Fully Legal AR-15 in California

Everybody knows that the AR-15 isn’t legal to own in California because it’s a scary “assault rifle”. Well, California Rifles has a redesign that makes it legal for all us California tree huggers to shoot this beautiful rifle again.

Previously, the only way to get around this problem was to make an AR-15 with a non-removable (10 round) magazine. That’s just stup^H^H^H^Hsilly, opening up the rifle and reloading the magazine from the inside.

Of course, most of the major brands of AR-15 lower receivers are specifically blacklisted. But there are many brands of lower receiver that aren’t on the blacklist.

The upshot is: the only things the “assault weapons ban” has done for California is to

  • bar the more established companies from providing lower receivers (the rest of the rifle isn’t on the banned list)
  • make people spend an extra $200 on a funny (cool?) looking aftermarket stock.

su16ca_01.jpgAnd in any case, the Kel-Tec SU-16CA is a fine gun. It’s California legal right out of the box, fires the same 5.56mm round and has a techy-cool look to it. (though it bothers me that the 2 magazines in the stock are held in with a poor friction-fit; he could have designed something more reliable)

I welcome you to read the many good comments below on the subject. Some offer other very good solutions to the California assault rifle problem.


  1. Bud Huttner says:

    Where can I get the kit to lock the AR15 magazine
    in the mag well to be CA. legal?

    Thank You, Bud
    Huttner Gunsmithing

  2. David says:

    You can find all the products to build a CA-legal AR15 at my website located at http://www.riflegear.com

    There is a new magazine lock called the “Bullet Button” that allows you to easily drop your magazine with a tool, a bullet tip is considered a tool. This follows the letter of the law in California and is much easier than top-loading your AR-15. You can order the Bullet Button here: http://riflegear.com/pc-58-15-prince50-bullet-button.aspx

  3. nick says:

    How do I know what is A “on the list banned lower receiver.”

  4. Lee says:

    I haven’t gone and purchased a “legal” AR-15 yet so I haven’t completed my research. But here’s where the banned weapons list is:

    Roster of AK and AR-15 Series Weapons. I found that on the Assault Weapons Identification Guide page of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California. The main firearms page which has a lot of info is the California Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Firearms page.

    Calguns.net is also a really good resource for California firearms. It’s populated by real people.

  5. ROGER WIEST says:


    I’ve read a lot online regarding this subject, including the state statutes, but I haven’t found a clear answer to this question –

    If I live in California, can I buy/build an AR-15 type weapon that has some or all of the “evil features”, but uses the Bullet Button to circumvent the non-removable magazine requirement?


  6. delatorre says:

    Hi Roger, I’m sure after a month you’ve been able to find the info you need. If not, the answer is Yes, you can buy/build an AR-15 weapon with all the “evil features” in California with the bullet button. As long as the magazine cannot be readily removed without a “tool” you are good to go with all the features you talk about; flash suppressor, telestock, pistolgrip. What you need is to purchase an Off-list Lower receiver(stripped or bare).(go to calguns.net and search Off List Lowers list for brands)Not all FFL’s will offer these lowers, but after a couple of phone calls or internet searches, you’ll find a dealer who isn’t intimidated by the DOJ and will sell these Lowers. Like Stag Arms, Spikes Tactical, and a few others. Buy a Lower receiver Kit, and purchase a stock, completed upper, and pistol grip.(Pistol grip usually comes with a lower receiver kit.) Instructions on AR-15 lower assembly are readily available on the net. The magazine issue can be remedied by searching for “Cal Kit” you’ll see a few options for the “california compliant” AR-15 specifications. You can also search for the Prince50 designs AR-15 Mag Lock. Good Luck and fight for your Second amendment rights. Semper Fi!

  7. gary 101 airborne says:

    is it legal to buy a Stag Arms Complete AR-15 Tactical Lower Assembly?

  8. Bob says:

    To anyone looking for a California legal AR-15, try Lanworldinc.com. Chris at Lanworldinc specializes in COMPLETE California Legal AR-15 Rifles from several different manufacturers. He’ll send them to your local FFL dealer. I have purchased two from him and couldn’t be happier.

  9. Ryan says:

    Hello, could I buy a off list receiver, use a stock such as the megaman grip (no pistolgrip) have no other ab23 features (“featureless rifle”) and use my 30rd prepan magazines? from what I have read this is possible, or am I crazy?

  10. Bob says:

    Ryan: I’m going to assume that you live in California since you referenced ab23 (I’m sure you meant sb23). To answer to your question regarding could you have a 30 rd mag if no other sb23 features is no. Sorry 10 rd max for California. Your not crazy however you can thank our elected state officals for all this confusion.

  11. Joe S says:

    Is it possible to legalize(California) a genuine Colt Sporter by fixing the magazine in the receiver?

  12. Bob says:

    Joe: My understanding is that category 1 are listed by make and model in PC 12276, which is also known as the Roberti-Roos list. All Colt AR-15 series where on the list. Since it is on the list changing/removing anyone of the sb23 features still doesn’t make it an assault weapon. I would suggest to go with an off list lower and work from there. Try contacting Chris at Lanworldinc.com he can guide you through the confusion.

  13. Bob says:

    Joe: I have a correction for my earlier comment. I meant to say that changing/removing anyone or all of the sb23 features still doesn’t make it a legal California semi automatic rifle. Sorry about the mis information.

  14. Joe S says:

    Thanks Bob,

    I understood what you meant in your first reply. I think I’ve got a little better understanding of how to proceed now.

  15. Bob says:

    Joe: I did a little more checking on the Colt Sporter it is listed under PC12276(e) which is a category II assault weapon. Couple hundred miles to our east and its a fun weapon. Try going on calguns.net a lot of good information. I use that website when I want to research issues.

