AR Pistols in California (A legal Note)




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 2 Legal ways to acquire an AR pistol in California.

They must originate their life in one of two ways:


1.  Manufactured as a complete pistol by an FFL with the proper manufacturing FFL license (e.g. an 07 FFL) as a “Single Shot, Break Top” (We manufacture and sell these in our Thousand Oaks, CA Store!)

2. 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.


UPDATE 2018: To be a pistol that can be legally transferred through a PPT the pistol must be in a “Fixed Magazine” configuration.


Some friendly advice:

Law enforcement officers are great wonderful people (my father was one) but they are human and they can not possibly know all laws. It has been my experience no law enforcement officer knows all the subtle details of the minefield of firearms laws, especially here in California. 

Accordingly, many officers may look at an AR pistol which most have never seen as being something that just can't be legal, not here in CA.


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.