STATE LAWS ARE CONSTANTLY IN FLUX. WE HAVE NEW LAWS ANALYZED WHEN THEIR FINAL LANGUAGE PASSES THE LEGISLATURE.  WE TRY TO OBTAIN LEGAL OPINIONS AS QUICKLY AS WE ARE ABLE.  OUR OPINOINS ARE WRITTEN BY IN-STATE ATTORNEYS WHO, IN MOST CASES, ARE THE LEAD ATTORNEYS LITIGATING AGAINST THE VERY LAWS THEY HAVE WRITTEN A KALI KEY OPINION ON.  STILL, NO OPINION OR ANALYSIS IS TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE.  WE DO NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR MAKE ANY BLANKET WARRANTIES ON LAWS BECAUSE EVERY PERSON’S SITUATION IS UNIQUE.

 

NOTICE:  YOU SHOULD PERMANENTLY ATTACH THE KALI KEY TO YOUR FIREARM’S BOLT CARRIER GROUP (BCG) USING A PERMANENT THREADLOCKER. ONCE INSTALLED, THE KALI KEY SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FIREARM.

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA

THE LEGAL DISCLAIMER

WARNING: Laws and their interpretations are in constant flux. Our analysis is not intended as legal advice, it is not regularly updated, nor has it been approved by the DOJ or any federal, state, county, city, or other law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. It is the purchasers’ or end users’ responsibility to know the current firearm laws and regulations in their state, county, or city before installing the Kali Key.

NOTICE: A KALI KEY EQUIPPED FIREARM FUNCTIONS AS A MANUALLY-OPERATED (BOLT-ACTION) FIREARM. IT CANNOT FUNCTION IN ANY OTHER WAY EXCEPT AS MANUALLY-OPERATED. THERE IS NO WAY TO “CHEAT” WITH THE KALI KEY. WE INTEND FOR THE KALI KEY TO BE PERMANENTLY INSTALLED ONTO YOUR FIREARM’S BCG USING A PERMANENT THREADLOCKER AND FOR IT NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FIREARM.

The Kali Key was designed to comply with California assault weapon laws and regulations. It is our understanding the Kali Key is compliant with the new California laws and California Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations because it converts the action of a semiautomatic firearm to a bolt action firearm.

Although the Kali Key falls within California laws as written, the product is not formally approved by the DOJ or any federal, state, county, city, or other law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. Instead, it is the purchasers’ or end users’ responsibility to know the current firearm laws and regulations in their state, county, or city before installing the Kali Key.

The Kali Key creator, manufacturer, or seller is not responsible to any purchaser or end user with regard to their understanding or interpretation of the current California gun-related laws and regulations, nor is it responsible or liable in any way for any personal injury, death, or property damage from any use of the Kali Key, including but not limited to the inaccurate assembly, misuse, illegal use, or modification of such product. Each purchaser and end user assumes the risk associated with the use or misuse of such product; and further assumes the responsibility to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. All such products are sold on the condition that the Kali Key creator, manufacturer, or seller shall not be liable in any action for the arrest, accident, death, or injury in connection with the transportation, handling, storage, sale, or use of such product. Please consult your federal, state, and local laws and regulations before purchasing such product. By purchasing, any purchaser or end user represents and warrants that such product will be used in a lawful manner and that he or she is of legal age and capacity.

THE QUICK COMPLIANCE EXPLANATION

California has enacted assault weapons laws and regulations that prohibit the ownership, sale, and purchase of various semiautomatic centerfire firearms with certain features. (See The Assault Weapons Control Act, California Penal Code sections 30500 through 31115.) The Kali

Key is a one-part compliance part that removes your AR15 style firearm from the definition of an assault weapon by converting your semiautomatic firearm to a straight pull bolt action firearm.

The Kali Key allows the user to keep all of the features normally prohibited through the definition of an assault firearm such as pistol grips, forward vertical grips, flash hiders, and collapsible/folding stocks without requiring registration as an assault weapon.

THE DETAILED COMPLIANCE EXPLANATION

California Assault Weapon Definition

In 2016, California enacted Senate Bill 880 (SB 880) and Assembly Bill (AB 1135), which redefine what constitutes an “assault weapon” under state law. Those who have firearms falling under the new assault weapon definition must register their firearms as assault weapons, convert their firearm into a compliant configuration, or dispose of the firearms in a lawful manner. Under California Penal Code 30515, “assault weapon” is defined as any of the following:

  1. A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:
    1. A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
    2. A thumbhole stock.
    3. A folding or telescoping stock.
    4. A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
    5. A flash suppressor.
    6. A forward pistol grip.
  1. A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
  2. A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.
  3. A semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:
    1. A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
    2. A second handgrip.
    3. A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearer’s hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.

(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

SEMIAUTOMATIC VS BOLT ACTION FIREARMS

When designing the Kali Key, we reviewed the legal definitions of semiautomatic and bolt action firearms. California law does not define the term semiautomatic firearm; however, a semiautomatic is defined under regulations in the context of assault weapons. Specifically, a semiautomatic is defined as follows: Semiautomatic means a firearm functionally able to fire a single cartridge, eject the empty case, and reload the chamber each time the trigger is pulled and released. Further, certain necessary mechanical parts that will allow a firearm to function in a semiautomatic nature must be present for a weapon to be deemed semiautomatic. A weapon clearly designed to be semiautomatic but lacking a firing pin, bolt carrier, gas tube, or some other crucial part of the firearm is not semiautomatic for purposes of Penal Code sections 30515, 30600, 30605(a), and 30900. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 11, § 5471 (Lexis Advance through Register 2018, No. 12, March 23, 2018).)

This definition is supported by California case law which states, “[a] semiautomatic firearm “fires once for each pull on the trigger and reloads automatically, but requires the shooter to release the trigger lever before another shot can be fired.” (Walter, Rifles of the World (2d ed. 1998) p. 498.) An automatic firearm “will continue firing until either the trigger is released or the ammunition has been expended.” (Id. at p. 493.)” (In re Jorge M. (2000) 23 Cal.4th 866, 874, fn. 4; see also 1 CALCRIM 875 (2018) [A semiautomatic pistol extracts a fired cartridge and chambers a fresh cartridge with each single pull of the trigger.].)

Further, federal law, 18 U.S. Code section 921, defines “semiautomatic rifle” to mean “any repeating rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” (18 U.S.C. § 921 (LexisNexis, Lexis Advance through PL 115-140, approved 3/20/18).)

