This was posted on the Cal Guns website. This summary represents a collection of data from various sources and is provided to give people a ” layman’s ” summary of the AW registration rules.
THIS HAS NOT BEEN REVIEWED BY AN ATTORNEY FOR COMPLETE ACCURACY. If you have questions about registering your guns you need to TALK WITH AN ATTORNEY.
Download the PDF: Assault Weapon Registration Guide (rev 2017-Sep-22)
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Disclaimer & Warnings (please read first!)
- I’m not a lawyer, I’m just a regular guy trying to help sort out this mess for everyone.
- While much of this information has been acquired from writings and webinars by CRPA’s legal team, no lawyers (to
my knowledge) have reviewed this guide for accuracy.
- Read ALL the warnings contained within this guide – it is absolutely possible for someone to commit a jailable offense
during registration (or inadvertently admit to having previously committed a jailable offense), and DOJ has
intentionally laid some traps in the registration application to catch offenders.
- Proceeding with Assault Weapon registration is done at your own risk. Be careful, folks. After you submit your registration, you cannot retract the information you sent to DOJ!
Summary of the 2017 Assault Weapon Ban
- On 7/1/2016, Governor Brown signed into law SB-880 and AB-1135, two substantively identical bills which expand the definition of “Assault Weapons”, to now include weapons which were legally owned between 2001 and 2016, inclusive, which have assault weapon features but lacked a fixed magazine (defined as requiring disassembly of the firearm action to remove the magazine). In other words, the bullet button (and similar devices) became no longer a means to avoid
Assault Weapon classification.
- This reclassified a huge number of legally owned weapons as “Assault Weapons”, and the legislation allowed grandfathering of Assault Weapons owned before 1/1/2017 by means of registering the weapon as an Assault Weapon by June 30, 2018*, which costs $15 per person, per application. *The original deadline of 12/31/2017 was extended
- Assault Weapon Registration is only required for (and available to) California residents aged 18 or older. This applies to both primary and joint registrants.
- Assault Weapon Registration is different than standard firearm registration – even if your firearm was “registered” when you originally bought it, if this legislation re-defined it as an Assault Weapon, then it still needs to be registered as a Registered Assault Weapon.
- Being in possession of an Assault Weapon that is not registered to you can be charged as a felony!
- Before registrations could be accepted, the legislation required DOJ to adopt regulations for the purposes of assault weapon registration, and exempted those regulations from the standard APA rules of regulation adoption, including a public comment period.
- After two failed attempts at getting the regulations approved, on the third try and with almost zero substantive changes from the first draft (Click here for a comparison of all 3 drafts), the Governor’s office intervened and the regulations
were forcibly approved on 7/31/2017. Registration was brought online two days later – over 7 months later than the legislators intended.
- There are at least 3 pending lawsuits (and as many as a half dozen) against the Assault Weapon ban and related laws:
o Rupp v. Becerra was filed by NRA & CRPA lawyers, challenging the Assault Weapon Ban (in all its forms, dating back to 1989).
o Villianueva v. Becerra, also by NRA & CRPA lawyers, challenges the DOJ regulatory scheme (and their willful disregard for the law governing that process) regarding the 2017 AW registration.
o Duncan V. Becerra, also filed by NRA & CRPA lawyers, against the Prop 63 ban on Large Capacity Magazine possession, is in process. On 6/29/2017, the district judge issued a landmark injunction blocking the enforcement of the possession ban (which was to take effect on 7/1/2017) while the case is in process.
- To help fund these lawsuits, please consider a donation to CRPA Foundation (fully tax deductible!). If you can be a plaintiff in a future AW lawsuit, send an email to email@example.com.
