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California Legal Firearms

by Richard Nance   |  November 28th, 2011 33

You may have thought those poor dears out in the Golden State were bereft of AKs and ARs and pretty much anything else fun to shoot. Never count our American ingenuity when it confronts government stupidity. Californians may not be shooting exactly what you are, but they’re shooting things their legislators never imagined and laughing all the way home. Read more about it in the 1/20/12 issue of SGN.

California legislators thought they could keep out ARs an AKs with a stroke of the pen. They didn’t count on the ingenuity and resourcefulness of gun owners.

The DPMS A-15 is California legal, unlike its predecessor, the “Panther”, which is banned. The only difference between the two is the stamp on the receiver.

When a tool is required to remove the magazine, it’s considered “non-detachable”, as is the case with this MSAR. The tool need not be complicated.

Silly, but California legal. After purchase, the owner removed the long barrel and dummy magazine and had the LCP restored to its original configuration.

This Masterpiece Arms MPA930 SST has a wooden block screwed into the magazine well, making it legal for sale in California. A buyer then can remove the block.

Retailers like Tracy Rifle and Pistol owner Mike Baryla have to know the ins and outs of California’s quirky gun laws, which confuse even those who enforce them.

Century Arms uses a fixed 10-round magazine with a follower button and hold-back to allow feeding through the ejection port. It’s not fast, but it’s legal.

No magazine button? That’s because this Century AR has a fixed 10-round magazine and is loaded by driving out the rear pin and swinging the upper receiver open.

An evil AK that no Californian can own? Nope, the perfectly legal Arsenal SGL23. The difference is a magazine catch that requires the handy little Arsenal tool.

The Atlantic Firearms Mini Draco pistol is presumably just the sort of gun legislators sought to bar from California, but with a bullet button, it’s legal.

The IO, Inc. Hellhound is a very well-equipped AK variant that, with a Califonia compliant bullet button, you can enjoy just like anyone elsewhere in America.

Surely this MAC-10 lookalike can’t be had in California! Wrong. It’s supplied with a dummy sled magazine. Substitute a real magazine and you’re in business.

These Saiga rifles from J&G will accept a 10-round magazine, but not the original 30-round AK mag. With a conventional buttstock, they are California legal.

  • Mark Lowenstein

    These stupid restrictions are clearly for one purpose only: Make certain the People are not equally or better armed than a militarized totalitarian police/military. Good to know that these stupid restrictions can be easily overcome and corrected. More evidence why California is becoming insolvent and breaking down as a sovereign state. Stupidity seems to rule California – It was once the best place on earth everyone to live. Now – Utterly bankrupt and overrun with illegal aliens, gangs and criminals, yet the asinine legislature is concerned and focused on lawful citizens (We know the federal government has been supplying assault weapons to gangs and criminals in the US as well as Mexico, so the REAL criminals are supported, aided and abetted by the feds to be militarily outfitted with assault weapons, while the same feds focus on disarming or making certain the People are at a complete disadvantage with regards to firepower and ordinance.

  • MacAaron

    Boy am I glad I live in Wyoming.

  • Stix213

    The "bullet button" setups are the easy, no brainer, way to make AR/AK or other evil rifles CA legal. There is also what's called "featureless" where you give up a collapsible stock, and use an altered grip (in addition to a few other features) and you can use a regular magazine release and any size magazine you possess.

  • Stix213

    The work arounds for these laws are doing one helpful thing though…. They are starting to wake up the citizens of California to the ridiculousness of these laws. We have restrictions on models, grips, magazine releases, etc, but anyone with any intelligence quickly notices none of these laws do anything with regard to the piece of lead launching out the tip. Its become apparent that CA legislatures just watched a bunch of 80's and 90's movies and tried to ban everything they saw on screen, without any thought to reality.

  • Timdp

    "The Atlantic Firearms Mini Draco pistol is presumably just the sort of gun legislators sought to bar from California, but with a bullet button, it’s legal."

    This needs to be edited to say: The Atlantic Firearms Mini Draco pistol is presumably just the sort of gun legislators sought to bar from California, but with a bullet button and a 10 round magazine, it’s legal.

    Any gun with a bullet button (long gun or pistol) is limited to using 10 round maximum mags

    • Mike

      actually it is not illegal to possess or use standard capacity magazines. and you can purchase used ones from the nice people in the armored transport business. it IS illegal to import, manufacture, and sell them tho. common misinformation.

      • ken

        so ur saying i can get a high-cap magazine as long as i dont order if from out of state ? im confused and looking to purchase an atlantic firearms .308 pistol and would like to have a high cap mag.

