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Late this morning (like, midnight ish) three men participated in an armed home invasion in California. One of the men was using an AR-15 pistol equipped with a pistol arm brace. The men were caught and arrested, but instead of simply being charged with the usual weapons related felonies the California police decided to tack on the charge of “possession of a short barreled rifle.” This is a state statute and not a Federal one being charged, but it still doesn’t bode well for others . . .

From a local source:

According to Turlock police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis, three suspects, one armed with an AR-15, entered the home and forcefully took several items from a resident.

Justin Singh and Adari allegedly took the victim’s purse and other personal items while Austin Singh waited by the door with the AR-15, said Lewis. The suspects then fled in a white SUV.


Authorities located the assault rifle, with the laser sight on, in the vehicle, according to Ceres SWAT. A large quantity of marijuana was also located.


Justin and Austin Singh were both arrested for robbery, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a short-barrelled rifle, and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Justin Singh was also arrested for violation of his probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Adari was arrested for robbery and possession of an assault weapon.

So, before we get ahead of ourselves, the California statute is MUCH more broad in its definition of a “short barreled rifle” than the Federal law that the ATF just recently clarified:

As used in Sections 16530 and 16640, Sections 17720 to 17730, inclusive, Section 17740, Article 1 (commencing with Section 27500) of Chapter 4 of Division 6 of Title 4, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 33210) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 of Title 4, “short-barreled rifle” means any of the following:
(a) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(b) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(c) Any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(d) Any device that may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive.
(e) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

While the statute is more broad than the Federal version, it still takes some wiggling to fit the arm brace equipped AR-15 into one of these categories. In fact, the felons in question have a pretty good chance that the judge can and will throw out the charge, like they did when the ATF tried to make their claim that a vertical foregrip constituted an AOW and the court threw out the charge (U.S. v. Davis, Crim No. 8:93-106 (D.S.C. 1993) ).

We will keep an eye on the situation, stay tuned.

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  1. That upper at least (in the picture) is made by a company in CA. Rouge industries, I believe. Complete and utter pieces of shit. I had one.

    • I know right?

      Vote with your feet people. Come to Texas. Many of you will get better jobs. Even if you get the same job, you’ll get a pay raise via lower taxes. Plus, you typically won’t have to put up with this bullshit.

      • I’m guessing as per your name you came from the Northeast.

        And yes, we readily welcome anyone that wants to become a Texan and integrate into Texas culture. We don’t want people that want to come to Texas and think it should be more like the place they were trying to get away from. They aren’t welcome here, and they can take their agenda and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

        We’ve been doing just fine the way we are and we aim to keep it that way.

        • AMEN, Tacos! What we do NOT need here are any more expatriot Kalifornicators like those who emigrated to central Texas, converting our state capitol of Austin into ‘Moskow on the Colorado’ and the county into the ‘Peoples Socialist Republik of Travis Kounty’. 🙁

          Few know that in the past, Austin had a police chief who was so anti-gun that off-duty law enforcement officers from outside Travis county were charged with ‘Unlawful Carrying of Weapons’ if caught with a gun in Austin: this led to a change in the state weapons law stopping this practice.

          Moreover, a lot more recently, former Travis County Constable / now Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar ‘Dimocrat’ Bruce Elfant was caught using county equipment and phones promoting gun control.

          Witness this from the NRA-ILA archived article ‘Anti-Gun Lobbying Organizations (Friday, August 20, 2004)’:

          Texans Against Gun Violence
          Bruce Elfant
          Travis County Courthouse
          P.O. Box 1748
          Austin, TX 78767
          P: 512-473-9100
          P: 512-371-3236
          F: 512-473-9640

          Problem was, the Travis County District Attorney refused to prosecute, or even present it to the Grand Jury!

          Don’t know if it’s still that bad down there, as I try to stay away from there as much as possible. 😐

      • I hear a lot of this.. While I understand the frustration and the temptation to blow off California as a lost cause, this is be a critical mistake. In case you haven’t yet noticed, novel new legislation that passes in California has a habit of spreading to other states.

        Ask folks in NY, MD, CO, CT and WA how well ignoring developments in California has worked for them.

