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Tyranny: Calif. Farmer Thrown In Jail After Complying With Gun Registration Law

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It is common knowledge among gun owners that California has imposed a plethora of strict gun control laws that appear to be more about discouraging lawful gun ownership than preventing crime and violence.

At times, it can seem as though California’s laws are designed to trap law-abiding gun owners with good intentions and transform them into “dangerous” felons overnight, even if they try to comply with the myriad of laws implemented by the state.

That appears to be the case for a rather prominent farmer in the Bakersfield area, who was arrested and had his home raided by law enforcement agents after he attempted to comply with a state mandate to register his firearms and firearm accessories, according to KGET.

Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann, CEO of Kirschenmann Farms, LLC — a chief supplier of the potatoes used by FritoLay to make potato chips — was hit with a dozen felony gun charges by a district attorney on May 17 following a horrifying surprise raid of his home in April.

That raid by agents of the California Department of Justice was launched after Kirschenmann attempted to register what the state has deemed an “illegally modified firearm” through the state’s online self-registration website.

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The raid uncovered a dozen firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two suppressors and what was described as a “multi-burst trigger activator.”

He was arrested and later released on $150,000 bail.

Kirschenmann is facing 12 felony charges for possession of “assault rifles,” the suppressors and the trigger mechanism.

Kirschenmann’s problems began when he electronically submitted pictures of an “illegally modified AR-15-style firearm” as part of his good faith effort to comply with a state law which requires the registration of “assault-style weapons” by the end of June.

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Joe Pilkington, a retired Kern County Sheriff’s Office commander who is a court-recognized firearms expert, couldn’t speak specifically about the Kirschenmann case with KGET, but he shed some light on the issue of California’s confusing and frequently changing gun control laws.

“Just in the last few years, there have been lots of changes in gun laws,” Pilkington said. “Making an effort, a good-faith effort, to comply with these really complicated laws should count for something.”

That remark was obviously a reference to the Kirschenmann case, which should serve as a warning to any other California gun owners who have considered registering their soon-to-be “illegal” firearms with the state through the state’s self-registration website.

Rather than run the risk of being found in violation of the law while trying to make good on those laws, as appears to have happened with Kirschenmann, Pilkington suggested gun owners trying to do what the state considers the “right” thing to go through a federally-licensed firearms dealer instead.

“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.

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Those dealers can help explain some of the ins-and-outs of the complex registration laws, and while some may report potential violations of which they become aware to state authorities, that risk is likely substantially lower than simply showing the state “here are my ‘illegal’ guns for registration.”

While we here at Conservative Tribune aren’t ones to encourage law breaking, we nevertheless must remind everyone that “registration leads to confiscation” — sometimes pretty quickly, as in this case — and is something that should be avoided at all costs, if possible, for gun-owning supporters of the Second Amendment in an anti-gun state with unconstitutional laws.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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