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California "Assault Weapon" Update
November 25, 2018
With the recent changes in California related to AR-15 Rifles we'll try to update you with some options. Please keep in mind that these regulations are subject to change without notice and may not be completely up to date.
UPDATE AS OF JULY 1, 2018 12:00:00 AM GMT-0700 (PACIFIC STANDARD TIME)
Pursuant to California Penal Code section 30900(b) and California Code of Regulations section 5476, the bullet button assault weapon registration period closed at 11:59:59 p.m. on June 30, 2018. No extension will be provided, and no additional assault weapon registration applications will be accepted. Applications received by the Department are currently being reviewed and applicants will be notified via mail once their application is processed. If an application is deemed incomplete, the applicant will be notified through their CFARS account. Please review California Code of Regulations, title 11, chapter 39 for information related to assault weapon registration.
What is considered an assault weapon under California law?
There are three categories of assault weapons under California law:
What is an "Assault Weapon"?
As defined by California Penal Code Section 30515.
(a) Notwithstanding Section 30510, “assault weapon” also means any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine but has 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 does not have a fixed magazine but has 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 the bearer’s 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.
(b) For purposes of this section, “fixed magazine” means an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 48, Sec. 1. (SB 880) Effective January 1, 2017.)
Other options than registering an AB 1135/SB 880 assault weapon?
By removing the characteristic(s) specified in Penal Code section 30515 that make the firearm an assault weapon, you can modify the firearm(s) so that it has a "fixed magazine" pursuant to Penal Code section 30515(b)
Make the firearm featureless:
By removing the "evil features" from the firearm it can become a featureless rifle. An "Assault Rifle" by definition has several "evil features" these include a pistol grip, adjustable stock, and a flash hider. By changing these the rifle become a "featureless rifle" and no longer is categorized as an "assault weapon."
Modifying the way the rifle releases the magazine can also change its classification. By removing the magazine release button on the rifle will change it into a "fixed magazine," which will require the rifle to be taken apart to remove the mag.
Can you bring an AR-15 into the State of California for the purpose of competition? YES, but only for competition purposes
PENAL CODE 30665. Sections 30600, 30605, and 30610 shall not apply to the possession and importation of an assault weapon or a .50 BMG rifle into this state by a nonresident if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The person is attending or going directly to or coming directly from an organized competitive match or league competition that involves the use of an assault weapon or a .50 BMG rifle.
(b) The competition or match is conducted on the premises of one of the following:
(1) A target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range.
(2) A target range of a public or private club or organization that is organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets.
(c) The match or competition is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by, a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms.
(d) The assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle is transported in accordance with Section 25610 or Article 3 (commencing with Section 25505) of Chapter 2 of Division 5.
(e) The person is 18 years of age or over and is not in a class of persons prohibited from possessing firearms by virtue of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. (SB 1080) Effective January 1, 2011. Operative January 1, 2012, by Sec. 10 of Ch. 711.)
Some addtional resources you might want to reference is the California Code of Regulations: