Hmmmm, it is not really the state of CA doing the screwing, except in terms of the law. In this case, a mistake was made and the law was not followed. To blame CA in this case is much like blaming the police for getting a speeding ticket.
Yes, the customer would have been upset if they could not get it transferred, but it much worse that the transfer was done and now he might have to give it back. I suspect it is used now as well. If you can find a place to convert it properly to a Single Shot, then he would be able to get it back.
For some strange reason the bain of my existence is the M57. Many places claim that it is a C&R, but that is only if it was made over 50 years ago, but many of those were not. Many places are selling them claiming that it is a C&R when that is not the case. The selling FFL is not happy to learn that it is not actually a C&R and can't understand why they were told it was.
FFL Transfer/Special Order Dealer since 1993.
Net-FFL list maintainer.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. You waste your time and you annoy the pig. - Robert A. Heinlein