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California-Legal AR-15 Parts You will Need When Building in CA

80% Lower Parts Kit (California-Compliant)

It’s no secret the AR-15 and the state of California are not friends. As California continues passing legislation that restricts the AR-15, we continue to ensure black rifle (and pistol) lovers like yourself have access to all the 80% lower options, receivers, accessories, and goodies you want and need so you can legally continue building AR-15s in California. Here are all the California-legal AR-15 parts – including CA-compliant 80% lower components – you will need to legally build an AR-15 in California!

The CA-Compliant AR-15: Featureless or fixed magazine?

Once you’ve decided to build an AR-15 in California (good choice!) you’ll have one more decision to make: Build a “featureless” AR-15 (avoiding the accessories and configurations California has deemed “dangerous”), or get creative and keep all the accessories and parts you want, and make your magazine fixed so that it cannot be removed without weapon disassembly.

Either way, you’ll want to build your AR-15 with a CA-compliant 80% lower. We’ll visit both options so you know what you can do to build the CA-Compliant AR-15 of your dreams! Let’s go:

The California-compliant 80% lower

Before we break down both options for building a California-compliant AR-15, we have to consider the firearm itself: The stripped lower receiver. At this time, you can legally build your AR-15 in California using an 80% lower – you simply need to follow the rules.

To complete an 80% lower and get started on your build, you’ll need to first submit a request to the California Department of Justice for a serial number (this costs a little bit of cash). You’ll need to do this before you complete your lower. Once completed, you have options!

Option 1: Build a featureless AR-15

California Featureless Build Kit (5.56 Nitride & 13.5-in. MLOK Handguard) - Blog Photo 1

If you want to keep your magazines easily removable, then you’ll have to adhere to some rather scrutinous California gun laws. A “Featureless” AR-15 (like our California Featureless Build Kit above) cannot have any of the following:

  • A pistol grip
  • A thumbhole stock
  • A folding or telescoping stock
  • A grenade launcher or flare launcher
  • A flash suppressor
  • A forward pistol grip

California banned “high-capacity” magazines (greater than 10 rounds), although a Federal Judge recently overturned that ruling. At press time, owning a featureless AR-15 in California means you can still rock 30-round PMAGs!

Option 2: Build your AR-15 with features and an ARMagLock

Having a detachable magazine and any features would make your AR-15 an “assault weapon” in the eyes of the California Department of Justice. But what if you could make that magazine fixed? It just so happens that any 80% lower is capable of accepting the same fixed-magazine hardware as any store-bought AR-15 lower receiver!

The ARMagLock can make your 80% lower CA-compliant!

Having a “fixed” magazine in your AR-15 means you can skirt around having your weapon defined as an “assault weapon”. This means you get to enjoy all those juicy features! Unfortunately, California banned the Bullet Button as a qualifier for having a fixed magazine, but that’s okay.

ARMagLock - Blog Photo 2

Installing the ARMagLock on your completed 80% lower qualifies your AR-15 as having a fixed magazine! With the ARMagLock, you can still operate your rifle or pistol quickly and you can make easy magazine changes in just a few seconds. Having the ARMagLock installed also means you get to install all those features you’d otherwise miss out on!

DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At AR-15LowerReceivers, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.


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