Legal Issues

Law Shield: Does Your Ammo Choice Matter in Court?

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Shopping for ammunition can often seem like a daunting task. With consumer overload from the different brands and an abundance of uses, when you’re looking at shelves of ammunition it can be difficult to figure out which type of ammo works best for your firearm and what is legal for you to have.

Texas Law Shield's Kirk Evans
Texas Law Shield’s Kirk Evans

Common slogans on ammunition advertisements include: “This ammunition is designed for military specifications, for consistent stopping power,” “Deep penetration and bullet expansion for the largest exit wound,” “This ammunition has been improved with engineering genius, ensuring the ability to stop any threat,” or “One of the few bullets to pass the FBI’s testing requirements,” followed quickly by, “Buy this ammunition!” These can make it difficult to figure out what will work best for you.

Based on comments in the blog, many Cheaper Than Dirt! readers who might be forced to defend themselves with a firearm worry about how the effectiveness of their ammunition may prejudice how they’re viewed by the courts. So we asked Kirk Evans, president of Texas Law Shield and U.S. Law Shield, to give us some insights into whether the law should affect your ammunition purchases: CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: From a legal perspective, does it matter what ammunition I use in my handgun? Evans: This is one of the most frequently asked questions of Law Shield’s program lawyers. The short answer is, probably not. But for the purposes of this discussion, let me be very clear — we’re talking only about Texas law here. Unfortunately, not every state can be as reasonable as ours. Some ammo may or may not be legal for possession or use in other states, so be sure to check the local laws to make sure what you are carrying is legal.

CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: You said, “probably not.” That is not a “No, it doesn’t matter.” Evans: From the Texas law point of view, if you have been forced to use your firearm to defend yourself, others, or property, usually the ammunition used will not be the main focus of the legal inquiry. Generally, the focus is instead on the circumstances and facts surrounding “why” you had to fire your gun in the first place: that is, was deadly force immediately necessary to defend yourself from death and serious bodily injury? CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: But the ammunition may come up in court? Evans: If you have been forced into the court system after you have used your gun and are relying on a justification defense, such as self-defense, a prosecuting attorney may attempt to argue that, because you used a certain ammunition, that you were looking for trouble. However, a competent defense attorney should be able to explain that a gun is just a tool, and you simply used the best tool to defend yourself. We recommend you use the best ammunition that you believe will protect you, period.

CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: Full metal jacket, personal-defense rounds, or any other legal ammunition are okay? Evans: It may be that you are more concerned with stopping power rather than barrier penetration, or you may want frangible ammunition to minimize the chances of accidentally shooting through a wall and hitting a loved one. These are ballistic issues to think about when looking over the vast array of ammunition. Ammunition is nothing more than a means to an end of safety, merely a tool; so use the best legally available resources you can find for your situation.

CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: What about ammunition marked as “law enforcement only?” Evans: This ammunition is still legal for private persons in Texas to buy, provided that it is not armor-piercing handgun ammo. Manufacturers may make the choice to brand it as law-enforcement ammunition for marketing purposes, or they may have been trying to avoid an excise tax. Either way, the result is the same: it is legal to own and possess in Texas. After all, if this ammo is considered reliable enough for the fine men and women of law enforcement to trust their lives to, what better ammunition to trust with your family’s safety? CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: You mentioned “armor piercing” ammunition as being illegal? Evans: One kind of ammo that is not legal is armor-piercing ammunition. “Armor-piercing” handgun ammo is illegal to possess under both Texas and federal law. Texas Penal Code §46.01(12) defines armor-piercing ammo as handgun ammunition designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used primarily in pistols and revolvers.

Federal law in 18 U.S.C. 44 §921(17)(B) is even more technical. It defines armor-piercing ammo “as a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, depleted uranium, or a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber, designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.” CHEAPER THAN DIRT!: But aside from armor piercing…? Evans: If you have a chance, experiment with different types of ammunition until you find what works best for you.

Do you use commercial ammunition or handloads for your personal carry? Tell us about your choice in the comment section.

Click here to ask a confidential legal question of Texas Law Shield.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (53)

  1. @ Bill Safrin
    Do you drive a $1500 car while leaving your $50,000 ride in the garage. afraid you will be in an accident? I carry high priced and medium priced, depending on what I want to carry at that time.

  2. Interesting comments. I figured I would slip off the intruders footwear, put it on, kick the door in assuming he didn’t and replace the footgear. Then I would swap out any firearm used for the “Saturday night special”. Then check the ammo and if any cop can tell the difference between reloads and brand new ammo I’ve never met him. Then I will call the non-emergency number at the PD or SO. Then my place will be turned into a crime scene so I will lock all the doors (locks already installed). My family will probably be kicked out for days so I’ll make sure they have money for a motel. I’ll respond, “no comment” to any questions and I will never take the stand in court. I would never allow a DA to ask a question unchallenged that would amount to testimony such as the one quoted above. Oh, I’ve appealed a district court ruling to a court of appeals and won so I’m not taking much of a .chance.

  3. My CCW instructor spent a large part of our class talking about the legal system and how it will effect you in a defensive use of a firearm.

    We were told to purchase several boxes of new manufacture loaded “defensive handgun ammunition” in our caliber, test fire and practice with that ammo. We were also told to keep the CCW gun loaded with that ammo and keep an empty box for that ammo at home.

    In the event of charges being filed against you and that question “SO YOU LIKE TO USE MAN STOPPER KILLER AMMO” or such a statement by the prosecutor, your response will be “I purchased the recommended ammunition for self defense use of this firearm as I was instructed in my class” and your attorney has the box to show the jury.

    1. @ Ken W.,

      Okay, I’m going to pick on your CCW instructor for a minute… When it comes to store-bought handgun ammo there is really no distinction aside from maybe a snake load. While hollow point versus full metal jacket has distinct applications, they are all designed to penetrate and destroy. So it is somewhat of a joke to label any round as “defensive handgun ammunition”.

      Does one find this specific “defensive” ammo located in its own section on a shelf next to the “murder your boss” ammo or the “rob a bank” ammo? I think not.

      Maybe I am missing your instructor’s point, but what difference does it make whether you kept the ammo box or receipt for that matter? When it comes to charges this serious, forensics will no doubt establish your choice of ammo; whether you kept the boxes or not.

      Also, given my vast experience testifying in court, I can assure you most prosecutors will never allow you such a lengthy answer. They will stop you and demand the judge order you to answer with only “yes” or “no” responses to their questions.

      Eliciting only “yes” or “no” only responses is a tactic used to play to the jury. That way if later they can prove that even a portion of a question should have been answered with a “yes” and you still said “no”, they will claim you are a liar and use it to discredit the rest of your testimony.

      However, a good defense attorney upon redirect will know to ask you the same question again and allow you to elaborate with a more lengthy answer in hopes it will counter any damage done by the prosecution. Unfortunately it is not always as effective and looks more like damage control to the jury.

      In the end, any ammo designed for your caliber gun is the right ammo. Anytime someone pulls the trigger, a reasonable person knows it has a high likelihood of resulting in death. A good attorney will get the jury past this ridiculous prosecutorial semantic of ammo type and move on to establishing a strong justification that the particular situation warranted you having to employ deadly force regardless of your choice in ammunition.

    2. G-man,
      Respectfully, after talking with Massad Ayoob, the purpose of keeping the empty box of ammo (or having a spare box) is for that forensic examination you spoke of.

      IF there are questions about how close you were to the perp or whether the ammo you used was questionable the forensics lab will do testing. If your statements indicate the rough distance to the perp, they’ll test fire a round or two of your remaining ammo, if any, at that distance to see if the powder residue is consistent with the stated distance and compare it to residue on the perp or perp’s clothing.

      With factory ammo, what you shoot may be ammo you purchased last year or 8 years ago (especially at the price of good defensive JHP). The company may have changed powders and/or the size of the charge in the meantime. The result can be similar, with the new powder producing more or less powder residue than what you fired, leading to incorrect conclusions about the distance.

      If this becomes an issue in the case, having the original box with the lot number marked on one of the flaps can be invaluable to your defense. It could allow your attorney to discuss with the manufacturer if the powder or charge today is different than what you used.

      If you used reloads there is no commercial ammo for comparison since the powders they use won’t act like most available canister powders. And even if the powders were the same the size of the charge will likely be different and produce different results. Your larger charge of powder may produce more powder residue, indicating a shorter distance to the perp, contradicting your statements. However, if you still have about six rounds of the ammo left from the lot of ammo you loaded, it can be used to help verify your statements.

      As to Yes/No answers to questions, your attorney should be keen enough to brief you before any testimony. You can always appeal to the judge to allow you to answer more completely or ask the prosecutor if he could rephrase the question.