        Don’t get me wrong, I got fed up and left California a few years ago. I’ve left a lot of places though. …but the point is, after what I saw and experienced there I still send money to the Calguns Foundation whenever my employment status/cash reserve permits, even taking priority over donating to local organizations wherever my current state of residence may be. Just as we’ve seen over the past few years in DC and IL, some of the most critical precedent cases on 2nd Amendment rights are being fought in CA right now. Amazingly, the good guys are winning despite being ridiculously outnumbered and overmatched. They need and deserve all the help they can get to push back the forces of evil.

        The same is true politically for the many rural counties being held hostage in Sacramento by the 2 coastal metropolitan sprawls: Santa Barbara-Ventura-Los-Angeles-Orange-County-San-Diego, and the SF Bay Area. California still contains millions of our fellow gun owners, whom our common enemies are doing their level best to strangle out of existence. If successful, who do you think they’ll come for next?

        We cede that field of battle at our own great peril. Better to fight them there than at home.

        Happy trails,

        #OREGON HOBO#

        • Good points overall, but you are over estimating the ‘wins’ in Kalifornia. Te ones that are settled were very minor and Peruta is about to get reversed en banc. Calguns and other groups are trying hard to nullify the infringements of the left-leanign legislature and executive branches, but the judiciary is left-leaning also and the SCOTUS seems disinclined to take gun cases any more almost as if they have decided to let states decide for themselves after the vague and narrow Heller and McDonald decisions. The People’s Republik of Kalifornia is the virtual Alamo of gun rights. And when it finally falls, which given the electorate, that is inevitable, containment of the contagion protecting other Western States will be the real battle.

        • Sorry, but I think California really is a lost cause, and because of more than gun laws. Demographics is destiny.

        • If you go by demographics alone, everywhere is ultimately a loss.

          Or, you could think about how you’d pitch a pro-gun message to that new demographic.

        • As a frustrated soon to leave resident of California, I agree. A minority wishing to assert it’s civil rights in a democratic republic can only be protected by the courts from majority legislative infringements and but the court in CA are mostly anti-gun. While Texas, Main, and many other states are legislating new freedoms for gun owners weekly it seems, in California pro-gun bills die in committee and anti-gun bills breeze to the floor and pass.

          The department of fish and game head in CA was fired from his job for going on a legal lion hunt in Idaho. While it isn’t my cup of tea, it was legal. And he respected state law by doing to somewhere else. He has fired because:”While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office,” wrote Newsom in an open letter to Richards earlier this week. ” that was Gavin Newsome of San Francisco is the lieutenant governor and likely the next governor.

          This is where the state is going: they feel the same way about gun owners because also we also don’t share the values of the tyrants of the once great state and they want us either gone or stripped of our rights if we stay.

        • please help California, I am a Gun owner and our rights are being stripped daily.
          They are going after anyone person or a group, spending tax dollars like water which California doesn’t have.

      • Texas is basically the New York of red states.

        Racist, anti-gun, and impoverished. Most Texans don’t even vote because of how shit the candidates are. Move to Nevada, Utah, Arizona, or any number of closer red states with better gun laws than Texas.

  2. “Large” amount of weed? Pshhht, that’s probably the right amount for just a Thursday night at any given frat at your local college.

  3. You missed a piece there, Nickie:

    As used in Sections 16530, 16640, 16650, 16660, 16870, and 17170, Sections 17720 to 17730, inclusive, Section 17740, subdivision (f) of Section 27555, Article 2 (commencing with Section 30300) of Chapter 1 of Division 10 of Title 4, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 33210) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 of Title 4, “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

    Cal. Penal Code § 17090 (West)

    That “shoulder thingy” that doesn’t go up is critical, and why AR pistols are actually legal here. But you can’t expect the police to know that. There are many stories of police seizing ARs because they are uneducated in the complexities of California law with respect to assault weapons. And these are the police charges, not the actual charges that will eventually filed by the DA.
    On the other hand, although this does not appear to be a SBR, it may be an “assault weapon” because it does not have a “bullet button.” I don’t really know though, since I have never had any interest in these toys. they are required for AR rifles unless it is a “featureless” build (please don’t ask).

    • I forget the specifics but I believe the replacement to the buttstock is a workaround intended to alleviate the required bullet button.

