View Full Version : 50 BMG marked lower....

10-04-2007, 10:40 AM
Ok gents,

Disclaimer: I in no way shape or form intend to break California law. My question here is purely academic in intent to better understand to what legal extent markings would alter or change the legality of a given item.

So, my question to you is, keeping in mind that in the eyes of the law a receiver is a firearm, would a stripped AR-15 lower, caliber marked as being "50 BMG" be considered a 50 bmg rifle? If not, and considering constructive possession does not apply, would it be legal to possess said lower while in possession of a matching upper in 50 bmg?

10-04-2007, 10:52 AM
The markings bear no legal meaning what so ever, they're purely cosmetic. Some people get fussier when using a lower marked .22 for their evil .22 builds, but legally, it means nothing.

A lower marked "20mm HE only" would still be fully legal, at least until you slap a 20mm upper on it ;)

10-04-2007, 10:52 AM
Fairly grey territory but...

The mitigating thing is that a receiver is not the gun for CA AW/50BMG purposes.

Legislative analysis during course of AB2728 last year indicated there was significant doubt that bare receivers could be listed. Even 'named' receivers do not have the ability to fire; 12276 Roberti-Roos list bans named semiautomatic guns and not just receivers. Receivers are not 'rifles' until stocks and bbls attached.

Possessing a separated 50BMG upper from an OLL is not a crime, because constructive possession does not apply to 50BMGs or AWs.

The above are solid elements of a defense but should not be used to promote such conduct with 'weirdly marked receivers'. You could end up with a bad judge and/or end up like the LA FAL guy who removed the bolt from his Imbel instead of closing the gas port and removing gas piston (there's a difference btwn defective/broken rifle and one that's configured to operate in only a certain manner).

IMHO, it's pretty un-bright to put your head in the noose by having:
(1) 50BMG markings on receiver even if not 50BMG;
(2) full-auto markings on receiver even if receiver can't accept FA parts;
(3) fake silencers/ "cans": just smells bad, may require deeper LE examination of gun
(4) markings too close to anything on Kasler or Roberti-Roos lists - like playing games with "(all)", hyphenation, mispelled brand or model names.

People with legal-but-evil-appearing off-list rifles already need to be verbally agile and able to cite book, chapter and verse of 12276.1PC and 11 CCR 5469 regulations. Why add more elements to be explained away during a stressful traffic stop?

10-04-2007, 12:28 PM

I agree that its not a wise or prudent thing to attempt, nor do I intend to do so. Its just a question that popped into my mind and thought I would bring it forward as I have not been able to find anything simialar via the search function.

10-04-2007, 12:49 PM
If the gun cannot chamber and fire a .50 BMG round, then it is not banned...period. Receiver can say anything it wants.

12278. (a) As used in this chapter, a ".50 BMG rifle" means a
center fire rifle that can fire a .50 BMG cartridge and is not
already an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276, 12276.1, or
12276.5, or a machinegun, as defined in Section 12200.

10-04-2007, 6:18 PM
Unless its on the C&R List .............muhahaha

10-04-2007, 6:58 PM
If the gun cannot chamber and fire a .50 BMG round, then it is not banned...period. Receiver can say anything it wants.

Tell that to Wes who got his receivers confiscated because they had the fun marking on them.

10-04-2007, 8:07 PM
Tell that Wes who got his receivers confiscated because they had the fun marking on them.

This is quite different as the .50 bmg Rifle ban is not making a determination if a stripped receiver is a gun or not or even if it could be made into a .50 bmg rifle. A ".50 BMG rifle" per the ban is solely determined by the ability of that gun to chamber a .50 bmg round. Having a "fun" marking on a receiver can cause an LEO to say "well maybe it is" a FA receiver, thereby giving him/her the legal PC to at least confiscate them for further determination. Having a stripped .50 bmg marked receiver cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, cause someone to believe it will fire a round, let alone a .50 bmg round! So without any signs of a PC (ie no barrel) there is really no way they can legally confiscate the receiver as being in violation of the ".50 BMG Rifle" ban.