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Dusty Devil Dale

Transfer bar removal associated liability

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Just a couple thoughts here:

 

Does anybody know and understand the legality of removing transfer bars from single action revolvers, particularly in states like California, where guns are available for sale only if their design has passed a "drop test"?

Are modified guns with t-bars removed technically legal to purchase or to possess in those affected states? 

Is it lawful for a person or gunsmith to remove t-bars, or to sell or transfer guns with them removed? 

 

It certainly seems like criminal or civil liability could result in an accident situation where a gun with the transfer bar removed is dropped (or shooter trips) in CAS competition,  and someone is injured.  And in those kinds of lawsuits, everyone who is connected gets tagged for costs, and the gun WILL get inspected.  So does anyone have professional guidance or thoughts about removal of  t-bars constituting criminal or other negligence? 

 

And I know that all we have to do is follow the SASS rules, and be careful.  But I also know that sometimes things like falls or dropped pistols just happen--even to the best shooters--and all of us are certainly not "best shooters". 

 

My t-bars are still in the guns, but I would love to remove them, if it is legal and prudent, so I'm just collecting your thoughts here, particularly any thoughts from professionals in the field of gun ownership law .  

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Any removal or modification to any safety feature on a firearm of any type opens one up to civil liability in case of a ND.  If the pistols were mine, and I just absolutely couldn't live with the transfer bars in place, I personally would look for other pistols.  But, they're your pistols, your assets, and your livelihood in question, not mine.

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DUSTY,

I don't know the answer to your question.   Heck, I don't even have an idea as to legalities, etc.....

But I do know that even transfer bars are not 100% guaranteed safety devices.

 

I know that toasters are basically safe.   And so are butter knifes.

But sticking a butter knife down into a live toaster might result in one more name being added to the obituary 

column of the local paper.....   But it probably won't make Fox news.

Who gets sued..... the toaster maker, the butter knife maker, the electrical company, or the home builder?

 

Would things like 'Criminal Negligence' be a factor?

If Negligence is a factor, how much of it could be contributed to the Manufacturer for not making 

T-bars tamper proof?

 

If you put new tires on your vehicle that are not within the manufacturers tire size specs,  and you are

involved in an accident that is not your fault, can you be liable for the accident, or the tire manufacturer, or the person who installed them on your vehicle at the local tire store?

 

..........Widder

 

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Any time that you make any modification to a firearm you are on your own.  In fact, any time you use a firearm you are on your own. 


Blackfoot

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I've worried about this issue.   I have made custom base pins for our Uberti Cattleman with stupid two position safety notches.  But kepted the old pins to reinstall if they are sold to someone else.  A one minute change back to factory. 

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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362

 You can always be held liable for you actions. That is why I am incorporated as an individual. I own nothing. Helps a bit ,build layers of protection. and I have a trust  :FlagAm:

 

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Ok In California
1. Single action revolvers are exempt from the drop test
2. Private party transfers through and FFL are exempt of the drop test
3. There is no law written that I know of that would make it illegal to do so
4. You can be sued for anything.

Personally i'd have no issues removing a T bar. But if it were me, I'd a bought a gun with a fixed firing pin

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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362
2 minutes ago, Son of the Midnight Star said:

Ok 
1. Single action revolvers are exempt from the drop test
2. Private party transfers through and FFL are exempt of the drop test
3. There is no law written that I know of that would make it illegal to do so
4. You can be sued for anything.

Personally i'd have no issues removing a T bar. But if it were me, I'd a bought a gun with a fixed firing pin

  a few states require drop tests on Single action revolvers

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What if I modified the weapon?  Gun Modification leading to gunshot injuries

Modifications are common; however this can waive certain merchant liability issues. When the weapon is modified from its original manufacturer setting, then they may not be held liable for the defect of the weapon. However, certain type of trigger modifications, magazine modification, sight modifications or other firearm modifications can hold the seller liable.

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Transfer bar removal on a CAS gun, knowing the potential risks and weighing the possible benefit and only using said gun in CAS is one thing.

 

Transfer bar removal for a Ruger or other similarly equipped revolver for concealed carry, etc... a whole 'nuther can o worms, IMO.

 

 

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They’re not in mine, nor is there a lever safety in my ‘73. I don’t lose any sleep over it.

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1 hour ago, Son of the Midnight Star said:

 
4. You can be sued for anything.
 

 

Indeed.

McDonalds was sued for coffee that was 'too hot'.

 

Subway was sued because their 'footlong' subs were not 12" long.

 

..........Widder

 

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Legal to do=yes.

Libel for ND=always, more so because you removed a safety device.

Ruger went to the t'bar after it lost a mega-buck lawsuit from a ND......

