State of California
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
P.O. Box 160487
Sacramento, CA 95816-0487
California Department of Justice
Information Regarding the Sale/Possession of Newly Identified
AR-15/AK 47 “Series” Firearms
The Department of Justice (hereafter Athe Department@) has received numerous contacts
from the public and firearms industry personnel regarding the legality of various AR-15/AK 47
“series” style firearms that have not yet been identified as Aseries@ assault weapons by the
Department. The Department is also aware of the recent high volume of sales of these firearms.
The Department has the statutory authority to identify Aseries@ assault weapons. In 2000,
the California Supreme Court upheld that authority in Kasler v. Lockyer (2000) 23 Cal. 4th 472.
The Department updated the list of “series” weapons in 2000 (as ACategory 2@ assault weapons),
shortly after the Kasler decision.
The California Supreme Court reiterated in 2001 that Athe Attorney General has the
authority to determine that certain semiautomatic firearms are assault weapons by simply
identifying them as such in the list published by the Attorney General in the California Code of
RegulationsYtwo types of firearms defined in Penal Code (PC) section 12276 by the use of the
term series, namely the AK-47 series and the Colt AR-15 series.@ Harrott v. County of Kings
(2001) 25 Cal. 4th 1138, 1155.
Accordingly, the Department is currently in the process of identifying those firearms in
the state that are variations, with minor differences, of AR-15/AK 47 “series” weapons. Once
this process is complete, the Department will promulgate a list and file it with the Secretary of
State=s office. Concurrently, the Department will begin updating the Assault Weapon
Identification Guide which is currently available via the Department=s website at
http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/index.html. Once the list of newly identified Aseries@ weapons