Neither federal nor California law specifically define “bolt action” in the context of bolt action rifles, pistols, or shotguns. However, the widely accepted definition of a “bolt action” firearm is a firearm “loaded by means of a manually operated bolt.” (Merriam-Webster.com, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bolt-action.) In other words, after a round is fired by pulling the firearm trigger, the user must manually operate the bolt to extract and eject the spent ammunition casing. The user then pushed the bolt forward loading the next cartridge into the firearm chamber locking the bolt in place before another round can be fired. Bolt action rifles historically have been exempt from all assault weapon regulations in the United States.

KALI KEY OPERATION

Many AR15 style firearms operate with a direct impingement gas system in order to automatically extract, eject and reload a cartridge into the chamber after firing. The direct impingement system directs gas from a fired cartridge directly into the bolt carrier or slide assembly to cycle the action through a hole in the firearm barrel and a gas tube reaching back into the upper receiver of the firearm.

Once fired, as soon as the bullet passes the gas port in the barrel, part of the hot gas flows into the gas tube towards the bolt carrier group. The gas enters the expansion chamber of the bolt carrier key and exerts pressure pushing the bolt carrier rearward.

The bolt carrier continues to move backwards due to inertia, and the cam slot milled into its top side acts on the bolt lug, forcing the bolt to rotate into its unlocked position. By this time, the bullet has left the barrel and pressure has dropped to safe levels. As the bolt carrier continues its rearward movement due to inertia, the bolt is pulled back from the breech, the spent case extracted and ejected. The recoil spring, which has been compressed by the bolt carrier group, pushes the bolt carrier forward again, stripping a fresh cartridge from the magazine, chambering it and, through interaction of the cam slot and bolt lug, the bolt is rotated into locked position again

The Kali Key replaces the charging handle of AR15 style firearms, by removing the two bolt key screws and bolt key from the bolt carrier group. The Kali Key is then screwed in using the same bolt key screws of firearm bolt carrier group. Because the Kali Key does not have an expansion chamber that connects with the gas tube in the upper receiver, there is no gas pressure that forces the bolt carrier group rearward extracting and ejecting the spent casing.

Instead, when the Kali Key is installed on an AR15 style firearm, after each time firing the firearm, the user must manually pull back on the Kali Key to extract and eject the spent casing, and then release or push the Kali Key forward in order to load the next cartridge into the chamber.

Thus, the Kali Key converts all AR15 style rifles and pistols from semiautomatic firearms to straight pull bolt action firearms, removing such firearms from the California assault weapon regulations.

– John W. Dillon, Esq., Dillon Law Group

ILLINOIS PICA OPINION

 

WARNING: The law in Illinois is unsettled and is being determined in State and Federal Courts at this time. While compiled with the assistance of legal counsel, any information contained herein is merely the opinion of Kali Key. This opinion is not regularly updated. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice of any kind, and no attorney-client relationship is formed as a result of this opinion. This opinion has not been submitted to any law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. It is the end users’ responsibility (whether said end user purchased the firearm or received it in some other manner) to know the current firearm laws and regulations in the State of Illinois, and/or the relevant County or municipality before possessing any particular firearm or installing the Kali Key.

 PLEASE CONSULT LEGAL COUNSEL LICENSED IN ILLINOIS BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO INSTALL THE KALI KEY OR OTHERWISE RECONFIGURE YOUR FIREARM.

 

OPINION:

 The Kali Key was originally designed to comply with California assault weapon laws and regulations. Because the regulations and restrictions of Illinois law pertaining to assault weapons are similar to that of California law, it is our opinion after analysis that the Kali Key and its use is compliant with the Illinois assault weapon laws and restrictions because it converts the action of a semiautomatic firearm to a bolt action firearm. This applies only so long as the Kali Key remains installed.

 

SUMMARY OF EXPLANATION

 Illinois has enacted assault weapons laws and regulations (generally labeled as the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” or “PICA”) that prohibit the ownership, sale, and purchase of various semiautomatic centerfire firearms with certain features (See 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(b) & (c); 5/24-1(a)(15) & (a)16)). The Kali Key is a one-part compliance part that removes your AR15 style firearm from the definition of an assault weapon by converting your semiautomatic firearm to a straight pull bolt action firearm, which is specifically exempted from the definition of “assault weapon” under the statute.

 So long as the firearm is equipped with the Kali Key, the end user may keep all of the features normally prohibited through the definition of an assault firearm, such as pistol grips, forward protruding grips, thumbhole or telescoping stocks, flash suppressors, grenade launchers, and barrel shrouds without requiring registration as an assault weapon. If purchased with the Kali Key installed, the end user may purchase or receive a firearm that would otherwise be prohibited under the statute.

 

DETAILED EXPLANATION

 Illinois “Assault Weapon” Definition

 Effective January 10, 2023, Illinois enacted Public Act 102-1116 (HB5471), which defines what constitutes an “assault weapon” under state law. Those who have firearms falling under the new assault weapon definition must register their firearms as assault weapons by January 1, 2024, dispose of the firearms in a lawful manner, or make the firearm permanently inoperable. Though unstated, it is also allowable under the statute to convert one’s firearm into one that renders it no longer an assault weapon. Under Illinois Compiled Statute 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9, “assault weapon” is defined – in relevant part – as follows:

 Sec. 24-1.9. Manufacture, possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles, and .50 caliber cartridges.

(a) Definitions. In this Section:

(1) “Assault weapon” means any of the following, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection: *

(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine or that may be readily modified to accept a detachable magazine, if the firearm has one or more of the following:

                                                      (i) a pistol grip or thumbhole stock;

(ii) any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

(iii) a folding, telescoping, thumbhole, or detachable stock, or a stock that is otherwise foldable or adjustable in a manner that operates to reduce the length, size, or any other dimension, or otherwise enhances the concealability of, the weapon;

                                                      (iv) a flash suppressor;

                                                      (v) a grenade launcher;

(vi) a shroud attached to the barrel or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel.

(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

. . .                                               

(G) Any semiautomatic firearm that has the capacity to accept a belt ammunition feeding device.

(H) Any firearm that has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon as defined in this Section.

(I) Any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

(J) All of the following rifles, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon:

 . . .

                                                       (ii) all AR types, including the following:

             (I) AR-10.

             (II) AR-15.

             (III) Alexander Arms Overmatch Plus 16.

             (IV) Armalite M15 22LR Carbine.

             (V) Armalite M15-T.

