June, 24

AR 15 Ban in California: Everything You Need to Know

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AR 15 Ban California. These four words have caused quite a stir in the gun industry and among gun enthusiasts. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle that has been used by civilians for decades, but recently it has come under scrutiny due to its use in mass shootings.

California was one of the first states to ban assault weapons back in 1989, and since then they've continued to implement stricter gun laws. In 2016, following the San Bernardino mass shooting, California passed Proposition 63 which further restricted access to firearms including ammunition background checks and banning large-capacity magazines.

It's no surprise that with these stricter laws comes controversy surrounding what types of guns should be allowed for civilian use. In this article we will dive deeper into the AR-15 ban in California and explore its history, implications on current legislation as well as differing opinions from both sides of the debate. Read on to learn more about this hot topic!

The Impact of the AR-15 Ban in California


The AR-15 is a popular rifle that has gained notoriety and controversy due to its use in various mass shootings. In response to the growing concern over gun violence, several states have implemented restrictions on the purchase and possession of this weapon. One such state is California, which has one of the strictest laws regarding this rifle. In this article, we will explore what exactly entails an AR-15 ban in California and its impact.


California passed a bill called SB 880 or AB 1135 back in 2016 that expanded their existing assault weapons ban provisions to include firearms with "bullet buttons." These are essentially devices that allow for rapid reloading without requiring disassembly of the firearm's action. This new law effectively banned specific rifles like some models of AKs and all variants or models similar to an AR-15 with bullet buttons.

Under these laws, Californians who had previously owned these types of firearms were given two choices: register them as assault weapons through DOJ's registration program by July 1st, 2018 or modify them so they no longer meet key characteristics associated with assault weapons under California law.


To make sure their firearm does not fall under any legal ramifications following SB880/AB1135 implementation owners can do several things:

  • Remove bullet button magazine release (BBMR) attachment from receiver.
  • Replace upper receiver group.
  • Replace lower receiver group.
  • Install fixed magazine conversion kit (FMK).

These modifications must be done before registering a firearm as required under state law.


However there are certain exceptions to owning an otherwise illegal weapon – Owners may keep non-compliant firearms if they owned it prior January first twenty seventeen but must file paperwork by June thirtieth twenty eighteen; They may also obtain permission from local authorities if deemed necessary for employment purposes (e.g., law enforcement) or approved by DOJ on a case-by-case basis.


The impact of the AR-15 ban in California has been controversial. Supporters argue that these weapons are responsible for mass shootings and should be restricted to prevent further tragedy. Opponents, however, contend that this ban violates their Second Amendment rights and hinders their ability to defend themselves.

However, the implementation of this law has resulted in firearms manufacturers creating new models with fixed magazines instead of bullet buttons which still gives access to Californians who desire an AR-15 type firearm.


In conclusion, the AR-15 ban in California serves as a means of reducing gun violence but comes at a cost for those who enjoy recreational shooting and personal defense with this weapon type. The modifications required make it less appealing to own one legally.


What is the AR-15 and why is there a ban on it in California?

The AR-15, which stands for Armalite Rifle Model 15, is a semi-automatic rifle that has become popular among gun enthusiasts and hobbyists. It was initially designed as a military weapon but has since found its way into civilian hands. The rifle's design allows for customization with different accessories such as scopes, grips, stocks, and barrels.

In California specifically, the state passed laws to ban specific features of firearms deemed to be assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. The AR-15 happens to have many of these features that are prohibited under California law.

One major factor contributing to the rifle's ban in California was due to mass shootings that occurred using an AR-15 weapon; thus leading lawmakers towards making attempts at reducing accessibility towards these firearms.

It should be noted that not all types of AR-15 rifles are banned in California; rather certain models modified with specific attributes fall under this category.

Can I still own an AR-15 in California?

Yes – you can legally own an "unmodified" version or otherwise called "featureless" version of an Ar 1"- if it does not contain any specifically prohibited modifications.

This means there will not be any flash hider present on the barrel end or other attachments like bayonet lugs/ forward pistol grip/ telescoping stock etc., typically seen on most commonly manufactured Ar 1"'s..

Additionally , magazines capable greater than ten rounds capacity cannot be inserted into such weapons inside Californian borders – unless they were owned prior (to) January 2000 when this law came into effect.

What modifications make the standard ar 1'5 illegal?

California Law includes several different classifications for what makes up certain firearms “assault weapons” – including various components adhering onto guns like grenade launchers /flash suppressors /collapsible stocks and bayonet mounts. Each of these features, as well as any others specified by the law, when present on the AR-15 make it illegal to own.

For example – if an Ar 1'5 has a telescoping stock (also called a buttstock) that allows for adjustment in length, or if it has a flash suppressor that reduces muzzle flash during firing; then such modifications would be illegal in California's terrain.

What are some alternatives to owning an AR-15 in California?

There are other types of rifles available for purchase which do not fall under assault weapon category / or have specifically banned characteristics.

Californian residents can opt-in for firearms like .22 Long Rifle variants – which lack the power seen with 5.56 NATO used with Ar 1"'s and may also have different features like bolt action etc..

Other popular choices among gun enthusiasts include shotguns which could provide similar experiences with regards to functionality & accuracy , albeit at closer ranges compared to rifles like Ar 15's.

Are there any exceptions where one might be able to still possess an AR-15 rifle in California?

While there aren't many exceptions offered under Californian Law when talking about Assault Weapons , certain exemptions can qualify possession/ownership especially among those employed by Law Enforcement personnel /Military Personnel who are currently active duty.

Additionally handguns do exist (which comply along with rules defined within section PC30510) based on designs from original M16 series weapons manufactured before spillover date of January1989 .

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