First, this is not legal advice from VC Defense and we will not take responsibility for actions people take from this or any other source of information.
We provide this information as a service to our customers and the general community in California because there is a great deal of confusion and misinformation out there as to what defines a Legal AR Pistol in California. As a result, many people are unwittingly or intentionally manufacturing an illegal firearm.
To put it simply, there are ONLY 3 Legal ways to aquire an AR pistol in California.
They must originate their life in one of three ways:
1. Fabricated from an "80% lower receiver"
2. Manufactured as a complete pistol by an FFL with the proper manufacturing FFL license (e.g. an 07 FFL)
3. Private Party Transfer, both parties of the transaction must be present during the transfer
Additionally, the receiver used for either 1 or 2 Must never have been transferred as a Long Gun. If it has, you will have (from a legal standpoint) a short barreled rifle which is illegal. In California, receivers are transferred as long guns, so, building a pistol from a stripped or complete lower is not legal. Having an illegal short barreled rifle is just as bad as having a machine gun.
Single Shot Exemption (SSE) transfers (as it's done in California):
In addition to the above, before buying a manufactured AR Pistol to be transferred in California, Ensure it is listed in the "Make" drop down list in the DROS system. If it is not, there is no way to properly do the SSE (register it) in California. Not sure?, ask your FFL to check before makeing your purchase. A view of "VC Defense" listed as a Make in the DROS system is shown below.
Our AR Pistols are transferrable under SSE and they all ship with a Single Shot sled so any FFL in California can perform the transfer.
Some friendly advice:
Law enforcement officers are great wonderful people (my father was one), but they are human and they can't possibly know all laws and in my experience, no law enforcement officer knows all the subtle details of the minefield of firearms laws, especially here in California. Most people (LEOs too) don't know it's legal to manufacture your own firearm (from an 80% receiver for example) and also that there is no requirement to place a make, model or serial number on it as is required of us manufacturers.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of a peace officer for a moment. You run across 2 firearms, identical in every way except:
Firearm 1 has no made model or serial number on it. Or it's marked, but it's a pistol that doesn't come up as being registered.
Firearm 2 has a make model and serial number and it comes up registered to the person in possession of it.
Now, remember most LEOs, don't know all the laws and many may look at this AR pistol which most have never seen as being something that just can't be legal, not here in CA.
Of the two firearms identified above, which owner do you think will be let go and which do you think may go to jail and be left to go through the legalities of their pistol?
Think about it and be smart with your decisions when building or buying an AR Pistol.
Of course we sell AR Pistols and there's an obvious marketing motivation behind this write-up, but we also want to help the community not run afoul of the law and to legally obtain what they want. We do sell 80% receivers as well.
We do sell 80% receivers as well, but don't facilitaate people completing them.