Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

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

Written By: Bob - May• 24•13

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 anti-gun hysteria among his hipster peers.

In the free states and under federal law, building your own rifle is is absolutely legal. I have friends who have built firearms from nothing that are frankly far more impressive, but that is another story.

Unfortunately for Schatz,  he traveled from Colorado to the state of California and didn’t follow their (abitrary, absurd, etc) rules, and constructed his firearm in such a way as to make a prohibited firearm, which he also apparently disposed of illegally, according to one of his reader-critics who seems to know California’s law far better than Schatz.

Do you know how many felonies you just committed?  Just because you are a reporter doesn’t make you immune to these multiple CA felonies:

1) Owning a semi-automatic w/ a pistol grip
2) At 1:20 you can clearly see that the magazine lock is mounted too far back, allowing the magazine to be detached without the use of a tool.
3) You perform an improper disposal of the gun and leave it for the garbage collector. By CA law, that’s an illegal transfer since he didn’t go through an FFL.

I hope you get shafted by those strict laws you support, idiot.

I suspect Schatz is now attempting to claim the David Gregory defense, where liberal anti-gun activists aren’t expected to be held to the same laws as regular people.

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  1. Bill says:


    Oh. Oh. Oh. My sides. They hurt!

  2. Greg B says:

    He’s a little d bag.
    Imagine how shocked he would be to learn you can build an AK out of a shovel.

  3. Roger U says:

    Those CA laws listed are crazy!

  4. Survival Skvez says:

    Surely at the point where he cut the receiver in half the gun stopped geing a gun and became some scrap metal. Therefore binning the bits was not an ‘illegal transfer’?

    • Greg B says:

      As I heard it, the receiver must be cut into THREE pieces.
      With at least 1/4″ of material being removed.
      Otherwise, it is still technically a “firearm”.

  5. John says:

    When do we see charges filed? I wont be holding my breath.

    • poppa india says:

      Will someone who knows full details of this guy and his activities actually call the cops (local LEA, DEA, whoever) and try to get charges filed? That’s the only way to reply to these people…own petard, etc.

  6. Poshboy says:

    I have to admit, until I read this MoJo article, I did not know build parties existed. For once this Lefty rag was useful to me.

    I rebuild vintage British cars and fabricate simple metal and wood items, so this sounds like an interesting activity and one I can technically perform, and damned useful to boot! Anyone know of a Website where one could find a meet-up like this in northern Virginia?

    I have always wanted a folding-stock version of the Kalashnikov, and to say I built it would be an even cooler outcome.

  7. Build parties are not as common as they used to be. Mind you. . . .imagine how pressies like this react when CNC machines get nearly as inexpensive as 3-D printers are now. …

    Paperweights to AR Lowers at the push of a button or three..

  8. Paul W. Davis says:

    I cannot speak to California law, but other than possibly violating 922r provisions, he did not break Federal law.

    However, as far as I am concerned, virtually any firearms law is unconstitutional. The 1934 NFA pits the taxing power of Congress against a right retained by the people. Any and all subsequent laws are even more egregious.

    Personally, having been involved in a firearms case, the prosecutor would have trouble proving to the jury (even in CA) that he violated the spirit and intent of the law. Other than the video, there is no physical evidence that a crime was committed. Moreover, since he cut the receiver up on the video, that is a hard sell to a jury that he (acting for Mother Jones) actually did any of what he appears to show himself doing.

    Prove he built it.
    Prove he fired the same rifle he says he built.
    Prove he was actually in CA, and not elsewhere, if and when he built it.
    Prove it is an actual working rifle that he destroys.

    The standard for proof is pretty stinking high.

    The prosecutor better have the cut-up rifle with his fingerprints on it.
    He had better have the spent casings and some way of proving that this is the exact same rifle that he is seen firing in the video.
    Prove he built this exact rifle.

    He may have broken the law. There again, maybe he didn’t. Prove it. The video is not “beyond a reasonable doubt,” proof.

    • Pablo says:

      The build wasn’t the violation. Possession was. Proving he was in CA would be pretty simple, given that it says where he is in the video.

  9. Greg B says:

    The Revolution wil now be mobile:

    Get some.

  10. Brad says:

    My critique.

    “1) Owning a semi-automatic w/ a pistol grip”

    Not an issue in California if it’s rimfire or a fixed magazine of 10 rounds or less capacity.

    “2) At 1:20 you can clearly see that the magazine lock is mounted too far back, allowing the magazine to be detached without the use of a tool.”

    Correctly noted that the magazine lock in not in position, but only in than one part of the video. In addition there is no evidence the video segment showing the mag lock out of position was taped while the firearm was within the boundaries of California. Since the reporter is from Colorado and seems to be taping from his domicile, odds are he was not filming the 1:20 segment while inside California.

    “3) You perform an improper disposal of the gun and leave it for the garbage collector. By CA law, that’s an illegal transfer since he didn’t go through an FFL.”

    No proof the final disposition didn’t include the additional cuts nor that the firearm was disposed of inside California.

    Verdict — suspicious but well within reasonable doubt that any crime was truly committed.

  11. ericcartman says:

    hes been reported to the ATF here
    lets see of government pigs apply the law equally.

  12. ericcartman says:

    reported to the ATF