June, 16

AR-15 Legal in California: What You Need to Know

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Are AR-15 legal in California? This question has been on the minds of many gun enthusiasts and law-abiding citizens alike. With the increasing number of mass shootings in recent times, there has been a lot of debate around gun control laws, and specifically around the ownership and use of assault weapons like AR-15.

As with most states in America, California has its own set of firearms laws that regulate the use, possession, sale, and transportation of guns. The state's approach to gun control is generally seen as stricter than other states'. However, it can be confusing for individuals who are not familiar with these laws to understand whether or not they are allowed to own an AR-15 rifle.

In this article about "are AR-15 legal in California", we will dive into the details surrounding this question. We will explore California's gun laws concerning assault weapons like AR-15s so that you can have a better understanding as a Californian about your rights when it comes to owning one. So read on!

Are AR-15s Legal in California?


The AR-15 is a popular semi-automatic rifle that has been used by the military and law enforcement for decades. However, there has been much debate about whether or not this weapon should be legal for civilians to own. In particular, the legality of owning an AR-15 in California has come under scrutiny due to the state's strict gun laws.

In this article, we will explore whether or not AR-15s are legal in California and what you need to know if you are considering purchasing one.

What is an AR-15?

Before we dive into the specifics of California law, let's first discuss what exactly an AR-15 is. The term "AR" actually stands for Armalite Rifle, which was the original manufacturer of this type of firearm. Today, many different manufacturers make their own versions of this rifle.

The standard configuration for an AR-15 includes a detachable magazine and a pistol grip that allows for easy maneuverability. It also features a collapsible stock that can be adjusted to fit shooters of different sizes and body types.

While some people believe that the term "AR" stands for assault rifle, this is actually not true. An assault rifle is defined as a fully automatic weapon capable of firing multiple rounds with just one pull of the trigger – something that most civilian-owned firearms cannot do legally without special permits from federal authorities.

The Legality Of Owning An Ar 5 In California

Now onto our main question: Are AR-15s legal in California?

The short answer – yes! However there are some restrictions owners must follow:

  1. First off it’s important to note no new ones can be sold within state borders.

  2. If someone already owns one they must register it with current legislation passed on July 1st 2018 requires all CA residents who buy build their own AR-15 to apply for a California Bureau of Firearms (BOF) serial number, and engrave it on the firearm receiver.

  3. Some local governments within California have passed additional laws that may impact ownership in their jurisdictions. For example, San Francisco has banned possession altogether.

These restrictions should be taken seriously as failure to follow them could result in criminal charges being pressed against you.

Benefits Of Owning An Ar 5

Now that we’ve established the legalities of owning an AR-15 in California let’s explore some benefits :

  1. Versatility: The AR-15 is known for its versatility – it can be customized with different stocks, grips, and sights to fit your preferences.

  2. Accuracy: Thanks to its design and construction the rifle is highly accurate making it a great choice for sport shooting or hunting activities like bear or elk hunting where long-range shots are necessary.

  3. Home Defense: With proper training this weapon allows homeowners a fair chance at defending themselves during home invasions by providing more stopping power than most other civilian-grade rifles.


In conclusion, owning an AR-15 is legal in California but comes with certain restrictions – current owners must register their weapons while new ones cannot be sold within state borders. But if you’re considering purchasing one just remember there are many benefits such as versatility accuracy and better home defense options when compared with similar firearms on market.

It’s important however not solely rely on article content recommendations or focus entirely only these points before deciding whether purchasing any firearm including an Ar 5 because everyone's needs will vary so we encourage doing thorough research whenever planning any major purchase decision especially when it involves something as serious as gun ownership!


Are AR-15 rifles legal in California?

Yes, it is generally legal to own an AR-15 in California. However, there are certain restrictions and regulations that apply to the ownership of these firearms. The state laws governing firearms possession and use can be complex and confusing, so it’s important to understand the rules before purchasing or owning any kind of firearm.

Under California law, AR-15s are classified as “assault weapons,” along with other semiautomatic rifles that have certain features such as detachable magazines or pistol grips. In order to legally possess an assault weapon like an AR-15 in California, you must obtain a special permit from your local law enforcement agency.

To apply for this permit, you’ll need to complete a background check and undergo a thorough investigation by local authorities. You’ll also need to provide proof of residency in the state of California and demonstrate that you have completed a special training course on firearm safety.

It’s worth noting that even if you obtain the necessary permits and follow all applicable regulations for owning an assault weapon like an AR-15 in California, there are still some restrictions on where these firearms can be used. For example, they cannot be carried openly or concealed outside your home without additional permits from local authorities.

How can I legally buy an AR-15 in California?

In order to purchase any type of firearm—including an AR-15—in California, you must first pass a background check through the Department of Justice (DOJ). This process involves filling out several forms with personal information such as your name address birthdate Social Security number etc., submitting fingerprints for identification purposes (if required), paying fees associated with acquiring guns licenses etc..

Once your application has been approved by DOJ officials ,you may then proceed with buying desired gun models from licensed dealers who sell restricted firearms including those covered under AWB legislation which includes ar 14's among others

It is important note that due to california's strict gun laws, not all dealers may carry the rifle model you are looking for. In addition, some local jurisdictions may have their own limitations or restrictions on the ownership of firearms.

What modifications can I make to my AR-15 in California?

California law restricts certain modifications and accessories for assault weapons like the AR-15. For example, it is illegal to modify an AR-15 so that it has a detachable magazine outside of specific circumstances such as if you are engaged in hunting activities or while participating at shooting ranges.

Additionally, there are restrictions on certain types of ammunition and magazines that can be used with these rifles under state law. It’s important to understand these regulations before making any modifications or purchasing additional accessories for your firearm.

Keep in mind that even if a particular modification is legal under California law does not mean it is allowed everywhere within the state– some cities might have additional regulations beyond what statewide legislation states

Can I bring my AR-15 into California from out of state?

If you legally own an AR-15 outside of California and plan to move into this state permanently ,you will need comply with CA State Department regulation procedures regarding bringing personal firearms across its borders.

In order transport your firearm into CA safely along with other household items when moving house cross country (for instance), one must take extra precautions required by both federal & local authorities: checking transportation methods (such as airplane travel) combined with obtaining special permits from DOJ prior entering Cali territory borderlines

Be sure check up-to-date laws & regulation which apply where desired destination lies within california–this varies depending area's jurisdictional rules . If unsure about how best proceed given unique situation consult local lawyer who specializes in gun rights matters could be advisable before taking any steps further towards relocation process especially when bringing restricted guns like ar 14s along.

Are there any exceptions made for owning an unmodified version of the AR-15 in California?

As previously mentioned, the ownership of assault weapons like AR-15s is heavily regulated in California. However, there are a few exceptions for certain individuals who may be allowed to own these firearms without obtaining special permits or undergoing additional background checks.

For example, members of law enforcement agencies and military personnel who are stationed or residing in California may be exempt from some of the state’s firearm regulations. Additionally, licensed gun dealers and manufacturers may possess assault weapons under limited circumstances when they need such weaponry for business purposes.

However, it’s important to note that these exceptions do not apply universally across all jurisdictions within California–consult your local firearm regulatory body before making any attempts at owning an ar 14 unsanctioned by standard regulations set forth by statewide legislation & local authorities .

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