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What May, Must, or Can’t be Registered
CRPA has kindly produced this easy flowchart as a guide. Here’s a summary and some additional notes:
- DO NOT attempt to register the following items:
o DO NOT register weapons acquired (picked up from the FFL) after 12/31/2016.
o DO NOT register weapons which were (or should have been) registered as AWs under a previous registration period (“named” AWs, detachable-magazine AWs, .50BMG rifles).
o DO NOT register machine guns, SBRs, SBSs, rifles under 30″ in overall length* (see note below), or any other illegally-owned weapons.
o *Overall length is measured from the end of the muzzle (with the muzzle device removed, if not permanently attached), to the furthest other end of the firearm, with the stock folded or collapsed to it’s shortest length where the weapon can still be fired. Note that while the muzzle device must be permanently attached if the OAL is < 30″ without it, devices on the opposite end of the firearm do not need to be permanently attached. So a really thick “limbsaver” type buttpad, or a really long scope mounted as far back as possible, might help you here.
- DOJ says they will not accept registrations for the following:
o If it is not semiautomatic (a disassembled, or otherwise non-working, firearm is not semiautomatic)
o If it does not have any of the Assault Weapon features listed below (unless it’s a shotgun)
o If it has a fixed magazine (requires disassembly of the firearm action to remove the magazine)
o If it is not fully assembled and fully functional
o If it does not have a serial number
- The following MUST be registered before 7/1/2018 (or converted into a non-AW configuration, or removed from the state, or sold to a Dangerous Weapons Permit CA FFL or an out-of-state FFL, or disassembled, before 7/1/2018):
o Semiautomatic, centerfire rifles with non-detachable/non-fixed magazines (aka, “bullet buttons”) and one or more of the below features:
! A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
! A thumbhole stock.
! A folding or telescoping stock.
! A grenade launcher or flare launcher. (DO NOT attempt to register a rifle with a grenade launcher)
! A flash suppressor.
! A forward pistol grip.
o Semiautomatic pistols (centerfire or rimfire) with non-detachable/non-fixed magazines (aka, “bullet buttons”) and one or more of the below features:
! A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
! A second handgrip (forward pistol grip)
! 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.
! The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
o Semiautomatic shotguns with non-detachable/non-fixed magazines (aka, “bullet buttons”), with or without “features”
! The legislation did not change anything regarding shotguns, so nobody knows why DOJ is requiring registration of these.
! Many of these shotguns were purchased legally after 2016, before the DOJ regulations classified them as Assault Weapons on 8/1/2017.
! For those AW shotguns purchased in 2017, registration is not an option, so the shotgun must either be removed from the state, or modified into:
! Disassembled parts, rendering the shotgun non-functional an non-semiautomatic.
! Manually-operated, by removing the gas piston and plugging the gas block.
! Fixed magazine, by welding, epoxying, or riveting a 10rd or less magazine into the firearm’s magazine well.
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Before You Register
- Be very careful before deciding to submit a registration – we don’t have all the facts yet, and you can’t withdraw your registration after you press the submit button!
- You may want to consider performing a Firearms Eligibility Check prior to registering. If your background check shows you as prohibited during registration, that won’t end well for you.
- If you have any home-built firearms (Firearms Manufactured by Unlicensed Subjects, ie 80% builds), you will need to apply DOJ-assigned serial numbers before registering, even if you have already applied a non-DOJ-assigned serial number to the firearm (unless you Vol-Reg’d the firearm with DOJ prior to 1/1/2017 – we think. This hasn’t been verified yet. If this applies to you, you should wait until more information is available). Acquiring and applying the serial number
is outlined below:
o Complete a DOJ BOF form 1008 (“New Serial Number Application”) to request a DOJ-issued serial number.
o Info about how/where to complete the form will be posted here when it’s available – DOJ hasn’t implemented this system as of yet.
o On the Serial Number Application, the answers for who you acquired the firearm from, their address, etc., must all say “NA”, because it is illegal for someone else to have completed an unfinished receiver for you!
o When you receive the serial number, you or someone with an 07FFL or someone without an 07FFL (if you remain present with the firearm) must engrave on the frame/receiver the serial number, model (optional), caliber (“multi” is ok), your first and last name, and the city and state where you made the firearm (which might be different than the city/state you live in currently), to a depth of .003″ or more, with a character height of 1/16″ or more.
o If you already had a self-assigned serial applied to the receiver, and you had to apply an additional DOJ-assigned serial, DO NOT obliterate or modify the original serial! That is a federal felony!
