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  #1  
Old 06-19-2018, 5:46 PM
Califpatriot Califpatriot is online now
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Default Is a 16" AR-15 Without a Stock an Assault Weapon?

As far as I can tell, a normal 16" barreled AR-15 lacking a stock, but with evil features and a standard mag release is not governed by assault weapons laws.

PC 30515 lists 8 types of firearms that qualify as assault weapons, and they are all either pistols, rifles, or shotguns. It's obviously not a shotgun (either under the normal definition or the statutory definition in Section 17190, which doesn't apply to the AW law.) It's not a pistol since the barrel is 16 inches or greater. PC 16530. And it's not a rifle. A rifle must be made/designed/remade/redesigned/intended to be fired from the shoulder. See PC 17090 (which does not appear to apply to the assault weapons law), but also see 11 CCR 5471 defining rifle the same way, as incorporated by 11 CCR 5560.

Assume it has been built from a stripped lower, built with the intent of not being fired from the shoulder.

Not encouraging anybody to do this since it's asking for trouble (are you going to show the cops this explanation), nor am I planning on doing this. But as a legal question, what are your thoughts on it?
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2018, 5:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Califpatriot View Post
As far as I can tell, a normal 16" barreled AR-15 lacking a stock, but with evil features and a standard mag release is not governed by assault weapons laws.



PC 30515 lists 8 types of firearms that qualify as assault weapons, and they are all either pistols, rifles, or shotguns. It's obviously not a shotgun (either under the normal definition or the statutory definition in Section 17190, which doesn't apply to the AW law.) It's not a pistol since the barrel is 16 inches or greater. PC 16530. And it's not a rifle. A rifle must be made/designed/remade/redesigned/intended to be fired from the shoulder. See PC 17090 (which does not appear to apply to the assault weapons law), but also see 11 CCR 5471 defining rifle the same way, as incorporated by 11 CCR 5560.



Assume it has been built from a stripped lower, built with the intent of not being fired from the shoulder.



Not encouraging anybody to do this since it's asking for trouble (are you going to show the cops this explanation), nor am I planning on doing this. But as a legal question, what are your thoughts on it?


It only takes one “evil feature” on a centered fired semi auto for it to be classified as a AW.


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  #3  
Old 06-19-2018, 5:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Blade Gunner View Post
It only takes one “evil feature” on a centered fired semi auto for it to be classified as a AW.


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Do AW laws apply to things that aren’t shotguns, rifles, pistols, or listed AW weapons? What he wrote doesn’t seem to fit any of those categories.
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Old 06-19-2018, 6:08 PM
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I like your thinking. I'm going to start producing clear plexiglass stocks
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Old 06-19-2018, 6:12 PM
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Interesting.
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2018, 6:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Gunner View Post
It only takes one “evil feature” on a centered fired semi auto for it to be classified as a AW.


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You're almost correct. One evil feature on a centerfire semi-auto rifle is enough to be classified as an assault weapon.

But only rifles, shotguns, and pistols are covered by the AW law. If a firearm is neither a rifle, shotgun, or pistol, it would seem it wouldn't be covered by the AW law and the fact it has an evil feature is irrelevant.
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Old 06-19-2018, 6:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Califpatriot View Post
You're almost correct. One evil feature on a centerfire semi-auto rifle is enough to be classified as an assault weapon.



But only rifles, shotguns, and pistols are covered by the AW law. If a firearm is neither a rifle, shotgun, or pistol, it would seem it wouldn't be covered by the AW law and the fact it has an evil feature is irrelevant.


OK. What’s left?


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Old 06-19-2018, 6:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Gunner View Post
OK. What’s left?


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Federally, what he described is called a firearm. Examples include the Mossberg Shockwave and AR15 firearms (federally, a AR15 pistol or stripped lower that was made into an AR15 firearm by having an OAL of over 26 inches). They are not subject to the NFA.
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Old 06-19-2018, 6:43 PM
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CA doesn’t recognize BATF regs. Example Taurus Judge under ATF regs is a Pistol. CA regs it’s classified as a short barrel shotgun hence illegal.


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Old 06-19-2018, 6:49 PM
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OK. What’s left?


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It's just a firearm under penal code 16520. I mean, I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you saying the firearm described in OP is a rifle? A pistol? A shotgun? Don't see how.
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  #11  
Old 06-19-2018, 6:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blade Gunner View Post
CA doesn’t recognize BATF regs. Example Taurus Judge under ATF regs is a Pistol. CA regs it’s classified as a short barrel shotgun hence illegal.


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Yes, but what he described doesn’t seem to fall under CA regs as a rifle, pistol, or shotgun but rather as a firearm both under CA regs and federal law. Do you know any section of CA regs that would define it as any of those other categories?

It has a barrel length over 16” so it’s not a pistol under CA regs nor is it an SBR (assuming it’s over 30” OAL). It’s not a rifle since it’s not meant to be shouldered nor was it designed or made that way. And it’s obviously not a shotgun or a SBS.

Edit: Maybe even OAL of 26” since 30” is for a semi auto rifle not to be an AW, but this doesn’t appear to be a rifle.

Last edited by CommieforniaResident; 06-19-2018 at 7:31 PM..
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Old 06-19-2018, 8:27 PM
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I think it is that other classification

"TEST CASE"


Similar to the infamous Milpitas lowers many years back.

"TEST CASE"

…….but remember it can cost you a lot in legal fees and you can loose.
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2018, 8:36 PM
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Firearm that is not a rifle.....