  16. Bob says:

    Ryan: I also did some follow up checking on your question regarding an off list lower, no evil features (sb23) and I will correct myself. You can use your preban 30 rd mag as long as it is detachable. The 10 rd mag law is only for fixed mags. Go figure! I found this information on http://www.calguns.net. Look for “California-Legal AR and AK Type Semi-Automatic Rifles. It also has pictures to help visualize the legal set ups. I wouldn’t go to many places with it, less eyes that see it, less problems. The police are just as confused as we all are. At the range where I do 95% of my shooting we had the local law enforcement stop by and confinscated a guys rifle. They told him he could argue his point in court. Sounds like a lot of money to me. That $900.00 rifle got real expensive. Even if you win your attorney fees make it a loss. Best of luck and happy shooting.

  17. Lee says:

    To find out if your rifle is specifically on the assault weapons ban, look here (local copy). Assualt weapon stuff starts at page 8.

    Many are specifically banned. If it’s not on the state list, it might be on the federal list and still banned. If it’s not on either list, it could be banned because of a variety of features it might have (most notably a removable magazine and/or pistol grip)… page 10.

    The “fully legal AR-15” that this post is named after is, by the letter of the law, presumably, not an “assault rifle”. :-)

  18. rob says:

    i got a question what if you are military and had purchased weapon where you are currently located. but plan on moving back to california no longer in the military. what would be the best way around all this mess.

    I purchased an ar15 on ban list

  19. mike says:

    My wife recently bought me the CA legal top loading bushmaster, cos she knew how much i missed my AR after moving out to CA. Anyway i’m wondering if it is legal to own a complete lower receiver with all the evil features?? As long as I don’t put it together it should be fine right?

  20. Lee says:

    Rob and Mike, you’d do well to ask those questions on calguns.net

  21. Newt says:

    FWIW: I may be splitting hairs here, but if you build an off list lower receiver into a California compliant rifle, you are not circumventing any laws or regulations… You are OBEYING them to the letter!

    I second that CalGuns.net is a great source of information.


  22. mike says:

    I’m not really looking to build a CA compliant rifle since I already have one…but i kinda want to be able to switch out receivers if i go shoot in the desert (shh don’t tell anyone)…that why i’m wondering if i would get into trouble for having a complete non-compliant lower that is seperate from the rest of the rifle…basically i would keep my bushmaster as is at all times until i’m at an outdoor range…don’t really see any cops coming up to people at a range to check whether the weapons are legal or not.

    but i’ll definitely check out calguns.net….thanks for the advice

  23. Tim says:

    so i have noticed everyone talking about an “Off List” reciever, I have the list of “Assault Weapons” and Smith and Wesson’s AR-15 is not on it. since it is not on the list is it California legal? or would it have to comply also with the DOJ’s definition of an assault weapon?

  24. nono says:

    i got a question what if you are military and had purchased weapon where you are currently located. but plan on moving back to california no longer in the military. what would be the best way around all this mess.


  25. Lee says:

    Tim, read this document starting on page 8 very closely. This is your adversary. It can be defeated.

    Rob with the banned AR-15, your best recourse is exactly what Nono says, “vote”. Your second recourse is to buy the gun in the post. Third, sell your AR-15 and buy either a Kel-tec SU16 or Ruger Mini 14, both fire 5.56 and both legal in California.

  26. Nando says:

    Notice to California Folks –

    Check out the above-mentioned website. They are selling CA Legal AR-15 manufactured by Stag Arms, Inc.

  27. Bob says:

    Is there anyway to post photos of our little black toys on this website?

  28. Lee says:

    If you’ve already got the image hosted someplace, you can use the “link” button just above the comment space. I suppose I could post a photo or two if it illustrates a particular point. This isn’t the best place to put lots of photos though.

  29. Lee says:

    Here’s 2 images that Bob wanted posted.

    Bob writes:
    Picture 4 is my Rock River LAR-15 Varmint A4 in .223 / 5.56 mm set up with a 20″ Wilson air-gauge s/s bull barrel with Wylde chamber, bullet button, Promag 10 rd mag in a 20 rd body, Harris bipod, BSA Contender 8-32x 40mm AO scope with 4″ sunscreen and a U-15 stock. , the next picture is a line up of what can be California legal. Left to right customize AR-7 with bull barrel, ventlated barrel shroud and Tasco scope, Bushmaster Carbon 15 Lower with Stag Upper, Leatherwood scope 3rd from left is a Stag 3 with DPMS Upper 16″ s/s bull barrel, Prince 50 mag lock, BSA Sweet 223 scope and on the far right is my Rock River LAR-15 Varmint A4 as described ealier.

  30. Bob says:

    To California AR fans:
    I requested Lee to allow me to post a couple photos of my AR’s so you can see what can be done with your AR and still comply with the insane gun laws of California. I really enjoyed the reseach and time spent getting these to their current configurations. On my Rock River I can drop the mag due to the U15 stock which makes it a lot easier to reload at the range. The Stag 3 and the Rock River where purchased through LanWorld Inc.


  31. Brad Gilbert says:

    I have a California Single-shot from Panther (DPMS) I know it is legal in California, But I was wondering if it was legal in the remaining 49 states? It is a single-shot with no magazine capacity, and it must be loaded every time you shoot a single shot… Sort of like a hi-tec low-wall or sharps borchardt..

  32. Bob says:

    Brad: I have seen pictures of the rifle you have. How does it shoot? Does it have good accuracy? I know DPMS makes a good rifle they are pretty well spoke of. I have a DPMS complete upper with a 16″ s/s bull barrel on a Stag 3 lower. (you can see a picture of it above)I still have to break my barrel in. The recommended DPMS break in is rather a long and slow process. After I follow their recommendated procedure I’m going to follow up with Tubbs Final Finish System. That sould put a nice lap finish on my barrel. Well, if you ever get tired of shooting one shot then reloading there are options out there for you. Best of luck and happy shooting. Some states do come to mind like HA, NJ and CT. I would suggest that you log on to http://www.nraila.org and look at the AW laws for each state.

  33. steven says:

    A good place to get off-brand ar-15 lowers is at cold war shooters in Highland California. They have a large selection of stripped lowers. They also carry ak style rifles with out the pistol grip. They are real ak type rifles with the pistol grip removed.

  34. PACO HERTE says:


    my question (is the bullet lock available for the Ak-47/74?