  4. Partly because of comments from former LEO, I only use factory new personal defense ammo from well-known companies. It will say “personal defense” or Law Enforcement Use on the box. Large companies have a reputation for careful quality control and record keeping.
    I also carefully avoid “zombie killer” ammo because it seems less serious or gives the impression that the killing is the most important issue. I know some of the zombie ammo is the same as defense ammo with different packaging or color.

  5. As an attorney in Houston for the past 21 years, I can say that many of these comments are spot on. Thanks to Cheaper Than Dirt for this forum to express our views.

  6. Answer to CTD question, I always have commercial ammunition in my carry weapons. The judicial system has no reason to know I reload.
    Outstanding points, Bill. I would like to add, when a Concealed Carry holder shoots a criminal, the LLEA will not arrive and pat you on the back. You will be arrested, your weapon taken from you, and depending on where you live there is a good chance you will never see the weapon again. I carry accurate and reliable firearms, but leave my favorites at home in the safe.
    God Bless All of You that live in California and New England. We the people of the Southern states are now receiving Firearms manufacturers that are leaving the states set on abolishing the Second Amendment. Please anyone that reads our comments if you are not an NRA member, join now.

    1. @ Wireslinger
      To your point, a carry gun should be a less expensive, but reliable gun (excellent new pistols can be had for less than $500 or even $400). It makes absolutely no sense to carry an engraved, gold inlaid 1911 worth $5,000. You will be carrying the gun day in and day out, which means that it is going to receive extraordinary wear and tear. Your carry gun(s) is going to constantly get bumped, rubbed, banged and scratched. A carry gun should be viewed as a rugged and reliable tool not a show piece. In fact, if you are a concealed carry permit holder, the gun should not be ‘shown’ at all…unless you are using if for defense at the time.

      I am EXTREMELY selective about whom I even discuss concealed carry with (as your knowledge of the discussion itself often reveals or at least implies that you are carrying). Even during such a discussion, I never display my own carry weapon unless I am in a VERY private setting and I know the other person exceptionally well. Acquaintances can be misjudged and unpredictable. Displaying a gun in the wrong company or setting can alarm a nearby party and elicit a painfully inconvenient interaction with the police.

      Get a reliable ‘Plain Jane’ gun, with only those upgrades which might make it more useful in its role, (i.e. Night sights, integrated laser, etc.) and keep the cost as low as possible. Crossing paths with a wrong minded LEO could have your gun ‘taken into custody’ by the officer for something as mundane as ‘establishing ownership’. Yes, I know that Police have no authority to LEGALLY do that without contributing probable cause, but it has happened more than once here in New Orleans (a staunchly liberal hotbed of a city right in the middle of the rabidly conservative state of Louisiana). The fact is that, if a LEO decides to ‘hang on’ to your gun, right or wrong, there isn’t anything you can practically do to stop them. Carrying a really nice gun could encourage a less-than-scrupulous officer to ‘collect’ your gun. Barring you being able to surreptitiously record the interaction on your phone, the officer can claim that he has no knowledge of your gun and it would be your word against his.

    2. Simply not accurate Wireslinger. Because you shoot someone in self defense does not mean you will be arrested. Yes, you will lose your weapon until an investigation is complete. However, I know a gentlemen who did just that. He defended his family from a home invasion, killed the intruder with a well placed shot to the throat amongst a horrific struggle and was absolutely not arrested. He did lose his pistol which after almost a year was returned to him. I know circumstances vary, but to say you will be arrested is simply not accurate. I believe it solely depends on where you live, the circumstances, and what LLEA is investigating.

    3. I shoot nothing but reloads that a ammo manufacturer in central tx reloads for me (9mm)-(223) ammo. I have shot ID PA compation shooting with my 9mm.ive had superior quality reloads.i love the company I do business with. Only 2 bullets out of 12000k rounds primer pin did allow to fire.when I bought winchester and Remington ammo I had more than 2 not fire out of 4 boxes of 100 round plus 5 boxes of 224 federal I had 2 not fire out of 25 bullets. I have no problems protecting myself with reloads that I use.i haven’t tried any other company because the company I use is perfect for me.

    4. Interesting. Except for some Thunderbolt Remington 22LR, made during the height of the rimfire shortage, I have never had a misfire with factory ammo. I have had misfires over the years with reloads, not mine but with so called “factory ” reloads. Not many mind you maybe 1 out of 10K [inverted primers]. And to be honest, it was during the 80s by a major company called 3D. I am not even seen there stuff in a decade.
      But I call you out on reloads being somehow better quality than first line manufactured ammo. With my practice shooting, I use reloads from Freedom and others but my carry ammo is factory. If the ammo fails and I die, I want my wife to be set. Really, in all seriousness, I trust factory ammo with you life.

