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AR Pistol in California

Single Shot AR Pistols in California: A Comprehensive Guide

Single shot AR pistols are a unique category of firearms that have gained popularity in California due to the state’s strict gun laws. This guide will cover the legal framework, acquisition process, and other relevant information for those interested in purchasing a single shot AR pistol in California.

TacticCAL – We sell our very own AR pistol single shot

Legal Framework

California has some of the most stringent gun laws in the United States, and this extends to AR pistols. Here are the key legal points regarding single shot AR pistols:

  1. Definition and Configuration:
    • A single shot AR pistol is defined as a pistol that can only fire one round before needing to be manually reloaded.
    • Usually, it does not have magazine but a “sled” where you can load on bullet at a time. However, Franklin’s CA7 does have a magazine and they call their pistol “bolt action repeater” but lacks the gas tube which makes it a single shot.
  2. Compliance with California Laws:
    • The pistol must comply with California’s overall firearm regulations, which requires a fixed magazine and cannot have a forward pistol grip.
    • It should not be classified as an assault weapon under California law, which dislikes AR-15 style firearms. Lacking a fixed magazine on your single shot AR makes it an assault weapon under California law.
  3. Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale:
    • California maintains a roster of handguns certified for sale, but this roster does not apply to single shot pistols. Single shot AR pistols, therefore, do not need to be listed on the roster, which is a significant loophole used to purchase these firearms legally.

Where and How to Buy a Single Shot AR Pistol

  1. Licensed Firearms Dealers:
    • You can purchase single shot AR pistols from licensed firearms dealers who are familiar with California’s laws. These dealers typically offer AR pistols that have been modified to comply with single shot regulations. As a FFL 7, I am allowed to assemble single shot AR pistols. We are currently selling single shot AR made whatever receiver you’d like or purchase one that is already available at our shop. Starting Price for our own billet lowers is $999 which includes quality parts.
  2. Online Retailers:
    • There are online retailers specializing in California-compliant firearms. Ensure that any online purchase is shipped to a local Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder who will handle the transfer in accordance with state laws. Franklin Armory, Juggernaut Tactical (we are a dealer), and Camdon Defense are the three AR pistols that are currently on the roster.
  3. Private Party Sales:
    • Private Party sales are also an option, but they must be conducted through an FFL dealer to ensure legal compliance, including the necessary background checks and documentation.

Purchasing Process

  1. Background Check and Waiting Period:
    • All firearm purchases in California, including single shot AR pistols, require a background check and a 10-day waiting period. This is mandatory and applies to both dealer and private sales.
  2. Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC):
    • Prospective buyers must obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) by passing a written test on firearm safety. This certificate is required for the purchase of most firearms in California.
  3. Documentation:
    • You will need to provide valid identification, proof of residency, and complete all necessary paperwork as required by state law much like othe firearms.
  4. Transfer and Delivery:
    • After the 10-day waiting period and successful background check, the firearm can be transferred to you by the FFL dealer. Ensure that the firearm remains in its single shot configuration to remain compliant with state laws.

Other Pertinent Information

  • Modifications Post-Purchase:
    • Personal opinion – Much like with a used car, when you own a firearm, you should be able to modify it however you see fit. You can change the engine, repaint it, replace the upholstery, and make any other changes you desire. None of these modifications are illegal, and they don’t constitute manufacturing a new car.

      Similarly, peace officers in California are allowed to purchase “unsafe handguns” and then sell them to the general public at twice the MSRP, which is not considered illegal. These off-roster firearms, deemed “unsafe,” are now owned by thousands of Californians. The Unsafe Handgun Act is unconstitutional, but this still needs to be proven in court.
    • Be aware that modifying the single shot AR pistol after purchase to enable semi-automatic fire or to accept detachable magazines may violate California law. California DOJ has stated:

      “The conversion of a single shot pistol to a semi-automatic pistol may constitute the manufacturing of an unsafe handgun, in violation of California Penal Code section 32000 (a), a misdemeanor.”
  • Use and Transport:
    • Follow all state regulations regarding the safe storage and transport of firearms. Single shot AR pistols must be transported in a locked container, and unloaded while transporting.
  • Staying Updated on Laws:
    • California firearm laws are subject to change. Regularly check for updates from the California Department of Justice and consult with knowledgeable dealers to ensure ongoing compliance.

By understanding and adhering to these guidelines, you can legally purchase and own a single shot AR pistol in California. Always prioritize safety and legal compliance to enjoy your firearm responsibly.