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  #1  
Old 01-28-2022, 9:41 AM
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Default Is this legal for an AR pistol?

Hi all:

I have a friend who is not on Calguns so I told him I would ask for him here as there are some posters here who are up to date on the latest 2022 California laws regarding what he wants to do. His goal is to create a VERY small folding buffer, takedown barrel AR pistol for transport. He owns an AR pistol he acquired in 2013, I believe it was via SSE 1 then? He wants to know if he runs afoul of any California laws in doing the following:

1. He wants to EForm 1 register his AR pistol as an AOW, per advice that if you want a brace on an AR pistol, this may provide some protection against an overzealous DA since AOWs are exempt from California's SBS/SBR laws, but not California's AW laws. Once he receives his stamp, he wants to take his AR pistol, which is currently setup with an 11" barrel and affix a brace to it. In doing so, he wants to install a new buffer tube using the LAW Tactical Folding AR Stock Adapter. Before doing any of this work, he assumes there are no additional legal implications of being able to fold the buffer tube with the brace on an AOW legally? I was planning on doing something like this years ago with my own AR pistol but I never did and I think the laws may have changed since then?

2. He wants to acquire the Cry Havoc Tactical QRB https://cryhavoctac.com/ar-takedown-pistol.html to allow him to make his AOW be able to have a detachable barrel. Any legal implications of installing this QRB system on an AOW? He asked me to look at the link above and I cannot tell if installing this QRB system will block his ability to use an AR maglock on his pistol as the QRB receiver on the receiver looks as if it ends up very close to the AR Receiver front swivel pin and I am wondering if the receiver collar ends up hitting the front magwell area on the receiver? I have never used an AR Maglock system as all of my rifles are featureless but that's how an AR maglock functions, correct? You need to slightly crack open the upper from the receiver in order to change the magazine, correct? Assuming he can crack open the upper from the receiver far enough to change a mag, does what he wants to do sound legal in California and Federally?

Thanks for any advice or potential gotchas about him doing this. I am always telling him he needs to get onto Calguns and educate himself but he's a workaholic Diesel mechanic, one of those rare people where his computer collects dust and he only uses his phone for calls and texts so I told him I'd post this for him as the local gun shop advice where he lives is 100% FUD.
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Old 01-28-2022, 9:47 AM
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Might be able to use a juggernaut tactical hell fighter kit or a similar magazine lock system that doesn’t rely on that outer swingarm if the upper isn’t compatible with a AR mag lock

There are some rather unfavorable propose laws for A.R. pistols in the works from ATF I think the ALW registration would also shield him from all of that.

So generally speaking I think he is good to go but don’t trust me consult with an attorney before you proceed


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Old 01-28-2022, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsy714 View Post
Might be able to use a juggernaut tactical hell fighter kit or a similar magazine lock system that doesn’t rely on that outer swingarm if the upper isn’t compatible with a AR mag lock

There are some rather unfavorable propose laws for A.R. pistols in the works from ATF I think the ALW registration would also shield him from all of that.

So generally speaking I think he is good to go but don’t trust me consult with an attorney before you proceed


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Thanks for the heads up Bugsy, I am completely uneducated about the various mag lock systems so I'll tell him to check those out.
Quiet or anyone else knowledgable about the current PC, can you please chime in on what he wants to do?
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Last edited by Capybara; 01-28-2022 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 01-28-2022, 3:51 PM
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1.
Nothing has changed to CA laws/regulations, in regards to BATFE approved Title 2 AOW and their ability to legally have an arm stabilizing brace in CA.