  7. I would tell a Grand Jury or Court Jury that I used the same ammo as the Local/State/Federal Police because I know that they would not use an unsafe ammo and I’d want the same safety ammo that they have.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    Jungle Work

  8. In all of my research into this topic, I have discovered several valid ‘tips’.

    First, do NOT use reloaded ammunition in your self defense gun. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it gives overzealous DA’s an avenue to ‘muddy the water’s’ with the jury (who themselves may not be very gun savvy). Some DA’s will attempt to use the fact that you reload your own ammo as a way to ‘prove’ that you are a ‘gun nut’. Just use any quality factory load.

    Second, do NOT carry a gun which has had ANY tuning modifications (i.e. a trigger job with a lighter than standard pull), PARTICULARLY if someone else, such as a spouse, might use the gun to defend themselves. The DA’s can actually try to make a case that you didn’t INTEND to shoot the victim.

    Seriously! In some jurisdictions, if you shoot and kill a criminal to defend yourself, it’s self defense, but if you legitimately point your gun at him and the DA can convince the jury that you didn’t MEAN for the gun to go off, then it is manslaughter. GUILTY! No kidding, so don’t ‘tweak’ your self defense weapons.

    Third, (this one seems obvious) If you haven’t done it already, research defense attorneys right now! Find a Rock-star defense attorney BEFORE you have to defend yourself, then program his/her name and phone number into your phone! Alternatively, you could call the number of your legal defense insurance provider (which would hopefully put you on the phone with an experienced atty).

    Fifth, after a self defense event, call 911, and DO ONLY THESE THINGS! Give them your name and location, tell them you were attacked and had to defend yourself, request the Police and an ambulance, THEN HANG UP and immediately call your attorney or legal defense program hotline. As it turns out, even if you are on HOLD with 911, it’s still recording everything you or anyone else says and if you’ve just shot someone, then you might inadvertently utter something that can be twisted later in court!

    Sixth, do NOT say ANYTHING to the police without a lawyer present. You must VERBALIZE your wish to “exercise you fifth amendment right to remain silent”. Simply clamming up without verbalizing you wish to “remain silent” can actually be characterized as obstructionist, defiant or arrogant behavior by the DA.

  9. Good point sir. Yet as I said it the DA’s office you need to prepare for here. The best strategy is not to use nay reloads but use what the State police do.

  10. I use standard military surplus 230gr ball ammo in my .45acp. I also use Hornady Defense loads when I am at home and change out magazines if leaving home. I have talked with local LE and Sheriff’s Deputy’s and they are all using the 9MM so it’s a moot point with me as to what they use.

  11. you need to think civil trial people. think judge judy lol
    seriously, you want to seem more like andy griffith than clint eastwood

  12. I was recovering from a surgery so I had time to watch all of the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman trail live every day. I do not recall the type of ammo load Zimmerman used as ever being a point of interest presented by the prosecution. Now it is entirely possible I missed that part so please correct me if I’m wrong. I now wonder if the outcome would have been any different had the prosecution focused on that. The prosecutors seemed to be more interested in establishing Zimmerman as a wannabe cop and vigilante more than anything else. Anyone care to weigh in?

  13. You are very likely right about the arresting officer not being able to identify hand loads. But it isn’t the cop , it’s the DA and his resources which may well include your weapon and what ammo may be left in it. It is not at all uncommon for a DA ( especially a city DA) to have the cartridges identified. But.If he’s experienced at trail he might not fall for the trap I outlined in his questioning. DA’s and different states and counties may all have the same or very similar law here. But it is always the personality of the DA that determines who is prosecuted and for what.My legal presentation to my classes (which attract people from all over the US and Canada) are based on the actual case studies and transcripts.of trial. I admit very few DA;S ARE SUCKERED INTO ASKING THAT QUESTION ABOUT AMMUNITION TYPE WHILE YOU ARE ON THE STAND. But in the past some actually have and the jury then seems to think the DA is ‘overzealous’ and then he or she can lose edibility with that jury.

  14. Ive been a cop 24 years and ballistics are always a factor in a Tenn v Gardner event.
    However the ghist of this thread is will such factors play against you in court and, yes, they will.
    As it has been said on here,not really so much in a criminal trail,unless u really scr•w the pooch, but it has, and will be again,a huge issue in the inevitable civil trials.There the burden if proof shifts from” reasonable doubt” to ” preponderance of evidence”. Remember OJ?