      • If it’s a handgun, then there’s really no workaround for the bullet button. Any handgun with one evil feature – in this case, magazine outside the grip – is a California AW. Contrast to long guns that can have <= 1 evil features (in which case there are grip modifications to ARs that can obviate the need for a bullet button.)

        This is why (apart from the roster) we can't have the 22/45 Lite – the threaded barrel makes it an AW.

        So if it's any AR pattern pistol without a bullet button, it is automagically an AW.

        • So if it’s any AR pattern pistol without a bullet button, it is automagically an AW.
          Correct. For others who may be unfamiliar with California law in such matters, all the AW law is contingent upon the existence of a detachable magazine. The bullet button legally makes it a fixed magazine, so the rest of the law do not apply.
          Also, the law is specific to center fire ammunition, so AR Rifles in rimfire don’t have to have a bullet button, even if it is using a mil spec lower.
          Any pistol in California that has a detachable magazine outside the pistol grip is automatically classified as an assault weapon, so the bullet button is required to make it a fixed magazine.

    • +1. I personally am not interested in pushing the limits on ARs, with one of “these strap on my arm cuz I am handicapped braces” if only because of the lack of common understanding by LEOs. I have been told by senior training officers and federal leos there are many junior leos that are confused by the CA laws.

      Add in using in a crime, and these nitwits deserve to have the book thrown at them. I am sure like most gun offenses they will be pled away, which sort of defeats the purpose, doesnt it?

      Oh well. More reason for Sacramento to hold a hissy and pass another stupid law. It doesnt have to make sense, or even be constitutional, after all, to pass muster with the LIVs and progtard elites who do know better, whats best for us little people…

    • AR15 pistols ARE legal in California, but they MUST be registered as pistols when you buy the lower. You cannot take a registered rifle lower and make it into a pistol. Under California law you have now created a SBR. Once registered you have what you have.

  4. Mighty convenient in conjunction of the “open letter” from the ATF re:pistol braces.

    Also, what is with putting the money in 2 different piles with the 100’s on top?

    • My thoughts exactly. Veeery suspicious. “I’ll just go buy one of these arm braces, instead of a black market SBR or something full auto and then conspicuously carry around contraband while robbing people :D”

  5. Rifle, rifle, rifle, rifle…..

    If that lower was ever a RIFLE, then it’s an SBR. If not, it’s a PISTOL!

    CA popo – Hey Bob, you think the barrel on this rifle is less 16″? Looks mighty short to me! It’s sn SBR!!!

    • I about forgot that point. Yes if it was ever a rifle than it can only be a rifle or SBR, never a pistol. The sig brace makes NO difference at that point.

      • It’s utterly absurd that “law” defines a thing as opposed to the sum of it’s parts. Barrel < 16" and no shoulder stock, it's a damn pistol. Or is it a duck? F-ing politicians.

  6. The strange thing is he had a pistol brace instead of an actual stock. If you’re going to commit armed robbery, you might as well go all the way and have a real SBR instead of an ambiguous one.

  7. But but he is a felon. It should have been impossible for him to own a gun in commiefornia?! How is it possible that he was able to purchase a gun? How are universal back ground check and gun control working for you Cali? Guess what criminals don’t care about your laws.

    • +1. What, a criminal ignoring a gun law? Say it aint so!

      BTW, if you read Sheriff Prieto (Yolo county now being sued by CGF for same as San Diego, self defense as the reason for CCW permit) amicus brief to the 9th, on whether they should allow Ms Harris to intervene on Peruta v San Diego, and re-hear the whole thing,

      is this- he fears all the criminals who havent been caught yet, who will, presumably, apply for CCW to suddenly be able to conceal their illegal weapons…

      Kind of like Brady’s amicus – “public safety!!!, eek guns!!! law abiding citizens CCWing will be so dangerous!!! for the children!!!!

  8. I was thinking of just not shooting my SB-15 equipped pistol until the Form-1 comes back, but after this and the earlier story, maybe I’ll take the brace off.

