About the AG

  • Subscribe to the AG's RSS Feed
  • Join the AG's FaceBook
  • Follow the AG on Twitter
  • View the AG's YouTube Channel
  • View the AG's Tumblr Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Assault Weapons and .50 BMG

General FAQs

  1. What is considered an assault weapon under California law?
  2. What are AK and AR-15 series weapons and how are they controlled?
  3. What is considered a .50 BMG rifle under California law?
  4. Can assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles still be registered?
  5. I already paid the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) fee and went through a DOJ record check when I purchased the firearm. Does that satisfy the registration requirement?
  6. How can I get confirmation of my AW/.50 BMG rifle registration?
  7. Are there any restrictions on the use of a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle?
  8. Can I travel outside of California with a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle and then bring it back into California?
  9. Can I take a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle to a gunsmith for repairs?
  10. Can I pawn my registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle?
  11. Can I sell or transfer my assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle to a family member?
  12. Can I keep a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle that I inherited?
  13. What should I do if I don’t want to keep my assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle?
  14. If the characteristics that make my firearm a category 3 assault weapon are removed, can I cancel the registration? Can I sell it as regular (non-assault weapon) firearm?
  15. What is the Kasler v. Lockyer California Supreme Court decision and what does it do?

Back To Top



  1. What is considered an assault weapon under California law?

    There are three categories of assault weapons under California law:

  2. What are AK and AR-15 series weapons and how are they controlled?

    Any firearm which is a variation, with minor differences, of the AK or AR-15 type (i.e., series weapon), regardless of manufacturer, is an assault weapon under the original Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989. These assault weapons are listed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the California Code of Regulations, Title 11, Chapter 12.9, Section 979.11 (11 CCR 979.11)

  3. Back To Top

  4. What is considered a .50 BMG rifle under California law?

    A .50 BMG rifle is defined as a centerfire rifle that can fire a .50 BMG cartridge and is not already an assault weapon or a machinegun as defined by Penal Code section 16880. (Pen. Code, §§ 30525, 30530.)

  5. Can assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles still be registered?

    Generally, no. The public registration periods for assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles ended several years ago as follows:

    • Category 1 AW: must have been owned by 12/31/1991 and registered by 03/31/1992
    • Category 2 AW: must have been owned by 08/16/2000 and registered by 01/23/2001
    • Category 3 AW: must have been owned by 12/31/1999 and registered by 12/31/2000

    However, Penal Code sections 30625 and 30630 provide an exception for specified peace officers with written authorization from the head of their employing agency.

  6. Back To Top

  7. I already paid the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) fee and went through a DOJ record check when I purchased the firearm. Does that satisfy the registration requirement?

    No. The DROS fee only covers the cost to determine whether or not a purchaser is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm at the time of the transaction. Additionally, prior to January 1, 2014, rifle or shotgun purchaser information could not be retained by DOJ.

  8. How can I get confirmation of my AW/.50 BMG rifle registration?

    You should have received confirmation from DOJ at the time you registered the AW/.50 BMG rifle. To receive another copy of the registration confirmation, contact DOJ at (916) 227-2153.

  9. Back To Top

  10. Are there any restrictions on the use of a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle?

    Yes. A person who has a registered assault weapon or registered .50 BMG rifle may possess it only under the conditions specified in Penal Code section 30945.

  11. Can I travel outside of California with a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle and then bring it back into California?

    Yes, as a long as it is transported in accordance with Penal Code sections 16850, 25610, and 30945, subdivision (g).

  12. Back To Top

  13. Can I take a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle to a gunsmith for repairs?

    Yes. However, you cannot leave it with the gunsmith unless he or she holds an assault weapon permit or BMG rifle permit respectively. Otherwise, you must remain with the firearm while it is being repaired. If the firearm must be shipped to the manufacturer for repairs, a firearms dealer with an assault weapon permit or .50 BMG rifle permit must handle the shipping.

  14. Can I pawn my registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle?

    No. Neither assault weapons nor .50 BMG rifles can be pawned.

  15. Can I sell or transfer my assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle to a family member?

    No. Neither assault weapons nor .50 BMG rifles can be sold or transferred to a family member.

  16. Back To Top

  17. Can I keep a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle that I inherited?

    No. Pursuant to California Penal Code sections 30915 and 30935, any person who obtains title to a registered assault weapon or registered .50 BMG rifle by bequest or intestate succession shall, within 90 days (for assault weapons) or 180 days (for .50 BMG rifles) do one or more of the following:

    1. Render the weapon permanently inoperable.
    2. Sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer who has a permit from DOJ to purchase assault weapons/.50 BMG rifles.
    3. Obtain a permit from DOJ to possess assault weapons/.50 BMG rifles, in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with section 32650) of Chapter 6.
    4. Lawfully remove the weapon from this state.