  35. Bob says:

    Paco: There is a new bullet lock out for AK 47’s I believe it’s a RADD lock with key. Lanworldinc. com has them for $30.00

  36. Bob says:

    I just saw the coolest AR-15. Dave at Riflegear.com did a Hello Kitty AR-15 for his wife. The Dura-Coat finish was done by Armoryairbrush. If you want to see this rifle go to riflegear.com blog.

  37. mike says:

    Last year I bought a bush carbon 15 ca legal and dremeled and filed out the sealed mag area to use 10 rd mags, im happy to see the bullet button and ordered one. Hopefully if I ever have it looked at by THE LAW it wont cause me any problems, has there been any problems with the BB from other people ie legal problems.

  38. Walt says:

    Hey bob can you send me a List of parts you use to make the River rock with the drop mag. If you can I will drop my email for you to send it to.

  39. Walt says:

    Was looking at the doj page and found this was woundering does it afect the rifles at all.

    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

  40. Bob says:

    Walt: Not a problem on the parts for the Rock River. Drop your email

  41. Walt says:

    Email is theya_2@msNOSPAMn.com

    Thanks walt

  42. Bob says:

    Walt: I meant to comment on your question regarding the shroud. If you where quoting from 12276.1, sub section 4 addresses pistols and the comment regarding shrouds are listed under sub section 4 (A). Therefore it only pertains to pistols and not rifles or shotguns unless addressed under those sub sections. That is the way I understand the California law. However I’m not a expert on the subject. I recommend to go to calguns.com and pose your question there as they have people who are more educated on the gun laws then I am.

  43. Walt says:

    Ok, I was just reading up and seen that. I am not sure if it falls under rifles or just pistols. So i though i would ask.

  44. Bob says:

    Walt: What are your plans? Are you looking to buy or build a rifle?

  45. Walt says:

    I am looking to build one.

  46. Walt says:

    ok maby this one will be better w.williams83 at yahoo dot com

  47. Bob says:

    Mike: I hope your other evil features where removed before you started to modify your carbon 15. I’ve heard stories about guys doing what you did and the BB didn’t take a liking to it. One guy was put in jail from my understanding because when the BB saw the rifle the evil features where still on it. Good luck. I just wouldn’t parade it around to much. Keep a low profile and maybe it won’t be noticed.

  48. mike says:

    Well Hopefully the BB works, maybe I will install it with all the evil features covered with a towel so it wont see them. Thanks for the concern.

  49. mike r says:

    just some info from my AR building experience

    i’ve built a couple AR’s, SR’s, and AK’s. They are easy to build. If you run into any trouble there’s enough information online to help you through it. I picked up my lowers, CMMG and POF, from gun shows. Then always use DPMS lower parts kits, they are the best by far, smoother triggers!! For uppers my preference goes to Rock River, Vulcan, and if you can afford it POF cause they got the new gas piston uppers. One thing about POF, despite what they advertise about being all-American they are a subsidiary of Pakistan Ordinance Factory (a licensed producer of HK guns), which might be an issue to some. I personally don’t care because they make really good quality stuff but their uppers run about $1200 as opposed to like $500 for other brands, however in my opinion the gas piston system is worth it. There are some other manufacturers that are starting to make gas piston system but i’m not sure about their quality. For any accessories is usually go for command arms products, in my opinion by far the best. Oh yeah for you lefties, STAG makes left handed uppers. For 30rd mags you can drive to Arizona, but you don’t wanna get caught with them. I use the 10/30 mags.

    I personally use the bullet button, however when I go shoot on public lands I switch it out with a normal mag release because its hard to run drills and stress shoots with a bullet button.

    Also I wanna recommend Cold War Shooters at http://www.coldwarshooters.net , they are awesome when it comes down to CA legal stuff. They are based out of El Paso TX but also have a shop in Highland CA. They got this kid who looks about 12yrs old (he’s much older really) who develops all sorts of modifications to make most rifles CA legal. I got FN FS2000 from them recently with a gas block in it so that it essentially becomes a bolt action rifle, making it legal for sale. The gas block was easily removed. The main thing when dealing with them is finding a FFL in your area that will accept the transfer. Most FFL’s don’t understand all the laws and thus stay away from anything assault rifle related. Cold War Shooter will usually refer you to an FFL.

    In addition you guys should know that any cops outside Los Angeles ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT YOUR WEAPON IS CALIFORNIA LEGAL. (My FFL told me this and several cop friends of mine confirmed it, but I never looked at any written documentation about this) They are not trained to do so and therefore cannot make any arrests based on this. What they can do is confiscate your weapon, send it to the armory where you weapon is examined, and then charges might be filed at a later date. But even then, the only reason why cops would be looking at you weapons is if you break the law in the first place. Cops aren’t gonna walk up to you at a range or on public lands designated for shooting when you are standing there with loaded weapons. In my experience, the only reason why they come over is to shoot your stuff cos you got the coolest rifles on the range.

    Finally, if you really wanna have to some good stuff just apply for your own FFL. All you really need is a clean record, an address, and an approved safe.

    Damn I wrote too much, hope any of this info was useful

    Mike R

  50. Walt says:

    Well, my father inlaw has an AR 15 that i might be able to get for 200 bucks. If so then I can work on it can modify it so it has everthing I want. And of course it he owns it legally lol.

  51. Bob says:

    Walt: Less said the better

  52. steven says:

    ok. so my question is, what would i be better off doing. buying a cal. legal ar15 with either the shitty stock attached or the gaper to take the pistol grip away, or the fixed magazine. or would it be better just to buy the keltech su-16ca?

  53. Lee says:

    Steven, it’s just a matter of taste. Both will get you a fine 5.56 semi-automatic. The Keltech will probably be less expensive and will certainly be less hassle since it’s obviously on the “approved” list. But the AR-15 is…. well, it’s the M-16!

    The idea of having a fixed magazine… and having to partially disassemble the rifle in order to reload… because of a stupid law that never helped anyone is distasteful to me.

