal handgun rounds aren’t even close to being related to the .50 BMG round. There are a few .50 BMG handguns, but they are basically novelties with no practical use, unless you are hunting dinosaurs.

    1. I found this explanation with one minute of googling:

      The maximum pressure of a 5.56 NATO is about 62,000 PSI. A .40 SW is 35,000 PSI and is a pretty high pressure handgun round. A .45 ACP is 21,000. PSI. so the 5.56 is nearly double a .40SW and almost triple the pressure of a .45. Everything would have to built thicker to withstand the extra pressure. I’d imagine the recoil spring would also have to be much heavier, making racking the slide a pain.

      Aside from that, if you wanted it to look like a “pistol”, the grip would have to be huge. Try grabbing an AR-15 magazine, then imagine even wider and longer to account for the grip itself. You also need to reach the trigger from there, and unless you have really long fingers, most people probably wouldn’t be able to reach it.

      A revolver would be more doable, but the pressures are still significantly higher for a .223 than even large caliber revolvers, like the .44 Mag, which is about 36,000 PSI.

      The least AR-15 looking .223 pistol your going to get is probably the Kel Tec PLR16.

      You’d think that professional journalists would be able to find this highly esoteric knowledge before they ran their ignorant mouths off.

      1. Why ruin a good scaremongering story with a bunch of boring facts?

      2. Ew, it’s full of numbers. Numbers are almost as scary as guns.

      3. Having known a few professional journalists that dislike guns, I can tell you in their case it was a deliberate point of personal pride that they were completely ignorant of the technical nature of firearms.

        1. Yeah. That attitude’s pretty common.

          “Why would I want to know anything about guns? Only criminals and Bible-thumping Alabaman rednecks are interested in guns, and also knuckle-draggers from Texan fly-over country.”

          1. Great plot point tying this truth in with an awesome story in one of Stephen Hunter’s books. Either I, Sniper or Dead Zero, can’t remember which.

            You should probably just read them all to be sure you don’t miss it.

      4. It is a misconception that the frame/chamber etc of a gun ‘holds’ the pressure. Actually it is the brass that does. Upon ignition of the gun powder, the brass expands and seals off the chamber. This is why the chamber metal on my 7mm mag isnt much different than that on my 9mm or even 38spl.

        The brass cools rapidly after the gas leaves it causing it to cool off ( faster than the surrounding steel ) and it shrinks back enough to be withdrawn from the chamber. This is why brass is the material of choice for cartridge cases, it’s relative heat expansion ratio compared to that of tool steel.

        1. If you saw brass cartridges in half lengthwise you can see a cross section of the case. You will notice in higher pressure rounds the bases are much thicker.

          The primary reason .223 pistols are impractical is because of the long slide action necessary to handle that length of cartridge. As you noted this also makes a magazine impossible to put inside the grip frame.

          And GBN…journalists are not as ignorant as they are unabashed propagandists. They are playing on the ignorance of the general public. Their ooga-booga scare story compares calibers that have no relation in function, the looks of guns, and some tripe about not being safe for the public. Whoever wrote that statement needs to have their balls kicked up into their throat.

        2. Dude, that doesn’t pass the smell test. If that skinny wall brass case can contain the pressure all by itself, then why are breeches and barrels so much thicker?

          The mag has nothing to do with it. The mag holds ammo until it’s chambered, whereupon it is separated from the mag by the breech.

          What the heck are you trying to imply, that the brass case keeps the pressure from entering the mag? Keeriminy in a handbucket that’s enough ignorant right there. Look inside your gun for clarification.

          You got the case expansion and contraction right, but it’s the breech that stops the expansion, not the case’s intrinsic strength. And it doesn’t have to be brass, as the cheap steel ammo shoots just as well in my guns.

          Where the heck did you get your gun edumacation?

          1. I didnt explain well. As the chamber and bolt do not make a ‘seal’, the brass expands and seals them by grabbing the chamber walls. Yes the steel stops the expansion, but without the brass in there, the gases would escape. The pressures in the chamber cannot exceed the material strength of the brass. I am implying that the brass keeps the pressure from escaping from the chamber.