- You should gather these items and information beforehand:
o The system “times you out” after a certain length of inactivity, in which case you’d have to start the current firearm’s form over, so try to have everything ready before you begin. Once the firearm is in your “shopping cart”, it will remain there for a length of time (but we don’t know how long exactly), and you can continue the next firearm later.
o Have on hand: your CA driver’s license or ID card, Military ID card (if applicable), and Alien Registration Number or I-94 (if applicable)
o Debit or Credit card for the $15 fee
o Each firearm’s identifying information, and acquisition date and place (if available), as described in the section, “The Registration Process, Part 1”
o 4 Photos of each firearm, as described in the section, “The Registration Process, Part 2”
o The following information about joint registrant(s), if applicable
! Note: Joint registrants must reside at your address, and their 18th birthday must be before 7/1/2018. It is recommended to wait until after the joint registrant’s 18th birthday before registering, as it is illegal for a minor to have a RAW (this has not been verified though).
! Note: Joint registrants may only be a spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or sibling. No other relationships are allowed.
! Note: It is HIGHLY recommended that your spouse (if applicable) be a joint registrant, because if your spouse is at home and you aren’t, and the AW is accessible to them, they will be committing a felony if they are not a registrant of that AW. (See the section “After Registration: What You May, Must, or Can’t Do”)
! Note: Each joint applicant will need to complete their own registration form AFTER the primary registrant completes theirs.
! Decide who the primary registrant will be. It is unknown if the primary registrant needs to be the person to which the firearm was purchased by, but it is safest to assume that is the case until we learn more.
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! A proof of residence for each joint applicant. Cannot be CDL or ID, can only be one of the following (with the easiest options in blue):
! Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) Permit
! Curio and Relic (C & R) Federal firearm license with name and address
! Utility Bill: Cable, electricity, garbage, gas, pipeline, propane, alarm/security or water bill with purchaser’s name on it within the last 3 months
! Military permanent duty station orders indicating assignment within California; Active duty military spouse ID is not acceptable
! Property Deed: Valid deed or deed of trust for the individual’s property or a certificate of title
! Resident Hunting License
! Signed and dated rental agreement/contract or residential lease (A brief $0 rental agreement between parent/child is fine)
! Trailer certification of title
! DMV Vehicle Registration
! Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Letter (anyone eligible to purchase firearms can get one, the
application can be found in the CFARS website)
! If filling out the joint applicant’s registration form, you’ll need the primary registrant’s CRIS number.
o The fee is $15 per person, per application, with no limit to the number of weapons on each application. Additional applications are $15 each, so it’s best to do all your weapons at the same time.
- You should begin the application process early enough before the 6/30/2018 deadline that there is some “buffer”. If DOJ rejects your application, you will have to submit a brand new one, and after June 30th you won’t be allowed to. You should allow 6 weeks at a minimum, or more if you can.
The Registration Process, Part 1
Find the online registration application:
- You should use a web browser on a computer, NOT a mobile device.
- Registration can only be done online, at https://cfars.doj.ca.gov/login.do.
- If you do not have a DOJ CFARS account, you’ll need to create one. Use a unique password, not something you use with other accounts.
- Log into your CFARS account, click California Reporting Information System (CRIS), then click Assault Weapon Registration Form (Assembly Bill 1135/Senate Bill 880)
DOJ makes you re-enter this info for every firearm; make sure everything is always the same each time.
- Read the Privacy Notice, then check the box to agree.
- If you have submitted a 2017 AW registration already, enter the existing Assault Weapon Registration (AWR) Number. Otherwise, leave blank.
- Your first and last name, and email address should already be filled in, but double-check them for accuracy.
- Enter your physical address, and a mailing address (if different).
- Enter one phone number, in one of the three spaces provided.
- Select your ID type, and enter the ID number.
- Enter your birthday, gender, height, and weight. It’s probably best to simply enter the same data that is shown on your ID.
- You do not need to enter a Race, just leave it as “Select Race” if you’d like.
- Select your eye color and hair color, again it’s probably best to use whatever your ID says on it.
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- Select your US citizenship (Yes or No), then select your birth country. You could pick a specific birth state from the list, but since “United States of America” is one of the choices, there’s really no need to choose a state.