2.
There are no CA laws/regulations that prohibits a firearm from having a quick change barrel system.

In order to be CA legal, semi-auto AR style pistols must utilize a fixed 10 or less round magazine that is contained in the firearm and can not be removed without disassembling the firearm's action or that is permanently attached in the firearm's magazine well.
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Old 01-28-2022, 4:25 PM
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Be careful of the LAW Tactical because it adds a couple inches to the LOP. AFT wants pistols with braces to have a maximum LOP (although it's probably not in statute anywhere) so you need to shorten down the brace to meet the maximum. Be particularly careful of extensible braces like the SBR3 because the AFT measures it fully extended.
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Old 01-28-2022, 4:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Be careful of the LAW Tactical because it adds a couple inches to the LOP. AFT wants pistols with braces to have a maximum LOP (although it's probably not in statute anywhere) so you need to shorten down the brace to meet the maximum. Be particularly careful of extensible braces like the SBR3 because the AFT measures it fully extended.
Thanks for the heads up Quiet and Sig. Any links to any of the AFT length stuff or is this just the "proposed new regs" from last year that are still totally ambiguous? Also, would those AFT rules not apply since it will become an AOW and won't be a pistol? Guess he might have to buy a new upper for it? His has an 11" barrel so the OAL is relatively long for a pistol.
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Old 01-28-2022, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capybara View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Be careful of the LAW Tactical because it adds a couple inches to the LOP. AFT wants pistols with braces to have a maximum LOP (although it's probably not in statute anywhere) so you need to shorten down the brace to meet the maximum. Be particularly careful of extensible braces like the SBR3 because the AFT measures it fully extended.
Thanks for the heads up Quiet and Sig. Any links to any of the AFT length stuff or is this just the "proposed new regs" from last year that are still totally ambiguous? Also, would those AFT rules not apply since it will become an AOW and won't be a pistol? Guess he might have to buy a new upper for it? His has an 11" barrel so the OAL is relatively long for a pistol.
The length of pull issue came up during Federal cases on illegal AOWs that occurred before BATFE's proposed rulemaking on braces.
One case settled before it went to trial.
The other case, went to trial. Case dismissed, length of pull was less than 13.5" and overall length was greater than 26" with brace folded/collapsed. (firearm was determined to be a Title 1 Other and not an illegal Title 2 firearm)


Per BATFE...

If the arm stabilizing brace has a length of pull of 13.5" or greater, then it is considered a shoulder stock and no longer considered an arm stabilizing brace.

In order to measure the overall length of a firearm to determine if it is a Title 1 Handgun, Title 1 Other, or Title 1 AOW; the arm stabilizing brace is removed or, if it is permanently attached, it is folded/collapsed.
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Last edited by Quiet; 01-28-2022 at 4:54 PM..
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Old 01-28-2022, 4:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capybara View Post
Thanks for the heads up Quiet and Sig. Any links to any of the AFT length stuff or is this just the "proposed new regs" from last year that are still totally ambiguous? Also, would those AFT rules not apply since it will become an AOW and won't be a pistol? Guess he might have to buy a new upper for it? His has an 11" barrel so the OAL is relatively long for a pistol.

There is a maximum overall length for a AOw but the law tactical folder makes it so that you can fire it in a shorter configuration and still be within the statutory limits. There was a thread on here about someone doing just such a thing


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Old 01-28-2022, 5:00 PM
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There is a maximum overall length for a AOw but the law tactical folder makes it so that you can fire it in a shorter configuration and still be within the statutory limits. There was a thread on here about someone doing just such a thing
Overall length is another indicator to determine if a firearm with a less than 16" barrel is a Title 1 Handgun or Title 1 Other or Title 2 AOW.

Per BATFE, in order to measure the overall length of a firearm to determine if it is a Title 1 Handgun, Title 1 Other, or Title 2 AOW; the arm stabilizing brace is removed or, if it is permanently attached, it is folded/collapsed.

This is because the Title 1 Handgun, Title 1 Other, and Title 2 AOW are not intended to be fired from the shoulder, so it's overall length is measured in the shortest possible fireable configuration (arm brace folded/collapsed or removed).
^Since Title 1 Rifle, Title 1 Shotgun, Title 2 SBR, and Title 2 SBS are intended to be fired from the shoulder; their overall length is measured in the longest possible fireable configuration (stock open/extended).

Overall length became an issue due to FFLs that were making illegal Title 2 AOWs and transferring them as Title 1 Other.

There is nothing that prevents a Title 2 AOW from having it's overall length temporarily increased to be 26" or greater.
^In the past, BATFE was okay with it.
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Old 01-28-2022, 7:24 PM
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Thanks for the info Quiet. From what I am getting here, it appears that if my friend installs the LAW Folding Adapter on his 11" barrel AR pistol (Only has a buffer tube on it now, no brace), then the OAL measurement of the firearm will be taken with the buffer tube folded. That will easily be an under 13.5" LOP and the OAL will be well under 26".

So he can then register it as an AOW. Once he receives his stamp, he can then affix the brace and a vertical foregrip and he will be compliant, both Federally and with the CADOJ, at least under current laws and regs?

It sounds like the QRB barrel is neither here nor there, which is good. I think his AOW, with the brace folded and the barrel detached, will be quite small, exactly what he was going for.

Thanks for all of the info gentleman, I will tell him that he needs to pay a few $$ to a California Firearms Lawyer too to make sure this all checks out with the lawyer's expertise as well. I'll post back here if he does that with some opinion from the lawyer.

Would Michel & Assoc. be his best bet to be really tuned in on this subject or do you have any other leads on a good Firearms Attorney who will do a consult and render a recommendation? I believe I hired Michel & Assoc. a few years back on an opinion I wanted on something firearm related and they were fine?
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Old 01-28-2022, 7:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capybara View Post
From what I am getting here, it appears that if my friend installs the LAW Folding Adapter on his 11" barrel AR pistol (Only has a buffer tube on it now, no brace), then the OAL measurement of the firearm will be taken with the buffer tube folded. That will easily be an under 13.5" LOP and the OAL will be well under 26".
BATFE measures the length of pull with the arm stabilizing brace unfolded/extended because they are checking to see if it's a shoulder stock, which are used to fire from the shoulder.


summary for measuring lengths on arm stabilizing braces...
LOP = unfolded/extended.
OAL = folded/collapsed.
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Old 01-28-2022, 7:38 PM
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So he can then register it as an AOW. Once he receives his stamp, he can then affix the brace and a vertical foregrip and he will be compliant, both Federally and with the CADOJ, at least under current laws and regs?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capybara View Post
Would Michel & Assoc. be his best bet to be really tuned in on this subject or do you have any other leads on a good Firearms Attorney who will do a consult and render a recommendation? I believe I hired Michel & Assoc. a few years back on an opinion I wanted on something firearm related and they were fine?
They are the CRPA/NRA recommend source for legal aid about firearms in CA.
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Old 01-28-2022, 7:56 PM
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Thank you, much appreciated!
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Old 01-28-2022, 9:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
BATFE measures the length of pull with the arm stabilizing brace unfolded/extended because they are checking to see if it's a shoulder stock, which are used to fire from the shoulder.


summary for measuring lengths on arm stabilizing braces...
LOP = unfolded/extended.
OAL = folded/collapsed.

That is interesting so they expect you to be mindful of length of pool with an arm brace even with theaow nfa classification?


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Old 01-28-2022, 10:40 PM
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That is interesting so they expect you to be mindful of length of pool with an arm brace even with theaow nfa classification?


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It seems so. AOW is not SBR. If ATF thinks you have a stock attached, then the gun better have SBR stamp if the barrel is under 16"
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:57 AM
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It seems so. AOW is not SBR. If ATF thinks you have a stock attached, then the gun better have SBR stamp if the barrel is under 16"
I am studying the ATFs proposed "points" system document as well, an NRA lawyer did a nice summary of how badly conceived, unclearly written and ambiguous the proposed regs are. https://shared.nrapvf.org/sharedmedi...tf2021r-08.pdf

You'd think the ATF and other branches of the DOJ would finally realize that controlling guns by feature sets is ridiculously pointless, but it's what justifies their existence I guess? The latest is that they have supposedly back-burnered all of this pistol proposal after the second public comment period last year and a ruckus on Capital Hill by Republican Senators, but you know the ATF, they keep beating this dead horse. They obviously don't like braces on pistols which is why they keep flip-flopping on their regs about them.

The NFA was from a different time with different problems that it was designed to mitigate, it's almost completely irrelevant in 2022, but they're going to keep threatening people with prison for having certain "deadly and dangerous" features, even though the logic is completely flawed. Does anyone really think an AR pistol is any more or less deadly and dangerous than a 16" barrel M4 pattern carbine? No, but they keep acting as if the SBR or AR pistol is leagues more deadly. Unless you play their paperwork game and pay them $200. Then, no problemo. It's so transparently arbitrary and capricious.
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Old 01-29-2022, 3:11 PM
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Along the lines of my last post, evidently we will be graced with the ATFs finalized (is anything ever really finalized with the ATF?) new rules and regs on pistol braces in August of 2022. How much you want to bet they will just do whatever the hell they wanted to do, despite opposition on Capital Hill from Senators and the tens of thousands of Americans who commented on the proposed rules? August puts them dangerously close to the midterms so all of those Commie Senators and Congress Critters can show their electorate how the Dems, being "in command" of the ATF, are "doing something" about the "gun violence epidemic". If we weren't being persecuted by all of this, it would sound like a script for an SNL skit, it's so blatantly ridiculous.
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