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  #1  
Old 11-04-2019, 04:35 PM
Welder Guy Welder Guy is offline
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Legal question

I was at the range today and was discussing replacing MIM parts with tools steel ones and one of the GCG remarked about replacing parts on a carry gun and said it could lead to trouble if the replacement parts arenít factory ones. The question is can replacing the stock parts with, for example, Ed Brown parts be bad legally if you use the gun in a shooting situation even though the EB parts are better than factory?

For reference the parts replaced would be the sear, hammer, disconnector and extractor.
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2019, 04:46 PM
mdell49 mdell49 is offline
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Well I'm no attorney but I did stay at a Holiday Inn one time, so my expert opinion which is worth exactly what you're paying for it is NO! The only problems I have heard about was in disconnecting safety devices or lightening of triggers. Parts break and would have to be replaced so just replacing a part should not cause issues
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2019, 04:54 PM
laytonj1 laytonj1 is offline
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Think about it. Who's gonna know? I really doubt there are many people who can tear your gun down and identify the maker of all the individual parts and whether those parts are original or not.

Jim
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2019, 05:16 PM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is online now
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How many cases have gone to trial for that type of modification.....besides none. Its the same argument about using reloaded ammo that you made, or hopped up +P stuff. None of that matters, the situation does. Put in the best parts you can get your hands on and call it a day. Its not like you are making it full auto......
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2019, 05:58 PM
Shorikid Shorikid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welder Guy View Post
I was at the range today and was discussing replacing MIM parts with tools steel ones and one of the GCG remarked about replacing parts on a carry gun and said it could lead to trouble if the replacement parts arenít factory ones. The question is can replacing the stock parts with, for example, Ed Brown parts be bad legally if you use the gun in a shooting situation even though the EB parts are better than factory?



For reference the parts replaced would be the sear, hammer, disconnector and extractor.
Avoid stupid motto stuff, Wait for Flash, Let God sort Them Out etc.

Mechanical modifications that improve the function of the firearm, such as tool steel parts, better sights, grips, improved trigger, etc are fine. Be able to articulate the reason behind the change if asked. Do not volunteer the information.

My EDC SA Mil Spec has the following changes. Beaver tail grip safety, EB extended thumb safety, EB trigger, EB hammer, EB sear & disconnector, EGW extended mag release, EGW slide stop, EGW(notice a trend?) barrel bushing, and Frank Proctor sight set with Mil work be Novak. Carry beveled the gun by hand, installed HCD slim grips. The barrel is the last stock, unaltered part. The gun passes all function and safety tests, is reliable, and more accurate than stock. I can give sound reasons for all those changes and have never found a court case saying I have endangered myself legally.


Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

Last edited by Shorikid; 11-04-2019 at 06:06 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2019, 06:34 PM
drail drail is offline
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I doubt if there is a D.A.'s office in the country that could tell the difference between a factory sear or hammer or disco and a stock one. It's not like all the stupid cop TV shows. And Epstein did not commit suicide......

Last edited by drail; 11-04-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2019, 07:30 PM
Welder Guy Welder Guy is offline
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Appreciate all the responses. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with replacing factory parts with aftermarket ones either especially if they are better quality parts. I plan on doing it to my two SA Elite Operators, one of which is my carry gun. I just thought it was an odd remark by the GCG who made it sound like if you don’t use factory replacement parts that it could be an issue.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:48 PM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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If you replace your brake pads with ones from autozone and get in an accident will they use that to charge you with vehicular homicide because you did not use factory parts?

No disrespect to gun shop employees but taking legal advice from some of these morons is nuts. Like I said NO disrespect to the many smart helpful ones.
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2019, 07:57 PM
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First we need to get one thing clear, and that is the difference between being held liable legally or through civil action. Legally, as long as modifications to your firearm do not break any laws (for example, putting a bump stock on your AR) there isn't a damn thing any prosecuting attorney can do to you. Either you broke the law or you didn't. The only issue is in a CIVIL case, where the family of the guy you shot tries to sue you. They're the ones who will try to build a case showing that you were reckless and had little regard for the safety of others by equipping your gun with a "hair trigger" or removing a safety device. So no you can't go to jail, but you might be sued if somebody can find an excuse. As long as your modifications don't jeopardize safety or drastically alter the firearm's function there won't be much they can do about it. Replacing MIM parts with tool steel ones doesn't make a gun less safe. Taking a 5# trigger pull and turning it into a 2.5# trigger might.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2019, 07:59 PM
megafiddle megafiddle is offline
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One of the arguments is that a modified trigger can make you vulnerable to a civil lawsuit. If the "victims" family discovers that the trigger was lightened, they will claim that the shooting wasn't justified, and that you shot him accidently through your own negligence in dangerously modifying the trigger.