             (VI) Barrett REC7.

             (VII) Beretta AR-70.

             (VIII) Black Rain Ordnance Recon Scout.

             (IX) Bushmaster ACR.

             (X) Bushmaster Carbon 15.

             (XI) Bushmaster MOE series.

             (XII) Bushmaster XM15.

             (XIII) Chiappa Firearms MFour rifles.

             (XIV) Colt Match Target rifles.

             (XV) CORE Rifle Systems CORE15 rifles.

             (XVI) Daniel Defense M4A1 rifles.

             (XVII) Devil Dog Arms 15 Series rifles.

             (XVIII) Diamondback DB15 rifles.

             (XIX) DoubleStar AR rifles.

             (XX) DPMS Tactical rifles.

             (XXI) DSA Inc. ZM-4 Carbine.

             (XXII) Heckler & Koch MR556.

             (XXIII) High Standard HSA-15 rifles.

             (XXIV) Jesse James Nomad AR-15 rifle.

             (XXV) Knight’s Armament SR-15.

             (XXVI) Lancer L15 rifles.

             (XXVII) MGI Hydra Series rifles.

             (XXVIII) Mossberg MMR Tactical rifles.

             (XXIX) Noreen Firearms BN 36 rifle.

             (XXX) Olympic Arms.

             (XXXI) POF USA P415.

             (XXXII) Precision Firearms AR rifles.

             (XXXIII) Remington R-15 rifles.

             (XXXIV) Rhino Arms AR rifles.

             (XXXV) Rock River Arms LAR-15 or Rock River Arms LAR-47.

             (XXXVI) Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles and MCX rifles.

             (XXXVII) Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles.

             (XXXVIII) Stag Arms AR rifles.

             (XXXIX) Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 and AR-556 rifles.

             (XL) Uselton Arms Air-Lite M-4 rifles.

             (XLI) Windham Weaponry AR rifles.

             (XLII) WMD Guns Big Beast.

             (XLIII) Yankee Hill Machine Company, Inc. YHM-15 rifles.

 . . .

 * boldface added

 Notably, the next section states that:

 (2) “Assault weapon” does not include:

 (A) Any firearm that is an unserviceable firearm or has been made permanently inoperable.

. . .

 (C) A firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action, unless the firearm is a shotgun with a revolving cylinder. (Boldface added)

 (3) “Assault weapon attachment” means any device capable of being attached to a firearm that is specifically designed for making or converting a firearm into any of the firearms listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection (a).

. . .

 SEMIAUTOMATIC VS. BOLT ACTION FIREARMS

 Illinois does not define the terms “semiautomatic” or “bolt action” except in the context of the Illinois assault weapon law. Generally, however, a semiautomatic is defined as follows: Semiautomatic means a firearm functionally able to fire a single cartridge, eject the empty case, and reload the chamber each time the trigger is pulled and released. Further, federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(29), defines “semiautomatic rifle” as “any repeating rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”

 This definition is commonly accepted. See, e.g., Walter, Rifles of the World (2d ed. 1998) p. 498 (“[a] semiautomatic firearm “fires once for each pull on the trigger and reloads automatically, but requires the shooter to release the trigger lever before another shot can be fired.”)

 In contrast, neither federal nor Illinois law specifically define “bolt action” in the context of bolt action rifles, pistols, or shotguns. However, the widely accepted definition of a “bolt action” firearm is a firearm “loaded by means of a manually operated bolt.” (Merriam-Webster.com, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bolt-action.) (last reviewed June 14, 2023). Put another way, after a round is fired by pulling the firearm trigger, the user must manually operate the bolt to extract and eject the spent ammunition casing. The user then pushes the bolt forward loading the next cartridge into the firearm chamber locking the bolt in place before another round can be fired.

 

KALI KEY OPERATION

Many AR15 style firearms operate with a direct impingement gas system in order to automatically extract, eject and reload a cartridge into the chamber after firing. The direct impingement system directs gas from a fired cartridge directly into the bolt carrier or slide assembly to cycle the action through a hole in the firearm barrel and a gas tube reaching back into the upper receiver of the firearm.

 Once fired, as soon as the bullet passes the gas port in the barrel, part of the hot gas flows into the gas tube towards the bolt carrier group. The gas enters the expansion chamber of the bolt carrier key and exerts pressure pushing the bolt carrier rearward.

 The bolt carrier continues to move backwards due to inertia, and the cam slot milled into its top side acts on the bolt lug, forcing the bolt to rotate into its unlocked position. By this time, the bullet has left the barrel and pressure has dropped to safe levels. As the bolt carrier continues its rearward movement due to inertia, the bolt is pulled back from the breech, the spent case extracted and ejected. The recoil spring, which has been compressed by the bolt carrier group, pushes the bolt carrier forward again, stripping a fresh cartridge from the magazine, chambering it and, through interaction of the cam slot and bolt lug, the bolt is rotated into locked position again.

The Kali Key is specifically engineered to modify direct impingement AR-15 style firearms by converting the semi-automatic charging handle and gas key to a bolt-action system. To install the Kali Key on a standard semi-automatic bolt carrier group (BCG), start by detaching the semi-automatic gas key. This is done by unscrewing the two screws that fasten it to the BCG. With that component removed, you can now attach the Kali Key which comes with its own unique and patented “gas key.” Secure this to the BCG using the screws supplied with the Kali Key. These screws are designed to pass through the holes on the Kali Key’s “gas key” and screw into the BCG, in the same location where the original gas key was attached. Lastly, attach the Kali Key charging handle to the Kali Key “gas key” to complete the installation. The Kali Key alters the functioning of direct impingement AR-15 style firearms by making it impossible for gases from the gas tube to enter the expansion chamber. Instead, the Kali Key diverts all gases away from the rifle via the ejection port. As a result, there is no gas pressure to automatically push the bolt carrier group back, which is essential for the semi-automatic functionality of the firearm. When the Kali Key is installed, the firearm’s operation changes exclusively to a manual process: After firing a round, the shooter must manually pull back on the Kali Key. This action extracts and ejects the spent casing. The shooter must then manually release or push the Kali Key forward. This manually loads the next cartridge into the chamber, making the firearm ready to fire again.

 

CONCLUSION

 Based on the above definitions, the Kali Key converts all AR15 style rifles and pistols from semiautomatic firearms to straight pull bolt action firearms, removing such firearms from the Illinois assault weapon regulations per 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(2). This removal from the assault weapon definition should apply regardless of whether the firearm is categorized as an assault weapon due to its features in 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(1)(A), or whether the firearm is specifically listed as an assault weapon in the statute per 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(1)(J).

