In 2016, California passed a bill banning the sale or possession of rifles with so-called “bullet buttons,” which critics charged circumvented the state’s ban on “assault weapons.” Golden State gun owners already in possession of one of those rifles can keep them, but they have until June 30 to register them with the DOJ’s Bureau of Firearms. One California farmer attempted to do just that, and was hit with a dozen felony charges for his efforts.
California Farmer Runs Afoul Of The Law
KGET reports that it all started back in April when Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann logged onto the DOJ website and proceeded to electronically submit photos of his legally owned AR-15. According to court documents, the photos prompted a DOJ investigation. The investigation determined that the AR was “illegally modified.” The documents don’t state the nature of the illegal modification.
As a result, the DOJ raided Kirschenmann’s home in Bakersfield. They discovered a dozen guns, 230 rounds of ammunition, two suppressors and a “multi-burst trigger activator.”
Kirschenmann was taken into custody, but he’s now out on $150,000 bail and facing a dozen gun-related felony charges.
Kirschenmann is the CEO of Scott Kirschenmann Farms, Inc., the grower that supplies the potatoes used by Frito Lay to make chips.
Retired Kern County Sheriff’s Office Commander Joe Pilkington told KGET that—while he couldn’t address Kirschenmann’s case directly because he didn’t know enough about it—it can be hard for law-abiding gun owners to keep up with rapidly changing regulations.
“Just in the last few years, there have been lots of changes in gun laws,” he said. “Making an effort, a good faith effort to comply with these really complicated laws, should count for something.”
Pilkington also says that anybody unsure of the current laws should consult a FFL.
“There is this self-registration application on the Department of Justice website, but it may be better to talk to an FFL. Someone who has a license, to talk through whatever these complications are,” he said.
Kirschenmann is due in court Monday, June 4.