Everyone on the jury will have an opportunity to try the trigger. Many will be very surprised how light it is, and some will find it "firing" before they intended.

-
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  #11  
Old 11-04-2019, 08:04 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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A clean shoot is going to be a clean shoot.

This is the norm. Now will you get questionable attorneys or assistant district attorneys trying to blow things up to make a name for themselves on a given case? Of course you will, count on it.

However I will reiterate that a clean shoot is a clean shoot regardless. However going cheap on your legal representation. Should something like this ever involve you is not advised.
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2019, 08:16 PM
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A friend recently relayed to me the importance of competent representation. She was on a jury where a woman with a history of back problems was hit by another driver, and she sued the driver for compensation over the added injuries inflicted. In the end a judgment was awarded to the woman who was injured. What was kept from the jury at the trial however was the fact that the woman was literally swimming in money and had no trouble paying her own medical bills, and on top of that she was successfully responding to treatment and frequently went on pleasure trips that involved rigorous physical activity. In the meantime the driver who hit her was a single mom struggling to make ends meet and couldn't afford a decent attorney, let alone the judgment handed down to her. My friend only found out all this stuff about the wealthy woman long after the trial, and she said had the jury known they would likely have decided in favor of the single mom.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2019, 08:34 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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The guy who told you that is an idiot. An absolute idiot.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:05 PM
WaterDR WaterDR is offline
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As a general rule, I tell people to not modify carry guns and by this I mean, no removing safeties and reducing trigger weight etc...

But, when you really think about it, what is really the risk? If you intend to press a trigger and fire a gun, it won’t matter if the pull weight is 2 lbs or 20 lbs. You intended to pull it.

The risk is two-fold.

1 - Avoiding an unintended discharge and thus being sued....BIG TIME for negligence.

2 - Sitting in court and having the modifications speak to your intent. For example, having a carry gun where the slide is stamped “I hate black people” or “all whites people must die”...you get the drift. Same with using ammo that sounds overly scary to a “reasonable” person.

While the majority of SD shootings never see a courtroom, remember, you will be judged by a jury and nome of those jury members will be members of 911 Forum. What is reasonable to them may not be what you think is reasonable.

On another forum, there is a member who keeps ranting non stop about people to alter the appearance in any way or any gun. He finally got tossed because he wouldn’t shut up about it. He’s a idiot IMO.

But there are some people who argue that any gun other than a black one could be mistaken as a toy. And thus the “bad guy” you are trying to stop doesn’t see the “toy” as a threat and thus behaves differently and gets shot. While there are ugly painted guns there are far more actual toys that mimic real guns.

I am not saying only carry a black gun, but I am suggesting that having a gun that someone could interpret as a toy could cause a problem.

In reality though, these concerns...even a gun going off by mistake, are extremely rare.

I do get students from time to time, who can neither rack a slide very well nor manipulate a DA on a wheel gun. The only option they have is to hire security or get a wheel gun and have the trigger reduced. I see no issue with that for a person who lacks strength. In this case, we are only adapting the gun to the person.

There are many companies such as Gemini and Cajon Gun Works who purposely take stock guns and highly modify them with carry packages. I would be totally comfortable carrying one of those even though is sort of counteracts previous comments. Why? Because they are pros and they use limits.

But the ONLY way to limit risk is to carry a stock gun. That way anything goes wrong, it could be the manufacturer who is liable and not you. Remember, you are carrying a loaded gun in public. Having it fall out of your hand or holster, hitting the ground and going off and you altered it.....not a good idea.

