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  #1  
Old 01-05-2010, 9:33 PM
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Default Law question about AR-15 Pistols

Okay, I have been reading postings online stating that AR-15 pistols are legal in California if at the time of registration (DROS) it has the following:

1. An off list manufacture and marked "Pistol" lower receiver.
2. Has a bullet button installed.
3. It is configured as a single shot pistol for DROS purposes since it's not listed in the DOJ approved safety handgun list. (May turn it into a semi auto after DROS).

So my question is, why does it need to have a bullet button installed if it is going to be registered as a pistol and pistols are not required to have Bullet Buttons?

I was reading a trend that said the reason is because it has a magazine separate from the grip. So I checked the CA Penal Code and could not find anything that supports that information. Can someone assist me in finding the law regarding my question? This is the only thing I've found:

12133. (a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a single-action revolver that has at least a 5-cartridge capacity with a barrel length of not less than three inches, and meets any of the following specifications:
(1) Was originally manufactured prior to 1900 and is a curio or relic, as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(2) Has an overall length measured parallel to the barrel of at least 7 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled.
(3) Has an overall length measured parallel to the barrel of at least 7 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled and that is currently approved for importation into the United States pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of Section 925 of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a single-shot pistol with a barrel length of not less than six inches and that has an overall length of at least 10 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled.

Last edited by Mario520; 01-05-2010 at 9:35 PM..
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2010, 9:37 PM
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Best way to put it is that by definition, a single shot pistol cannot have a detachable magazine. With a bullet button, the AR pistol no longer has a detachable magazine.

BTW, without a detachable magazine, the AR pistol is also allowed to have a threaded barrel and handguards (barrel shroud).

Edit:
Here's the PC:
Penal Code 12276.1
(a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

Last edited by dachan; 01-06-2010 at 7:16 AM..
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Old 01-05-2010, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
So my question is, why does it need to have a bullet button installed if it is going to be registered as a pistol and pistols are not required to have Bullet Buttons?
http://www.calguns.net/caawid/hgflowchart.pdf

Because the magazine is located outside of the pistol grip. That is an evil feature and does NOT allow for a "detachable" magazine.
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Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 01-05-2010, 9:49 PM
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1. An off list manufacture and marked "Pistol" lower receiver.

Wrong, Does a Glock, 1911 or Sig or any handgun says Pistol on it ???
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:11 PM
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Also keep in mind that, while it MIGHT be possible, unless you want to be a test case, "the right people" are advising that a pistol NOT be built from a lower that was previously DROS'd as a "long gun".

The problem is, the BATF 4473 has 3 check boxes... hand gun, long gun, and "other". The stripped lower is marked "other", but the California DROS only has "hand gun" and "long gun" listed.

There are only a few ways to legally get a stripped lower that has never been DROS'd as a "long gun"... all but one involve legal roster-exempt transfers:

1 - Build it yourself from an 80% lower
2 - Bring it with you as a new resident
3 - PPT from someone who has either (2), or stripped a previously purchased pistol
4 - Purchased it as a roster-exempt person (LEO, etc...)

The lower can't be DROS'd from dealer stock unless it is in a roster-exempt form, which is what you described with the single-shot dimensional compliance. A stripped lower is neither single shot, nor dimensionally compliant, so a stripped lower is not roster-exempt, but of course, a stripped lower would not be able to pass the DOJ tests (which include being fired).

Please do not purchase a stripped lower and a 12" upper assuming that you can build a legal pistol... you will be building an SBR in the eyes of California.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cokebottle View Post
http://www.calguns.net/caawid/hgflowchart.pdf