OLG

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A couple more thoughts:

 

OK, I just looked over my recent practice time sheets.  Using my two  New-model Vaqueros in .357 cal., and for a five shot all-hit string alternating between two targets, my elapsed time per shot has consistently run between 0.211 and 0.308 sec.  I have no way to measure the respective amounts of time used for gun operation, versus target acquisition, recoil recovery, etc., unless I run the same test without worrying about hitting targets and just work the gun at max speed under the timer.  (purely out of interest, I probably will try that) 

 

By way of contrast, my transfer times, changing between pistols (with timer also capturing the first shot of the second pistol) have run between 2.17 and 2.69 sec.. 

So I'm taking about the same time to transfer guns, as I'm requiring for eight or ten shots.    

 

So for me, I guess the question becomes whether shaving another 1/10 second or so, per 5 shot string, by removing the t-bar and short stroking the pistol, is worth the potential human and legal risks.  At my present ability level, I don't think so. 

 

I guess I am left wondering why Ruger or somebody hasn't marketed a stock Vaquero or other model for the SASS competition market--one that comes stock with a short stroke, has a 14# or less hammer spring, a lightweight, tough Titanium alloy transfer bar, all polished working surfaces, a wide and substantially lowered hammer spur, and an improved front sight. 

Just dreaming. 

Would you buy that gun, considering its increased production cost?  I certainly would be there in line, with money in hand. 

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4 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I guess I am left wondering why Ruger or somebody hasn't marketed a stock Vaquero or other model for the SASS competition market--one that comes stock with a short stroke, has a 14# or less hammer spring, a lightweight, tough Titanium alloy transfer bar, all polished working surfaces, a wide and lowered hammer spur, and an improved front sight. 

Just dreaming. 

Would you buy that gun, considering its increased production cost?  I certainly would be there in line, with money in hand. 

 

Market is too small. They'd need to sell 10,000 pair a year to justify setting all that up.  Let's just be thankful that they make a very nice revolver for our game and that their are some dang good smiths that can short stroke them at a decent price(for those that want a short stroke). 

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7 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

 

I guess I am left wondering why Ruger or somebody hasn't marketed a stock Vaquero or other model for the SASS competition market--one that comes stock with a short stroke, has a 14# or less hammer spring, a lightweight, tough Titanium alloy transfer bar, all polished working surfaces, a wide and lowered hammer spur, and an improved front sight. 

Just dreaming. 

Would you buy that gun, considering its increased production cost?  I certainly would be there in line, with money in hand. 

Ruger did make such before they got sued-Lawyers run all companies.

Ti will not hold up to the pounding. It will peen badly.

SASS/CAS is a very small gun market.....

OLG

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So here's something else to consider.

While you are concerned with the T bar on the pistols, while we are modifying triggers to the ounces of pull instead of pounds. All this said there is one thing that you must do. Muzzle discipline and awareness must never fail ever. A negligent discharge is because you failed, Not the weapon. You failed. Yes the are rare occasions of mechanical failure that cause an ND but for the most part they happen due to complacency 

My other shooting discipline will not allow the movement of weapon with out the action open and an ECI in place. Yes I get it revolvers are unloaded during the course of fire and rifle and shotguns are open when changing weapons and when coming off the line. One of the other issues I have is how the weapon are stored on carts. Muzzle up.  I shoot sporting clays every once in a while and the cart I use and range I use requires muzzles down actions open. 

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20 minutes ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

I won’t sell a Ruger with the transfer bar removed. Too much liability. 

And Ruger won't work on one either.....

Muzzle up is fine because the action are open.

SMS-have you shot a SASS event yet?

ND is shooter stupid-AD is mechanical failure hoping that muzzle discipline is in place.

OLG

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And lots not even mention removing a trigger block safety on a 1873...

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DUSTY,

 

Its my understanding that All of the Cowboy world record speed pistol runs were set with folks using Rugers with T-bars and factory hammers that were not short stroked.

 

A shorter hammer cock and shorter hammer fall doesn't automatically equate to faster speeds.

 

Heck, on any given day, you might even find someone who can shoot a Colt fast..... ;)

 

..........Widder

 

 

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Well, if anyone is afeered of their transfer bar removals I reckon Ruger would fix them up to factory lawyer approved safety spec for ya for free. :D

 

 

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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I've told this story before.   At a gun show a table had, along with the expected inventory of stuff, a pair of tricked out Ruger NMV.  I asked him who did the custom work. He didn't know anything about them. He was selling them for a widdow.  I pointed out that the transfer bars had been removed.  Well,  he didn't know anything about that.  The general public is pretty ignorant about guns.  I fear the next guy or the next guy or the one after that is going to just figure it's a Ruger,  it's safe to load 6. It's a sure as death and taxes, every one of these guns are going to change owners eventually.  

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Folks sue. And you could find a lawyer to sue over just about anything. We load our own ammo, correct? And I'm sure the dangerous "killing rounds" we load are much more dangerous than the "safe" factory loaded rounds. Silly, huh? So are many frivolous lawsuits, but lawyers try em and judges convict.

