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sammy
08-26-2007, 6:31 PM
Is it legal to posess a complete AR upper with a barrel less than 16" in length? If it is attached to a lower, I know it is not kosher here in CA. but just a complete upper by itself. Thanks, Sammy

AJAX22
08-26-2007, 6:35 PM
Not if you have posession of it and an AR lower or complete rifle at the same time.

However if you have a properly documented AR pistol you can have all the short barreled uppers you want.

or if you don't have an AR rifle or lower you can have all the uppers and short barrels that you want.

you just can't have both upper and rifle.

Do some reading up on federal constructive posession.

leelaw
08-26-2007, 6:36 PM
Under CA law: it's OK.

Under Fed law: it's illegal.

blkA4alb
08-26-2007, 6:39 PM
Only if you do not own the lower receiver that the upper attaches to.

Unlike the assault weapon laws constructive possession does apply to all NFA items. In other words if you own a lower and the upper, even if thousands of miles apart, you can be convicted of possessing a SBR or MG or whatever the items are.

blkA4alb
08-26-2007, 6:40 PM
Under CA law: it's OK.

Under Fed law: it's illegal.

I believe California has it's own constructive possession laws as well, in addition to the Federal laws?

AJAX22
08-26-2007, 6:51 PM
I believe California has it's own constructive possession laws as well, in addition to the Federal laws?

No, its my understanding that the concept of constructive posession does not apply to CA gun laws.

blkA4alb
08-26-2007, 7:09 PM
No, its my understanding that the concept of constructive posession does not apply to CA gun laws.

No, California does have its own constructive possession laws.

12020

(1) Manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any flechette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

(c)(1) As used in this section, a "short-barreled shotgun" means any of the following:
(A) A firearm which is designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell and having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.
(B) A firearm which has an overall length of less than 26 inches and which is designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell.
(C) Any weapon made from a shotgun (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length.
(D) Any device which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell which, when so restored, is a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C) inclusive.
(E) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C) inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, can be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

(2) As used in this section, a "short-barreled rifle" means any of the following:
(A) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(B) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(C) Any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(D) Any device which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive.
(E) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

Fjold
08-26-2007, 7:15 PM
Good catch there blkA4alb. I've been hearing "no constructive possession in CA" for so long that I've never looked it up before, I can see I'll have to re-read all this closer.

bwiese
08-26-2007, 7:16 PM
Is it legal to posess a complete AR upper with a barrel less than 16" in length? If it is attached to a lower, I know it is not kosher here in CA. but just a complete upper by itself. Thanks, Sammy

WALK CAREFULLY, YOU ARE ON DANGEROUS TERRITORY. Here's the whole shebang:

[Note that an AR upper with a shorty (shorter than 16") barrel and a permanently attached muzzle device (flash hider, fake can, fake XM177 extension, etc.) that brings the overall length of bbl to 16" or more is not considered a shorty upper - and has the same legal standing as an upper with a 16" or longer bbl. ("Permanent" methods of attachment are specified by ATF and involve pinned & welded or 1200deg silver solder etc.)]

You can indeed possess a "shorty" AR upper (i.e, one with an under-16" barrel).

HOWEVER, you cannot possess this shorty upper when you also possess an AR lower. Even if they are not assembled together, and even if the shorty upper and the AR lower are at separate locations (i.e, one at your work, the other part at your summer home), you are "constructively possessing" an illegal non-NFA registered short-barreled rifle ("SBR").

'Constructive possession' of SBRs is a no-no under both CA and Federal laws.

The only other exception is if you legally owned an AR pistol as well: having a spare shorty upper would be OK. However, if you just had one AR pistol, and a buncha AR rifles and rifle receivers, possession of a whole buncha shorty uppers would smell unreasonable, and I would not recommend it at all. Also, AR pistols as reg'd AWs in CA are fairly rare (I'm betting you don't have one) and OLL AR pistols are difficult for most to have in CA due to 'safe handgun' laws and difficulty in transferring a pistol receiver other than PPT.

If for some reason you wanna get a shorty upper and convert it to min. 16" bbl length thru some sort of permanent muzzle attachment, I advise you to order it with this modification from the seller/vendor, or have such shorty upper sent to a smith to be worked on and modified before you receive it.

bwiese
08-26-2007, 7:17 PM
Good catch there blkA4alb. I've been hearing "no constructive possession in CA" for so long ....

The lack of CA constructive possession ONLY APPLIES TO ASSAULT WEAPONS MATTERS.

I think people here have been going a little hog-wild attempting (wrongly) to extrapolate from this.

California has constructive possession concepts for SBRs, SBSes and machineguns (and maybe silencers/parts, not sure) that essentially mimic Federal law.

[In fact, the clear expression at multiple points of the constructive possession concept for various firearm entities - 12020(c) for SBRs and SBSes and 12200PC for machineguns - clearly shows that CP doesn't exist for AWs and is added strength on top of Deputy AG Tim Rieger's letter to Chuck Michel. If the writers of SB23 had wanted constructive possession to exist for CA AWs, they could well have cut & pasted the language from 12020(c) SBR or SBS definition and threw it into 12276.1 definition (or 12280 penalty section).]

AJAX22
08-26-2007, 7:18 PM
I stand corrected, It seems that california decided to copy a chunk of federal law into its own penal code.

blkA4alb
08-26-2007, 7:20 PM
...California has constructive possession concepts for SBRs, SBSes and machineguns (and maybe silencers/parts, not sure) that essentially mimic Federal law.

When I was browsing the law I didn't see anything regarding suppressors. But don't take my word as absolute that it doesn't exist.

6172crew
08-26-2007, 7:24 PM
Like my friend said I think the concept of constructive possession in CA applies to making AWs not class3 goods.

AWs dont matter to Feds but the Feds still have issues with any FA parts being near a semi auto system without a tax stamp and even then there was a guy who had issues with having too many parts for his SBR near his pistol and was hooked by the man. I saw a thread in the for sale forum about subgun/pistol type barrels and until I had a pistol lower Id make sure the barrel was at grandma's pad until I was sure Iggy couldn't hamstring me over my best intentions.

bwiese
08-26-2007, 7:25 PM
When I was browsing the law I didn't see anything regarding suppressors. But don't take my word as absolute that it doesn't exist.

Yeah, not sure either and too lazy to look it up.

Federally, you don't want your "fake can" to be too easy to drop washers into ;)

I continually advocate folks not to dress up their ARs with useless 'fake cans'. It's just too much tempting bait for cops, if questions ever arise, for them not to have to seize gun to investigate whether it's real or not. An increasing number of CA cops don't care about AW issues - and many own OLL-based rifles too - but silencer/MG stuff crosses the threshold.

bwiese
08-26-2007, 7:27 PM
Like my friend said I think the concept of constructive possession in CA applies to making AWs not class3 goods.



Chris, I think you typed it backwards - you shoulda said,

"...I think the concept of constructive possession in CA applies to Class 3 goods and not AWs"

BTW, great having lunch with you at Reno show! Too bad I missed Carson City shoot, but I wasn't up there by myself.