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  #14  
Old 06-19-2018, 9:46 PM
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Franklin Armory makes AR based non-rifle firearms for exactly this purpose.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9M62 View Post
Franklin Armory makes AR based non-rifle firearms for exactly this purpose.
I assume you're talking about their Reformation firearm. The Reformation is a 11.5" barrel with a standard collapsible stock, standard mag release, pistol grip. It avoid federal SBR laws by using a barrel with straight cut lands and grooves, so it is not a rifled barrel, and therefore the firearm is not a rifle. A rifle in California is defined as follows:

Quote:
As used in Sections 16530 , 16640 , 16650 , 16660 , 16870 , and 17170 , Sections 17720 to 17730 , inclusive, Section 17740, subdivision (f) of Section 27555 , Article 2 (commencing with Section 30300 ) of Chapter 1 of Division 10 of Title 4, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 33210 ) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 of Title 4, “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.
Oxford English Dictionary defines a rifle as:
Quote:
A gun, especially one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel intended to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance.
Rifling is conventionally defined as spiral grooves intended to generate spin.

A normal AR-15 (or a short-barreled AR-15) but with a barrel having straight lands and grooves that do not generate spin should be exempt from both California SBR laws and all assault weapon laws. However, if it had a barrel less than 18", it would be an "unconventional pistol" under Penal Code 17270 and banned under PC 31500. An 18" or longer barreled AR-15 with straight lands and grooves should be legal despite having evil features.

I wonder if Franklin Armory will try to sell a California version (i.e. an 18" AR-15 with straight lands and grooves) of the Reformation firearm.

Last edited by Califpatriot; 06-19-2018 at 11:02 PM..
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Califpatriot View Post
Assume it has been built from a stripped lower, built with the intent of not being fired from the shoulder.
Because of long gun registration going into effect...

A stripped AR style receiver is typically DROS'd as a "long gun, rifle, receiver".

Since it is registered in AFS as a "rifle", CA laws for rifles would apply to that firearm.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
Because of long gun registration going into effect...

A stripped AR style receiver is typically DROS'd as a "long gun, rifle, receiver".

Since it is registered in AFS as a "rifle", CA laws for rifles would apply to that firearm.
Could be a receiver made from an 80% lower.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommieforniaResident View Post
Could be a receiver made from an 80% lower.
Because of CA self-made/assembled laws, the 80% needs to be registered in order to be a CA legal firearm.

Registration process will only accept "handgun", "rifle", and "shotgun".

Since the proposed firearm has a barrel length of 16" or greater, it would need to be registered as a "rifle".

Which means CA laws for rifles applies to it.
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Last edited by Quiet; 06-20-2018 at 12:50 AM..
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Old 06-20-2018, 1:44 AM
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I’m not talking about their reformation.

Watch to the end: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v7uiT-lP8gA

(Ignore the DFM and Rimfire part).

Last edited by 9M62; 06-20-2018 at 1:46 AM..
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2018, 2:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9M62 View Post
I’m not talking about their reformation.

Watch to the end: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v7uiT-lP8gA

(Ignore the DFM and Rimfire part).
Franklin Armory CSW.
It was introduced in 2012.

They were made prior to long gun registration.

Since it was not made as a rifle (under Federal and CA laws) and it was not registered as a rifle, CA laws for rifles did not apply to it.

However, because of long gun registration going into effect.
DROS of it, registers it as a "rifle". Which would then allow CA DOJ to apply CA laws for rifles to it.
^This can be argued in the Courts and, depending on how good your lawyer is, you could beat the rap but not the ride.

Have noticed that after long gun registration went into effect, the CSW is sold as a kit (no longer offered as a complete firearm) and the ones that do pop up for sale are configured so they do not have any restricted semi-auto centerfire rifle features (muzzle brake instead of flash suppressor and mounted on bipod/tripod).
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Last edited by Quiet; 06-20-2018 at 2:54 AM..
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  #21  
Old 06-20-2018, 2:48 AM
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FWIW...

Discussion about these types of firearms (Federal Title 1 Other. CA "long gun") has been around over a decade and it has always come down to...

From 2007-2013...
As long as there was no paperwork (4473, DROS) that showed it was a "rifle" and it was configured so that it did not meet CA's definition of a "rifle", then CA laws for rifles did not apply to it.

From 2014-present...
Because of CA long gun registration creating paperwork (DROS) that shows it was a "rifle", CA laws for rifles could apply to it.

Bottom line...
As long as it configured so that it does not meet CA's definition of a rifle, it can be defendable in Court.
However, that does not prevent the person possessing it from being arrested and charged with violating CA laws for rifles.

Basically... "you can beat the rap, but not the ride".
^Discuss this with your lawyer.
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  #22  
Old 06-20-2018, 6:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
FWIW...

Discussion about these types of firearms (Federal Title 1 Other. CA "long gun") has been around over a decade and it has always come down to...

From 2007-2013...
As long as there was no paperwork (4473, DROS) that showed it was a "rifle" and it was configured so that it did not meet CA's definition of a "rifle", then CA laws for rifles did not apply to it.

From 2014-present...
Because of CA long gun registration creating paperwork (DROS) that shows it was a "rifle", CA laws for rifles could apply to it.

Bottom line...
As long as it configured so that it does not meet CA's definition of a rifle, it can be defendable in Court.
However, that does not prevent the person possessing it from being arrested and charged with violating CA laws for rifles.

Basically... "you can beat the rap, but not the ride".
^Discuss this with your lawyer.
I thought that DROS (or the new serialization process) requiring you pick shotgun, rifle, handgun would be the primary impediment.

But I wonder if somebody could sue for a writ of mandamus ordering DOJ to add a fourth category ("firearm") because effectively, one can legally build a firearm that is not a pistol, rifle, shotgun or unconventional pistol, but one cannot register it to comply with the law because of how DOJ has set up the form (something that, as far as I can tell, is neither prescribed by statute or regulation.)
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