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View Full Version : A bit of clarity on legal AR's.


Soliner
12-05-2009, 6:11 PM
Hello Cal-guns, this is my first post, and hopefully one of many to contribute to this forum.
To start off; I don't own an AR- not yet at least. I've read all the beginner guides and advice, looked over the flow chart, read over the legal mumbo jumbo, and looked through a few posts and threads concerning the legality of AR's. At this point I feel that I have a fairly firm grasp on what is and isn't allowed within the state of California.
I would, however, like to make this post asking or rather confirming that my knowledge is sound and above all legal within California's borders (certainty being obviously important in a legal matter such as this).
I may own an AR type rifle with "evil" features such as a threaded barrel, flash hider, collapsible stock, and pistol grip so long as the lower receiver is on the "off list", a barrel that is 16" long with an overall profile no less than 30 inches and an operation that renders the magazine "fixed" to the firearm and requiring the use of a tool to remove, i.e. a "bullet button".
Is that correct so far, if not, then please correct me.
Thank you for your time and effort.

NeoWeird
12-05-2009, 6:13 PM
That is correct. Also, threaded barrels on rifles are not regulated in anyway. Even on featureless builds, threaded barrels are still 100% legal. Also note that if you build a non-centerfire AR type rifle, such as a .22 conversion, it would only need to be 26" in length or longer and could use any evil feature you wanted, including removable magazine. This is because rimfires are not regulated as assault weapons in California. Also be aware that overall length is measured in the SHORTEST opperating length possible with the firearm. That means stocks collapsed and/or folded. Federal law differs from this as ATF measures stocks open, but the California DOJ measure them closed.

Welcome to the forums!

Tragic Image
12-05-2009, 6:15 PM
correct.

threaded OK on a "featureless" build, but flash hider is No Go

Flash Hider on a fixed magazine is OK to Go

Soliner
12-05-2009, 6:19 PM
That is correct. Also, threaded barrels on rifles are not regulated in anyway. Even on featureless builds, threaded barrels are still 100% legal. Also note that if you build a non-centerfire AR type rifle, such as a .22 conversion, it would only need to be 26" in length or longer and could use any evil feature you wanted, including removable magazine. This is because rimfires are not regulated as assault weapons in California. Also be aware that overall length is measured in the SHORTEST opperating length possible with the firearm. That means stocks collapsed and/or folded. Federal law differs from this as ATF measures stocks open, but the California DOJ measure them closed.

Welcome to the forums!

Duly noted on both the rimfire and "operating length" , Neoweird, your information is greatly appreciated.

aermotor
12-05-2009, 6:20 PM
Remember the 10 round mag law as well, unless you have preban mags of course.

aplinker
12-05-2009, 6:20 PM
I would add it needs to be semi-auto (as opposed to a MG) and that the mag capacity must be 10rds or less when using a BB.

If you possessed >10rd mags in CA prior to Y2K, then you can use them in a featureless rifle.

Soliner
12-05-2009, 6:24 PM
Also, I would like to add that I live near the Nevada border, and shoot exclusively within Nevada.
Would anyone here know if I would have any problems concerning the legality of my AR within the state of Nevada, or if I could be penalized for the use of "high capacity" magazines in Nevada being that I'm still a California resident?

reidnez
12-05-2009, 6:29 PM
Also, I would like to also add that I live near the Nevada border, and shoot exclusively within Nevada.
Would anyone here know if I would have any problems concerning the legality of my AR within the state of Nevada, or if I could be penalized for the use of "high capacity" magazines in Nevada being that I'm still a California resident?

Nope, not an issue. Possession of the magazines is not controlled, only acquisition, and it is perfectly legal to buy and possess rebuild kits (disassembled magazines). In fact, you could buy one of the "easily reversible" magazine locks such as the Raddlock, and some 30-round rebuild kits...just make sure that you keep the magazine lock engaged, and the kits disassembled at all times while in California!!! As soon as you cross the NV border, rock and roll. That is definitely what I would be doing if I lived near the border.

Soliner
12-05-2009, 6:36 PM
Nope, not an issue. Possession of the magazines is not controlled, only acquisition, and it is perfectly legal to buy and possess rebuild kits (disassembled magazines). In fact, you could buy one of the "easily reversible" magazine locks such as the Raddlock, and some 30-round rebuild kits...just make sure that you keep the magazine lock engaged, and the kits disassembled at all times while in California!!! As soon as you cross the NV border, rock and roll. That is definitely what I would be doing if I lived near the border.

That's great! So if I were to hop over to Nevada and purchase some 30 rounders in cash, it's legal to own them in California as long as I am not using them?
Also, I do not plan on living in California permanently, and am wondering if in the future it is possible to remove the "bullet button" or is it a permanent modification to the lower receiver?

NeoWeird
12-05-2009, 6:42 PM
I would suggest that if you do travel to a different state, travel with the upper seperated from the lower. It's not legally required, but it makes things easier.