  18. What should I do if I don’t want to keep my assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle?

    If you have an unregistered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle, you must relinquish it to law enforcement.

    If you have a registered assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle, you have the following options:

    1. Sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer who has a permit from DOJ to purchase assault weapons/.50 BMG rifles.
    2. Make arrangements with your local police department or sheriff's office to relinquish your assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle. Call first. Do not go to the police department or sheriff’s office without first making prior arrangements.
    3. Lawfully remove the weapon from this state.
    4. Render the weapon permanently inoperable.

  19. Back To Top

  20. If the characteristics that make my firearm a category 3 assault weapon are removed, can I cancel the registration? Can I sell it as regular (non-assault weapon) firearm?

    Yes. If the defining characteristics establishing a firearm as a category 3 assault weapon are removed, it is no longer an assault weapon and the registration may be canceled. However, once the registration is canceled, you can never replace the characteristic(s) that make it an assault weapon, or you will be in possession of an illegal weapon. To cancel an assault weapon registration, contact DOJ at (916) 227-2153. Once the registration has been canceled, the firearm can be sold or transferred like any other firearm (non-assault weapon).

  21. What is the Kasler v. Lockyer California Supreme Court decision and what does it do?

    This court decision upholds the constitutionality of the Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989. As a result, DOJ is obligated to enforce the statute with respect to identification of category 3 assault weapons (AK and AR-15 series weapons). These assault weapons are listed in the California Code of Regulations, title 11, section 979.11.

Back To Top



Military Assault Weapons

  1. What is a Military Assault Weapon Permit?
  2. Does a Military Assault Weapon Permit expire?
  3. If I have a valid Military Assault Weapon Permit can I purchase or acquire additional assault weapons while permanently stationed in California?

Back To Top



  1. What is a Military Assault Weapon Permit?

    A Military Assault Weapon Permit allows possession of a personal assault weapon for use in military sanctioned activities only, by active members of the military permanently stationed in California who have express permission from their Military Base Commander. The following documentation and fees must be provided:

    • Submit your fingerprint impressions before submitting this application. To submit fingerprint impressions, you must take a completed Request for Live Scan Service form (BCII 8016) to a Live Scan station. Refer to http://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints for Live Scan station location information. Request the Live Scan station submit your fingerprint impressions to both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI. You must pay the Live Scan operator a $73.00 DOJ fingerprinting fee as well as the Live Scan operator's fee (note: Live Scan operator fees vary by Live Scan site, and the DOJ does not regulated or set this fee).
    • Completed Military Assault Weapon Permit Application (BOF 4082).
    • Current copy of applicant's official military identification card.
    • Official letter signed by the applicant's Base Commander, establishing that a bona fide necessity exists for use of personal assault weapons in sanctioned military activities. The letter must include a current telephone number for the Base Commander's office.
    • Copy of Permanent Change of Military Station/Duty Orders.

  2. Back To Top

  3. Does a Military Assault Weapon Permit expire?

    Yes. A Military Assault Weapon Permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance or the termination of permanent active duty military stationing in the State of California, whichever occurs first. For renewal, prior to the permit’s expiration, the following documentation must be mailed to DOJ along with the Military Assault Weapon Permit Application (renewal) (BOF 4082):

    • Current copy of applicant's official military identification card.
    • Official letter signed by the applicant's Base Commander, establishing that a bona fide necessity exists for continued use of personal assault weapons in sanctioned military activities. The letter must include a current telephone number for the Base Commander's office.
    • Copy of Permanent Change of Military Station/Duty Orders.
    • Completed copy of Report of Use of Personal Assault Weapons in Military Sanctioned Activities (BOF 047).

    If the renewal application is received after the expiration date, there is a $25 renewal fee.

  4. Back To Top

  5. If I have a valid Military Assault Weapon Permit can I purchase or acquire additional assault weapons while permanently stationed in California?

    No, a Military Assault Weapon permit does not allow the permit holder to purchase in or import additional assault weapons into California.

  6. Back To Top

Megan's Law

California Registered Sex Offender Database

Search Now

Megan's Law information is also available in these languages:

Site Navigation

Translate Website

  • Google™ Translation Disclaimer

This Google™ translation feature is provided for informational purposes only.

The Office of the Attorney General is unable to guarantee the accuracy of this translation and is therefore not liable for any inaccurate information resulting from the translation application tool.

Please consult with a translator for accuracy if you are relying on the translation or are using this site for official business.

If you have any questions please contact:Bilingual Services Program at (916) 324-5482

A copy of this disclaimer can also be found on our Disclaimer page.

Select a Language Below / Seleccione el Idioma Abajo

Close this box or use the [ X ]