 

 KALI KEY POTENTIAL BENEFITS:

  •  No Registration Requirement:  If an Illinois resident lawfully owns an assault weapon as of January 10, 2023, that firearm may be kept so long as it is registered by January 1, 2024. The installation of the Kali Key, removing the firearm from the definition of an assault weapon, should remove the registration requirement.
    • Under the Illinois law, only assault weapons owned as of the effective date of PICA – January 10, 2023, are allowed to be owned in Illinois by that particular end user. These assault weapons must be registered. 
  •  Legal Transfers: If an Illinois resident lawfully owns an assault weapon as of January 10, 2023, that firearm may continue to be personally possessed, but cannot be transferred to another end user in Illinois. The installation of the Kali Key, removing the firearm from the definition of an assault weapon, should remove that restriction and the firearm may now be transferred, but note that the new owner cannot lawfully remove the Kali Key and convert the firearm back into a semiautomatic weapon.
    • Under the Illinois law, a firearm this is classified as an assault weapon by the State cannot be lawfully transferred to another end user in Illinois (there are exceptions such as law enforcement, but for this opinion they are inapplicable).
  •  Purchasing New Firearms: An assault weapon can no longer be purchased in Illinois, even one that the end user immediately intends to convert with a Kali Key, However, if the purchaser is able to have the Kali Key installed before legally purchasing and taking possession of the firearm, then the end user would not be purchasing/receiving a prohibited firearm. Therefore, the Illinois purchaser/end user must arrange to have the Kali Key permanently installed in the firearm before the purchaser/end user receives the firearm in Illinois. 
  • FFL Manufacturing and Conversions:  A Type 07 FFL (Manufacturer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices) may use the Kali Key to manufacture a new bolt-action AR15 style firearm for sale within the State of Illinois so long as the firearm originates as a bolt-action firearm via the use of a Kali Key that is permanently affixed to the firearm’s BCG.  An FFL may also modify its current/existing inventory of semi-automatic direct impingement AR15 style firearms into bolt action firearms for sale within the State of Illinois so long as that current/existing inventory was purchased legally prior to January 10, 2023.

 

 DISCLAIMER

 The Kali Key creator, manufacturer, seller, and attorney retained to author this legal opinion are not responsible to any purchaser or end user with regard to their understanding or interpretation of the current Illinois gun-related laws and regulations, nor is it responsible or liable in any way for any personal injury, death, or property damage from any use of the Kali Key, including but not limited to the inaccurate assembly, misuse, illegal use, or modification of such product. Each purchaser and end user assumes the risk associated with the use or misuse of such product; and further assumes the responsibility to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. All such products are sold on the condition that the Kali Key creator, manufacturer, or seller shall not be liable in any action for the arrest, accident, death, or injury in connection with the transportation, handling, storage, sale, or use of such product. Please consult your federal, state, and local laws and regulations before purchasing such product. By purchasing, any purchaser or end user represents and warrants that such product will be used in a lawful manner and that he or she is of legal age and capacity.

 It is highly recommended that the installation of the Kali Key be done with the use of permanent threadlocker, or other permanent sealant so that upon inspection the Kali Key is a permanent feature on the BCG. Note that Illinois prohibits “[a]ny part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.” 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a(1)(I). And, also that Illinois law prohibits “any firearm that has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon” (720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(1)(H)) which includes a semi-automatic firearm modified into a bolt-action firearm with a Kali Key which is then modified back into a semi-automatic firearm. Therefore, even with a Kali Key installed into the firearm and permanently affixed to the BCG, the end user or FFL (i.e., Type 07 manufacturer) should not retain control of parts (like a semi-automatic BCG or semi-automatic gas key) that could convert the firearm into a semi-automatic firearm. Further, when the Kali Key is installed as part of a conversion, it is highly recommended that the original semi-automatic BCG or semi-automatic gas key be destroyed or otherwise lawfully disposed of.

 Finally, though (1) each Kali Key is conspicuously engraved with the words “Kali Key Bolt Action AR,” (2) visual inspection of the Kali Key’s “gas key” makes it readily apparent that the firearm does not have the necessary parts for semi-automatic functionality, and (3) Kali Key’s bolt action functionality has a large, demonstrable presence on the internet for anyone to readily examine, neither Kali Key nor the attorney retained to author this legal opinion can guarantee that every law enforcement official will be as knowledgeable about firearms and the Kali Key as you, and Kali Key and the attorney retained to author this legal opinion are not responsible for any resulting legal or law enforcement interactions, especially given the uncertainly and newness of the Illinois assault weapon law.

 

End.

 Law Firm of David G. Sigale, P.C.

ILLINOIS POST-REGISTRATION OPINION

 

SUPPLEMENTAL LEGAL OPINION – POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF KALI KEY IN ILLINOIS AFTER THE JANUARY 1, 2024, REGISTRATION DEADLINE

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

 WARNING: The law in Illinois is unsettled and is being determined in State and Federal Courts at this time. While compiled with the assistance of legal counsel, any information contained herein is merely the opinion of Kali Key. This opinion is not regularly updated. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice of any kind, and no attorney-client relationship is formed as a result of this opinion. This opinion has not been submitted to any law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. It is the end users’ responsibility (whether said end user purchased the firearm or received it in some other manner) to know the current firearm laws and regulations in the State of Illinois, and/or the relevant County or municipality before possessing any particular firearm or installing the Kali Key.  PLEASE CONSULT LEGAL COUNSEL LICENSED IN ILLINOIS TO UNDERSTAND WHETHER INSTALLING THE KALI KEY WILL SUIT YOUR REQUIREMENTS.

 

 As a supplement to this author’s original Opinion Letter, viewable on the Kali Key website, this letter is to address the issue of persons who currently possess AR-15 style firearms in Illinois but did not and have not registered them with the Illinois State Police despite the January 1, 2024 deadline requiring them to do so. Specifically, the question has arisen on the effect of installing a Kali Key on said firearms in such a situation.

 

CURRENT ILLINOIS LAW

 An Illinois firearm owner of a covered “assault weapon,” including an AR-15, if owned prior to January 10, 2023 (barring certain other exceptions such as inheritance) was required to register them on the Illinois State Police website on the FOID card portal. See 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(d). If the firearm owner did not do so, then according to Illinois law, serious potential criminal penalties could result.  Please see the original Opinion Letter, viewable on the Kali Key website, for more information. As an attorney, this author cannot and does not advise any action that violates Illinois law, including failure to register such firearms.