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Firearm Information, Part I (Self-Built / Joint Registration):
- Select whether the firearm is self-built (you made the receiver/frame yourself, for example from an 80% receiver)
- Select whether the firearm will have a joint registrant. If “yes”:
o Select whether you are the primary (first) registrant.
! If “no”, enter the primary applicant’s CRIS number.
o Enter your relationship to the joint-registrant (if you are the primary registrant), or to the primary-registrant (if you are the joint registrant). For example, if you are a parent and the joint applicant is your child, you would enter “Parent To Child”.
o Enter the name of the joint-registrant (if you are the primary registrant), or of the primary-registrant (if you are the joint registrant). Type the name as “Last, First”.
o If you are the primary registrant, you may list additional joint registrants in the Comments section at the bottom. They want you to use this format: “JR2: Last name, First name, Relationship, JR3: Last name, First name, Relationship,” and so on. There appears to be no limit on the number of joint registrants, as long as they reside with you at the time of registration.
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Firearm Information, Part II (Firearm Description):
- Select the Firearm Type: Rifle, Pistol, or Shotgun.
- Select a Category. Semiautomatic is the only selection you should make, even if other selections are available in the list.
Only semiautomatic firearms can be registered as Assault Weapons.
- Select a manufacturer from the list:
o If self-built, choose “U S” (short for “Unlicensed Subject”)
o If your manufacturer isn’t listed, select “America” if made in America, or “Made in ____” if made in a different country, and then write the actual manufacturer name in the Comments section at the bottom. For example, “Firearm manufacturer was not listed, it was actually made by _____”
- Model: Enter the firearm’s model. DO NOT write “AR-15”, “AK-47”, or any other firearm models that were banned by name (listed in Penal Code 30515)
- Caliber: select “Firearm with interchangeable barrels” at the bottom of the list. All firearms have interchangeable barrels, so always select this caliber choice.
- Color: select “Other, Multicolor”, since it’s virtually impossible that your entire rifle is only one single color.
- Barrel Length: Enter the barrel length you have installed currently, and select Inches or CM. In the Comments section in the bottom, always note that there are various barrel lengths. For rifles, write “This firearm may use barrels from 16″ to 36″ in length,” for pistols, write “This firearm may use barrels from 4″ to 15.9″ in length.” or for shotguns, write “This firearm may use barrels from 18″ to 36″ in length.”
- Select a Magazine type. “Non Fixed Magazine (Bullet Button)” is the only choice in the list.
- Select the Cartridge type.
o For rifles and shotguns, “Centerfire” is the only choice in the list.
o For pistols, you can select either “Centerfire” or “Rimfire”. If home-built, add a note in the Comments section that it was originally built as a single-shot, then later converted to semiauto.
- For rifles and pistols, select the AW “features” the firearm has. This section does not appear if you selected “Shotgun” as the firearm type. Make sure the boxes you check match what is shown in your photos, otherwise DOJ will most likely delay your application. Note that, for rifles:
o DO NOT EVER select the “Grenade Launcher” choice!!!
o DO NOT EVER select the “Overall length less than 30 inches” choice!!!
- Enter the serial number, then enter it again. For self-built firearms, this must be a DOJ-issued serial number (see “Before You Register” above, item #3)
- Leave the “Other Number” box empty.
- Select the firearm’s country of origin (where it was manufactured)
- Enter the date acquired:
o DOJ says this is the date that the DROS was submitted, NOT the date you took possession, nor the date you built a receiver into a functional firearm.
o If you do not know the precise date, don’t worry, just enter your best estimate. For example, if you only know you acquired it “sometime back in the mid-2000’s,” enter 01/01/2005. If the firearm was purchased after 2013, and you enter the wrong date, DOJ will likely require you to resubmit your form with the correct date. For pre- 2014 longguns, they shouldn’t know what the date was, and will have to take your word for it.
- Select where you acquired it from:
o If you did a background check when you got it, even if you bought from a private party, choose “Firearms Dealer”, then enter the store’s name and address.
o If you did NOT do a background check (because you didn’t legally require one at the time, for whatever reason), choose “Private Party” or “Family Member”, and enter their name as “Last, First”, their street address, and their Zip code. If you don’t know the answers, then all you can do here is take your best guess. Since it didn’t go through an FFL, it would be impossible for you or anyone else to know who it came from.
o Or if you built it yourself, select “Self-Built”.
