View Full Version : Interesting conversation with the CA DOJ...

10-26-2005, 5:37 PM
I had an interesting conversation with the CA DOJ today. I am building a new upper assembly for one of my SB23 registered AR's. It came about after speaking with a dealer about my parts order. One of the items I need is another LMT Carrier and Bolt group. He asked me if I wanted an AR15 or M16 carrier...:eek: I stated that I was not allowed to use a M16 carrier legally in my AR. He stated that I was incorrect and referred me to a letter from the BATF. According to the dealer...If the M16 carrier was the ONLY M16 item in the AR is OK to use as it still has no way to fire 3/S or Auto. Hence...the confusion started.

According to BATF Publication 5300.4. A M16 carrier is known as a "Machine Gun Part" and just that item in the AR makes it illegal. So...I spoke with other dealers and they also stated that the M16 carrier only was OK. I called the ATF and they could not answer whether having ONLY a M16 carrier with NO other M16 components (trigger group specifically) would be legal. They referred me to the CA DOJ. This is what the gentleman in the Firearms division said......:
“As long as the M16 carrier is NOT part of a SERIAL NUMBERED ASSEMBLY & CAN'T make the AR fire auto in any way, it is legal to use a M16 carrier". He stated that since the upper receiver is NOT serial numbered, it meets the requirement. The lower obviously would be a different story. So a DEFINATE YES to a M16 CARRIER in a AR from him.

The BATF letter I saw from Sterling Nixon, Chief, Firearms Technology Branch, dated Feb. 10, 2005, was much more ambiguous..After referring to 5300.4 that lists a M16 Carrier as a No-No machine gun part not to be used in an AR, Quote "We can only inform you this if this installation (M16 Carrier) were to create a firearm that fires automatically, it would be a MACHINE GUN as defined: conversely, if it DID NOT result in the production of a weapon that shoots automatically, it would be LAWFUL TO POSSESS AND MAKE".....:confused:

So...in the 5300.4 regs they say no...But they also say yes....:eek:

I asked the gentleman at the CA DOJ for a written confirmation of his statement. He requested that I email him and he would put something in writing but I have yet to receive it...:rolleyes:

So...any opinions...???????

10-26-2005, 6:10 PM
I think they worry more about the trigger. I had a g-3 bolt carrier that is in full auto, which I eventually converted to semi auto. Just to be safe.:D If you want a written letter, just write to him specifically. Just make sure he isn't a desk clerk, like Bill says.;)

Brass Balls
10-26-2005, 6:24 PM
I can't comment on your specific issue, however as a point of reference I have had to call the CA DOJ on two occasions and both times the people that I spoke with were helpful and returned calls promptly. I was pleasantly surprised.

10-26-2005, 6:24 PM
One thing that was pointed out to me on the AR15.COM forum is that Colt presently ships ALL their LE6920 AR's with M16 Carriers and Bolts...SO...you would think this would be a huge issue if it was wrong...

10-26-2005, 7:08 PM
:) :) ..Oh well...so much for Colt's theory as LOTS of civi's are buying them as well...LOL

10-26-2005, 8:08 PM
Seems like a big risk for something that wouldn't be much gain if you ask me.

10-26-2005, 9:09 PM
Well...most of the newer AR "enhanced" carriers I have seen and used have the shroud over the pin. Match shooters have been using a FA BCG for years and after much research over the last couple days and more so tonight on the AR forum it appears that a M16 carrier is in fact LEGAL to use in an AR as long as the weapon ONLY fires one round per trigger pull. I don't want to get into flame wars on here but the BATFE wording does not say it's illegal...just it's not advised...but as the CA DOJ source I spoke with said...If the weapon can't fire auto than it's legal. Even he BATFE has said this as well. They just always word stuff in a CYA manner. I have seen copies of BATFE correspondance as well to support this. I was actually told that there are going to be new revisions to address this very issue in the new BATFE regs. It's been a hot topics for years apparently.