 It is anecdotally common knowledge there are some that are deliberately disobeying the law as a form of protest. Though exact numbers are not available, it is also anecdotally widely-known that only a small percentage of “assault weapon” owners have complied with the law. It is further known that enforcement of this requirement by the authorities may be dependent in part on geography within the State. However, while there are ongoing legal challenges to the PICA law, at this time PICA is still in force with serious potential criminal penalties as a possible result for failure to comply.

 

WHAT IF THE FIREARM OWNER DID NOT REGISTER IN TIME?

 But this comes to the question – the answer to which can only be speculated at this point: If I did not register on time, should I do so now, when that means I am all but admitting I did not register on time. The PICA statute has a “willfulness” requirement built into it. However, it would be difficult to claim one failed to register due to confusion regarding an AR-platform firearm as all semi-automatic AR-style firearms are specifically listed.  Further, the Illinois State Police has stated that it is not interested in arresting late-filers; they are more interested in obtaining compliance and therefore leaving the registration window open. But this stated policy conflicts with what is written in the law.  Nowhere within the text of the law as written allows the ISP to extend the registration deadline, thereby potentially creating exposure to those who register after the January 1, 2024, deadline. So, what is to be done? As a general rule, this author must recommend compliance with the law, even if late, rather than potentially being found by the police to be in non-compliance with a covered firearm.

 However, what if there was a situation where there was a firearm that was covered under the PICA law and was unregistered, but then the owner made it so that the person no longer owned an “assault weapon” in Illinois? Examples are storing it out of state, selling it to someone out of state, destroying it, or potentially removing it from the definition of an “assault weapon” in compliance with the exclusionary clauses per section 710 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(2) of the PICA law. Now, that person did own a covered firearm that was unregistered, but now doesn’t. The police could potentially make a hassle about the time period between January 1, 2024, and now, but it is unlikely they would bother if the “assault weapon” no longer exists in Illinois.

 This author concludes that installing the Kali Key and thereby removing the firearm from the definition of an “assault weapon” would serve this function. A covered firearm that is converted to a non-covered bolt-action rifle (under the parameters recommended in the original Opinion Letter and in the Disclaimer below) ceases to be a covered “assault weapon” under the Illinois PICA law. Therefore, while there may have been a firearm in existence which fell under the PICA statute, that firearm (in its banned form) no longer exists. While that firearm should have been registered in its original form as of January 1, 2024, the fact the firearm no longer is an “assault weapon” would hopefully take all the wind out of law enforcement’s sails.

 

CONCLUSION

 If the reader owns an AR-15 he/she is lawfully allowed to possess under the Illinois PICA law, but has not complied with the registration requirement, one potential solution to that non-compliance is to install the Kali Key and convert the AR-15 from a semiautomatic firearm to a straight pull bolt action firearm. If the firearm is no longer covered by the law, there is nothing to register. And while it is speculatively possible that the owner may face scrutiny for the time period between the registration deadline of January 1, 2024, and the time the Kali-Key is installed, this author would hope that law enforcement would see the pointlessness of such activity.

 

DISCLAIMER

 The Kali Key creator, manufacturer, seller, and attorney retained to author this legal opinion are not responsible to any purchaser or end user with regard to their understanding or interpretation of the current Illinois gun-related laws and regulations, nor is it responsible or liable in any way for any personal injury, death, or property damage from any use of the Kali Key, including but not limited to the inaccurate assembly, misuse, illegal use, or modification of such product. Each purchaser and end user assumes the risk associated with the use or misuse of such product; and further assumes the responsibility to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. All such products are sold on the condition that the Kali Key creator, manufacturer, or seller shall not be liable in any action for the arrest, accident, death, or injury in connection with the transportation, handling, storage, sale, or use of such product. Please consult your federal, state, and local laws and regulations before purchasing such product. By purchasing, any purchaser or end user represents and warrants that such product will be used in a lawful manner and that he or she is of legal age and capacity.

 It is highly recommended that the installation of the Kali Key be done with the use of permanent threadlocker, or other permanent sealant so that upon inspection the Kali Key is a permanent feature on the BCG. Note that Illinois prohibits “[a]ny part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.” 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a(1)(I). And, also that Illinois law prohibits “any firearm that has been modified to be operable as an assault weapon” (720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(a)(1)(H)) which includes a semi-automatic firearm modified into a bolt-action firearm with a Kali Key which is then modified back into a semi-automatic firearm. Therefore, even with a Kali Key installed into the firearm and permanently affixed to the BCG, the end user or FFL (i.e., Type 07 manufacturer) should not retain control of parts (like a semi-automatic BCG or semi-automatic gas key) that could convert the firearm into a semi-automatic firearm. Further, when the Kali Key is installed as part of a conversion, it is highly recommended that the original semi-automatic BCG or semi-automatic gas key be destroyed or otherwise lawfully disposed of.

 Finally, though (1) each Kali Key is conspicuously engraved with the words “Kali Key Bolt Action AR,” (2) visual inspection of the Kali Key’s “gas key” makes it readily apparent that the firearm does not have the necessary parts for semi-automatic functionality, and (3) Kali Key’s bolt action functionality has a large, demonstrable presence on the internet for anyone to readily examine, neither Kali Key nor the attorney retained to author this legal opinion can guarantee that every law enforcement official will be as knowledgeable about firearms and the Kali Key as you, and Kali Key and the attorney retained to author this legal opinion are not responsible for any resulting legal or law enforcement interactions, especially given the uncertainly and newness of the Illinois assault weapon law.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Very truly yours,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  David G. Sigale

 End.

 Law Firm of David G. Sigale, P.C.

NEW YORK

  NEW YORK STATE S.A.F.E. ACT

 

WARNING: Laws and their interpretations are in constant flux. This analysis is not intended as legal advice, it is not regularly updated, nor has it been approved by the DOJ or any federal, state, county, city, or other law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. Also, although this legal analysis concludes that the Kali Key complies with the New York S.A.F.E. Act, the product has not been formally approved by the DOJ or any federal, state, county, city, or other law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. It is the purchasers’ or end users’ responsibility to know the current firearm laws and regulations in their state, county, or city before installing the Kali Key. Please read this opinion carefully and in its entirety.

 

BACKGROUND:

New York State Penal Law Article 265, titled “Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons”, contains definitions of, and statutes proscribing, various weapons and conduct involving these weapons. In 2013, New York State amended this section pursuant to the S.A.F.E. Act, and has since added additional amendments thereto.

Under New York law, the terms “Firearm,” “Rifle,” “Shotgun,” “Semiautomatic,” and “Assault Weapon,” have specific definitions:

              Firearm means (a) any pistol or revolver; or (b) a shotgun having one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length; or (c) a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length; or (d) any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise if such weapon is altered, modified, or otherwise has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches; or (e) an assault weapon; or (f) any other weapon that is not otherwise defined in this section containing any component that provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate any fire control component that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of explosive. For the purpose of this subdivision the length of the barrel on a shotgun or rifle shall be determined by measuring the distance between the muzzle and the face of the bolt, breech, or breechlock when closed and when the shotgun or rifle is cocked; the overall length of a weapon made from a shotgun or rifle is the distance between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to the center line of the bore. Firearm does not include an antique firearm. (Antique firearm means any unloaded muzzle loading pistol or revolver with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system, or a pistol or revolver which uses fixed cartridges which are no longer available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade).

              Rifle means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger using either: (a) fixed metallic cartridge; or (b) each projectile and explosive charge are loaded individually for each shot discharged. In addition to common, modern usage, rifles include those using obsolete ammunition not commonly available in commercial trade, or that load through the muzzle and fire a single projectile with each discharge, or loading, including muzzle loading rifles, flintlock rifles, and black powder rifles.

              Shotgun means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive to fire through a smooth or rifled bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger using either: (a) a fixed shotgun shell; or (b) a projectile or number of ball shot and explosive charge are loaded individually for each shot discharged. In addition to common, modern usage, shotguns include those using obsolete ammunition not commonly available in commercial trade, or that load through the muzzle and fires ball shot with each discharge, or loading, including muzzle loading shotguns, flintlock shotguns, and black powder shotguns.

              Semiautomatic means any repeating rifle, shotgun or pistol, regardless of barrel or overall length, which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge or shell to extract the fired cartridge case or spent shell and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge or shell.

              Assault Weapon means

(a) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following characteristics:

          (i)  a folding or telescoping stock;

          (ii)  a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

          (iii)  a thumbhole stock;

          (iv)  a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

          (v)  a bayonet mount;

          (vi)  a flash suppressor, muzzle break, muzzle compensator, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor, muzzle break, or muzzle compensator;

          (vii)  a grenade launcher; or

(b)  a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least one of the following characteristics:

          (i)  a folding or telescoping stock;

          (ii)  a thumbhole stock;

          (iii)  a second handgrip or protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

          (iv)  a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds;

          (v)  an ability to accept a detachable magazine; or

(c)  a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following characteristics:

          (i)  a folding or telescoping stock;

          (ii)  a thumbhole stock;

          (iii)  a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

          (iv)  capacity to accept an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

          (v)  a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;

          (vi)  a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;

         (vii)  a manufactured weight of fifty ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; or

          (viii)  a semiautomatic version of an automatic rifle, shotgun or firearm;

(d)  a revolving cylinder shotgun;

(e)  a semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun or a semiautomatic pistol or weapon defined in subparagraph (v) of paragraph (e) of subdivision twenty-two of section 265.00 of this chapter as added by chapter one hundred eighty-nine of the laws of two thousand and otherwise lawfully possessed pursuant to such chapter of the laws of two thousand prior to September fourteenth, nineteen hundred ninety-four;

(f)  a semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun or a semiautomatic pistol or weapon defined in paragraph in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of this subdivision, possessed prior to the date of enactment of the chapter of the laws of two thousand thirteen which added this paragraph;

(g)  provided, however, that such term does not include:

          (i)  any rifle, shotgun or pistol that (A) is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; [Emphasis added] (B) has been rendered permanently inoperable; or (C) is an antique firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(16);

          (ii)  a semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition;

          (iii)  a semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than five rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine; or

          (iv)  a rifle, shotgun or pistol, or a replica or a duplicate thereof, specified in Appendix A to 18 U.S.C. 922 as such weapon was manufactured on October first, nineteen hundred ninety-three. The mere fact that a weapon is not listed in Appendix A shall not be construed to mean that such weapon is an assault weapon;

          (v)  any weapon validly registered pursuant to subdivision sixteen-a of section 400.00 of this chapter.

          (vi)  any firearm, rifle, or shotgun that was manufactured at least fifty years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof that is validly registered pursuant to subdivision sixteen-a of section 400.00 of this chapter.

 

ANALYSIS:

Based on the above definitions, when installed on a rifle, the Kali Key removes the firearm from the “semiautomatic” classification and excludes said firearm from the definition of “assault weapon.”

Installation of the Kali Key removes a firearm from the definition of a “semiautomatic” because it prevents the firearm from being able to utilize “a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge or shell to extract the fired cartridge case or spent shell and chamber the next round.” The Kali Key alters the functioning of direct impingement AR-15 style firearms by making it impossible for gases from the gas tube to enter the firearm’s expansion chamber. Instead, the Kali Key, thanks to its patented “Kali Key gas key,” diverts all cycling gases away from the firearm via the ejection port. The Kali Key thereby makes it impossible for any gas pressure to impart any force upon the bolt carrier group to cycle the carrier group rearward, which is essential for the semiautomatic functionality of the firearm. When the Kali Key is installed, the firearm’s operation changes exclusively to a manual process: After firing a round, the shooter must manually pull back on the Kali Key’s charging handle. This action extracts and ejects the spent casing. The shooter must then manually release or push the Kali Key forward. This manually loads the next cartridge into the chamber, making the firearm ready to fire again.

Because a Kali Key equipped firearm functions as a manually operated, bolt action firearm, it is excluded from the definition of an “assault weapon” as defined by the S.A.F.E. Act.   Under the section defining “assault weapon,” subdivision (g)(i), the term “assault weapon” specifically does not include “(i) any rifle, shotgun or pistol that (A) is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.”

Thus, a firearm using the Kali Key should not be considered a “semiautomatic” firearm, nor fall within the definition of an “assault weapon” as defined by the S.A.F.E. Act.