- For the comments section, do not volunteer any information that you don’t need to. However, as mentioned already above, your Comments section should include:
o Additional joint registrants (beyond the first one). They want you to use this format: “JR2: Last name, First name, Relationship, JR3: Last name, First name, Relationship,” and so on. There appears to be no limit on the number of joint registrants, as long as they reside with you at the time of registration.
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o If your firearm manufacturer wasn’t listed, write the actual manufacturer name in the Comments section at the bottom. For example, “Firearm manufacturer was not listed, it was actually made by _____”
o Always note that there are various barrel lengths for this firearm. For rifles, write “This firearm may use barrels from 16″ to 36″ in length,” for pistols, write “This firearm may use barrels from 4″ to 15.9″ in length.” or for shotguns, write “This firearm may use barrels from 18″ to 36″ in length.”
o If the firearm is a home-built pistol, put in the Comments, “Originally built as a single-shot pistol, later converted to semiautomatic.”
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The Registration Process, Part 2
Attach the Required Files:
- Four “clear” digital photos of the firearm:
o We don’t know what “clear” means.
o Image file type must be JPG, GIF, PDF, or PNG.
o There is no minimum file size, the maximum file size is 10MB each.
o There are no listed requirements for minimum/maximum dimensions. 600×450 is a very standard photo size, it seems like that should be plenty big, but we don’t know yet.
o Especially if you used your phone camera, strip the EXIF (metadata) prior to uploading! Otherwise very
personal information may be included with the file. You can download a free EXIF stripper here:
o You are not required to include a measuring device in your photos.
o You can apparently take the pictures from any angle or distance you wish, as long as the photo contains all the required contents.
o Exclude magazines from your photos – DOJ does not need to know what your magazines look like, and if they are 10/20’s or 10/30’s, it might unnecessarily raise some red flags.
o Double-check, then triple-check, that your firearms are in a legal configuration before you upload a photo of it to the Department of Justice!
- The four photos shall be of:
o a photo that depicts the bullet-button style magazine release installed on the firearm.
o a photo that depicts the firearm from the end of the barrel to the end of the stock if it is a long gun or the point furthest from the end of the barrel if it is a pistol.
o a photo of the left side of the receiver/frame
o a photo of the right side of the receiver/frame
o If none of those photos show the serial number, include a 5th photo of the serial number using the file type
“Optional Extra Images”. If you don’t, DOJ will ask you for one later and it will delay your application.
- Proof of Residency for each joint registrant, if applicable. Proof of residency is NOT required for the primary registrant, unless you are active military permanently stationed in CA. All of the proofs of residency, if there is more than one joint registrant, must apparently be contained in a single image file.
- To upload a file, click the Add Document button, then select the document type from the list: “Joint Registration (their proof of residency)”, “Military Orders”, “Firearm from end of barrel to stock/other end”, “Right side of receiver/frame”, “Right side of receiver/frame”, or “Bullet Button Style Magazine Release”. Don’t upload a hunting license unless it’s your joint registrant’s proof of residency, and don’t upload “Optional Extra Images” unless absolutely necessary.
- Browse for the file, click Upload, and wait for it to finish. Repeat for each additional file.
- When you’re finished, click Done.
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Submit the Firearm’s Application:
- Scroll to the bottom, and click Preview.
- Review the information you’ve entered, then check “Agree” that:
o I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct
o and that I am the lawful owner of all assault weapons that I seek to have registered.
o I expressly authorize the Department of Justice to perform firearms eligibility checks…
o I also understand that if I currently possess or own firearms and the results of this check reveal that I am ineligible either to lawfully possess or purchase firearms, I must relinquish any and all firearms in my possession.
- Click “Submit Final”.
- It will give you a “receipt”, which you can (and should) print, and your Shopping Cart should have 1 new item in it.