    1. In this State there is no inevitable civil trial–it is prohibited by law. Consider that you are in a home or motel (it doesn’t have to be your personal abode. An intruder comes in and within seconds your situation goes from peaceful to threatened. You protect yourself, your dwelling or whatever by shooting the intruder. You don’t have much time to arm yourself and the intruder may have a partner in crime. Just to get to your door the criminals have trespassed. The immediate area around your dwelling is legally known as curtilage. It may possibly be fenced. You are protected by the 4th Amendment to the U S Constitution and those TV shows where 2 agents go to the back door without a warrant is not legal. Yeah, I’m a retired LEO. Every case is unique so care is in order.

  15. The best choice is what the State police use in their weapons. Then when the prosecutor has you on the stand and says “..and you loaded that gun with the most deadly ammunition designed to rip a man’s guts out didn’t you!” You can say calmly and respectfully “No sir, I loaded it with the same ammunition our State police use and for the same reason they do” ABOVE ALL ddo noir load your defense weapon with your own reloads. That marks you toa jury as ‘gun nut’

    1. First off you should NEVER be on the stand. It’s called the 5th Amendment. The proper way to accomplish the same thing is for your attorney (or you) to cross the cop the DA put on the stand who has to testify what ammo he found in your weapon. Make him testify as to the ammo being the same that he and his department carried. As far as reloads are concerned there is no way the cop could even tell the diff between factory and reloads–unless you opened your mouth to say anymore than “no comment”.

    2. @ThorTyr “there is no way the cop could even tell the diff between factory and reloads”

      Well, yes and no. If your brass doesn’t match, then the Cop could simply strip the rounds from your magazine and see the same jacketed hollow point bullet (for instance) loaded into brass with Winchester, Remington, Federal, Speer and PMC headstamps and pretty much figure out that it is reloaded. Now, he wouldn’t necessarily know if you reloaded it or they were factory reloads, such as “Military Ballistic Industries” or “LAX” ammo, but he could be pretty certain they were reloads.

    3. Pretty paranoid point of view. Every weapon I carried on the job had the action smoothed by another agent who was also the department armorer. No secrets. Sure, what you find for sale presently (new) have some pretty crazy safety devices. So I should dump the pistol or revolver I carried for years just to get something that will impede the speed of my fire? No thanks.
      An intruder doesn’t have to do anything here except intrude. Anything past the public sidewalk is trespassing. Creep onto my curtilage and you are putting yourself (not me) in danger–like playing in the traffic on a freeway. Come over my threshold and you are endangering my peace. You don’t have to whack me with a ball bat before you mess up my life or state of mind or even just be carrying one.
      Consider this–You are in your garage which you use as a workshop. You wear earmuffs to protect your ears. Some intruder ignores the fence around your property and the intercom. He hops the fence (limited to 6′ by zoning) and breaks down your front door (like the guys on TV who yell “Federal Agent–Open Up”). The noise doesn’t sound like your power tools so you open the garage door into your house just in time to catch the intruder with prybar in hand headed toward your bedrooms through the kitchen. You are armed with something more powerful than a .22 Short. The intruder is surprised by you, turns, raises the prybar. You are 8′ away. You triple tap the guy with 10mm that you reloaded and practiced with for 10 years. The intruder is toast and his partner out of sight around the wall makes his break for the door. He manages to escape.
      You can call 911 within seconds (you have 2 additional mags so you could reload, police up any brass (which always matches in my pistol BTW), you could even put a ball bat in his hand if he didn’t have one.
      Sure, I would expect being taken into custody and my house would become a crime scene but after spending a career interrogating people my words wouldn’t go past “No Comment”. Some hot dog ADA might make up some BS but almost every ADA that was any good in my district has been appointed a judge. I’m going no where. My former chief can testify at any hearing but the facts are–intrude in Colorado and its likely to be your last. LEO’s need to be careful too. Welfare checks involving some silent approach by a LEO and a break/enter can get you DOA.

  16. The first thing any totalitarian regime does is to disarm its citizenry. And don’t forget, if it’s Sharia Law, they’ll be taking your Cell phone & digital devices too… Now, women may Not fight for the safety of their homes & family, but you try & stop them from texting the latest scores from ‘Idol’ and there’s gonna be TROUBLE!!!

  17. I just heard an ultralib talking head female,when asked how she would like living under sharia say”oh it will be tough but at least these gun people wont have their guns”…..
    Can u say” head in the sand?”