Because the magazine is located outside of the pistol grip. That is an evil feature and does NOT allow for a "detachable" magazine.
this is why you must have a bullet button, or some other maglock, on an AR-pistol.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
1. An off list manufacture and marked "Pistol" lower receiver.
Manufacturers put that their to make it clear what it is since most people buy pistol lowers that are marked "pistol" and build it into a pistol. There is nothing stopping me from building a pistol lower that isn't marked pistol and there is nothing stopping me from buying a pistol lower and building a rifle (though I don't know why you'd do that, but you could).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
So my question is, why does it need to have a bullet button installed if it is going to be registered as a pistol and pistols are not required to have Bullet Buttons?
Your overlooking two things:
1) You are registering it as a pistol, not an AW. So you must abide by the AW laws.
2) Bullet buttons are required when evil features are an issue. Most long guns in CA don't require bullet buttons, some do. Most handguns in CA don't require bullet buttons, some do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
I was reading a trend that said the reason is because it has a magazine separate from the grip. So I checked the CA Penal Code and could not find anything that supports that information. Can someone assist me in finding the law regarding my question?
California Penal Code 12276.1 (a) 4

(a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall
also mean any of the following:

(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to
accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action
of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine
with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length
of less than 30 inches.
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a
detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor,
forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely
encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon
without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the
barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location
outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the
capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
I understand the whole evil feature thing, but that only applies for CENTERFIRE RIFLES, so section 12276.1 (a) 4, does not apply since the AR-15 pistol will registered as a "pistol". I'm looking for a section simular to 12276.1(a)(4) PC, which talks about single shot pistols and the requirements. DAChan stated that a single shot pistol can not have a magazine, which I think that is correct but I'm trying to find the section that explains it.

The proper code section was posted for you 12276.1(a)(4) applies to pistols.

12276.1(a) has 8 parts. Parts 1-3 refer to rifles, parts 4-5 refer to pistols, and parts 6-8 refer to shotguns.

Quote:
12276.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.


(6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:
(A) A folding or telescoping stock.
(B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.
(7) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine.
(8) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2010, 10:55 PM
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The pistol isn't semi-auto when DROS'd, so AW laws don't apply.

The BB is there:
a.) to lock the sled so it's single shot
b.) because you'll need it once you make it semi-auto, for the reasons listed above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
They don't but the AR-15's need to have it engraved so they are not registered as a long rifles.
There's actually no reason one must have pistol markings - htey're there solely for CYA.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
They don't but the AR-15's need to have it engraved so they are not registered as a long rifles.
not true. There is no legal difference between a stripped 1911 receiver and a stripped AR-pattern receiver. Both can be built as handguns (ignore the Roster for a moment) or rifles. Neither has to be marked "pistol" in order to be built as a pistol.

You could purchase an AR-pistol from a manufacturer and it is not required to say "pistol" anywhere on it. Now, many manufacturers will voluntarily mark them as pistol to help ward off potential SBR issues, but they don't have to.
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2010, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
They don't but the AR-15's need to have it engraved so they are not registered as a long rifles.

I don't know where you are getting your information but, with respect to California, it is incorrect.
A stripped lower can be engraved "This is a Fluffy Bunny" and it is still going to be DROS'd as a "long gun", because "long gun" is the only category that the dealer can legally use to DROS a stripped lower out of dealer inventory since it is not roster-exempt.
It's going to be DROS'd as a "handgun" or "long gun", and it can not be DROS'd as a handgun unless it is already a dimensionally compliant single shot pistol.
You can not legally purchase a stripped AR lower and build it into a pistol in California.

You can drive to Arizona, assemble a single-shot AR pistol in the back room of a gun shop using a lower that is engraved "This is a Long Gun", ship it to your local FFL, and it will be DROS'd as a dimensionally compliant single shot pistol.

The ONLY engraving required is that required by the BATF:
Manufacturer name and location
Caliber
Serial number
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cokebottle View Post

I don't know where you are getting your information but, with respect to California, it is incorrect.
A stripped lower can be engraved "This is a Fluffy Bunny" and it is still going to be DROS'd as a "long gun", because "long gun" is the only category that the dealer can legally use to DROS a stripped lower out of dealer inventory since it is not roster-exempt.
It's going to be DROS'd as a "handgun" or "long gun", and it can not be DROS'd as a handgun unless it is already a dimensionally compliant single shot pistol.
You can not legally purchase a stripped AR lower and build it into a pistol in California.

You can drive to Arizona, assemble a single-shot AR pistol in the back room of a gun shop using a lower that is engraved "This is a Long Gun", ship it to your local FFL, and it will be DROS'd as a dimensionally compliant single shot pistol.