            If you dont believe it, put a liberal amount of grease or gear oil on a 9mm or 40 cartridge, chamber it, and (NO!) fire it. (DONT DO THAT!)

            http://www.facebook.com/pages/…..2525352564

            Here is a good read;

            Amazon.com: Firearms Pressure Factors (9781879356740): Wolfe …

            1. What I should have said is that the pressures in the chamber cannot exceed the material strength of the brass rather than the structural strength of the chamber.

              1. How about “Both of the above.”

      5. There are 5.56 mm pistol, but what they really are is cut-down versions of the AR.

        7 in barrels, instead of a stock they have a tube for the recoil spring, and the same U/L receiver as an AR.

        Overall they’re still a good foot and a half long.

        1. But they are much more concealable then a full length 16” AR though – especially with a jacket. A single point sling on a Bushy Type 97S or Type 21S with a shorty buffer and Butt on the end of the buffer is one scary motherfucker under your jacket. Especially on full auto – that is the LAST thing I would want to run into in close quarters.

      6. Don’t forget, these “journalists” consider the .223/5.56mm “long-range ammunition.”

        ROTFLMAO.

  4. “Semiautomatic”? That sounds dangerously close to “automatic”, and that means a machine gun. DO WE WANT CRIMINALS WALKING AROUND WITH MACHINE GUNS SHOOTING OUR CHILDREN?

  5. Federal charges? Well I knew Eric Holder wasn’t going to stand by and let this kind of behavior go unpunished.

    1. The mistake these guys made was in selling their guns to American criminals. Had they put on the receipt, “For Export Only,” they’d likely be getting the Presidential Medal Of Freedom right this minute when Obama finishes his round of golf.

    2. The Feds must be convinced there is evidence that they bought the weapons “on order” for others. The straw purchase rules are fairly strict. Technically Sarah Brady broke them when she bought a rifle for her son. Mayor Bloomberg’s investigators broke them as well.

  6. .50 Cal handgun round in this pic.

    And followed by a

    .50 BMG round.

    The only similarities I see is that the casings are both brass. Stupid bastards in the press either don’t care to do research or they’re intentionally lying to push a “cause.” Either way, they’re a bunch of pricks.

    1. Well you can’t expect them to know what the word “caliber” actually means do you? That would require actually looking it up.

      Here’s some more .50 cal ammunition:

      Deadly .50 cal ammo

      1. That’s the same thing that snipers use in Iraq!

        1. Did you know that the Iranian Navy has been working on ways to exploit dihydrogen monoxide in weapons delivery?

          1. Good thing they’re already working on a ban here. It’s a dangerous world out there!

          2. Better nuke em before they succeed.

      2. Deadlier .50 cal ammo..

        http://www.pepperball.com/products.html

        I mean, this would happen with a regular pepper round too…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D….._Snelgrove

    2. Who the fuck needs details when it’s a story about firearms? They’re fucking evil, and they mutilate black kids, and must be ban-destroy-obliterationed.

      And here’s the really sad part: I’m willing to bet anything that the reason this made the news isn’t that cops were selling weapons to criminals, but that it involved guns. Hoplophobes are fucking retarded.

    3. They’re also half an inch in diameter and go “pop”.

      Of course, Banjos was telling me there are other things in your life that fit that description.

        1. Ew.

          1. Keep your fingers out of the Jif jar. Pervert.

    4. Look up a picture for a .50 BMG pistol.

      Damn thing is huge and can only fire one round at a time.

      1. I’ve never seen a pistol that could fire more than one round at a time.

        /pedant

  7. The stupid is just overwhemling – both in the law itself and in the reporting of this.

  8. Hoplophobe
    Once again, I get smarter every time I read the comments here.

    HT: RPA. Gracias, amigo!