  18. I live in Kansas and have talked to various authorities and was told to ask the local police officer what type of ammo he carried. I did and was told Gold Dot hollow points so that is what I carry. If it’s good enough for my local police officers it’s good enough for me and if it ever comes to having to use my weapon for personal protection I’m covered both ways by the local prosecutor and in civil court the type of ammo will not be a factor.

    1. It is naive to think a jury will equate your use of standard issue cop ammunition with a lack of liability. Juries can go wild–both criminal and civil–and are entirely unpredictable.

      Besides, look at what you’re up against. On their side, they’ve got a dead or injured guy. On your side, you’ve got you trying to explain why it was necessary to shoot their loved one. And most people tend to immediately suspect claims of self-defense. Meanwhile, the plaintiff’s attorneys will be doing everything they can to reinforce the jury’s impression that you are murderer.

  19. Sorry,
    If an attorney wants to take issue with your choice of ammunition – invite him outside to the parking lot and offer him a “whiffle bat” and you use a good solid piece of Louisville Ash. See which one he chooses – then ask why it would be any different fighting for your life.

    1. Check out these insane bills now being strongly considered by the California genius legislators. We Californians have to fight tooth and nail to keep our sanity when we read this stuff:

      AB-1014 Gun violence restraining orders.
      Introduced by Assembly Members Skinner (D) and Williams (D)
      (Principal coauthor: Senator Jackson (D))
      (Coauthors: Assembly Members Alejo (D), Bloom (D), Bonilla (D), Bonta (D), Buchanan (D), Dickinson (D), Levine (D), Lowenthal (D), Rendon (D), Stone (D), Ting (D), and Wieckowski (D))

      The bill would allow any person to seek a “gun violence restraining order” against another person. A court would be permitted to issue the order based only on a person’s affidavit that “the named person poses a significant risk of personal injury to himself or herself or others by possessing firearms.” If the court is satisfied that the affidavit is correct, then the court can issue an order prohibiting the named person from possessing firearms. This extremely dangerous bill would essentially allow any person to create a firearms prohibition on any other person. A committee hearing date has not been scheduled at this time.
      NRA opposes this bill.
      Passed Senate Public Safety Committee 6/24
      De León (D), Evans (D), Wolk (D), Chesbro (D), Levine (D), Yamada (D) SB-199 BB devices.

      Senate Bill 199 would ban the sale/transfer of used and antique BB devices and imitation firearms that are not colored, as specified. Congress preempted state law and stated that federal statute would supersede any state or local laws requiring “markings or identification inconsistent with provisions” of the federal statute. 15 U.S.C. §5001(g). In addition, federal statute specifically prohibits a state from banning the sale of traditional air guns. SB 199 is expected to be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, June 24.
      NRA opposes this bill.
      Passed Assembly Public Safety Committee 6/24
      De León (D) SB-808 Firearms: identifying information.

      Senate Bill 808 would impose heavy restrictions and costly fees on the ability to make, or even assemble a personal firearm. SB 808 is expected to be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, June 24.
      NRA opposes this bill.
      Passed Assembly Public Safety Committee 6/24
      Does anyone in their right mind think that any of these bills will be a deterrent to crime? Oh…sorry…maybe the bill about antique BB guns.
      $hit, I think I am living in the California twilight zone!!

    2. @ smitty550: The first bill made National news. I hadn’t heard about the others until your post.

      Was watching the libs at MSNBC joke about pro-gunners complaining about how this new bill would violate our Second Amendment rights because removing guns in such a manner would not provide full due process as required by the Constitution. Their witty retort was something like, “Oh they’ll get their due process… eventually”.

      Bunch of disrespectful asses over there that think the Constitution is outdated and no longer applies. I just don’t see how these libs and progressives can’t see where their heading us, but I’m worried it’s going to get real dangerous for them very quickly if they don’t adjust their attitudes and learn to respect all people from all walks of life. Their lack of tolerance is going to eventually push people over the edge I’d imagine.

    3. The first time someone gets slapped with a gun restraining order, it will get booted up to appellate court. The ‘affidavit’ model is not due process. The feds already have a procedure for removing second amendment rights–a hearing in which both sides can present evidence, be represented by counsel. Once the determination is made at the hearing, it can be appealed.

      A law like this will never withstand constitutional scrutiny.

      If it were, somehow, to be upheld, the first people I would be swearing out affidavits for would be cops. The entire department.

  20. I don’t know about the rest of you …… but ……. If I have to be in a situation where it’s my life or theirs, I want the absolutely most devastating, most damage producing ammunition I can carry. I don’t want to poke hole in someone trying to kill me and letting him keep coming after me – I want to stop him DEAD in his tracks as soon as possible with as few shots fired as possible ON EITHER SIDE.

  21. This conjures up memories of the myths surrounding the infamous Black Talon ammo. After it was used in 2 mass shootings (circa ’93), Winchester caved to the pressure created by the publicity and urban legends that said the ammo was somehow more deadly; and so they stopped manufacturing it.

    It was dubbed the “cop-killer bullet” and said to have armor-piercing capability due to the black Teflon coated bullet. The tip was actually coated black with Winchester’s proprietary lubricant called Lubalox which I believe was designed to penetrate barriers like windshields first without separating / spreading and then only upon impact with soft tissue would it separate (pedal out) like other hollow points.

    After the false sensationalism surrounding this bullet, as usual and without a shred of scientific data the liberal left introduced legislation to ban or tax the ammo at 10,000%. That never passed, but later it was rumored that it was illegal to own or purchase Black Talons. That too was actually false. I still own several boxes of .40 cal and 9mm Black Talons for posterity sake.

    Later the FBI or National Institute of Justice (can’t recall) did some testing and determined the Black Talon was no more deadly than any other hollow points on the market. Never-the-less, the liberal left had already done their deceitful deed and damage of forcing the round off the free market. Interestingly there was a lawsuit by one bereaved relative from the mass shooting. They lost their suit against Winchester because they failed to prove the Black Talon was defective. Ironically their very claim against the Black Talon lost because it did perform well under its intended purpose, that being – to cause death.

    Unless you’re law enforcement, many don’t realize the ammo continued to be manufactured under a slightly different design as Winchester Supreme SXT, PDX1 (civilian version) and later Winchester Ranger T-Series and Bonded ammo (law enforcement sales only).

  22. For all my personal defense carry guns (.380, .38 +P, .357 Magnum, 9mm, .45 ACP, and .410 GA) I only load up with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. While my Lee Pro-1000 does make reliable ammunition for target shooting, I don’t want to bet my life on it.

  23. I load all my defense guns with the first 2 rounds glazer safety rounds. As flick stated, Many lawyers will try to make it look like you have some EVIL WONDER BULLET THAT POSESED YOU TO SHOOT..HOLLOW POINTS were highly criticized in the eighties.

    i believe in stacking the deck as much in my favor as possible.A heavy trigger pull and safe minded ammo..
    If it goes bang it was no accident and I took reasonable measures to be safe regarding innocents.
    after the first 2 it is +p+ better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    If it is good for law enforcement it is good for us.

  24. Man, you guys in California have too many other issues. God bless ya. I have been told that by using handloads, you open yourself to the prosecution saying you concocted some secret deadly load to do your dastardly deed. I have RCBS gear that I used to load with for hunting, and while it’s convenient, it’s expensive not to be able to hand taylor loads which could be more accurate, with less recoil, and cleaner burning with less fouling. Hell, they might even chronagraph better. One thing’s for sure, I think more people would get more trigger time in, firing more frequently, when they roll their own.

    1. Stobor, what a great reference. I haven’t thought of that book for 20 years…

  25. Flick, you obviously don’t live in my home state of California. One almost has to be a lawyer to know all the ramifications of using a firearm for self-defense, and be able to make split-second decisions based on that knowledge.

    The liberal view is that a victim and a perpetrator assume role reversals in a self-defense situation. Since it costs arms and legs to pay for a good defense, it’s almost not worth it to use a firearm unless there are no ways to exit one’s home during an attack… which case, the choice of ammunition is completely superseded by my wanting to save my life, and to hell with worrying about that choice. I will use whatever does the job without endangering the lives of my family or neighbors.

    Again, the last thing I want to do is shoot someone UNLESS my or my wife’s life is in imminent danger. Besides, in California (and I would imagine in other states), if a perp is merely wounded during a home invasion, the home owner/resident is open to a law suit by the perp. If he is killed, the resident is open to a suit filed by the perp’s survivors. Too many lawyers love these types of suits because their lives are ruled not by what is right, but by the profit motive. California is NOT the place to flex your trigger finger unless some punk is almost at your throat with a knife or gun INSIDE your home.

    1. I am an old man living in California and once tried to defend myself with a broken ax handle from under my bed. It was taken away from me and I was beaten with it and almost killed. Now I belong to a gun club and shoot often. I make my own reloads to shoot and if I should find the need to use deadly force to protect myself I will shoot to stop them with what ever bullet happens to be in my gun. Question! Why do you think they call it deadly force? Last resort!!

    2. Good guy .go and pretect yourself. I’m al for that . there’s just one thing.move to tx , save your life and money . we’re cheaper than California plus we have our gun please pack up and move on the outside of Houston or half way between houston and Dallas out in the country living life style.

    3. Being a lawyer is about making money. Very few people (none that I know of) go to law school and get hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, so they can work for free.

      P.I. attorneys put huge amounts of their own money into lawsuits that no one would be able to pursue by themselves. They don’t take frivolous cases or cases that can’t make money. You are probably not aware of it, but most PI attorneys care about people–I have seen plaintiff’s attorneys go way way out of their way to help their clients–even after they’ve lost in court.

      When it comes to mounting a good defense, who do you think your insurance company is going to turn to? Lawyers. Who are going to help you keep your house or your money. Now do you dislike them because they have a profit motive?

      No one will sue somebody to prove they were ‘right,’ (We had a name for people who wanted to sue to determine who was ‘rights.’ These courts are called ‘principles courts’ and they don’t exist.) hat’s not how courts work. Our system, no matter how right or wrong you are, cannot make you ‘whole,’ the only thing it can do is compensate you with money damages.

      BTW, lawyers don’t make judgments and they don’t award damages–juries do that.

  26. There were some civil issues arising at trial in the late 80’s and early 90’s that made issue with the self defense shooters choice of firearm.These focused on the person carrying tuned,custom or accesorized firearms and tried to make them look like they were “looking for trouble”.
    These were more an attempt o sway a civil jury than an attempt to criminalize carrying such guns.This is still a very real threat.And it could carry over into choice of ammo.
    If the lawsuit lawyer can say”So you were loaded with ” Premium Top-Of-The-Line Manstoppers” it sounds better for his case than ” So you bought a box off the shelf at Wally-World”.
    Frangible loadings such as Glasers were originally designed to reduce ricochets so they have good defensibility.
    Its all mostly smoke-and-mirrors meant to sway the uninformed and/or weak-minded members of a jury.
    But,sadly,its a legitimate source of concern.
    Personally,I load Critical Defense or Gold Dots and follow the old adage of “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6”.

    1. Apologies.I should have mentioned that I live in a state where my choice of ammo has never been restricted by either legal or civil rulings.
      We are allowed to carry whatever our brains/good sense tells us to.
      I know this is not-so in some states.
      If you choose to own/carry a firearm,always stay informed on your current local/state regs and recent court rulings.Always.

    2. I would like to bring up the fact that nobody has referred to using a gun as deadly force! As a disabled Viet Nam vet. and x-.Iaw enforcement, I have seen up close and personal, the effects of deadly force. I don’t understand why ballistics become important when you are talking about deadly force. Deadly force is just that, deadly force. A last resort. What difference does it make what kind of bullet I used. I used the one that would make him stop. If it killed him or maimed him for life, that is on him. I did what I had to do to stop him and stop the danger to my life.

      I live in California and because I know that most people in California, don’t hunt or in any other way see firearms as a sport. They do not like firearms for any purpose and are likely to vote against anything gun related. That being the case, I have a CCW and I promise that under no circumstance will I use my weapon to interfere with anything I happen to witness except to protect my self or my family!

    3. Dave G:

      I’ve been a paramedic for 30 years. I’ve seen people with just every kind of GSW produced by a hand/long gun. Ballistics only start to matter when you’ve wounded someone. Then there is a hell of a difference in various types of ammunition and ballistics (Federal HydraShock being the worst; ball ammo the least.). Buck shot is much worse than birdshot. A high powered rifle is almost uniformly lethal, if not, they produce significant morbidity. Survivability is not a big consideration when you are using deadly force, but it does happen. I wouldn’t change the type of ammo I use because of it.

      On the civil side, (I have worked on civil cases as a consultant and expert witness) with the much lower standard for a positive outcome for the plaintiff, I can say it can make a huge difference what kind of round, caliber and firearm you use. ARs are black and people are afraid of them, most lay persons have no reference than what they’ve been hearing about how evil these rifles are and how they are only good for killing people. Ditto lg frame revolvers. Shotguns provoke the lest emotional response, esp. if you use birdshot. Plaintiff’s attorneys will keep digging until they find a way to portray you as an irresponsible killer. And the type of firearm and ammunition you used will come under close scrutiny.

      These are my experiences (Most in CA), YMMV

      Again,I won’t let what will happen in court dictate what kind of ammunition I use.

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