The ONLY engraving required is that required by the BATF:
Manufacturer name and location
Caliber
Serial number
Hope the FFL is an -07 and paying FET or you'd be putting him up a creek.

You can't take possession outside CA and the modifications would be considered done by him.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aplinker View Post
Hope the FFL is an -07 and paying FET or you'd be putting him up a creek.

You can't take possession outside CA and the modifications would be considered done by him.
Of course... I was just describing one way that it could be done, but the point was that the engraving doesn't matter beyond "name caliber and serial number"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cokebottle View Post
1 - Build it yourself from an 80% lower
2 - Bring it with you as a new resident
3 - PPT from someone who has either (2), or stripped a previously purchased pistol
4 - Purchased it as a roster-exempt person (LEO, etc...)
this is why I ma going to build an AMD65 pistol form a flat

this thread has convinced me to engrave "this is a fluffy bunny" on the receiver


now here is a question, I have a friend in vegas, for some stupid reason he built a ar15 single shot pistol form a stripped lower, after building it, he realized that a single shot ar15 pistol was a stupid idea but thought that since i live in PRK, I might like it,

could he not send it to my local FFL for for me to transfer?
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
now here is a question, I have a friend in vegas, for some stupid reason he built a ar15 single shot pistol form a stripped lower, after building it, he realized that a single shot ar15 pistol was a stupid idea but thought that since i live in PRK, I might like it,

could he not send it to my local FFL for for me to transfer?
Yes, he can ship it to your FFL dealer.


Have him engrave "this is another fluffy bunny" on it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
this is why I ma going to build an AMD65 pistol form a flat
Absolutely.
An AK-pattern pistol really is the easiest way to go for a rifle-caliber pistol.
An 80% AR lower is no different legally, but replace the "stone tools" hydraulic press, home-built mild steel jigs, and mapp-gas heat treating with anything from a high quality drill press to a mill and a nice "home anodize" kit.
Still not rocket science, but when an 80% lower costs $50 and an AK flat is $14, it's a lot cheaper to screw up the AK.
Quote:
this thread has convinced me to engrave "this is a fluffy bunny" on the receiver
LOL!
Quote:
now here is a question, I have a friend in vegas, for some stupid reason he built a ar15 single shot pistol form a stripped lower, after building it, he realized that a single shot ar15 pistol was a stupid idea but thought that since i live in PRK, I might like it,
Absolutely legal as long as it is a dimensionally-compliant single shot (with a BB).

As long as he didn't purchase the lower with the intent of reselling it to you

But seriously, he doesn't even have to build it as a single shot.
California prohibits the "manufacture of an unsafe handgun", meaning that upon initial completion, your AR (or AK) pistol must be in roster-exempt form. After manufacturing is complete, you may then modify it into a semi-auto fixed-mag configuration.

Free states do not have this prohibition, so your friend can build himself a regular AR pistol, then decide that he doesn't like it, convert it into a roster-exempt form, and sell it to you.
It simply must be roster-exempt at the point it is DROS'd into California.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario520 View Post
I see. The few FFL dealers that I've called to see if they will do the transfer stated that the receiver needs to say pistol. However I haven't found any law that requires it, so it must not be mandatory.
Thanks for the info ke6guj
It isn't, but your FFL can use his license however he wants. If he only wants to work on pistols that are engraved "pistol" then he can, he is limiting his business but that is certainly within his rights. Some FFLs won't accept firearm shipments from people without dealer's license, it isn't law but that is the way they do things. Some dealers out of state won't deal with Californians in anyway, shape, or form. It is't illegal to deal with California, they just choose not to.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cokebottle View Post
Absolutely.
An AK-pattern pistol really is the easiest way to go for a rifle-caliber pistol.
An 80% AR lower is no different legally, but replace the "stone tools" hydraulic press, home-built mild steel jigs, and mapp-gas heat treating with anything from a high quality drill press to a mill and a nice "home anodize" kit.
Still not rocket science, but when an 80% lower costs $50 and an AK flat is $14, it's a lot cheaper to screw up the AK.

