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payne 10-28-2009 07:44 AM

Moved to Cali, help me!
Heya Fellas,

Im in the coast guard, and just moved to San Diego from New Hampshire. I have allways been interested in owning a rifle, and my motivation to own has been accelerated by the regime change in washington. I would like to own an AR-15, and I plan on assembling my own (figure it's the best way to get to know my rifle). I would appreciate any advice you could give me... ie.

This is my first firearm, am i getting ahead of myself?

if not...

Is it possible to own an AR-15 in Cali?
Where should i start?
My Budget = $1200, what should i put the most money into?

bkt 10-28-2009 10:38 AM

First, please read this: This link tells you what you may and may not own, whether or not you must register your firearm, etc.


It is unlawful to offer for sale, give or lend any “assault weapon” or .50 caliber BMG rifle. It is unlawful to possess an “assault weapon” or a .50 caliber BMG rifle unless it is properly registered with the state. The registration period for “assault weapons” and .50 caliber BMG rifles has ended. [Does this mean it is impossible to legally acquire an AR-15 in California? -bkt] If an individual has an unregistered “assault weapon” or .50 caliber BMG rifle after the registration period has ended, they must relinquish the firearm to law enforcement. Anyone with a registered “assault weapon” or .50 caliber BMG rifle wishing to legally dispose of the firearm: can sell it to a dealer with an “assault weapons” permit (for such firearms) and .50 caliber BMG rifle permit (for such rifles); or with both type of permits; relinquish it to local law enforcement (after making an appointment); remove the “assault weapon” or .50 BMG caliber rifle from the state or destroy it. Any person inheriting a registered “assault weapon” or .50 caliber BMG rifle has 90 days to render the weapon permanently inoperable, sell to an approved firearms dealer, obtain a permit from the Department of Justice to possess firearms, or move the gun out of state. Pawning “assault weapons” and .50 caliber BMG rifles is not permitted.

California law defines “assault weapons” in three ways:
• firearms listed on the original Roberti Roos assault weapons law.
• any firearm that is in the AK and AR-15 - type series.
• by the specific generic characteristics.

A further explanation of firearms considered “assault weapons” can be found on the Department of Justice website.

A person may lend a registered “assault weapon” or a .50 caliber BMG caliber rifle to another person who is 18 years of age or over if the person to whom the “assault weapon” is lent is not prohibited from possessing a firearm and remains in the presence of the registered possessor, and the “assault weapon” or .50 caliber BMG rifle is property is in immediate danger and the weapon must be carried for “preservation.”

• a person “engaged in the act of making or attempting lawful arrest.”
• a person carrying a firearm while at home or at his place of business, including temporary residences and campsites.

Assuming I'm reading this wrong and it is legal to acquire or build your own AR-15 in CA, no, you're not getting ahead of yourself. What do you want to do with it? Do you want a match gun? Varmint gun? Carbine? Once you answer that, you can buy what you need. Complete (or mostly complete) uppers can be had starting around $270. This may cost significantly more depending on what sort of rifle you want. A stripped lower will run about $150, and a lower parts kit can be anywhere from $60 and up. And you'll need a stock ($50 and up).

Call a gun range or two in San Diego and ask them what the laws are. If the local law enforcement are anything like what we have here in New York, they won't know the laws well and may give you incorrect information, but folks who operate a business that requires knowing the laws will be able to help you.

matt g 10-28-2009 12:57 PM

You can build almost any AR you want in Cali. It just has to have a "ten round magazine that is removable only by use of a tool."

Most sellers in Cali sell the Bullet Button installed in assembled rifles or sell the with stripped lowers. Once you leave the state, you swap the bullet button out for a standard magazine release and you've got a regular non Californiaized AR.

Good luck and thanks for serving.

IGETEVEN 10-28-2009 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by payne (Post 179146)
Heya Fellas,
Im in the coast guard, and just moved to San Diego from New Hampshire.

Thank you for your service sir, and my heartfelt condolences on your relocation to California. :(


james_black 10-28-2009 03:16 PM


Originally Posted by IGETEVEN (Post 179211)
Thank you for your service sir, and my heartfelt condolences on your relocation to California. :(


Same here. I'm dress in black and bought the flowers.

CA357 10-28-2009 03:31 PM

Matt G. got it right. Just do your homework and then find a reputable shop.

Welcome to the People's Socialist Republik of Kalifornia. My wife and I have applied for our exit visas and will be returning to America soon. ;)

dunerunner 10-28-2009 06:12 PM

payne - Welcome to the forum, and thank you for your service!!

You can still own as AR in Kaliefornia, just go to any gun store and wait fifteen days. You shouldn't have any trouble with any of the background checks as you are active military, the only issue might be your residency but I'm sure there is a work around for that.

Look at it this way, unless you're stationed North or Central Coast, It should be warmer than New Hampshire!!

pioneer461 10-28-2009 08:43 PM

Will you be living on base? If so, you should check with the CO's office. Some prohibit privately owned guns on base and other restrictions.

Thanks for your service.

payne 10-29-2009 05:52 PM

Thanks for all of your help guys. Im pretty happy I stubled upon this site, and will surely be using it more in the future when I begin assembling me' AR.

Dcomf 11-03-2009 11:23 PM

When you get to San Diego support the local economy and buy a Kaiser Defense lower. It may be called JD Machine by the time you get around to buying it but they are excellent quality and made right here in San Diego.

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