Do you want an AOW or C&R SBS/SBR in CA?
Well, if you look at the CA penal code, there are a couple exemptions to the AOW/SBS/SBR prohibitions in 12020. A couple of the 12020 exemptions do not require CA DOJ permission to acquire an AOW/SBS/SBR, just Federal NFA permission. If we follow the pertinent code (cleaned up to remove non-relevant code) regarding short barrel shotguns and rifles, we see the following:
12001.5. Except as expressly provided in Section 12020, and solely in accordance with Section 12020, no person may manufacture, import into this state, keep for sale, offer for sale, give, lend, or possess any short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle, as defined in Section 12020, and nothing else in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing the manufacture, importation into this state, keeping for sale, offering for sale, or giving, lending, or possession of any short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle, as defined in Section 12020.
12001.5 basically state that SBS/SBR are illegal unless allowed per 12020.
12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any of the following is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison:
(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 firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container,… any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle ..... any unconventional pistol
12020a basically reiterates that AOW/SBS/SBR are illegal with the following exemptions.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
(2) The manufacture, possession, transportation or sale of short-barreled shotguns or short-barreled rifles when authorized by the Department of Justice pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 12095) of this chapter and not in violation of federal law.
(7) Any firearm or ammunition that is a curio or relic as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations and which is in the possession of a person permitted to possess the items pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(8) Any other weapon as defined in subsection (e) of Section 5845 of Title 26 of the United States Code and which is in the possession of a person permitted to possess the weapons pursuant to the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-618), as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto. …. The exemption provided in this subdivision does not apply to pen guns.
12020b lists exemptions to the prohibitions in 12001.5 and 12020a.
12020b2 allows possession if you get a permit from the CA DOJ per 12095.
12020b7 allows possession if the firearm is a C&R SBS/SBR as defined by the NFA and is properly registered per the NFA.
12020b8 allows possession if the firearm is an AOW (with the exception of pen guns) as defined by the NFA and is properly registered per the NFA.
ARTICLE 6. PERMITS
12095. (a) If it finds that it does not endanger the public safety, the Department of Justice may issue permits initially valid for a period of one year, and renewable annually thereafter, for the manufacture, possession, transportation, or sale of short-barreled shotguns or short-barreled rifles upon a showing that good cause exists for the issuance thereof to the applicant for the permit. No permit shall be issued to a person who is under 18 years of age.
(b) Good cause, for the purposes of this section, shall be limited to only the following:
(1) The permit is sought for the manufacture, possession, or use with blank cartridges, of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, solely as props for a motion picture, television, or video production or entertainment event.
(2) The permit is sought for the manufacture of, exposing for sale, keeping for sale, sale of, importation or lending of short-barreled rifles or short-barreled shotguns to the entities listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 12020 by persons who are licensed as dealers or manufacturers under the provisions of Chapter 53 (commencing with Section 5801) of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
This is the code pertaining to DOJ-issued permits, which, as long as we comply with 12020b7/8, we are exempted from. So, if we are exempt ourselves from 12095 by complying with 12020b7/8, we still need comply with the NFA. We do that by submitting in duplicate, 2 sets of the NFA Form 1 or Form 4 along with 2 sets of fingerprints and photos. You will also need to pay the transfer fee for the tax stamp. The stamp costs $200 for any Form 1 (application to make an NFA weapon such as an AOW, SBS, or SBR) or a Form 4 (application to transfer an existing C&R SBS or SBR). An AOW on a Form 4 transfers for $5 instead of $200.
Part of the process is to get your CLEO to sign-off on your application. The CLEO is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of your area, usually your Sheriff or Chief of Police. Other people are also acceptable to do signoffs per the ATF, such as the District Attorney or Judges. If the CLEO is unwilling to sign-off, which they can refuse to do for any reason, there are other ways to get an approved Form 1/4 without a CLEO sign-off.
Those ways would include submitting the Form1/4 using a Corporation or Trust. As a legal entity, they are not required to get a CLEO sign-off or submit fingerprints or photos. When you submit your Form 1/4 application, you will need to submit your Corp/Trust documents to prove that it is a legal entity.
The ATF will do a background check on you and if you pass, which if you can buy a regular gun, you should, they will mark the Form 1/4 approved, retain one of the Forms in the ATF's files, and attach a cancelled tax stamp to the other Form. That Form with the cancelled tax stamp will be returned to you as your "permission slip" from the ATF showing that you are legal.
There may be a couple minor points I missed along the way, but the overall procedure is laid out.
Now that we have the legal requirements laid out, we can get into the fun stuff. What can we do with this info? Well, once we know what we want, we either build our own 12020b7/8-exempt NFA firearm on a Form 1, or find a local Class 3 dealer that is willing to work with us to transfer the 12020b7/8-exempt firearm on a Form 4 to us.
Under 12020b8, we can build/buy an AOW, which are weapons that don’t really fall into the pistol, rifle, or shotgun mold. The most common example would be the short-barrel shotgun-type weapons that don't have a shoulder-stock and have never had a shoulder-stock. An Example would be the Serbu Super-Shorty. Some Combo guns with a shotgun and rifle barrels less than 18" are AOW.
Pen guns fall are AOW, but they don't fall under the 12020b8 exemption. They are specifically excluded from the 12020b8 exemption. But other types of gadget guns like cane/crutch/flashlight guns should be exempt.
Under 12020b7, if we want a SBS or SBR, it needs to be a curio & relic as defined by the ATF. A C&R is defined as:
To be recognized by ATF as a C&R firearm, a firearm must fall into at least one of the following three categories:
1. Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;
2. Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest;
3. Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
If you find an existing C&R SBS/SBR, you can transfer it on a Form4.
For CA and Michigan (has a similar law requiring C&R SBS/SBR), The ATF has approved the making of an SBS/SBR on a Form 1 out of existing C&R firearms.seems that this method is no longer acceptable to ATF.
These exemptions only apply to AOWs and C&R SBS/SBR. There are no C&R exemptions for Machineguns, DDs, or AWs. There is a C&R exemption for 50BMG rifles. CA’s DD rules start at .60”, so if you wanted a DD between .51” and .60”, you would only need to get ATF approval, not CA DOJ.
The ATF will not approve any transfer that would violate state law.
AOW-legal hosts include Mossberg Cruiser PG-only shotguns or Remington 870 model 24823. Don't know of other modern shotguns sold with PG-only. New AOW option is a fixed-mag pistol build like a AK, AR, or HK51 with a Vertical Forward Grip. With a fixed-mag, it is not an AW and you can get an AOW Form 1 to put a VFG on it.
CA NFA trust atty.
possible ATF change on C&R SBS/SBR Form 1
List of public-friendly CA NFA dealers willing to sell to the public