Last edited by WaterDR; 11-04-2019 at 09:08 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:33 PM
russphoto russphoto is offline
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Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
The guy who told you that is an idiot. An absolute idiot.
I agree with this......
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"Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line ó and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?" ó Helms writing in 1959 on compromise in politics.
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  #16  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:35 PM
drail drail is offline
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Once a person accepts the idea that one gun is somehow "more dangerous" than any other gun then they have become a good Democrat.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:56 PM
tomrees2 tomrees2 is offline
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Basically, the main question you will have to answer, is what did this person do that made you do what you did. You need to be smart enough to articulate what you did and why. You need to be mature enough to do the right thing at the right time and explain it. You modified your pistol? Well, you probably use it to shoot targets at the range and those modifications make your sport more pleasurable. Did any of those modifications make the gun shoot itself? Absolutely not. You made the decision based on articulable facts. Your ammo didn't blow your gun to smithereens when you shot it, so it was compatible with your firearm, just as factory ammo is compatible.
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:13 PM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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drail---------- What do you mean? There's massive design differences between guns that affect how dangerous they are. Including different safety features (or lack thereof) Plus tremendous differences in range, power, single shot vs semi autos, capacity, you name it. Nearly every gun varies from it's peers in how dangerous it is.

Thank God for that! If it weren't for these variances our hobby would be incredibly boring.

We'd all just have identical .22 rifles.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:18 PM
magazineman magazineman is offline
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To answer the OP: Unless the functional changes made to the gun are a contributing factor to the case (accidental discharge, etc) no, there's no real legal risk posed by modifications.

However, because juries are involved, I recommend sticking to carry guns that look "resonable" to reasonable, average people.

Because that's who will be deciding your fate. A gold plated Mac 10 may send the wrong message.
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  #20  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:38 PM
PolymerMan PolymerMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterDR View Post
As a general rule, I tell people to not modify carry guns and by this I mean, no removing safeties and reducing trigger weight etc...

But, when you really think about it, what is really the risk? If you intend to press a trigger and fire a gun, it wonít matter if the pull weight is 2 lbs or 20 lbs. You intended to pull it.

The risk is two-fold.

1 - Avoiding an unintended discharge and thus being sued....BIG TIME for negligence.
BINGO! This ^

I think the liability in a modification lies if the gun is involved in any kind of negligent or unintentional discharge.

Example: Loaded gun is in a IWB holster and it goes off hitting someone nearby. Or the gun is being handled by someone and it goes off. Lets say you get pulled over in a traffic stop, cop is informed you are legally CCW and wants to remove the gun and render it safe and it goes off.

I think there are a million scenarios that can be painted.

In a criminal case... not so much, because because if its a legal self-defense shoot, the facts surrounding the shooting are paramount, not the equipment.

It's either a good shoot or a bad shoot.

But I could see a scenario like someone else earlier in the thread pointed out... you are holding a bad guy at gun point, successfully stopping a crime and the criminal surrenders and the gun goes off...
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  #21  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:46 PM
Austin_TX Austin_TX is offline
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Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
The guy who told you that is an idiot. An absolute idiot.
Thirded.
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  #22  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:57 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
The guy who told you that is an idiot. An absolute idiot.
I hate to say this, but there are a lot of guys like him out there. There's something about the North American male species that they always have to be an expert on everything, especially anything involving a "manly" activity like guns or working on cars. As a result you often hear strong opinions from a lot of guys who really have no clue what they're talking about. I still have to deal with the occasional dumb co-worker who insists that SIG-Sauer makes the best handguns bar none, even though he probably can't even name a single model. Either that or some moron will insist that an M-16 bullet will go right through an engine block yet ricochet off a leaf... that one still comes up from time to time.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #23  
Old 11-05-2019, 06:47 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welder Guy View Post
Appreciate all the responses. I personally donít think there is anything wrong with replacing factory parts with aftermarket ones either especially if they are better quality parts. I plan on doing it to my two SA Elite Operators, one of which is my carry gun. I just thought it was an odd remark by the GCG who made it sound like if you donít use factory replacement parts that it could be an issue.
The guy is a doof. Was he sporting a ďfancyĒ Glock? If so, chances are that just about everything on it had been replaced. If not, you can still use the example that most people that know anything about them have at least replaced the trigger.
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  #24  
Old 11-05-2019, 06:54 AM
WaterDR WaterDR is offline
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I might add this though....people who work at LGS probably need to be a little careful too. Sort of like dealing with my HR department when it comes to advice. There is always the “this is what I have to say” answer vs the “this is what I actually do”.
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  #25  
Old 11-05-2019, 07:02 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is online now
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Without a doubt...
I can only imagine someone going after a gunsmith with a civil suit.
Cockroach lawyers would have a field day.
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