If you spend any amount of time on the <insert gun model here> owners’ groups on Facebook you will undoubtedly find a long line of posts with pictures of colorized/customized EDC pistols. I always stop and ask myself why the hell would anyone do this to a carry gun? To me this seems like a really bad idea since its almost always done in the name of style. Allow me to explain.
A gun is a tool, it has a purpose and it should be used for such. An EDC pistol’s purpose is to stop threats. Its not a competition gun, it’s not meant to put on exhibitions of remarkable shooting skills, and it’s definitely not meant to be flashed around for show.
Now if we are completely honest with ourselves, the odds of someone needing to pull their weapon on a bad guy to defend themselves or family within the appropriate legal parameters is very very low. That being said the firearm that is most likely to be used in such a situation is your EDC one. Again not saying that because you carry a firearm on your person means you will use it, just that if you do have to use a gun for self defense, it will most likely be the one you carry every day. So what does all this have to do with customizing the firearm in your collection most likely to be used to shoot someone?
To answer this question I want to draw your attention to a YouTube video posted by USCCA where they asked a criminal defense attorney to explain the legal ramifications of this very topic. You can watch the video here:
There are other videos out there as well that discuss this topic at length. An EDC gun is not a competition gun, you aren’t shooting for groups at 25 yards with it, you aren’t doing marksmanship exhibitions with it. You carry it for one reason: to defend your/family’s life if necessary. Typically that occurs in 5 yards or less. Having colorized grips/triggers/mag extensions make no functional difference to the gun and there is no explanation other than i wanted to look cool. Now try explaining that in court after you stopped a bad guy from taking your kid. Were you really in danger or were you just looking for an excuse to show off the $500 in accessories you spent on your EDC pistol?
With this in mind, I want you to stop and ask yourself if you really need that red trigger, or that blue mag extension, or that engraved back plate, or grip with orange text? Now ask yourself what a good attorney who is trying to advance a political agenda, or win cash for their client is going to do with someone who took another’s life with a tricked out gun? I think if you honestly think about things, you will come to the conclusion that a fancy EDC gun is actually worse than a plain Jane EDC gun.
The gun related media has been set ablaze. No that’s not a bad pun about it being fire season in California. And oddly enough it has nothing to do with the tyrannical, unconstitutional laws signed by the governor this past week. Instead it was CNN of all sources that brought to light something that was going on in the deep dark recesses of the federal government that got everyone all spun up.
What I am referring to, is the the astonishing piece of journalism by CNN’s Scott Glover. You can read the original story here (and I STRONGLY encourage you to do so regardless of how you feel about firearms ownership). What Mr. Glover exposes to the American public is what the ATF and other federal agencies have been trying to keep secret for decades: they have been illegally re-writing the laws.
As the report explains, federal law regarding what is defined as a firearm requires the receiver to have among other things a bolt or breech lock. Based on the design of the AR platform (a split receiver design) neither half of the receiver group has all the features as defined by law to make it a firearm. This means that the requirements the ATF has been enforcing on anyone who manufactures/sells/buys an AR lower receiver by itself have been unjustly, and illegally enforced since the US Constitution clearly give the power to make/replace/change laws to the legislative branch, not the executive branch that the ATF falls under. So to recap, buying a complete AR15 is buying a firearm by law; buying a completed AR15 lower by itself is not.
What is perhaps more astonishing is the efforts that the ATF has gone to try and hide this clear overreach of constitutional authority. In order to hide the fact that the ATF was acting outside its authority, it not only once but twice decided to not prosecute a someone for violating their unlawful regulations. Of course what is more appalling is they did this after 2 different judges in 2 separate cases issued a preliminary ruling claiming the ATF had gotten the regulations for AR style firearms wrong. So to avoid creating legal precedence they instead decided to drop the charges, and try to hide their dirty deeds.
To be fair, I personally feel that firearm frames/receivers should be treated as the legal definition of a firearm. I have no issues with them being subject to background checks before transfer. I am however 1000% against a federal law enforcement agency ignoring the separation of powers clause in the Constitution to do whatever they want and make up new laws instead of simply enforcing the ones on the books. The AR15 has been around since the 1940’s. That means the ATF has been breaking the law since at least then. The law does need to be updated, but as of right now, AR15 lowers are not legally guns.
If there was ever any doubt about the market influence California has in the gun industry, it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt this past weekend. After the surprising ruling from Judge Benitiz in Duncan v. Becerra, not only did he reverse almost 2 decades of oppression by the CA state DoJ, but he was able to get the CA state Attorney General to admit that any magazine purchases made after the March 29, 2019 decision were legal! That however is not the point of this post.
The point here is how much influence the CA gun market can have. After the historic ruling was handed down, word spread like wildfire amongst the pro-2A community, not just in California, but across the USA. Soon retaliers across this great nation of ours were posting/announcing/emailing/etc. that there were accepting and shipping orders for 10+ round magazines to Cali. Overnight retailers sold out of inventory (which was in the thousands of units) and were calling their distributors for resupply to the tune of additional thousands of units. I was seeing posts on other websites telling stories of how distributors had sold out of 150k plus inventories overnight! That was one distributor!
Over a single weekend every magazine retailer large and small had seen sales volume like never before. Orders that are typically processed in a day had taken 2 or 3 to get shipped simply due to the sheer volume. While we may never know the exact count of magazines sold to California this past weekend, we can safely assume it is over the one million mark. I am going to go out on a limb and say that we as a single state in a single weekend have generated more business for the magazine industry than the past year combined for the rest of the country (gov’t contracts excluded). Now if we can only get as organized on election days, California could be made great again.