    1. Question: Did the word come from the Hoplites?

      1. One doesn’t come from the other, but both are derived from the Greek word hopla meaning “tools (of war)”.

      2. Coined by Col. Cooper as I recall.

        1. You’re right:

          “Firearms authority and writer Colonel Jeff Cooper coined the word in 1962 to describe a “mental disturbance characterized by irrational aversion to weapons.”

    2. Look for the word in future Democratic politicians’ political campaign ads as a positive.

      “Statist McPinko — progressive, environmentalist, hoplophobe! Vote for salvation!”

    3. Once again, I get smarter every time I read the comments here

      You must have missed the White Indian/Mary Stack affair then. Many lost IQ points during this unfortunate period.

      1. Didn’t miss it. Just didn’t make enough waves to warrant an appearance in the “Parrots in Tophats with Monocles.”

        I hear she’s still making ’em and believe ’03’ to be her new handle so I’ll just have to keep at it!

  9. The weapons include easily concealable semiautomatic pistols that shoot high-velocity .223 caliber bullets, the same long-range ammunition used by the U.S. military for its M16 and M4 rifles.

    WRONG.WRONG.WRONG.WRONG.WRONG.
    .223 = AR-15 models (civilian counterpart of the M4/M16)
    .556 = M4/M16

    Jesus christ, what a fucking moron.

    1. .5565.56mm = M4/M16

      FIFY

      1. thanks. just caught that.

    2. Um, my BCM AR has a 5.56mm chamber.

    3. Bullshit yourself, don’t bullshit the rest of us. The reporter may have got it wrong, but you went overboard in the other direction.

      .223 is the civilian counterpart, specced for somewhat lower pressures.

      5.56 is the same spec but for higher pressures. All AR-15s I have, and all I have ever heard of, are 5.56 which can also shoot .223. I have only heard of .223 rifles in a theoretical sense, never any actual rifles chambered only for .223 and supposedly dangerous if you shoot military surplus 5.56.

      1. Yes. Now try and chamber a NATO in an AR-15 and see what happens.

        1. The only gun I know of that’s chambered for .223 only and can’t also fire 5.56 is the Ruger Mini-14 target version. And MAYBE some older bolt rifles.

          Since 5.56 surplus became readily available, just about every gun maker makes sure that their .223’s can withstand 5.56 pressures, if only for liability reasons. I think even the Mini-14 target will hold up when using 5.56; it just causes extraction malfunctions.

      2. both variants can fire a 5.56x45mm but the NATO .223 is a different round altogether. If you can fire the NATO in your AR sans any mods, I’ve not seen it. From what I’ve seen, it tends to cause some serious problems in the chamber.

        1. Maybe I’m wrong about this, but a quick google search didn’t turn up a .223 NATO.

          5.56 NATO is the 5.56 X 45 (mm) round. The civilian variant is a .223″ Remington and if I remember correctly is a lower pressure round because it was meant to be fired in bolt action rifles. The AR system bleeds off some of the extra pressure in the 5.56 NATO to cycle the bolt, so the extra pressure is mostly a wash in an AR in 5.56 mm vs an old Remington bolt action in .223.

          Also, the head spacing is different in 5.56 brass (marginally), hence a risk of greatly increased pressures in a rifle chambered to .223.

          SW AR’s are stamped 5.56 NATO, indicating that they can safely use both.

        2. Damn near every AR-15 made is designed to fire 5.56 NATO. As burnt says, the only ones that aren’t are those designed for target shooting, since the tighter chamber will cause problems with the 5.56 round.

          Hell, my Mini-14 fires 5.56 just fine. Says it will eat it right in the freaking manual. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about on this one.

          1. Err…should be mlg, not burnt.

          2. “Damn near every AR-15 made is designed to fire 5.56 NATO.”
            I don’t think you know what I’m talking about, either.

            1. I’m pretty sure nobody does, least of all you.

              There is no such round as “.223 NATO”. NATO specs their rounds using metric, not caliber designations.

              There is .223 Remington, and there is 5.56x45mm NATO. The NATO round was developed from the .223 Remington. 5.56x45mm NATO has slightly different case dimensions and develops somewhat higher pressures.

