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Old 01-01-2009, 6:16 PM
bwiese's Avatar
bwiese bwiese is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Jose
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Default ATTENTION: Rock River Arms rifle & LAR-15 lower owners (AND FFLs!)

Various matters relating to Rock River Arms rifles and the poor construction of the Kasler list keep rearing their ugly heads.

And some newbie CA FFLs and/or their friendly out-of-state suppliers are getting a bit casual. (I think the original early-on OLL Leadership FFLs 'get it', and are not part of this issue.)

This is a very interesting situation where trivial cosmetic features that are not even related to 'characteristic features' in 12276.1PC could come into consideration.

Let's analyze and fix the situation....

  • Rock River Arms ("RRA") AR lowers are truly 'off-list' and legal to possess, acquire and to construct
    various legal rifle configurations upon.
  • The Kasler list (11 CCR 5499) of formally-identified, 'banned-by-name' AR/AK 'series' members includes the
    following banned RRA rifles, which nevertheless have OLL receivers marked with "Rock River Arms LAR-15"
    - Rock River Arms, Inc. Car A2
    - Rock River Arms, Inc. Car A4 Flattop
    - Rock River Arms, Inc. LE Tactical Carbine
    - Rock River Arms, Inc. NM A2 - DCM Legal
    - Rock River Arms, Inc. Standard A-2
    - Rock River Arms, Inc. Standard A-4 Flattop
    Such exact rifle configurations are regardable as 'named' assault weapons even though the receiver itself
    is an OLL ('off list')
    . Mere addition of a 'bullet button' may well not be effective at changing its status,
    though it could be argued that these specific models refer to rifles with fully-functional magwells & mag

  • FFLs should be wary of these matters and not ship/accept these specific rifles into CA regardless of BB
    installation or one minor change like a MonsterMan grip. It appears there are quite a few current RRA
    'generically described' models that differ from the banned items above and which would truly be 'off
    list' in the whole (as well as the receiver continuing to be off-list.) In the future, it'd be helpful if
    receipts and FFL books were to reflect the exact nature of a rifle (providing it's not one of the above
    'listed' items!)

  • Tons of other homebuilt 'parts guns' built on RRA receivers are also marked the same way ("RRA LAR-15").

  • There is no issue (other than the usual OLL-vs.-AW concerns) when RRA uppers are used on
    a non-RRA lower.

  • If one of the banned rifles above were questioned by busy LEOs, DAs/crime labs, etc. it's pretty likely
    they'd go with markings on magwell sideplate (RRA "LAR-15") - and not necessarily as one of the above.
    However, the chance does exist and it's not an infinitessimally small risk.

  • For safety's sake, one should simply not install one of the RRA upper assemblies on an RRA LAR15 lower
    receiver such that the end result would produce an exact duplicate of one of the Kasler-banned entities
    listed above.

  • Given that busy cops/DA/crime labs may have great difficulty in determining RRA uppers from identically-
    configured uppers from other mfgrs, it probably makes sense to not mimic the exact configuration one of
    the RRA banned rifles with a non-RRA upper assembly that looks really, really similar.

  • The RRA models banned on the Kasler list have specific features suites. (These may have had minor
    variations over time in their catalog/product line, I am not sure: a 2001 RRA, say, CAR A2 may have
    some differeces than, say, a 2004 or 2005 CAR A2.) To be absolutely pure, your rifle would need to
    be different than all prospective individual expressions by RRA of a given model - otherwise there's
    risk of "oops, your configuration is identical to that model back in 2002", etc.

    However, use of different stocks, handguards, muzzle devices, sights and grips from different mfgrs with
    the end result of visibly different appearing rifle would make such an RRA LAR15 rifle most certainly NOT
    one of the banned entities: those models refer to an exact configuration as sold/inventoried by RRA.

    (It can also be argued - at least tenuously - that an RRA 'parts gun', even though exactly duplicating a
    banned entity, is not the banned item because these RRA model names refer to factory-manufactured,
    factory-warranted guns. This would only be an element of a defense, and you shouldn't get here in the
    first place anyway!!)

    Note that Harrott requires clarity and make/model specificity, and if those names were to apply to multiple
    gun models with varying features, those banned entities would become in essence multiple "sub-series".
    However, we simply do not need divert ourselves to fight a "son-of-Harrott".

  • If you find yourself with a LAR15 rifle closely (or even closer!) approximating one of the named Kasler-banned
    entities above, immediately separate the upper from the lower. Make various changes to the upper: maybe a
    different sight set, change out flash hider vs. brake vs. thread protector, and differing handguards. The fact
    the bolt assy, barrel and upper receiver are still the same shouldn't be worrisome, as it appears these items
    are shared across multiple non-banned RRA platforms as well. Also, put a different grip and/or buttstock on the
    LAR15 lower. Just change out things so overall configuration is visibly different from the banned-by-name rifles.

  • For a fast solution, just swap an RRA upper with an upper of a different brand with a shooting buddy who
    owns a non-RRA lower, and compensate any price difference with, say, some ammo or some steaks

Bill Wiese
San Jose, CA

CGF Board Member / NRA Benefactor Life Member / CRPA life member

No postings of mine here, unless otherwise specifically noted, are
to be construed as formal or informal positions of the Calguns.Net
ownership, The Calguns Foundation, Inc. ("CGF"), the NRA, or my
employer. No posts of mine on Calguns are to be construed as
legal advice, which can only be given by a lawyer.

Last edited by bwiese; 01-02-2009 at 10:44 AM..
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