Say you use a conversion that allows you to switch back if you leave the state. Forgetting that your wrench is in the mag lock, or putting a magnet on the bullet button, etc would make it an assault weapon in California. That simple laps of judgment could equate to SEVERAL felonies (posession, manufacturing, transporting, etc) while in the state of California. However, if seperate, neither is an assault weapon regardless of configuration. It's just smart to transport them home that way if you leave the state and use them in a way that is regulated in California. Once you are home, you can clean them (they are already apart too) and make sure that they are legally configured while you're not being distracted by range talk, the rush to get home, etc. Then you can put them back together for storage.

Just my personal preference, but I think it's a good habit to build.

aplinker
12-05-2009, 6:44 PM
That's great! So if I were to hop over to Nevada and purchase some 30 rounders in cash, it's legal to own them in California as long as I am not using them?
Also, I do not plan on living in California permanently, and am wondering if in the future it is possible to remove the "bullet button" or is it a permanent modification to the lower receiver?

bullet button isn't permanent. You might want to consider a Raddlock.

You can not bring >10rd mags into CA (felony). You can break them down into components and assemble them ONLY when out of state.

EBR Works
12-05-2009, 6:44 PM
That's great! So if I were to hop over to Nevada and purchase some 30 rounders in cash, it's legal to own them in California as long as I am not using them? Yes, as long as they remain disassembled in California.


Also, I do not plan on living in California permanently, and am wondering if in the future it is possible to remove the "bullet button" or is it a permanent modification to the lower receiver? Easily removed and original mag release reinstalled.



...

ke6guj
12-05-2009, 6:45 PM
That's great! So if I were to hop over to Nevada and purchase some 30 rounders in cash, it's legal to own them in California as long as I am not using them?Even if you aren't "using" theim in CA, it would be a crime to import functioning large-capacity magazines into CA. They have to be disassembled before you bring them into CA, and must stay dissassembled while in CA. It is a crime to manufacture large-capacity magiznes while in Ca.

Also, I do not plan on living in California permanently, and am wondering if in the future it is possible to remove the "bullet button" or is it a permanent modification to the lower receiver?

it is removable.

Soliner
12-05-2009, 6:48 PM
I would suggest that if you do travel to a different state, travel with the upper seperated from the lower. It's not legally required, but it makes things easier.

Say you use a conversion that allows you to switch back if you leave the state. Forgetting that your wrench is in the mag lock, or putting a magnet on the bullet button, etc would make it an assault weapon in California. That simple laps of judgment could equate to SEVERAL felonies (posession, manufacturing, transporting, etc) while in the state of California. However, if seperate, neither is an assault weapon regardless of configuration. It's just smart to transport them home that way if you leave the state and use them in a way that is regulated in California. Once you are home, you can clean them (they are already apart too) and make sure that they are legally configured while you're not being distracted by range talk, the rush to get home, etc. Then you can put them back together for storage.

Just my personal preference, but I think it's a good habit to build.

I definitely will follow this rule once I have an AR.
Thank you again for the advice.

Soliner
12-05-2009, 6:55 PM
bullet button isn't permanent. You might want to consider a Raddlock.

You can not bring >10rd mags into CA (felony). You can break them down into components and assemble them ONLY when out of state.

I've looked up the Raddlock before, and that is definitely what I'll be going with for my AR.
One other question pertaining to the magazine release/Raddlock/lower receiver;
Obviously if I buy an "off-the-list" lower it's going to be illegal in CA still until the "bullet button" is installed.
Does the manufacturer/FFL holder install this on the lower for me and complete the necessary paperwork proving the rifle legal or what? Could anyone shed some light on this process for me?
Finally, since the lower receiver is the part recognized as the "firearm" I assume I'm going to have to wait 10 days to pick it up from an FFL, but am I able to buy/order upper receivers, stocks, barrels, flash hiders, trigger kits, etc. without an FFL into CA?

DarkHorse
12-05-2009, 7:19 PM
A lower receiver by itself is not a semi-automatic centerfire rifle, therefore a stripped lower does not need a fixed-magazine device of anykind.

You buy the stripped lower by itself, then add the device later on, before you completely assemble your rifle.

ETA - The lower receiver is the only part that has to go through an FFL, so all other parts can be bought through storefronts or online, with no FFL involvement.

oaklander
12-05-2009, 7:29 PM
Go featureless - even with 10 round mags, it's nice being able to drop the mag without a tool. . .

http://i46.tinypic.com/be7t5w.jpg

Soliner
12-05-2009, 7:44 PM
A lower receiver by itself is not a semi-automatic centerfire rifle, therefore a stripped lower does not need a fixed-magazine device of anykind.

You buy the stripped lower by itself, then add the device later on, before you completely assemble your rifle.

ETA - The lower receiver is the only part that has to go through an FFL, so all other parts can be bought through storefronts or online, with no FFL involvement.

That's great to know DarkHorse, thank you for the information.