 

POTENTIAL BENEFITS:

  • Conversion: Semiautomatic “assault weapons” can be made legal in New York State by the use of a Kali Key that will convert said firearm into a manually operated, bolt-action firearm.  The S.A.F.E. ACT states that the definition of “assault weapon” “does not include: any [emphasis added] rifle, shotgun or pistol that (A) is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action.” The exclusion of “any” manually operated (bolt-action) firearm from the definition of an “assault weapon” applies also to those firearms that are otherwise listed by name as semiautomatic “assault weapons” if converted to a manually operated firearm via the use of a Kali Key. 
  • Keep Your Features: Once rendered a manually operated, bolt-action firearm by use of the Kali Key, the firearm is permitted to have any of the enumerated features otherwise prohibited on an “assault weapon”.
  • Purchasing New Firearms: An assault weapon can no longer be purchased in New York, even if the end-user intends to convert it immediately with a Kali Key. However, if the purchaser can have the Kali Key installed before legally purchasing and taking possession of the firearm, then the end user would not be purchasing/receiving a prohibited firearm. Therefore, the New York purchaser/end-user must arrange to have the Kali Key installed in the firearm before the purchaser/end user receives the firearm in New York.
  • FFL Manufacturing and Conversions:  A Type 07 FFL (Manufacturer of Firearms Other Than Destructive Devices) may use the Kali Key to manufacture a new bolt-action AR-15 style firearm for sale within the State of New York so long as the firearm originates as a bolt-action firearm via the use of a Kali Key. An FFL may also modify its current/existing inventory of semiautomatic direct impingement AR-15 style firearms into bolt action firearms for sale within the State of New York so long as that current/existing inventory was purchased legally.
  • Legal Transfers: The ownership and transfer of ownership of “assault weapons” is prohibited by the S.A.F.E. Act. The installation of the Kali Key, removing the firearm from the definition of an assault weapon, removes these restrictions, allowing the firearm to be legally transferable as a bolt-action rifle. Note that any new owner of a manually operated (Kali Key) firearm cannot lawfully convert said manually operated firearm into a semiautomatic “assault weapon.”
  • Semiautomatic Rifle License: A semiautomatic rifle license is required to purchase or take ownership of a semiautomatic rifle on or after September 4, 2022. Also, starting September 4, 2022, the minimum age to purchase or take ownership of a semiautomatic rifle is 21. A Kali Key equipped firearm is a bolt action firearm. Therefore, because it is neither a semiautomatic firearm nor an “assault weapon,” no semiautomatic rifle license or minimum age of 21 or above is required for the purchase of a Kali Key equipped firearm.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The S.A.F.E. Act does not state that modifications or conversions to remove firearms from the definition of an “assault weapon” must meet any permanence threshold. This topic is not mentioned in the act whatsoever. Still, state agencies may place their own thresholds and interpretations pertaining to this that are outside what is written in the law. As a result, it is highly recommended that the installation of the Kali Key be done with the use of a permanent threadlocker, or other permanent sealant so that upon inspection, the Kali Key is a permanent feature on the BCG.

Although (1) each Kali Key is conspicuously engraved with the words “Kali Key Bolt Action AR,” (2) visual inspection of the Kali Key’s “gas key” makes it readily apparent that the firearm does not have the necessary parts for semiautomatic functionality, and (3) Kali Key’s bolt action functionality has a significant, demonstrable presence on the internet for anyone to readily examine, neither Kali Key nor the attorney retained to author this legal opinion can guarantee that every law enforcement official will be as knowledgeable about firearms and the Kali Key as you, and Kali Key and the attorney retained to author this legal opinion are not responsible for any resulting legal or law enforcement interactions.

Finally, the Kali Key creator, manufacturer, seller, and attorney retained to author this legal opinion are not responsible to any purchaser or end user with regard to their understanding or interpretation of the current New York gun-related laws and regulations, nor are they responsible or liable in any way for any personal injury, death, or property damage from any use of the Kali Key, including but not limited to the inaccurate assembly, misuse, illegal use, or modification of such product. Each purchaser and end user assumes the risk associated with using or misusing such product; and further assumes the responsibility to abide by all federal, state, and local laws. All such products are sold on the condition that the Kali Key creator, manufacturer, or seller shall not be liable in any action for the arrest, accident, death, or injury in connection with the transportation, handling, storage, sale, or use of such product. Before purchasing such product, please consult your federal, state, and local laws and regulations. By purchasing, any purchaser or end user represents and warrants that such product will be used in a lawful manner and that they are of legal age and capacity.

 

September 25, 2023                                                                        Joel E. Abelove       

PENNSYLVANIA

Copies of email correspondence with the PA Game Commission can be viewed below and can be downloaded for your records. 

 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has approved AR-platform hunting within the state via the use of the Kali Key.  Specifically, they have written: 

 “If a ‘Kali-Key’ is installed, and the word Kali-Key is embossed on the top of the Kali-Key charging handle for the warden to see, then the firearm will be deemed lawful.
Thanks for checking, lnm@pgc”

NOTE: The PA Game Commission has been extremely friendly and helpful. However, they are unable to provide a general statement for Kali Key to publish on their behalf. This is why we are publishing copies of their emails. 

It is our understanding that they cannot “endorse” products.

They have told us to refer customers with questions about the Kali Key directly to them, and each person will be answered individually:

The agency can be reached using the form found on this page:

https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/AboutUs/ContactInformation/Pages/default.aspx

or by calling the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Centralized Dispatch Center at 1-833-PGC-WILD or 1-833-PGC-HUNT. 

WASHINGTON

WARNING: The Washington State “aw ban” of 2023 is new and is currently being challenged in the court system. More clarity will come from these challenges over time. Both best practices and historical precedent have prioritized exclusionary clauses/definitions over inclusionary clauses/definitions. Still, nothing herein should be considered legal advice. We are recounting traditional “best practices” and precedent in both the writing and interpretation of legislative language within the state in question. Future challenges or conflicts between inclusionary and exclusionary clauses may be resolved case-by-case, breaking with both best practices and precedent.

NOTICE: A KALI KEY EQUIPPED FIREARM FUNCTIONS AS A MANUALLY-OPERATED (BOLT-ACTION) FIREARM. IT CANNOT FUNCTION IN ANY OTHER WAY EXCEPT AS MANUALLY-OPERATED. THERE IS NO WAY TO “CHEAT” WITH THE KALI KEY. WE INTEND FOR THE KALI KEY TO BE PERMANENTLY INSTALLED ONTO YOUR FIREARM’S BCG USING A PERMANENT THREADLOCKER AND FOR IT NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FIREARM.

