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June 18th, 2008

New California Law Restricts FFL to FFL Gun Shipments Starting July 1st

This is important news for wholesalers, gunsmiths, and FFLs who ship firearms to California. Starting July 1st, 2008, FFLs wishing to send a firearm to a California FFL must first register with the California Dept. of Justice (CA DOJ), submit the details of the transaction(s), and then wait for the CA DOJ to issue a “Firearms Shipment Approval” letter. The letter must be enclosed within the gun shipment and the receiving FFL in California must retain the letter for three (3) years. Curios and relics are exempt, but otherwise this applies to all firearms — handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

To obtain approval, the shipping FFL must have the California FFL’s five-digit Centralized List number and fill out an application and provide the invoice number and quantity of long guns and handguns to be shipped. The application process will be available to FFLs online and via facsimile or telephone once the FFL is enrolled in the CFLC program. NOTE: This law only imposes burdens on FFLs. It is still legal for a private party in another state to ship a gun to a California FFL-holder (if the shipper otherwise complies with Federal law).

Bad Law Applies Even to Intra-State Shipments
The Democrat-controlled California Legislature has produced some bad gun laws before, but this is one of the worst ever. It is extremely burdensome. An FFL wishing to ship guns to California must obtain an approval letter with EVERY shipment. This law even applies to a California-based FFL wishing to ship in-state to another California FFL. The new regulations are administered as the “California Firearms Licensee Check System (CFLC)“, authorized by AB 2521, a terrible piece of legislation signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2006.

CA DOJ’s official summary of the CFLC system:

“As of July 1, 2008, California Penal Code Section 12072(f)(1) prohibits all Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), other than Type 03 or 06 FFLs, from shipping firearms to an FFL in California unless, prior to delivery, the FFL intending to deliver, sell or transfer the firearms obtains a verification approval number from the California Department of Justice (CADOJ) Bureau of Firearms. This includes transfers that occur at gun shows.

The verification approval number, which the Bureau of Firearms provides in a Firearms Shipment Approval letter, confirms that the intended recipient of the firearm shipment is properly licensed and listed in the state’s database of persons/entities authorized to receive firearm shipments. If the intended CA FFL recipient is not listed in the state’s database, the transaction will result in a Do Not Ship letter, and it is a crime for the intended recipient to receive the firearms (Penal Code Section 12083(c)(1)).

As a courtesy to impacted FFLs, the Bureau of Firearms has established an Internet application that is available to FFLs nationwide 24 hours a day 7 days a week (24/7) to obtain Firearms Shipment Approval letters. All Internet transactions will be handled on a secure server, and the information provided will be used solely for the purposes associated with the administration of the CFLC program. For FFLs that do not have Internet access, the Bureau has established a telephone service that allows nationwide FFL shippers to enroll and obtain Firearms Shipment Approval letters via telephone or facsimile prior to shipping firearms to a California FFL. However, the telephone service availability will be limited to Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

California FFL holders (other than Type 03 or 06) must enroll in the California Firearms Licensee Check (CFLC) Program to ship firearms to another California FFL. They must also be listed on the State of California Centralized List as either a dealer, manufacturer, or exempt. Once enrolled in CFLC, California FFLs will be able to obtain Firearms Shipment Approval letters to ship firearms to other FFL holders within the state.

For additional information regarding this new program, please refer to our CFLC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).”


New System Imposes Useless Red Tape
The author of AB 2521, CA Assemblyman Dave Jones, claims the new system is designed to “protect the consumer” by ensuring gun shipments are not sent to recipients whose Federal Licenses are not in good standing. That, of course is nonsense. Current Federal law already requires a shipping FFL to confirm that the shipment’s recipient has a valid license. No, the real purpose of the new law is to impose a wall of red tape blocking gun shipments to California. The new law has already had a chilling effect. We’ve seen notices on gun auction boards from dealers stating: “Due to new regulations, we will NOT ship this firearm to California.”

New Law Needs to Be Challenged
On its face, California’s new Approval Letter System probably cannot withstand legal scrutiny if it is challenged in court. First, insofar as it regulates and changes the record-keeping duties of Federal Firearms License holders, the CFLC should be 100% pre-empted by Federal Law. California is adding an additional layer of duties and responsiblities on FFLs in OTHER STATES, and then imposing criminal penalties if California’s new rules aren’t followed to the letter. Avoiding this kind of mess is precisely why we have uniform federal regulation in the first place. In addition, the California law may be Constitutionally invalid as a restraint on interstate commerce. We hope the NRA or NSSF immediately challenges California’s Firearms Licensee Check System.

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June 18th, 2008

Tips for Clear-Coating Laminated Stocks

Laminated wood stocks offer an excellent combination of price and performance, and they can be obtained in a myriad of styles to suit your discipline — hunting, benchrest, tactical, silhouette, or high power. Laminated stocks can be a little trickier to finish compared to a hardwood such as walnut, as laminates are often delivered in bright or highly contrasting colors. Traditional wood finishes can alter the colors. Also, filling the pores in laminated stocks is an issue.

Automotive clearcoat products have become popular for finishing laminated wood stocks because they won’t alter the stock’s colors, and the clearcoat provides a durable weather-resistant finish. Clearcoat is also easy to “touch up” and it fills pores better than some other alternatives. Mike Ricklefs has written a comprehensive article on stock painting that includes a special section on clearcoating over laminated woods. If you want to clearcoat a stock, Mike’s article is a must-read!

In that Stock Painting Article, Mike offers these tips:

When finishing laminated stocks with clear-coat, you need to prepare the wood carefully, and build up quite a few thin layers one at a time. Begin by sanding, with progressively finer paper, all the way to 400 grit. Certain laminated stocks are so rough when they come from the stock-maker, that you may have to be very aggressive at first. But be careful with angles and the edges of flats. You don’t want to round these off as you sand.

After sanding, use compressed air to blow out all dust from the pores of the wood. This is very important to avoid a “muddy” looking finish. If you don’t blow the dust out with air before spraying the clear it will migrate out as you apply the clear. Also, after each sanding session, clean your painting area to remove excess dust. I also wet down the floor of my spray booth to keept the dust down.

Some painters recommended using a filler to close the pores. That’s one technique, but the filler can detract from the clarity of the final finish. Rather than use a pore-filling sealer, I use a high solids or “build” clear for the initial applications. This is slightly thicker than “finish” clear and does a good job of sealing the pores. Three (3) fairly heavy coats of “build” clear are applied. If you get a thick spot or a run in the finish at this point, it is not the end of the world but this does create more sanding work.”

There is a current thread in our Shooters’ Forum that discusses the use of clear-coating on laminated stocks. Member BHoges offered this advice: “Stick with Diamont, Glassurit, and Spies. If anyone has questions, I painted cars for a long time.”

Forum member Preacher, whose bolt-action pistol is shown in the photo below, states: “I buy my two-art Clearcoat from the local NAPA dealer. They recommended Crossfire mixed 4:1. Ireally like the end results. There are six coats on that stock that were sanded down to bare wood for the first two, and then 600 wet sanded for the other four coats. Two to three coats would be sufficient if the pores were filled first, but I would rather fill em with the clear as it seems to make it appear deeper and I have the time to devote to it. I have PPG’s Deltron DC 3000 clearcoat on a few stocks of mine, but I like the NAPA better price wise, and it seems to hold up just as good as the Deltron.”

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