- If you are not ready to pay yet, or if you have more firearms to register, you can now log out of CFARS and come back later, and the firearms you already entered should still be in your “Shopping Cart” when you return, although we don’t know how long the system saves “Shopping Cart” items for.
- If you have more weapons to register, click Assault Weapon Registration Form (Assembly Bill 1135/Senate Bill 880) in the left panel, and start a new application (See “The Registration Process, Part I” above)
- At this stage, you MAY go and review or edit the firearms in your cart still.
- If you’re finished, go to the Shopping Cart and check out and submit the $15 fee. This is the point of no return, you cannot edit your firearms, cancel, or retract anything after you submit payment!
- A payment receipt will be emailed to you.
- If you will have joint registrants, make a note of your CRIS number, which your joint applicants will need when they submit their registrations.
Joint Registrant(s) need to also submit registration application(s):
- Each joint registrant will also need to complete an Assault Weapon Registration application, following exactly the same process outlined above.
- Each joint registrant will need to pay another $15, per application.
- Each joint registrant will need to create their own CFARS account, not the same account as the primary registrant.
Now, you wait:
- Wait times vary. Applications are processed as first-come, first-served. It could take anywhere from a few days to over a month.
- DOJ will notify you by US Postal mail if the application was accepted.
o It is recommended that you make MANY copies of your RAW determination letter when you receive it, and keep the original somewhere safe.
o If you lose it, you can order a copy from DOJ for $5 (but we don’t know what the process for this is yet).
o It is recommended (though not required) that you keep a copy with your RAWs at all times.
- DOJ will notify you by email if the application is rejected or they request further information (see next section).
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Incomplete or Rejected Applications
- If your application was rejected, you will need to review why and determine the next course of action. You can either resolve the issues and submit a new application (and $15 fee), or convert, sell, or remove from CA your Assault Weapons before 7/1/2018.
- Likely reasons for rejection may include:
o Your background check failed
o Your payment failed
o None of your weapons qualify to be registered
o DOJ asked for more information, and you failed to provide it within 30 days
- DOJ may simply request additional information before they will process your registration. You must send them the required information within 30 days, or the application will be cancelled and you’ll need to start over (and pay another $15).
- Here is are the recommended actions if DOJ requests additional information:
o Asking for more/different/clearer photos: You might consider simply complying with this request, unless the request seems unusual.
o Asking for make/model of firearm components: If the component in question is the only “assault weapon feature” on your firearm, you may consider complying with their question. Otherwise, you should NOT answer, and instead ask DOJ why they think it’s relevant, or simply state that you do not know the answer.
o Clarification about how or from whom you obtained a weapon: Do not answer this question! If they persist, tell them that everything you know is already on the registration application.
o Clarification about build dates or build-process for a home-built pistol: Do not answer this question! If they persist, simply state that you do not remember exactly, or flat-out refuse to answer on the grounds that it isn’t relevant. The only things they need to know are the date you finished machining the receiver, and that it was built as a single-shot and converted to semiautomatic later. Both those pieces of information should have already been included in the original application, so there is no need for further clarification on this matter.
o Any other requests: Please ask in this thread if you receive any requests from DOJ that seem unusual to you, before you oblige.
After Registration: What You May, Must, or Can’t Do
Main thread: What you can/cannot or must do with Registered Assault Weapons (RAW)
- Weapon modifications
o DOJ regulations (but not the penal code or legislation) say you cannot ever change the magazine release device. We don’t know if/how this can be enforced yet, so for now it is recommended that you abide by this regulation until further notice. People have suggested that you might have more options available in the future if you register with a Raddlock rather than a traditional Bullet Button. It’s unknown if this is true, but it’s worth considering.
o Other weapon modifications are unrestricted, as long as the weapon remains in a legal configuration (ie, not an
NFA weapon, rifle overall length stays over 26″, etc.)
o Assault weapon “features” can be added, removed, or changed, at any time, for as long as the weapon remains
a registered assault weapon and otherwise legal (see above).
o After your AW is registered, you will not be able to use large capacity magazines with it if the LCM possession ban goes into effect – currently, the possession ban is stayed by a court injunction.