  54. Bob says:

    I agree with Lee, it is a matter of taste. However get a bullet button on your black AR rifle and like magic you can drop your mag and have all the fun stuff, I mean “evil” stuff on your rifle. Kel-tecs are just not where it’s at.

  55. PATRIOT29 says:

    It is my understanding that the bullet and allen wrench type magazines releases are legal in CA for maintenance purposes only after the “evil” features are removed(do it at home if you need to clean/replace/repair a magazine, so you don’t have to remove all other features). I have read formal interpretations from CA DOJ that at no time can a fixed magazine be released for reloading if your rifle contains one or more of the “evil” features. If the magazine is released with these features installed, the rifle immediately becomes an “assault weapon” and punishable for up to ten years in prison. Top loading is the only CA legal way to reload. Please confirm or clarify.

  56. PATRIOT29 says:

    Magazine, fixed – A magazine which remains affixed to the firearm during loading. Frequently a fixed magazine is
    charged (loaded) from a clip (en bloc or stripper) of cartridges inserted through the open breech into the magazine.

    This is the definition from the CA DOJ Assault Weapons I.D guide.

  57. Lee says:

    This is the eighth time it’s mentioned in this thread and I’m getting a bit bothered; go to calguns.net and search for your issue. I searched for “assault bullet tool” and found 134 discussions that all answered your question. Since I haven’t answered it here on my blog, I’ll go ahead and do so.

    Here is the law:

    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.

    detachable magazine” means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool.

    To find it, go here, click “Penal Code and search for “12276.1”

    Read this clarification (local copy)

  58. Lee says:

    Patriot29, your second comment came in while I was writing my response to you. Take a look at mine and then tell me more about where your definition of “Magazine, fixed” comes from.

  59. PATRIOT29 says:

    I appreciate your expertise & apologize for “bothering you”, however I have read all of the calguns.net posts and it is still unclear. I have attached a paragraph from William’s(from calguns.net) Memorandum on Assualt Weapons which you referenced in your post. It contradicts itself inseveral sections
    It reads
    To be legally safe in California, an off-list AR15-type lower receiver should never have a pistol grip or telestock, etc. attached unless and until a nondetachable (fixed) 10-rd magazine is already affixed. When repairing or dismantling such a rifle,features such as pistol grips, telestocks, etc. must first be removed before removing the fixed 10-rd magazine.
    Here is another section
    Nut/bolt setups retaining fixed magazines should never be able to loosen on their own or be unloosened by hand, so lockwashers and some Locktiteâ„¢ are useful — especially since the fixed magazine shouldnever be removed while a pistol grip and/or telestock is attached!
    I read and interpret CA Building & Fire Code for a living, and the CA DOJ’s definition of a fixed magazine is very clear.
    I just want to own an AR-15 and want to fully understand the law and what the “industry” is doing to circumvent it. I have seen many people at ranges using the “bullet tool”, I just don’t want to be the guy that gets his firearm confiscated, fined and possibly jailed.

    With all of the “what kind of gun are you gonna build” and “I want one too” posts, I didn’t think my posts were that out of line. I apologize to the list and Lee if they were.

  60. Lee says:

    Sorry if I was a bit testy in my comment to you. I’m busy today but I’ll read it all over and give you a proper response ASAP… a few days maybe.

    My ire was really directed at this other comment.

  61. PATRIOT29 says:

    Thank you for your response, in response to your question of where the “fixed magazine” definition comes from; It comes from the CA DOJ website under the “Assault weapons identification” guide page 80 under glossary of terms, here is the link http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/awguide.pdf
    The definition contradicts the “detachable magazine” definition, they should be the exact opposite of each other. The fixed magazine definition refers to the way a rifle is loaded and teh detachable definition refers to how the magazine is dropped. CONFUSING to say the least.

    In addition, under category 3 assault weapons it states this;
    (2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10rounds. It doesn’t mention detachable. I will try to find the DOJ’s interpretation on the “bullet type” mag drop for your reference.

    Again Thank You

  62. David says:


    As someone that has built several CA-legal AR’s, including the infamous California Legal Hello Kitty AR-15 http://blog.riflegear.com/archive/2007/12/26/hello-kitty-ar-15—evil-black-rifle-meets-cute-and.aspx and has supplied compliance parts to hundreds of other California AR builders, I can tell you that you are mixing a couple definitions and old information and that is what is leading to the confusion.

    While it is true that the definition of “Fixed Magazine” that you quoted is indeed in the AW guide, that is not the definition you should be focusing on. You should be focusing on the definition of “Magazine, Detachable”. The penal code that Lee correctly identified above, 12276.1, refers to “detachable magazine”. It says that if you have a detachable magazine (one that can be removed WITHOUT the use of a tool), then you cannot have the other evil features. Since a rifle properly equipped with a Bullet Button cannot allow the magazine to be removed without the use of a tool, it most definitely is NOT a detachable magazine. The definition of “fixed magazine” is irrelevant. I challenge you to find the term “fixed magazine” refered to in the penal code listed above. That is the letter of the law and that is what matters from a legal standpoint.

    Also, the old FAQ from Bill Wiese was overly cautious in stating to never have a lower with a pistol grip and no magazine in place. That was written way before the bullet button was developed. In fact, you can ask Bill himself over on calguns.net and he will tell you the same thing and that he needs to update the FAQ. As a matter of fact, most people now agree that you can have a fully functional lower receiver, even with a normal magazine release and it is still legal AS LONG AS THERE IS NO UPPER RECEIVER ASSY INSTALLED. This is because it cannot possibly meet the definition of a centerfire rifle if there is no upper installed. As a matter of fact, a lot of people are building AR rifles and putting .22 rimfire uppers on it. In that case, no Bullet Button is required at all as the evil feature list only applies to centerfire rifles. I hope this clears up some of this misinformation. Seriously though, the experts are over at http://www.calguns.net, including Bill Wiese and you should go ask him yourself if you still have doubts.


  63. Lee says:

    Argh. I’ve been terribly busy with other things in my life recently. It’ll take me a while to respond to this thread. In the mean time, have fun discussing.