        • Isaac

          NO! The penal code says it is unlawful to sell standard capacity mags. Allegedly there are some exemptions. If you pursue that avenue, you must be very careful that the person offering to sell you standard capacity mags is actually allowed to do so.

      • Isaac

        It is not illegal to use or posses standard capacity mags in California unless you put them into a firearm with a bullet button. ALL bullet button equipped firearms are limited to 10 round mags. PERIOD!

  • franklinarmory

    Good job SGN!

    Mike is really a well respected California gun rights advocate in California. It's stupid what Ca legislatures have created here, but Mike and some other dealers have adapted the law creatively while staying 100% within the four corners of our penal code.

    ….Long live the 9th and 10th amendment! :)

  • Michael

    Never thought living under big brothers laws in NEW YORK, would be better than living in sunny california!

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Move out of cali, and into Texas !

    • Bigmag47

      I`m moving out of Ca. and buying a cheap place in Nevada. 3 bd, 2 bath on 5 acres for, get this….$39,900
      Not only is it a gun friendly state but it`s a house friendly state too! Go my gun toting brothers!

  • Merle

    What is a bullet button?

    • Mike

      its a device used in replacement to the magazine release found on rifles. one cannot simply push a button to drop the mag. requires a fixed magazine. or a magazine that can only be removed with the use of a tool. a bullet button requires the use of a tool to operate. that tool is the tip of a bullet, as these bullet buttons are typically found on semi automatic rifles chambered in .223/5.56nato or 7.62×39..

  • scooter

    Some laws are stupid, however they are the law. If you don't like them, change them. I hope the scumbags that he sells this garbage to will come back to haunt him. I live in the area where he sells this crap and they have no place here. I hope he enjoy's his new Caddy, and someone blows someone close to him away with the shit he sells. He is a smart. ass little punk.

    • goodshot

      Scooter, your lack of knowledge is only surpassed by the idiots that passed the laws in the first place.

  • Scooter

    Oh I forgot to mention that his daddy paid for everything he has,
    His education the store and everything in it. He is a military want to be, but never had the guts, however some of his friends have had their ass on the line and I don't understand how they can stand to be around this want to be punk. You are poking the bear young man, and believe me you are going to pay for it in the end. Money isn't worth a whole lot in state prison.

    • @combs_brandon


      Your virulent comment is filled with irrelevance. As could be expected, you close with some baseless implication going to "state prison" but don't cite any laws or facts. If you want to discuss the firearms that TRAP regularly has on its shelves, then discuss them and offer a cogent argument.


  • MikeP

    Well aren't you just a ray of sunshine. Let me guess, disgruntled customer? Ex employee? Wouldn't transfer or sell you something illegal? His dog bang you? Or wait, a stodgy old crusty fart competitor that thinks someone his age shouldn't be in business. He's cutting int

    The guys at TRAP do plenty to help us common folk exercise our second amendment rights. I have bought many firearms from the guys at TRAP and I can tell you hands down, it's the best damn customer service I have ever received. Everyone is friendly and goes out of their way to make sure I leave happy. I can't say the same about other stores in the greater Bay Area.

    Pound sand asshat. Isn't jealousy a sin?

    • Bigmag47

      MikeP, my user name is Bigmag47, but my real name is MikeG so I believe we have 2 things in common. 1, our first name, and 2…I agree with EVERYTHING you`ve said towards that guttersnipe "scooter" Which by the way I wonder where he gets his user name. If he actually rode a "scooter" someone would probably knock him off of it and make it theirs. lol. He sounds like a bitter little crybaby that needs a nap! Enjoy your shooting MikeP, and thanks for saying what everybody felt like saying.

  • MikeP

    It seems I didn't finish my sentence and there is no edit button. I meant to add " Is TRAP cutting into your profit?"

    • Scooter

      What profit? I have no dog in this fight. I have a shit load of guns, and want to keep them. You dumb ass people are going to screw things up for everyone in Ca. First we had the open carry morons. What did that get you? We now have a new law. If you think you are going to change things by sticking a piece of pipe in a not listed gun and make things better, you are an idiot. I am as pro gun as anyone you could find. The people that work for this money hungry punk will be looking for new jobs soon. As far as someone his age being in business I think is a great thing. Too bad he couldn't do it without daddy's money. One last thing, why would you think I am an ex employee? I guess you have heard the same things I have. He is an asshole to work for? You might want to go back to night school and learn how to make a cohesive statement. Have a nice day, and I will send you a nice package when you and your friend go to state prison. PS RL says hi.

      • @combs_brandon

        I would say that you're nowhere near "as pro gun as anyone [I] could find."