- You may lend or borrow a RAW, if:
o The person being lent the RAW is 18 years of age or over and is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm, and
o the person being lent the RAW remains in the presence of the registered possessor of the RAW, and
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o the person being lent the RAW is at any of the following locations:
! while on a target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range.
! while on the premises of a target range of a public or private club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets.
! while attending any exhibition, display, or educational project that is about firearms and that 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.
- You may use your RAW while:
o At that your residence, place of business, or other property owned by that person, or on property owned by another with the owner’s express permission.
o While on the premises of a target range of a public or private club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets.
o While on a target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range.
o While on the premises of a shooting club that is licensed pursuant to the Fish and Game Code.
o While attending any exhibition, display, or educational project that is about firearms and that 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.
o While on publicly owned land, if the possession and use of a firearm described in Section 30510, 30515, 30520, or 30530, is specifically permitted by the managing agency of the land. (BLM has given permission)
o While transporting the assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle between any of the places mentioned in this section, or to any licensed gun dealer, for servicing or repair pursuant to Section 31050, if the assault weapon is transported as required (see transportation requirements in next section)
- You may NOT:
o Transport a RAW, unless either:
! The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle for any lawful purpose (see section 3 above), or
! The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose (see section 3 above) and, while carrying the firearm, the firearm is contained within a locked container.
“Locked container” means a secure container that is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, keylock, combination lock, or similar locking device. The term “locked container” does not include the utility or glove compartment of a motor vehicle.
! We don’t know, yet, if the RAW transportation restrictions can be avoided by temporarily rendering the firearm “not an AW” (separating the upper and lower, etc.). It is still technically a “RAW”, even if it isn’t an “AW”, so be aware that it might still have RAW transportation restrictions even if it’s not currently in an AW configuration.
o Transfer a Registered Assault Weapon in CA, or to a CA resident.
o Give a RAW to someone in California as an inheritance.
o Allow someone who is not a registrant of the RAW to have access to the RAW, even in your own house. If nonregistrants are at your house, the RAW needs to be locked up, with only registrant(s) having the ability to unlock
- This is why it is highly recommended to add your spouse as a joint registrant.
If these restrictions ever pose a problem for you, you may de-register (see next section).
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Before you consider formal de-registration, consider that you can instead choose to modify or reconfigure the firearm to no longer meet the definition of an Assault Weapon, and then replace the serialized RAW receiver with a different (not RAW) receiver, effectively making the weapon no longer a RAW. Then you may retain the RAW receiver in case you ever decide to build it into a functional RAW again in the future.
If you still decide to formally de-register a RAW, the procedure is outlined below. Note that there is no such thing as mandatory de-registration. Under no circumstances are you required to contact DOJ about your RAW once it’s registered. Even if you sell it, move, etc. However, in certain scenarios (like if you sold it), you may want to de-register it to disassociate your name from that weapon.
- Registered Assault Weapons may be de-registered under the following circumstances:
o Weapons that are no longer possessed, after completing a BOF Form 4546 (“Notice of No Longer in Possession”)
o Weapons that have been modified or reconfigured to no longer meet the definition of an Assault Weapon
- Send a letter to DOJ that includes the following:
o Full name, phone number, and current address; make, model, and serial number; and the DOJ Assault Weapon Registration Number (if known – if not known, then the letter must also be notarized).
o If no longer in possession, must include a proof of sale or transfer.
o If still in possession, must include 1 or more photos showing the weapon in a non-AW configuration.
o Signature and date
- Mail the letter to: Bureau of Firearms, P.O. Box 820200, Sacramento, CA 94203-0200
- If still in possession, DOJ may request additional photos, information, or even an inspection (where or by whom, we don’t know)
- After determining eligibility for de-registration, DOJ will delete the Assault Weapon Registration, and if you are still in possession they will convert the record to a standard “Firearm Ownership Report”, or if you are no longer in possession they will convert it to a “No Longer in Possession” entry in AFS.
- Confirmation of de-registration and updated firearm ownership information will be mailed to your address.
- You may never re-register the weapon as an Assault Weapon, even if the registration period is still open! Attempting to do so would be admitting that you took a non-AW and made it back into an AW after it became illegal to do so on 1/1/2017.