California Farmer Charged With 12 Felonies After Trying To Register His Guns

The farmer was charged with 12 felony weapons offenses after trying to comply with a new law.

Bakersfield, CA – A member of a prominent farming family was charged with a dozen weapons-related felonies, after he attempted to comply with California’s state-mandated gun registration laws.

According to court documents, Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann’s home was raided in April, after he attempted to register an AR-15 using the state of California’s website, KGET reported.

Kirschenmann is the CEO of Scott Kirschenmann Farms, Inc., which is one of the chief potato suppliers for Frito Lay.

The businessman was attempting to comply with California’s ever-tightening gun laws, one of which required gun owners to register “assault-style weapons” by the end of June.

He electronically submitted photographs of his AR-15 as part of the registration process, and soon became the focus of a California Department of Justice investigation.

According to court documents, the weapon was “illegally modified,” and served as grounds for the Department of Justice (DoJ) to raid Kirschenmann’s home.

It's not immediately clear what the illegal modification was, but the rifle was presumably not in compliance with the recent bans

Investigators seized two “silencers,” 230 rounds of ammunition, and 12 firearms in the search, KGET reported.

On May 17, the district attorney’s office charged Kirschenmann with a dozen felony weapons-related charges.

He was subsequently released on $150,000 bond.

According to retired Kern County Sheriff’s Office Commander Joe Pilkington, a court-recognized firearms expert, California’s rapidly-changing gun laws have created a significant amount of confusion with regards to what requirements are currently mandated, KGET reported.

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

He suggested that anyone who was struggling to understand the current requirements should meet with a licensed firearms dealer.

"There is this self-registration application on the Department of Justice website, but it may be better to talk to an FFL,” Commander Pilkington said. “Someone who has a license, to talk through whatever these complications are.".

Comments
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meeknotweak
meeknotweak

This is what happens when we elect lawyers as our leaders. The criminals become victims and the innocent become criminals. Let's think about this people. What is good business for attorneys? Let's get these criminals back out on the street so they can commit more crimes as soon as possible. Then let's create as many confusing and unreasonable laws turning the average middle class law abiding citizen into a criminal. Next turn all law enforcement agencies into flaccid penises eroding the power and respect they need to protect the public. Victims of crime get nothing because they don't make any one money. We need to band together and vote every single incumbent out of office regardless of political affiliation. When we start taking their jobs they will start paying attention.

JustinFranks
JustinFranks

"I wonder how many criminals have registered their weapons?" Do you want to hear something even more ridiculous? The Supreme Court ruled in Haynes v. U.S. (1968) that convicted felons have a 5th Amendment right to not register their guns, as doing so would be self-incrimination. That specific case was regarding an NFA item, and after the ruling, the National Firearms Act was amended to make it apply only to those who can lawfully possess a firearm.

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if sometime down the road, a criminal trying to purchase a firearm from an FFL is prosecuted, and mounts a successful defense using Haynes v. U.S. as precedent, by arguing that the question on the 4473, asking if you were ever convicted of a felony, would force him to incriminate himself.

smb77777778
smb77777778

I moved what few guns I had out of California way back in 2000 and they were stored in another state (legally) until I moved myself as well out of California in 2001. Yes - things were already getting bad back then with the red tape. How dumb is this guy who is a CEO of what can be assumed is a reasonably successful farming company not to find a way to stay legal. He probably could have stored these weapons outside California (I know there used to be Las Vegas based companies that specifically did this for Californians). Also, no matter where you are in California you are only a few hours from Oregon or Nevada or Arizona depending where you live or work. He could have changed his State of residence to one of those states and moved himself and his guns to a more tolerant environment and only go to California for business (all of which happen to also be much cheaper States to live in BTW). If as a CEO he couldn't swing that financially then maybe time to find a new job too. I just can't muster up sympathy for people who get caught up in California's stupidity anymore - especially people who apparently had the means to get out of there. I left California 100% for political reasons many years ago and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Charlie42
Charlie42

I was a lifelong resident of Bakersfield/Kern County and at one time lived down the street from the Kirschenmann family. four years ago I packed up cashed out and moved to a state with no state gun laws. Best decision I ever made.

Chick
Chick

What in the heck is wrong with California? Here a man comes in voluntarily to comply with the law, and is charged with 12 felonies. With all the recent changes in firearms laws, in California, how could anyone keep up with it? These laws they have come up with, are so out of step with the rest of the country, that it is nuts, anyway. Some the man what is wrong. let him fix it and let him go!

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