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View Full Version : Bringing reconfigured SBR OLL into CA?


scobun
10-08-2009, 7:14 PM
If someone owns an off-list lower outside of CA that is legally registered as an Short Barreled Rifle, can they bring it into California if it has been changed over to a PRK-compliant 16in barrel and fixed mag set up or a featureless build? Or is it always verboten here, even if it isn't actually a SBR by feature?

Splinter
10-08-2009, 7:16 PM
Since its just a lower and off list i dont see the problem.

scobun
10-08-2009, 7:19 PM
Since its just a lower and off list i dont see the problem.

I don't either, but common sense and firearms law don't always go hand in hand. Now I have to go tie my machine guns on my shoes and get the mail.

Toolfreak66
10-08-2009, 7:21 PM
Is it registered by a state or Federal (obviously I don't know much about SBRs). If state then it shouldn't be a problem. If federal, then maybe.

ke6guj
10-08-2009, 7:22 PM
I have seen BATF opinion letters that say that if you have an SBR and you put a 16+" barrel, and are over 26", that you do not need to have permission to transport it across state lines, since it is currently not an SBR. But, IIRC, there are conflicting letters that say you still need a 5320.20 filed, even if it isn't an SBR.

I'd suggest looking at some of the NFA-centric forums for more info about needing, or not needing, a 5320.20 on a registered SBR that is not in an SBR configuration.

Once you comply with federal law, then you deal with CA-law. I'd assumethat if the firearm is not currently an SBR, and you don't have constructive possession of an SBR, then you would not have violated CA-law, even if you have a NFA-registered SBR receiver.


I'm assuming you don't want to cancel the SBR registration by setting it up in an non-NFA config and then having BATF cancel the registration. Having a former SBR shouldn't be a crime anywhere. You also wouldn't need to worry about a 5320.20 either. But, if you wanted to re-SBR it, you'd have to do the paperwork again, and spend $200 again, to re-SBR it.

scobun
10-08-2009, 7:50 PM
I have seen BATF opinion letters that say that if you have an SBR and you put a 16+" barrel, and are over 26", that you do not need to have permission to transport it across state lines, since it is currently not an SBR. But, IIRC, there are conflicting letters that say you still need a 5320.20 filed, even if it isn't an SBR.

I'd suggest looking at some of the NFA-centric forums for more info about needing, or not needing, a 5320.20 on a registered SBR that is not in an SBR configuration.

Once you comply with federal law, then you deal with CA-law. I'd assumethat if the firearm is not currently an SBR, and you don't have constructive possession of an SBR, then you would not have violated CA-law, even if you have a NFA-registered SBR receiver.


I'm assuming you don't want to cancel the SBR registration by setting it up in an non-NFA config and then having BATF cancel the registration. Having a former SBR shouldn't be a crime anywhere. You also wouldn't need to worry about a 5320.20 either. But, if you wanted to re-SBR it, you'd have to do the paperwork again, and spend $200 again, to re-SBR it.

Unfortunately, it isn't my rifle. :( However, you've given me some ideas for more questions. :)

The person who is considering bringing it to visit definitely doesn't want to cancel the SBR registration. If I own an AR pistol and they come to stay with me and shoot with me, does that pose problems for them legally? What if I have both 9mm and 5.56 pistol uppers and only one registered pistol lower? They are mine, and wouldn't ever go on his lower, EVER, but would having his still registered but legally configured SBR lower in the same house or at the same range as my AR pistol be constructive possession?

I have another question now. My parents have a family trust, to which I am a trustee, and they live in an NFA friendly state. If I put one of my lowers that I bought in CA into their trust holdings, and then registered it as an SBR, could I bring it back to my home and keep it in a CA-legal configuration, and then take it with me to their home on visits and slap on an SBR upper? I'm assuming that the AR pistol and the two uppers would make that a no-go and that the SBR'd lower would have to stay out of state, or I'd have to sell the AR pistol and uppers I own here to avoid constructive posession.

Thanks, ke6guj. I'm still jealous of your CA-legal SBS, and have a Remington Model 11 that I really, REALLY think of doing terrible, terrible things to. What NFA forums are out there to take a look at for more info?

ke6guj
10-08-2009, 8:06 PM
Unfortunately, it isn't my rifle. :( However, you've given me some ideas for more questions. :)

The person who is considering bringing it to visit definitely doesn't want to cancel the SBR registration. If I own an AR pistol and they come to stay with me and shoot with me, does that pose problems for them legally? What if I have both 9mm and 5.56 pistol uppers and only one registered pistol lower? They are mine, and wouldn't ever go on his lower, EVER, but would having his still registered but legally configured SBR lower in the same house or at the same range as my AR pistol be constructive possession? lots of grey area there relating to constructive possession. I'd assume that if you had any extra pistol uppers locked up where he had no access to, that that would be good enough. Basically, same rules should apply as they do for non-NFA stuff. For example, if he brought a regular, non-SBR registered, CA-legal AR rifle with him, would he be in constructive possession of an SBR because you personally own AR-pistol uppers that could possibly be used on his rifle? Does the fact that his SBR-registered lower had been an SBR in the past automatically make it an SBR when ever there is a pistol upper near by, even if it is attached to your pistol lower? I doubt it.

But, I'd suggest that if he had any non-SBR'ed lowers, to bring them instead of the SBR lower. Just to minimize those issues. Plus, I'm not sure about a 5320.20 not being needed, since there are conflicting opinion letters out there AFAIK.

I have another question now. My parents have a family trust, to which I am a trustee, and they live in an NFA friendly state. If I put one of my lowers that I bought in CA into their trust holdings, and then registered it as an SBR, could I bring it back to my home and keep it in a CA-legal configuration, and then take it with me to their home on visits and slap on an SBR upper? I'm assuming that the AR pistol and the two uppers would make that a no-go and that the SBR'd lower would have to stay out of state, or I'd have to sell the AR pistol and uppers I own here to avoid constructive posession.more grey areas here that you need to make sure you comply with both CA and federal laws with. First off, I'd suggest not using your family trust as an NFA vessal, but to use a separate NFA trust just for firearms.

Thanks, ke6guj. I'm still jealous of your CA-legal SBS, and have a Remington Model 11 that I really, REALLY think of doing terrible, terrible things to. What NFA forums are out there to take a look at for more info?www.AR15.com , www.subguns.com , www.m4carbine.net , www.silencertalk.com , www.uzitalk.com and probably others, have NFA-specific forums where the legalities of all this are talked about in detail.