Phenix Firearms and Survival Supply
California compliant AR15 and AK series rifles

California-Legal AR and AK Type Semi-Automatic Rifles


The Federal Assault Weapon Ban expired in September 2004.


According to the California DOJ, there are three categories of “Assault Weapons”:


  ·  Category I are listed by make and model in PC 12276, also known as the Roberti-Roos list.

  ·  Category II was the legally ambiguous definition targeting AR and AK “series” firearms in PC

     12276(e). This definition was modified by the California Supreme Court in 2001 in what is known

      as the Harrott decision. The DOJ was required to create an additional list of firearms by make and

      model. It is available in CCR 11 § 5499 and is sometimes referred to as the “series list”. Then

      came AB2728, which prevents the DOJ from ever updating the list after Jan 2007.


  ·   Category III are defined by characteristic features listed in PC 12276.1. These are sometimes

      referred to as “SB23 features” (from the Senate bill) or sarcastically as “evil features”:


       (1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:

(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.

(B) A thumbhole stock.

(C) A folding or telescoping stock.

(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.

(E) A flash suppressor.

(F) A forward pistol grip.

       (2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

       (3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.


Therefore an AR or AK type rifle is legal if it is built on an “off-list” lower receiver (OLL), has an overall

length of 30 inches or more, has a barrel length of 16 inches or more (PC 12020), and,


  · has a fixed (non-detachable) magazine holding 10 rounds or less

  · or has a detachable magazine, but has no other SB23 features


A firearm built in one of the above defined configurations is just a semi-automatic rifle, not an Assault

Weapon as defined by California law.



Fixed vs. Detachable Magazines


The DOJ defined the term detachable magazine in CCR 11 § 5469 as: “Detachable magazine” means

any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of

the firearm action nor use of a tool being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool.


Pistol Grips


CCR 11 § 5469 states a "pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon"

means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp in which the web of the trigger hand (between the thumb

and index finger) can be placed below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while firing.


High Capacity Magazines:


Since Jan 1, 2000, California law (PC 12020) prohibits the manufacture, importation, or sale of large

capacity magazines. A “large capacity magazine” is defined as any ammunition feeding device with the

capacity to accept more than ten rounds (with several exceptions not relevant here). However, California

does not ban the possession of large capacity magazines. Any large capacity magazines acquired before

2000 are legal to continue to possess, use, and even lend (when in the accessible vicinity). However,

they are only legal to use in “featureless” builds, not fixed-mag builds, which are limited to 10 rounds.