        In fact, you really don't have any point to make here except, maybe, that you're upset some people have more opportunity than others because their parents made better choices than yours did. Maybe you should quit pretending to be a gun rights supporter and find some redistribution of wealth scheme to back.

        No one is going to "state prison" for buying, possessing, or lawfully using the guns sold at TRAP. If you want to argue against that, cite laws and facts. (Hint: you can't.)


        • scooter

          The problem I have is, why in the hell would you give an interview with a national magazine about something that could cause all of us problems? You and your friend think you are smartest assholes in the room. I can remember when you could go to a gun show buy an M 1 carbine or Garand, or anything else and walk out the door with them. Those days are gone and if you think pushing the DOJ is going to make things easier is a fantasy. All this guy cares about is your money. If you don't understand that I can't help you. One more thing, what unit were you with in military?

  • scooter

    Sorry Brandon. I just looked your profile and now know how you must feel. I guess I would have much more time for BS if my only family was two dogs. I am sorry. Maybe you will meet some nice young man or woman to spend your extra time with. It looks to me like you get most of your money from the state of ca. Sorry maybe you can get a real job someday.

  • Danny

    UNFORTUNATELY a new bill has been predictably introduced in CA called SB 249 that would make it illegal to use bullet buttons etc… (LOL!) Please call or write our State legislature and urge them to oppose this bill.

  • Kerry

    I know this is an old thread but SB249 died a horrible death. And Scooter. TRAP is not the only shop in the state doing these sales.
    The fact is nothing that is being done is illegal. Installing a bullet button on a OLL is perfectly legal. Home building an 80% Lower is legal as well and so is folding a AK receiver.

    Now you should go learn the laws before you start threatening state prison. The DOJ has issued letters on all this stuff either stepping away and not wanting to make a ruling or clearly defining something as a non firearm.
    They aren't dumb either and are not about to be made fools of in court.

    You on the other hand are obviously willing to fight for your rights. You don't have the balls to tread on this subject. So take your store bought "i don't want to offend anyone" gun to the range and shoot your Nerf darts.
    We on the other hand are trying to get these legislator to step on their dick.

    You see if try to redefine what a fixed mag is we got them in a legal bind. and if they try to redefine what an assault weapon is well we got them there as well.
    There is a very smart a though bunch of lawyers working on these guys right now. and they are playing legal poker in the court room. What is trying to be proven is that restricting firearms by name type or style is unconstitutional. as it serves no other reason but to disarm the general public. Once that is established they are going to try to repeal every BS law back to 1969 in this state. and make this a Shall issue state for CCW.
    So if you want to play it safe go for it. but don't claim someone is doing something illegal when they are not.

    BTW I'm the proud owner of a hand full of legally built AR15's an AK's with no serial numbers all build in my garage

  • Bigmag47

    This guy scooter sounds just like the owner of a gun store in Oakdale Ca! I got in an arguement with him about converting my saiga 223. He actually started YELLING at me saying you cannot add a pistol grip to my saiga!? Being a gunshop OWNER he should read the firearms laws concerning the state of California. He is what is wrong with California. Either he can`t read, is just too lazy to read, or is just friggin scared of the DOJ! I quoted 922r compliance and he came back with "thats with Federal law not State". I said yup that takes care of the fed part. Now state says for the weapon to be an assault weapon it must 1 be a centerfire with 2 a detachable magazine, then other "evil features come into play. However a magazine that requires disassembly of the firearm to load or requires a tool to release the magazine, a "bullet"… IS a tool, then the firearm is NOT an assault rifle as long as it has no more than 10 foreign parts. He started yelling about how just because he owns a gunshop he knows all the rules. Apperently not. So I`ll tell scooter like I told the Oakdale gunshop owner "go piss up a rope"

  • william mcdonaghIII

    go watch pilots for 9-11 truth video of faa radar on 9-11,then you will see why they dont want you to have same firepower as government,america has been hijacked.i took an oath to defend america against enemies foreign and domestic.americas government is totally out of control,the grossest human rights violaters and war criminals on the planet accept for maybe england,israel,i dont think saudi arabia or pakistan even comes close.research 9-11/anthrax attacks false flag and you will see the truth.


      My friend i also took the same oath and i stand tried and true and at the ready.It saddens me when I see
      our nation turns a blind eye on all the factual evidence on 911;it's obvious popular vote is a waste of time
      and shows our own pepoles as well as the rest of the world we forgot or we're incapeable or unwilliing to
      clean our house;take care and stay true to the oath….

  • normy

    Unless the Supreme court SCOTUS overturns this under the heller ruling.

  • Gerald mecagni

    Which naa minni’s are legal in California

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