Another Journalist breaks Firearms Laws.

Mother Jones reporter Bryan Schatz (that’s apparently/unfortunately his real name) went to a “build party” in California, and built an AK-pattern rifle in order to gin up hysteria among his hipster peers.

via It’s your petard, after all: Mother Jones reporter videotapes/writes about committing multiple gun felonies in California « Bob Owens.


He will probably be safe under the “Gregory Exception” but just for fun here are some of the felonies committed:

mother jones AK According to the comments by other gun owners in the YouTube page, Mr. Schatz is also in violation of NFA for building a SBR without the proper federal stamp, being a non-922(r) complaint rifle, no magazine lock on the receiver, a felony per California penal code PC § 12276.1 (a)(1)(A-F) and I don’t know what else.

Now, if the builder of that contraption was any one of us regular folks, ATF would be busting our doors by now.

19 thoughts on “Another Journalist breaks Firearms Laws.”

  1. Wait, he chops the receiver in half and says “Yay, no more gun?”

    EVERY PART THAT DIDN’T INTERSECT THAT CUT IS STILL USABLE! That’s like snipping the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cables on a desktop PC and saying “Yay, no more computer.”

    1. Except that the receiver is absolutely vital to it being a gun, both practically and legally (legally the receiver is the gun).

      Cutting the receiver in half is pretty much exactly how you destroy a gun per the ATF… so that part he got right.

  2. Heh. And my first thought on reading that article the other day (after wondering if I was thinking about the same rabidly anti-gun Mother Jones) was “dang…wonder if they have any of those kind of parties around here?”

  3. It’s not a felony. He installed an AK bullet button. Under California law, it is not an “assault weapon,” because it does not have a “detachable magazine,” as California law defines it. Look at the stainless steel thing under the trigger guard. You probably wouldn’t recognize if it you aren’t from the PRK, or are familiar with their ridiculous gun laws. But it’s what makes the build legal.

    1. This. There is nothing to see here but a fully CA compliant semi-automatic rifle.

      It’s one thing for the idiot reporter to try and drum up drama, but for gun folks to fabricate drama where there is none is pretty disappointing.

    2. Exactly right.

      By installation of the ‘bullet-button’ and use of a 10 round magazine, the build in question is as legal under the California “assault weapon” ban as is a plain SKS rifle — both the build and an SKS are semi-automatic centerfire rifles with fixed 10 round magazines.

      However bills currently moving forward in the California legislature will tremendously expand the constellation of rifles that fall under the “assault weapon” ban, including the AK build, possibly the SKS, and even the Ruger 10-22.

  4. We just had a build party at my house last weekend. Several guns were built, including my PSL, which is just an AK in 7.62x54r. No one got hurt, no banks were robbed, and no guns were sold to the cartels.

    Since the firearm was rendered inactive by cutting it in half, it was no longer a “receiver”, and thus not a SBR.
    The most plausible felony I see is that he may not have used enough US made parts for the rifle to be 922r compliant.

    1. The BATF has very specific instructions for cutting a receiver to render it a non-firearm.

      The receiver requires 2 cuts leaving the receiver in three pieces. The cuts require that 1/8″ of material is removed with each cut. This typically means the use of a cutting torch.

      The receiver was NOT de-milled. Ergo still a firearm and still a felony.


      1. Non-problem: The SBR is a felony by the act of building it, and a demill can’t “un-felony” it.

        Problem: If it won’t just tack back together and work, it’s probably an effective demill in itself; the ATF’s “instructions” are not mandatory, they’re just good legal protection if you get prosecuted for something.

        (Per example here(PDF) from the ATF, we find “Alternative methods of destruction may also be acceptable. These alternative methods must be equivalent in degree to the approved method of destruction” and that neither the USC nor CFR specify either a specific method of demilling nor, quite explicitly, a requirement to use the method the ATF suggests or prefers.

        He’s still on the hook for the SBR build, if it was an SBR, but the gun is very plausibly “destroyed” if you can’t just tack it back together and go Bang. Especially since the ATF standards involved are for machineguns…)

        From that video, it sure LOOKS like a legal barrel length to me, and I find it difficult to believe that thing’s shorter than the Federal minimum OAL either, given that an AK with a folding stock and an 18″ barrel is fine.

        I don’t see where people are getting SBR from that video; that looks just as long as the 16.5″ MAK-90 I owned ages ago.

    2. Wrong.

      This is a felony violation of the NFA. The crime lies in the *act* of manufacturing an SBR without a tax stamp, possession aside.

      Chopping the receiver afterward does not mitigate the act. Likewise, you cannot unmake an illegal machine gun or suppressor by destroying it and claim no NFA violation.

      Schatz is a confessed felon. He invites a $250,000 fine, 10 years in a Federal penitentiary and loss of his civil rights. Mother Jones should be prosecuted for conspiracy to violate the NFA, another felony.

      1. I was specifically referring to the supposed destruction of the receiver, not the other multiple felonies.

        The receiver was not destroyed as claimed as it did not get demilled per BATF procedures.

        So I am in fact right. Chopping the receiver in the manner it was done still leaves it as a firearm in the eyes of the BATF.

        As you say the other felonies still stand.

    3. He still made an SBR, and left evidence of his doing so.

      Just because you flush the contraband down the toilet does not mean you automatically get out of being prosecuted.

  5. They are editing out comments about the author’s felonies at Mother Jones.

    I suggest leaving such comments on the Youtube page.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .