A prominent member of Bakersfield, California, has been accused of 12 felony gun charges after the Department of Justice raided his home last month, according to local media. Law enforcement justified the raid using images the man had uploaded to the California Firearms Application Reporting System in an attempt to comply with the state’s new registration requirements.
The California DOJ claims that the rifle Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann tried to register was “illegally modified,” though they haven’t said how. Kirschenmann has been charged with nine counts of assault weapon possession, two counts of silencer possession, and one count of possessing a “multiburst trigger activator.”
Second Amendment Foundation Founder Alan Gottlieb told GunsAmerica via email that even though not all the facts of this case have been disclosed, “on the surface there is cause for concern.”
Gottlieb also pointed out that a case like this could discourage other Californians from complying with the new law that requires registration of “bullet button assault weapons.”
“At this point, I do think it will deter compliance with the new California law as there is already great mistrust of the state by gun owners and this just fuels that mistrust,” he said.
California passed a law last year banning AR and AK-type rifles fitted with “bullet buttons,” small modifications that allowed users to more quickly detach a magazine with the use of a tool. The legislature allowed those who already legally possessed such weapons to keep them by registering the rifles and obtaining a serial number from the state.
Registration must be completed by July 1, 2018, and includes the submission of four photos: close-up of the bullet button style magazine on the firearm, stock to barrel (with the firearm lying horizontally on a flat surface), left side of the receiver/frame, right side of the receiver/frame.
For his attempts to comply with the new law Kirschenmann is facing years behind bars.
Joe Pilkington, a retired commander from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office where Bakersfield is located, told local media that California’s gun laws are changing so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up.
“Just in the last few years, there have been lots of changes in gun laws,” he said. “Making an effort, a good faith effort to comply with these really complicated laws, should count for something.”
Kirschenmann is the CEO of Scott Kirschenmann Farms, Inc., which shares a mailing address with Kirschenmann Farms, Inc., the local grower known for its potatoes used by Frito Lay to make chips.
Kirschenmann is out on a $150,000 bond, and his first hearing is scheduled for later this month. We’ve reached out to Kirschenmann and are awaiting comment.