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Member of prominent farming family faces felony weapons charges

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The District Attorney's office filed a dozen felony gun charges Thursday against a member of a prominent farming family. 

According to court documents, the California Department of Justice raided Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann's home last month, after he tried to register an illegally modified gun online through the state's website. 

What they found in his home, led to the DA filing charges: a dozen guns, 230 rounds of ammunition and two silencers seized from Jeffrey Scott Kirschenmann's home in a gated community in Northwest Bakersfield. 

Records from the Secretary of State's office list Kirschenmann as the CEO of Scott Kirschenmann Farms, Inc. -- with the same lamont mailing address as Kirschenmann Farms, Inc. -- the local grower known for its potatoes used by Frito Lay to make chips. 

Kirschenmann is out on $150,000 bail, accused of 12 felonies for possessing assault rifles, silencers and a multi-burst trigger activator. 

We went to Kirschenmann's home Thursday afternoon to speak with him about the case, but there was no answer.

According to court documents, the DOJ began investigating Kirschenmann when he electronically submitted photos of an illegally modified AR-15-style firearm.  

Retired KCSO Commander Joe Pilkington is a court recognized firearms expert. He could not speak directly to Kirschenmann's case but says the laws are changing so frequently, it's often hard to keep up with the latest regulations. 

"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."

A new state law requires assault-style weapons be registered by the end of June. 

Pilkington recommends anyone who isn't sure about the process go through a federally 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. Someone who has a license, to talk through whatever these complications are."

Kirschenmann is scheduled to appear in court Monday.


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