California man arrested over 19th century pistol

Daylight! Hangover! #facepalm" by whatleydude is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

Ages ago, my family got into Civil War reenactment. As a result, we had tons of catalogs laying around that had all manner of stuff from around that time.

Obviously, I liked the guns.


Perhaps my favorite, based purely on aesthetics, was the pepperbox revolver. If you’re unfamiliar with it, think of a Gatling gun in your hand and you’ve got a good idea of what it looked like, though the operation was very, very different.

The guns aren’t really a thing in this day and age, yet apparently, you can still get arrested for having one in California.

Just after 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, officials with the Redding Police Department said their officers were called to the Burger King off of Eureka Way for a report of a man seen walking around with a handgun on his bag. Officers said they responded to the area and contacted the suspect, identified as Ryan Battles.

After searching Battles’s bag, police said they found an antique black-powdered pepperbox revolver, black powder and iron pellets.

Of course, the media called it a “musket-style pistol,” which makes little sense.

Battles was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Now, with all that said, yes, there is more to the story. For one thing, police believe Battles stole the gun in the first place. Apparently, he’s not much of a history buff or something. Either way, if the gun is in fact stolen, I’m all for putting Battles under the jail, metaphorically, of course.

I cannot abide a thief, but especially not a gun thief.

Yet I can’t help but chuckle about someone ultimately being arrested for carrying an 18th-century revolver, something not that different from what anti-gunners routinely tell us the Second Amendment is really protecting.


Again, Battles isn’t actually charged with having a stolen gun. They just think it’s stolen. While they’re probably right, they still arrested a man for carrying an antique, muzzle-loaded revolver that apparently wasn’t even loaded.

Only in California.

OK, not just in California, of course, but you know what I mean.

Still, if they believe it to be legitimately stolen, they need evidence that it wasn’t his gun. I don’t know that they have that, which also means it’s possible that Battles is innocent of that accusation.

Either way, though, this looks like it could be a surprisingly interesting case. I clicked on it because the headline looked weird and I’m a fan of pepperbox pistols, so seeing the picture made it obvious that I’d talk about this one.

But there are a lot of layers to this one that hasn’t really been uncovered as of this writing. I’d say it’ll be interesting to see how all of this shakes out, but it’s California. Even if the gun belonged to Battles lawfully, he’s still getting prosecuted for not having a carry permit at a minimum. As such, we know how it will ultimately shake out. It should still be pretty fascinating to watch in that trainwreck kind of way.

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