Hear about the guy (I know there was more than one) that broke in through the ceiling of the liquor store, fell and injured his back and sued the store owner?

Ridiculous! If you're afraid of legal liability over removing your transfer bars, you had better sell all your guns. They're dangerous, don't ya know. ;)

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4 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Folks sue. And you could find a lawyer to sue over just about anything. We load our own ammo, correct? And I'm sure the dangerous "killing rounds" we load are much more dangerous than the "safe" factory loaded rounds. Silly, huh? So are many frivolous lawsuits, but lawyers try em and judges convict.

Hear about the guy (I know there was more than one) that broke in through the ceiling of the liquor store, fell and injured his back and sued the store owner?

Ridiculous! If you're afraid of legal liability over removing your transfer bars, you had better sell all your guns. They're dangerous, don't ya know. ;)

What I posted, is  from one who has been involved in over a dozen civil suits in my life.

Everything from wrongful death(OIS when I was an LEO)to breach of contract etc.

I don't go look'n for trouble-I have learned to look over my shoulder a good bit........;)

That said-I have removed the cross-bolt safety in my Marlin 94.......Bring it on :lol:

OLG

 

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Marlin safety... What's that? :D

Still have T-bars btw, just haven't decided whether I want em gone or not.

I do all my own work (oh my, I'm not a certified gunsmith. More liability!) and haven't ventured into transfer bar removal yet.

My lg frame Vaqueros are pretty slick though...

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21 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

That said-I have removed the cross-bolt safety in my Marlin 94.......Bring it on :lol:

OLG

 

On the Marlin 1894s we have with cross bolt safeties,  I just put it in fire position and tightened down the detent screw.  Just take a minute to make it functional again. 

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You do realize that SASS rules require that we load the revolver with five rounds, hammer down on an empty chamber?  Same rule applies whether your revolvers have transfer bars (or some other passive drop-safe feature) or not.  For a match gun the transfer bar is pretty much a non-issue.

 

My match revolvers are Rugers with transfer bars intact, for what it's worth.

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9 hours ago, Son of the Midnight Star said:

One of the other issues I have is how the weapon are stored on carts. Muzzle up.  I shoot sporting clays every once in a while and the cart I use and range I use requires muzzles down actions open. 

 

Time for a refresher on firearms safety.  A muzzle up does not sweep anyone any more than a muzzle straight down. 

 

And it is MUCH more natural to carry muzzle up when you carry two long guns at once.  And you never have a sweep problem with muzzles up when you place guns into a cart, also muzzles up.

 

SASS has defined muzzle straight up as a suitably safe carry arrangement, either in hands or in cart.  Them's our rules.  And they work.

 

Good luck, GJ

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15 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Marlin safety... What's that? :D

Still have T-bars btw, just haven't decided whether I want em gone or not.

I do all my own work (oh my, I'm not a certified gunsmith. More liability!) and haven't ventured into transfer bar removal yet.

My lg frame Vaqueros are pretty slick though...

Just the clarify there is no such thing as a certified gunsmith as there is no certifying agency. 

You can be a degree'd gunsmith if you graduated from an accredited technical school with a AS degree. 
You can get a certificate that state you attended a training course such as an armors course.
But there is now certification process like a state licensed (insert trade name)

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8 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

Time for a refresher on firearms safety.  A muzzle up does not sweep anyone any more than a muzzle straight down. 

 

And it is MUCH more natural to carry muzzle up when you carry two long guns at once.  And you never have a sweep problem with muzzles up when you place guns into a cart, also muzzles up.

 

SASS has defined muzzle straight up as a suitably safe carry arrangement, either in hands or in cart.  Them's our rules.  And they work.

 

Good luck, GJ

Well if thats what sass  allows I'll go with it. 

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Oh, and they're firearms ... Guns... Rifles...etc,etc. Not weapons.

 

We're shooting targets... Course I guess the targets could consider them weapons:wacko:

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I am not a lawyer but swim with them daily as well as other dangerous things (like people, vehicles, boats, helicopters, weapons and such).

 

There are layers of liability.  And every time you do something (like remove a factory safety feature which is what a transfer bar w/o a doubt is) you peel a layer of protection away.  Even if the negligent discharge has nothing to do with the safety features removal.

 

The other person's lawyer will encourage the jury of your "willful disregard" and paint a bleak picture which can easily sway them into a lifetime of your wages garnished and reduction in your personal assets--and even prison if it appears criminal.  And of course, if the accident could have been prevented directly by the safety device if it was there?  Can you see how the case is now becoming beyond a doubt your fault?

 

Look, everyone does what they can, and accepts the liability that surrounds them. 

Get a blanket policy home or personal liability insurance (increased layers), and/or a pre-paid lawyers and do what you can to reduce your liability posture.

 

As always, YMMV--stay safe!

 

 

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