ANALYSIS FROM AN IN-STATE EXPERT ATTORNEY HAS DEEMED THAT THE KALI KEY COMPLIES WITH THE EXEMPTIONS CONTAINED WITHIN THE WASHINGTON STATE “ASSAULT WEAPON” BAN.  HOWEVER, WE DO NOT YET HAVE A DETAILED ANALYSIS TO PUBLISH.  IT IS BEING SAUGHT FOR PUBLICTION. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED BELOW COMES FROM THE TEXT OF THE LAW AND BEST LEGAL PRACTICES AND PRECEDENT.  IT IS NOT PART OF THE LEGAL OPINION THAT HAS DEEMED THE KALI KEY IS A VIABLE SOLUTION.

WASHINGTON STATE “AW” DEFINITIONS 

Washington State’s “assault weapon” ban (SB5265 / HB1240) has passed into law. In its definitions, the law states that an “assault weapon” must be a semiautomatic rifle. Furthermore, the law explicitly EXCLUDES ANY FIREARM that is operated by bolt action from the ban. The law details these exclusions in TWO separate yet distinct instances:

  1. The first exclusionary clause (Sec.2.2.c page 6) states:  “ ’Assault Weapon’ does not include any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.”
  2. The second exclusionary clause (Sec.2.38.b page 11) states:  “ ’Semiautomatic assault rifle’ does not include antique firearms, any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.

NOTE:  The law expressly excludes ANY FIREARM that is operated manually from the definition of an “assault weapon.”

 

BEST PRACTICES AND PRECEDENT:

Of interest to anyone reading HB1240 is whether exclusionary definitions take precedence over inclusionary ones. Specifically, does the clause that states what is excluded from the definition of an “assault weapon” (i.e., a bolt-action firearm) supersede the clause that includes a list of items being defined as “assault weapons.”

In state legislation, the phrase “does not include” is used to clarify the scope of a definition and indicates that certain things or situations are explicitly excluded from the definition(s) being provided elsewhere in the legislation (including lists), even if said things might seem to fit the general description of the term being defined.

By using the phrase “does not include,” legislators create more precise definitions that explicitly define specific exceptions or exclusions. The exclusionary language “does not include” helps to ensure that the law is clear and unambiguous, and the law applies only to the situation or objects that are intended to be covered and excludes objects or situations from lists or terms otherwise included elsewhere in the law.

In Washington State, in general legal drafting best practices, an exclusionary clause is usually given precedence over an inclusionary clause.

This principle is based on the idea that exclusionary definitions provide a clearer and more specific understanding of the scope of the law. In other words, if a definition explicitly excludes something, then that exclusion is more specific than an inclusion of something. Therefore, if there is a conflict between an inclusionary definition and an exclusionary definition, the exclusionary definition will usually take precedence.

A simplistic example is if a law defines “vehicle” to mean “every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway,” but explicitly excludes bicycles from the definition, then the exclusionary definition would take precedence over any later inclusionary definition. If the law later includes bicycles within  he definition of “vehicle,” there would be a conflict between the inclusionary and exclusionary clauses. In this case, the exclusionary clause would take precedence, and bicycles would not be considered vehicles for the purposes of that law.

Washington State’s HB1240 does NOT state: [“Except for all firearms listed in section 2.(2).(a).(i), an “assault weapon” does not include…”] Instead, HB1240 in TWO separate and distinct sections of the bill explicitly and precisely blanketly states:

1. “ ’Assault Weapon’ does not include any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.” (Sec.2.2.c page 6)
2. “ ’Semiautomatic assault rifle’ does not include antique firearms, any firearm that has been made permanently inoperable, or any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action.” (Sec.2.38.b page 11)

In drafting their exclusions, legislators did not restrict or limit what manually operated firearms they were excluding from the definition of an “assault weapon” by qualifying that the exclusion(s) does not exempt any firearms they previously listed by name. Instead, they drafted the exclusionary clause(s) explicitly and without qualifications to exempt anything manually operated, expressly omitting any mention of any previous list of banned “assault weapons” from this exemption(s). They used the language “does not include” without any other qualifiers.

Furthermore, the Washington legislature explicitly used the very specific language of excluding “any firearm” that is manually operated by bolt, etc., and reiterated said exclusions twice in the legislation.

Lastly, Washington State has a Legislative Manual that lays out rules that need to be followed for drafting legislation. It states that language should be clear, concise, and unambiguous, and that, when drafting inclusionary and exclusionary clauses, lawmakers should:

1. Use specific and precise language: Use language that is specific and precise to define the terms and concepts used in the legislation.
2. Use plain language: Avoid using legal jargon and complex terminology that may be difficult for the general public to understand. Use plain language that is easy to understand.
3. Avoid over-inclusive or under-inclusive definitions: Inclusionary and exclusionary clauses should be carefully crafted to avoid being either too broad or too narrow in scope.
4. Avoid negative formulations: Use positive formulations instead of negative formulations whenever possible to avoid confusion.
5. Be consistent: Be consistent in the use of defined terms throughout the legislation to avoid confusion.

Sources:
1. Washington State Legislature. (2021). Legislative Manual.
2. Washington State Legislature. (2021). RCW 1.12.070.
3. Washington State Legislature. (2021). RCW 1.08.015.
4. Washington State Legislature. (n.d.). Revised Code of Washington (RCW).
5. Black's Law Dictionary. (2019). (11th ed.). St. Paul, MN: Thomson Reuters.

 

An in-depth legal analysis will be coming soon.

 

WARNING: Laws and their interpretations are in constant flux. Our analysis is not intended as legal advice, it is not regularly updated, nor has it been approved by the DOJ or any federal, state, county, city, or other law enforcement agency or regulatory authority. It is the purchasers’ or end users’ responsibility to know the current firearm laws and regulations in their state, county, or city before installing the Kali Key.

 

NOTICE: A KALI KEY EQUIPPED FIREARM FUNCTIONS AS A MANUALLY-OPERATED (BOLT-ACTION) FIREARM. IT CANNOT FUNCTION IN ANY OTHER WAY EXCEPT AS MANUALLY-OPERATED. THERE IS NO WAY TO “CHEAT” WITH THE KALI KEY. WE INTEND FOR THE KALI KEY TO BE PERMANENTLY INSTALLED ONTO YOUR FIREARM’S BCG USING A PERMANENT THREADLOCKER AND FOR IT NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FIREARM.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up to our mailing list and receive news and updates!

You have Successfully Subscribed!