LOL!

Absolutely legal as long as it is a dimensionally-compliant single shot (with a BB).

As long as he didn't purchase the lower with the intent of reselling it to you

But seriously, he doesn't even have to build it as a single shot.
California prohibits the "manufacture of an unsafe handgun", meaning that upon initial completion, your AR (or AK) pistol must be in roster-exempt form. After manufacturing is complete, you may then modify it into a semi-auto fixed-mag configuration.

Free states do not have this prohibition, so your friend can build himself a regular AR pistol, then decide that he doesn't like it, convert it into a roster-exempt form, and sell it to you.
It simply must be roster-exempt at the point it is DROS'd into California.
There's nothing that precludes anyone from buying with the intent to sell. Only the number of times this can be done is limited.
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Old 01-06-2010, 1:13 AM
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If it is a pistol why can't it be semi auto with a detachable magazine as long as it is a ten round mag it should be equivalent to any other semi auto pistol on the market.
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Old 01-06-2010, 1:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpcoop View Post
If it is a pistol why can't it be semi auto with a detachable magazine as long as it is a ten round mag it should be equivalent to any other semi auto pistol on the market.
Because then it would be an assault weapon.

See parts in bold.

Penal Code 12276.1
(a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
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  #21  
Old 01-06-2010, 1:29 AM
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lorax3 lorax3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpcoop View Post
If it is a pistol why can't it be semi auto with a detachable magazine as long as it is a ten round mag it should be equivalent to any other semi auto pistol on the market.
Because California says so. Pistols cannot have detachable magazines outside of the pistol grip.

Quote:
12276.1 PC

(a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall
also mean any of the following:
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a
detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor,
forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely
encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon
without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the
barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location
outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the
capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
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The information posted herein is not legal advice. If you seek legal advice contact an attorney who is familiar with all the facts of your case.

Last edited by lorax3; 01-06-2010 at 1:34 AM..
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  #22  
Old 01-06-2010, 6:58 AM
.40Cal .40Cal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dachan View Post
Best way to put it is that by definition, a single shot pistol cannot have a detachable magazine. With a bullet button, the AR pistol no longer has a detachable magazine.

BTW, without a detachable magazine, the AR pistol is also allowed to have a threaded barrel and handguards (barrel shroud).
I thought threaded barrels were banned in CA.... even in regular handguns like Sigs and Berettas...
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2010, 7:15 AM
dachan dachan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .40Cal View Post
I thought threaded barrels were banned in CA.... even in regular handguns like Sigs and Berettas...
Thread barrels are banned on semi-auto handguns if the handgun has a detachable magazine. With a bullet button, the AR pistol does not have a detachable magazine.

Penal Code 12276.1
(a) Notwithstanding Section 12276, "assault weapon" shall also mean any of the following:
(4) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2010, 2:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five.five-six View Post
this is why I ma going to build an AMD65 pistol form a flat

this thread has convinced me to engrave "this is a fluffy bunny" on the receiver
I was thinking about this... and if I were to be errantly prosecuted, it would make for an interesting opening argument from the prosecution, I mean, I would be arguing the legality of possession of a "fluffy bunny"

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  #25  
Old 01-06-2010, 3:06 PM
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I think the penal code mandates that all "Fluffy Bunny" marked receivers must also be pink in color, camo patterns are allowed as long as pink is one of the colors...
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  #26  
Old 01-06-2010, 7:35 PM
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opening arguments:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution will prove that the defendant, MR 5.56, did produce and posses this illegal pink fluffy bunny"
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  #27  
Old 01-07-2010, 4:16 AM
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Wow I can't believe these lawmakers! Like a pistol with a magazine in the grip is less lethal than one with a outside magazine.
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  #28  
Old 01-07-2010, 4:33 AM
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Wow I can't believe these lawmakers! Like a pistol with a magazine in the grip is less lethal than one with a outside magazine.
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  #29  
Old 01-07-2010, 11:39 AM
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Welcome to California.

It's because they simply have no idea what they are talking about.
A "barrel shroud" was described by a lawmaker as "I don't know, it's that shoulder thing that goes up".
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