      3. I had a .223 AR. The headspace isn’t as sloppy and allows for better accuracy than the 5.56.

        1. The throat is longer in a 5.56×45 and so the longer jump from case mouth to the lands allows the bullet to potentially engrave into the rifling at a slight angle, potentially causing weird off center spins in the bullet which can affect accuracy. Most 5.56 “match” chambers are 5.56×45 in dimension except have a hybrid throat to reduce this effect.

  10. About 20 years ago, here in Phoenix, everyone got the vapors when a bunch of cops started reselling LEO only weapons to there friends and neighbors. I remember being quite perturbed about it, primarily because they were selling Steyr AUG’s and I wanted one and didn’t know any COPS to give me a smokin’ deal.

    Other than that, ink was spilled, pearls were clutched (thanks for that visual), hands were slapped, and everyone moved on.

  11. Also from the SacBee:

    Oakland offering $100 gift cards for guns – 1:42 pm

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/#storylink=cpy

    Think I’ll go down and get one of those gift cards…put a deposit down on a gun.

  12. They funneled the gun sales through a licensed dealer, but it’s possible the mandated process outlined in the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act was not followed, given that two ended up in the hands of criminals.

    It’s actually “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act”.

    Although if you were just being sarcastic that’s a pretty good jibe since the law is worse than useless.

    1. Seems an appropriate application of RCz law.

  13. OK, folks, there has been an awful lot of incorrect and misleading information posted here about .223 Rem vs 5.56x45mm ammunition. First:

    .223 Rem is NOT a “civilian version” of 5.56x45mm. They are very similar cartridges, but differ in important dimensions such as throat length, case material thickness, etc. A very good diagram showing the dimensional differences between 5.56×45 and .223 Rem

    Wikipedia is not a good source because they show the same cartridge dimensions for both cartridges but do not visually explain the relevant differences in chamber dimensions. The casings are very similar but the very slight differences in chamber dimensions make a big difference in developed pressures.

    Saying that the two rounds are different pressures obscures the fact that it is the chamber dimensions that have the greatest effect. Take the same round (or two identical rounds) and fire them in the two different chambers. The pressures developed greatly differ.

    This is why taking a round loaded as 5.56×45 and firing it in a .223 chamber CAN (not necessarily WILL) develop higher (possibly dangerously so) pressure than if fired in its native chamber.

    1. This is why taking a round loaded as 5.56×45 and firing it in a .223 chamber CAN (not necessarily WILL) develop higher (possibly dangerously so) pressure than if fired in its native chamber.

      This is also why people that load their ar-15’s chambered in .223 with 5.56 are assholes: such a nice lack of recoil when fired with .223, and kicks like a bitch when firing 5.56. Well, ok, the recoil with 5.56 isn’t bad, but it’s nowhere near as smooth as an AR-15 should be.

  14. The state Department of Justice also restricts sales of other models of handguns with features that may have advantages for law enforcement but aren’t considered safe for the general public.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh wow.

    Also, .223 handgun? What’s the big deal? Who the hell would *want* to pay that much for ammo to use in their pistol?

    .45ACP or .45GAP far more scary + effective.

    1. Calling .223 expensive over .45 GAP. Now that’s funny.

      1. .45 GAP was an answer to a question nobody was asking.

        1. Perhaps, but I’m glad it’s here. Quite fun to shoot if a bit spendy.

  15. The state Department of Justice also restricts sales of other models of handguns with features that may have advantages for law enforcement but aren’t considered safe for the general public.

    Rule of thumb: Any “gun safety” law that exempts cops isn’t about safety.

    Magazine disconnects are bugs, not features. Loaded chamber indicators are pretty much useless.

  16. Fast and Furious meets Slow and Retarded?

  17. Where does the Second Amendment mention caliber, use, size or capability? All gun laws that do are unconstitutional, therefore ignore them and “Annie get your gun(s)”, before Obama and Holder do.

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