  64. PistolJ says:

    Most of the threads talk about purchasing individual parts and assembling the rifle in California. Can a complete non-listed AR-15 type rifle with a Bullet Button, be legally purchased out of state and sent to an FFL in California?

  65. Bob says:

    Answer to your question is YES. As I have mentioned before in this thread (comment #8) you can contact Chris Bieling @ http://www.Lanworldinc.com (located in Utah)and get just about any AR-15 with an OLL fitted out the way you want shipped to your local CA FFL. He has one of the best web sites I’ve come across. He specializes in California customers which makes it real nice. I have had bought 3 AR-15’s from him, 2 Stags and 1 Rock River. In fact take a look at comment #29 where I’ve posted pictures of some of my rifles. You can get a Stag model 3H (right handed) starting at $851.00 + $24.00 for you bullet button. I would recommend you get a C Products 10/20 rd California mag for $25.00 that way it looks really cool and only holds 10 rounds. Shipping will run around $20.00. So you are looking at just about $919.00 + what ever your local FFL charges for transfer fee + DROS. Best of luck.


    fact is this

    if the lower receiver your looking to build IS NOT LISTED BY NAME on the DOJ list (BY NAME, not series)it is pefectly legal to build into a california compliant rifle. remeber this though. to have the “evil features” on the gun, the magazine has to be in a FIX AND NON-DETATCHABLE state, such as with the bullet button OR the price 50 button ( the bullet button is more practical as it ( the magazine) can be removed with a bullet tip or any small tool for cleaning,etc without dismantling the entire weapon to do so) OR you can order one of the california stocks for your rifle and install it, giving you the capability to have an actual REMOVABLE BOX MAGAZINE, as long as your rifle doesnt possess any of the “evil features”.

    funny thing is that under current law, esentually all a company would have to do to make there lower receivers california compliant is to change the name on them. from what i understand if the firearm isnt listed BY NAME SPECIFICALLY on the list, the receiver would be totally legal to own,possess and to build into a california complaint rifle.

    also, ( now correct me if i am wrong) if you already own one of these receivers.guns when and if DOJ ever finally decides to add them to the list by name, they have to give you a 90 registration period in which to register your rifle as an ‘assault weapon” in california.

    i find all of this absolutely hilarious to be honest.there are so many as i call them “loophole guns” in the system other than the AR type or series that never made it to the list, and most likely never will. furthermore, there are specific guns ( which i wont mention here) that they wouldnt ever dream of being assault type that are semiautomatic that can EASLY be converted to a full auto state safely with the addition of as little as a common paper staple. shows you californias mentality. lets leave the easly converted firearms on the streets, and take the hard to convert off the market.generally, if you can buy a high cap for it over 20rds, well then, you can fill in the rest.

    my point to all of this is if you have the ability and oprotunity to obtain whats known as a “OLL” or “off list lower” and you ever wanted to own an AR style rifle, you better grab them up now. i made the mistake of not doing that back in the day and had to wait until all of the OLL stuff came up to actually get one. from what i hear, DOJ has been in the process of making a list to update the current laws for some time now ( since the OLL thing came up) and eventually there going to try to ban a whole slew of them in one fail swoop. im going to in the near future buy at least 2-3 more lowers before this happens.

  67. Bob says:

    John: you make a very good point about buy now before it happens again. However, how the DOJ can add to the list is not legal under AB2728 which prevents the DOJ from ever updating the list after Jamuary 2007. I would be more concerned if a democrate becomes president and we have another “Clinton” Federal ban. Should another ban became law, yes we would get the 90 day period to register our rifles. The hilarious part about our gun laws in California is that the law makers don’t have a clue as to what they are doing. God help us if we end up like what is going on in Berkley. A bunch of old pot smoking hippies running the show.

  68. Neil in Seattle says:

    Don’t you guys have a citizen’s initiative process by which you could collect signatures to reverse this stupidity, get it on the ballot, and vote it away for good (or till neocon scum like McCain, and neolib scum like Obama or Hillary do it at the fed level)?

    Or did you lose a sane voting majority when the mexicans pushed you over 50% non Euro-American?

  69. mike says:

    slight off topic…i recently found about 12-30rnd mags in my dad’s garage and he doesn’t really shoot anymore so i took them. i want to lock some of them to hold only 10rnds? anybody have any suggestions? i know that normally you just make a dent in the nagazine so that the follower doesn’t go past 10rnd capacity, but i simply don’t have the tools to do it. i tried with a hammes and screwdriver but that was stupid. anyone know any FFLs or gunsmiths in CA who could do this and what they would charge?

  70. Bob says:

    Mike: I really don’t think any FFLs or gunsmiths in California are going to touch your 30rd mags. It’s a very sticky issue and since you are not the orginal owner there could be an issue with you having them in your possession. Check to see if there is a date stamped on them as they would have to be pre-large cap ban. If not you maight have some problems with them being illegal. If that is the case the best thing to do is destroy them. I suggest that you contact Bill Weise at calguns.com and check with him.

    Best of luck my friend.

  71. PistolJ says:

    When building your own rifle, does it really matter what brand lower receiver is used? I noticed some options like milled vs. stamped, standard vs. mil-spec. I’m interested in the gas piston system, specifically the LWRC or POF systems. Is it better to get the same brand lowers?

  72. Bob says:

    If you are going to go with a gas piston system any of the systems will be fine. You can’t go wrong with them. LWRC has a short stroke gas system that is used in their uppers. One thing you don’t want to do is confuse Patriot Ordnance Factory Inc.- USA with Pakistan Ordnance Factory. POF-USA came out with their gas piston system back in 04, which only added three parts to a stock AR upper. Keep asking the questions and you’ll soon decide which way to go.

    Best of luck

  73. mike says:


    I’m pretty sure POF USA is in fact owned by Pakistan Ordnance Factory. While the relationship isn’t very obvious it is there. On POFUSA website it says all they HK MP5&G3 parts are made in Pakistan. And it makes sense considering Pakistan Ordnance Factory is licensed to make HK products. Then think about POFUSA now hitting it big with gas piston products named directly after HK 416/417 programs. Only reason I bring this up is that some people don’t like the idea buying Pakistani products, directly or indirectly.

    To not make this post a complete hijack…POFUSA is an excellent manufacturer. Their gas piston systems are awesome and well worth the extra money (and their do cost a bit extra).POF in Pakistan makes excellent products too. I’ve used a lot of their products in A-stan as a lot of contractor buy POF products…their MP5’s are in my opinion better quality than from HK themselves.

  74. Bob says:

    Mike: Thanks for the clarification. Don’t worry about the hijack, better to have all the correct information given out not just parts. I wasn’t sure about the connection between POF-USA and POF-Pakistan since POF-USA website states that they are american owned and operated. My comment about not confusing them, was to keep manufacturers going and stop the bleeding of US dollars to foreign companies.

    Thanks again.

  75. mike says:

    I do want to add that my conclusion about the relationship between POF-Pakistan and POFUSA is based on the fact that they both specialize in making HK products, the obvious similarity in name, and the fact that POFUSA used to be the major importer of POF Pakistan products into the States. So i’m assuming that the relationsip is closer than POFUSA likes to admit. But don’t take my word for it.

    However, the gas-piston systems are 100% made in the USA. To be honest I don’t care who gets my money as long as I end up with a good product. If someone else is better at making weapons systems than we are its fine with me, as long as we are better at using them.

  76. Bob says:

    Mike: Comments well spoken. I understand your reasoning. It appears that you have excellent knowledge of both POF’s. Infornmation such as this in important to someone trying to make that all important purchasing decision.

  77. Metroshot says:

    We @ Metroshot Firearms located in San Fernando have been doing the AR black rifles for over 3 years since it opened up due to the Harrott vs. Kings County case law ruled by the Calif Supreme court.

    Stop in on Saturdays !

    Check out our website for cool stuff only we carry in LA county:

    We have cool coupon to use if you go to Google and type in Metroshot.

  78. John The Gunsmith says:

    the issue of the high cap mags has came up with me before and i did alot of checking and rechecking with DOJ.

    from what i understand from DOJ, if you have high capacity magazines that have been inherited, or given to you, even by a family member, youd have to turn them over to the local PD or sheriff.

    secondly, high capacity magazines generally dont have date identifications on them , so it would be virtually impossible for anyone to know when they were made. it is illegal to transport into the state,lend,give,etc,etc high cap magazines….. but i bet if you asked your father about them, and think real hard about it, i bet he gave those magazines to you years ago, and you forgot. as far as modifying them to hold 10rds, thats perfectly legal for you to do yourself. i know one guy who did that, and all he ended up doing is putting 10rds in the mag, drilling a small hole below the spot the follower hit and putting a pop rivet it it, which effectivly acted as a “stop”. worked greatr. then if you ever want to return them to larger capacity, all you need do is to drill the rivet.

  79. Bob says:

    John: Excellent information regarding hi cap mags.

  80. Lee says:

    Patriot29, I now see where your question lies. If you remove the “fixed” magazine from your rifle, it possibly can then accept a “detachable” magazine, and that’s illegal. The answer is in the definition of a detachable magazine.

    Magazine, detachable – An ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm…

    “Detachable” means that it can be easily removed. With the bullet button, you can easily insert the magazine but can’t remove it without a tool. I think that covers your question, yes?

    Next question: is a bullet button legal?
    Here is a back-and-forth by the California Office of the Attorney General about detachable magazines and bullet-tools in 2000. In the end of this discussion, bullets are “tools” and it’s decided not to specifically outlaw bullet tools, making them legal:
    978.20(a) Detachable Magazine (CA DOJ website) (local copy)

  81. marcusg says:

    So are the AR-15 from “LAN World, Inc.” really California legal or not ? I understand the “10 round” rule but what other modifications did they do to make these AR-15 California lega; ?

    Thanks, Marcusg

  82. Bob says:

    Marcusg: It’s true, they are CA legal after adding a bullet button or Prince 50 mag button and 10 rd mag.

  83. mike says:

    Little off topic but can you use a 5.56 lower to build a 6.8spc rifle. Put a 6.8 upper on the 5.56 lower. I read someone a while back that it works but not sure if it was correct.

  84. marcusg says:

    Thanks Bob, What would say is more cost effective, to build one from scratch or buy one that is already built and CA. Legal ?

    Thanks again, Marcusg

  85. Bob says:

    Marcusg: It’s cheaper to build it yourself. However I noticed that if you bought a seperate lower and a seperate uppper from LanWorld it could be a low as around $750.00 depending on what lower and upper you bought.

  86. Bob says:

    Marcusg: I double checked the $750.00 I mentioned above. Here is how the numbers break down. Stag 15 3H completee upper $446.00, Stag A2 lower $246.50, CA kit $50.00, estimated shipping $20.00. Total $757.50 plus your FFL transfer and DROS.

  87. marcusg says:

    Hi Bob, I want to get one bad butI just posted this on AR-15.COM :

    After looking around and calling some local gun/FLL dealers I’m starting to get discourage and/or having second thoughts.

    Reason ? While talking to one of the dealers, he explained to me that it is more trouble than it’s worth. ? In a nutshell (We talked for a long time.) he told me that although it is “legal” to own a “California compliant/Bullet Button” equiped AR-15 (For now that is.), Law enfourcement, at the very least, could still confiscate the gun if they even suspect that it is a “listed” assault weapon because how it looks, and although you probably would get your gun back, you would still have to go to court first to explain everything. Even though the law states that LE or the courts cannot determine what is considered an “AW”, they would still make you go through all the “motions” and make it hard for you to get your gun back, if you know what I mean. He said that their could be some legislation coming out to “correct” the small technicality” with the Bullet Button/Magazine locked equipped guns, making them illegal “Black listed” AW’s. I don’t know, I just don’t know. I would hate to spend a lot of money let alone something I built myself, get taken from me, or pay a fine.

    So now I’m still thinking about it. Thanks Bob for the info.


  88. Lee says:

    Marcusg, your comment got a little garbled. The only part I could read was “it is “legal” to own a “California compliant/Bullet Button”

    If you don’t want a California legal AR-15, then don’t buy one.

  89. Bob says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you are having second thoughts about building / purchasing a AR-15. We all know there are some risks with building / buying an AR-15. The CA DOJ is always pushing hard on the FFL’s, most of the time it is all scare tactics. The DOJ wants people to be scared and not purchase these types of rifles. I’m sure at some point there will be attempts to close the loops in the screwed up laws of this fine state, but we must continue to exercise our rights. If they do change the laws, we will still get to keep our guns since we legally purchased them under the current CA laws. We’ll just have to go through the registration process.

    This last weekend some friends and myself went to Panoche Hills just south of Santa Nella to do some shooting on some BLM land and there was a rather large group from Calguns up there enjoying themselves. Since I’m a member of Calguns I know they were not shooting bolt actions! With over 30,000+ AR-15’s either that have been built or purchased in CA since the sunset of the federal AW ban and California’s gun law fubar, CA gun owners are enjoying this little bit of freedom.

    Like Lee say’s “if you don’t want a California legal AR-15, don’t buy one”.

    The really sad part is you’ll never know the what fun it is to own and shoot one.

  90. marcusg says:

    Again, thanks Bob for your input. No doubt about it, I want one just to clear things up, but wanting/owning one is totaly different than really owning one, iy you know what I mean. Is there a group, place, network up here (from Calguns) where they shoot in Nor Cal/Bay area ? Like I said I’m not totally decided that I will not build/buy an AR-15, just thinking about it before I make my final decision. Anyways thanks for all the help and advice.

    Peace, Marcusg

  91. Bob says:

    Marcusg: I know that a group of the guys from Calguns that went to Panoche Hills last weekend where from San Jose. I myself live in the Tracy area and there are quite a few guys who visit one of the local ranges out here have AR’s. I’m sure that there are groups in the Bay Area also. Go and join Calguns online (it’s free) and post a blog. I’m sure someone will respond. Anyway best of luck. Hope to see you at a shoot one day.

  92. Eric says:

    Bob, where do you guys shoot your AR? I live in Modesto and will probably go to Manteca to shoot my AR for the first time. I also have a .458 SOCOM upper coming, so might as well shoot that the same day. I’ll be sitting at the far corner of the range so hopefully no one notices my “scary” looking toys.

  93. Bob says:

    Eric, I have shot at the Manteca Sportsmans range many times. It’s good for the local shooting. If we want to really enjoy a day of shooting we travel a little to BLM land. The only draw backs with that is there are no accomidations. Every thing must be brought in. 458 Socom? Must be cool! You are a lucky guy.

  94. Eric says:

    I saw the 458 SOCOM in the Shooting Times magazine and liked the fact that I can use my hi-cap mags with it without modifications. I happened to have 3 hi-cap magazines with all my old gear from the Marines; I’ve owned it before 2000 so it’s legal. Since you’re local, I’ll probably run into you in one of the ranges.

  95. John V. says:

    So, please let me know if I am understanding this correctly. So according to the wording of the CA law as long as my “assault rifle” has a fixed magazine allowing a max of 10 rounds and it is not shorter than 30 inches it may have as many of the other “Evil” features as I want, like collapsable stock, pistol grip, forward grip, and flash suppressor, and still be legal? Question 2, I am interested in the Beretta CX4 Storm but am unable to buy it here. If it has a stock spacer making it 31 inches long then the only other thing it would need is a fixed magazine. Is there any company making a kit to give that rifle a fixed mag?

  96. Bob says:

    John: The answer to your first question is yes. But please don’t refer to them as “assault rifle”. We like to call them “black semi-automatic rifles” or simply AR’s. With regard to the Beretta CX4, I would suggest you join Calguns.net and blog that question.

  97. Lee says:

    “Bob”, you have issue with “assault rifle” but not “evil”? We?

  98. Bob says:

    Lee: “We” don’t need to raise the hipe issue with “assualt weapons” the media and politicians do enought. Look at todays headlines “Policeman killed with “assualt rifle” in Philadelphia. Once again if we comply with the laws our rifles are no more then a legal semi-automatic rifle.

  99. John V. says:

    Thanks for the info. The term “evil” was not in regards to you but to the CA DOJ list of characteristics that identify a black semi-auto rifle as bad. For some reason they think a pistol grip makes an AK scarier than say an M1A semi-auto which is legal. I know I wouldn’t want either one pointed in my direction.

  100. Bob says:

    John: I know that evil was not in regards to me, just the features that the DOJ and politicians have determined to be associated with a military style “assualt weapon”. Funny thing is no manufacturer calls them “assualt weapons / rifles” only the media and politicians.I know that “pistol grip” is pretty scary thing.

  101. Lee says:

    Bob, the term “AR” is not better than the term “assault rifle”. That conflates the ArmaLite “AR-15” (named for the first 2 letters of the company’s name) with the term “assault rifle”. Since an AK-47 is in the same class as an AR-15, one shouldn’t call them both an AR. Although it is impossible to pin down an exact definition of what an assault rifle is, in the same way that you can’t pin down exactly what a “sports car” or “light truck” is, the term is useful.

    I object to the term “evil” because it is not descriptive and it is extremely self-deprecating. Using the term cements in people’s minds that assault rifles have evil (immoral, sinful, blameworthy) features .

    The term “black semi-automatic rifle” is horrid. Since assault rifles are not always colored black (for example, the AK-47 and the M1 Garand), it seems obvious that you are using the term “black” in the same way that you’d say “black magic” or “black heart”. And that is awful, incorrect, and wrong.

    Go ahead and imagine the news headline that you proposed, “Policeman killed with assault rifle”. Would it be better if that headline read “Policeman killed with black semi-automatic rifle”? No, that reads stupidly. How about “Policeman killed with AR”? Huh? No. Instead I think that you should point out to people that when they google for “Policeman killed with assault rifle“, it doesn’t turn up any hits.

  102. Bob says:

    Lee: The one thing nice about living in this country is the fact that we have the freedom to express our opinions. You have some very points which I would agree with, however not all. Your remarks at times seem extremely sarcastic. I have no interest in continuation of discussing this topic.

  103. Lee says:

    Bob, I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic. Text doesn’t convey as well as speech. Have a nice day.

  104. Bob says:

    Lee: Thanks, you have a nice day also. I’m sure we’ll discuss other topics in the future.

  105. James says:

    If I buy a AR15 in Tennessee but move to California what are the laws restricting me. What if I am in the Military, are there acceptions?

  106. TORRES says:


  107. Lee says:


  108. Bob says:

    Lee: It is apparent that Torres is new to email/web blog and does not realize that when you use “caps” that it is considered yelling for any email/web blog. And I do agree with you he should review the 105 preceding comments to help him with his question.

  109. TORRES says:

    thanks bob.:)

  110. Bob says:

    Torres: The law is confusing a lot of times. I’m no expert on the subject. However if you want to have any of the listed “evil features” i.e. pistol grip, folding or telescopic stock, thumbhole stock, flash suppressor, forward pistol grip, your mag must not be detachable. Therefore having your AR fitted with a Prince 50 mag button or a bullet button will allow you to have the evil features as long as your rifle has an off list lower. There a couple of
    firearm manufacturers that have CA. legal AR type rifles for sale. Bushmaster has the Carbon 15 and Vulcan Firearms has their version the V-15. The Bushmaster has an internal magazine while the Vulcan has their mag pinned / rivitted and expoxy glued in. The bottom of the mag is also welded. My son has the Carbon 15 and it is a nice rifle while I have a Vulcan. The Vulcan is a much better looking rifle then the Bushmaster. You can order the Bushmaster from Davidsons online and have it sent to one of their FFL’s by you. Try going on Davidsons.com and check out their “Gun Genie” feature. You can shop through many different manufacturers and models. Once you pick a model you like it will give you three FFL’s close to you and then you can pick the lowest price. It’s that easy.(they’ll only ship CA. legal rifles) You’ll agree to purchase it and put a down payment on it. Within a week it will ship to the FFL you picked and you go down to them, fill out all the state required paperwork pay for it then wait your ten days. Now if you live close to Modesto you can go to Sierra Arms and buy a Vulcan V15 there over the counter. They usually have one or two in stock. Another way is to go online to Lanworld.inc and order pretty much any off list lower fvrom Chris and he’ll ship it to a local FFL in your area. I have bought 2 Stags and one Rock River from Chris and he is excellent to work with. Best of luck.

  111. Bob says:

    Torres: I wwould suggest that you go to calguns.net for the exact law regarding AR ownership in CA.

  112. TORRES says:

    hey sorry but i need to ask this someone know where can i buy a legal ar15 with a removable magazine???

  113. Bob says:

    Torre: Do you want a turn key system or do you want to build it?

  114. caliarowner says:

    look…its real simple…i cant understand why some of these guys cant understand.
    you can build an offlist lower in two different configurations.

    1.) all/part/some eavil features and a NON-REMOVABLE FIXED MAGAZINE


    2.)a removable magazine, but no evil features, such as flash hider,pistol grip,etc

    pick one

    do yourself a favor before asking questions. take the time to farking READ the thread before asking. this thread has every single answer you could ask about california AR laws, including the addy to calguns. i guess some of you just feel its easier to ask then to strain your brain and read the comments and the same sad ass questions that have already been posted and answered over and over and over and over and over…..

  115. Gary D says:

    how do you go about purchasing the Rock River LAR-15 Varmit A4 rifle in the picture. did you buy the parts and assemble it or did you buy it directly from rock river? i like the setup you have on that varmit with the U15 stock. That is exactly what im looking for but i want a removable magazine. any feedback appreciated…

  116. Gary D. says:

    Ok so its me again… does anyone reply to this post anymore?

    ok so i am building my first AR15 rifle. here is the setup that i am going with,

    Stag Arms 15 5.56mm lower receiver with U-15 stock (love removable magazine feature)

    RRA Varmint 20″ Upper receiver assembly .223 Wylde Chamber

    ok so now my questions,

    Should i do 20″ or 24″ barrel? I plan to use 5.56 NATO rounds.

    with the use of the U-15 stock does this mean i can use 30 rnd mag?

    is it ok to have a stag arms lower with a RRA upper? are they compatible?

    what hand should be ordered and how do you identify left or right hand AR15’s? my trigger finger is my right hand.

  117. Bob says:

    Gary D: Sorry it’s been a while since I was on this post. My computer use to let me know when someone posted a comment. But I had some work done on my computer (fix all the problems my kids made) and I lost that feature. Let me answer your questions regarding the RRA LAR-15 A4 Varmint Rifle I have.
    No problem with mataing a Stag lower with an RRA upper, however I think you should go with a complete RRA. I own 2 other Stags and the RRA is a much better rifle. 20″ barrel is just fine. I hit consitant 3/4″ MOA at 100 yd with mine. 5.56 will have more pressure then .223.YOU CAN’T USE A 30RD MAG WITH ANY OLL!. Right hand.

  118. Eric says:

    Bob, actually you can use a 30 round mag with an OLL, if you have a .458 SOCOM :). This is the #1 reason why I bought the .458 Upper – you can use hicap mags, but it only can fit 10 .458 SOCOM rounds.

    I had 3 hicap mags from the military that I owned before 2000 that was just sitting in my garage. The hicap mags fit exactly 10 .458 SOCOM rounds in them. I wonder if I can legally purchase hicap mags, since technically it wouldn’t be hicap for my .458 SOCOM; it only fits 10 rounds…

  119. Bob says:

    Eric: It is not a hi cap mag for 458. If you had a mag that held more then 10 rd of 458 that would be a hi cap mag per PC 12020. Questions was for a 223/.556.

  120. Lee says:

    There are quite a few comments here indeed! More questions and answers on this subject can be found in the followup thread:
    Fully Legal AR-15 in California: Part 2