The bottom line first: California is not a friend to America's elite fighting forces.
California is currently undergoing gun law changes. Some laws and CA DOJ rules are being challenged in court. The best resource for the most current information about AR style weapons is at following websites:
California AR Quick Reference Guide (PDF) *Good tool
To avoid registering an AR style rifle as an Assault Weapon, the 10-round magazine must be fixed in place and cannot be removed with a tool. There are various devices available now that will lock the magazine in place, and when the upper and lower is disassembled, the magazine may be removed. The bullet button may become illegal soon.
Prepared by the webmaster, Dave Gray
In January 2009, an air force officer emailed me about bringing AR-15 style rifles into California. That was very good question and I didn’t know the answer so I contacted the Club manager. I was informed the Club cannot transfer or store or DROS AR-15 style weapons. I was also told that the nearest FFL dealer that can is in Bakersfield or Ventura.
I did some research online and found the following information:
Q. I am moving into California and I own several handguns. What are the new-resident registration requirements?
A. You are considered to be a personal handgun importer as defined by California law. You may bring all of your otherwise California-legal firearms with you, but you must report all of your handguns to the DOJ within 60 days as required utilizing the New Resident Handgun Ownership Report. [PDF 518 kb / 2 pg] You are not required to report rifles or shotguns. You may not bring ammunition feeding devices with a capacity greater than ten rounds, machine-guns, or assault weapons into California. (PC sections 12001(n), 12072(f)(2)) http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/pubfaqs.php#24.
Additional CA gun law information is provided by the NRA-ILA.
Still unsatisfied and believing that active duty military personnel would have unique privileges that the general public would not have, I emailed the Lompoc Police Department. Below is the email I received from Officer Frank Lopez:
My name is Officer Frank Lopez from the Lompoc Police Department. My current assignment is SWAT, Range Instructor and Department Armorer. I contacted DOJ of California and asked them if it would be okay for Active Military Members to bring in their Assault weapons into California. The answer is YES but they have to first Call DOJ of California at (916) 263-4887 and request what is called a MILITARY PACKAGE before bringing the weapon into the State. NO CLASS 3 SHORT BARRELED WEAPONS are allowed unless they are registered.
Once filling out and receiving an approval to bring the weapon into California, the Active Member is MAKE SURE the weapon is UNLOADED in a SAFE manner. Once insuring that the weapon is safe it is to be locked in a GUN CASE without a magazine or ammo. The magazine and ammo must be stored in a separate container that can be locked. Both the Assault weapon and magazine/ammo then can be transported. Once at the Main Gate, the Active Military Member MUST tell Gate Security that a Weapon is in the VEHICLE and that it is locked and stored in a case separate from the AMMO and MAGAZINES. The Active Military Member will then have to transport their weapon to the BASE ARMORY. The ARMORY is located at Building 13675 on Colorado and Utah and stored there until a Form 1314 is filled out and signed by their COMMANDER. The Active Military Member has 72 hours to complete the form. This time frame includes getting the letter signed by their Commander. The phone number to the AROMORY is 606-5418
When the active member moves out of the State of California, California DOJ should be informed of this move. These same rules apply for members who are TDY.
Officer Frank Lopez
As you see, it is possible for active duty military to bring their AR-15 style weapons to California as long as proper procedures are followed. Now as for shooting these weapons in California, gun owners will have to call the shooting range they are going to and inquire if they allow them to be shot there. The Vandenberg Rod and Gun Club will allow members and member’s guest to shoot AR-15 style weapons at the rifle ranges only. One important club policy is that NO rounds shall be fired into the telephone poles and target support boards. You are allowed only to shoot through paper/cardboard targets.
California Military Assault Weapon Permit Application (for Active Duty U.S. Military Personnel) (revised January 2012) Click or touch here.
Requirements for new Military AR-15 Weapon Permit Application:
AR-15 Weapon permits for active military personnel may be renewed annually, as long as the permit holder is permanently stationed in the State of California on active military duty and a bona fide necessity still exists for use of personal AR-15 weapons in sanctioned military activities.
All firearms stored or used on base must be registered on base. People residing in dormitory quarters must store their firearms in the security police armory, open 24 hours. Weapons registration must be accomplished the first day the weapon is in your possession on base. The registration form, Air Force Form 1314, is available at all unit orderly rooms. Weapons storage and registration requirements are outlined in Vandenberg Regulation SFOI 31-2071 and SWI 31-104 (ch-7)
Disclaimer: This Website is not affiliated with nor sanctioned by Vandenberg Air Force Base or the Department of the Defense. Funding, development and maintenance of this Website is provided solely by club member David Gray for informational purposes only. All corrections, updates and recommendations are welcome. This website domain was established on 1 August, 2008.