  9. Leonard: Yes, this stock was the original work around that ends up being called a “featureless” build because it doe3sn’t have any of the evil features. This stock does not require that the mag be equipped with a bullet button. the bullet button was a work around because the statute specifies that it is not an assault weapon if the magazine is permanently affixed or requires tools for its removal. A bullet is a tool, and you need a bullet (or similar shaped object) to remove a bullet button equipped mag. With a BB, then you can have all of the other “evil features” like thingies that go up, flash suppressors and handgrips.

    • The original concept and design was in response to help a wounded veteran shoot his AR. Because of the injuries to his hands/arms he was unable to safely handle the AR. The brace was never (and still is not) intended to be a work around.

  10. If the receiver was DROS’d as a Pistol its a pistol. It will always be a pistol. If it was DROS’d as a rifle then will always be a rifle. Only real gray area is if someone finished an 80% lower and never voluntarily registered it. Then I have no idea how that would go down.

    • My first thought as well, apparently these douches and the walking dead producers have something in common, they like rifles with no sights.

      • Well I have heard that these types of firearms spray 100 high capacity bullets per nanosecond. With that much lead going down range at once, who needs sights?

    • The prosecution won’t be happy, although it’ll be irrelevant anyway since the SBR charge will most likely be thrown out. The news story notes that the “laser sight” was still on, and in the photo you can plainly see that if there was ever a sight on in the first place, it’s been removed. I expect THAT would be called “tampering with evidence.”

      In any event, good riddance to bad rubbish with these jokers but that doesn’t change the fact it’s still tampering. And the CA authorities in question are mostly retarded idiots.


  11. “So, before we get ahead of ourselves, ”

    No offense but why make a click bait title for a perfectly relevant post?

    Did it work, sure, I clicked it for the exact reason intended but does ttag really have to go that route?
    I would have read it anyway, maybe with a little less anticipation but you would have gotten my click.

    I don’t mean to sound that way but realize that I likely am: don’t sell out ttag.

    The pre-posts for the shoot house scenario analysis, already sounded like some cable news special programming commercial.

    IMO, this may get you hit counts and clicks now but you are alienating your core supporters long term.

    • oh, pulleeeezzz, spare me. If you have been reading TTAG for longer than, say… a week, you know RF puts snarky ledes on articles. Its called getting attention.

      You dont like the free food at the bbq, dont complain – just go find another free feed, or start cooking yourself.

  12. I’m going to jump in with a common complaint: charging someone with multiple crimes for a single thing. If LEO wants to call the weapon illegal, pick one law it violates and go with it, don’t find a laundry list. The whole laundry list thing, especially for the feds, is just a way to scare people into taking a deal even when they aren’t guilty.

    One action, one crime; one item, one crime.

    • IANAL, but I believe thats what the cops do, in general, list all the crimes, because thats their job.
      It also gives the DA something to hold over the defense, to bargain down, for a plea.
      Makes his stats look good, never mind if its fair or not.

      Ralph, correct?

      PS: this guys chances at finding a lawyer to defend him on the gun crime are less, shall we say ‘likely’,
      because he is what they call an unsympathetic client…

  13. Play stupid games…on another note I don’t remember seeing any criminals named Singh. Isn’t that a typical Sikh name?

  14. So. How much more sentence will the guy with the “SBR” serve than the other two home invaders? If the answer is ‘no more,’ wtf is the point?

  15. Aows are exempt from CA SBR laws regarding a sig brace. Putting a stock on it makes it a sbr but as long as the gun remains a aow you’re good.

  16. Ok, this is where I think…It’s bad enough that a guy is being charged for an SBR when it isn’t…it had to be from a guy who used it to commit a crime…I really wished the guy went the extra step of criminality and put an actual stock on it. And what? The dumbass didn’t put sights on his gun?

  17. “Oh, if only those dumb letter writers hadn’t poked the ATF, they never would have had reason to restrict the SIG brace…”

  18. All I can tell you, “I told you so”.

    One thing that a lot of people miss is that ATF is in the business of enforcing federal firearm law. So their definitions of SBR, SBS etc – especially in fringe cases – do not necessarily have to match those of state enforcement agencies. Even when the state statutes have copied NFA and/or GCA language verbatim (as e.g. Washington has done), those are still separate laws, and as such the ATF opinion over the meaning of the terms has absolutely zero relevance. What matters is what your state thinks. And they may or may not defer to ATF “expertise” in all cases.

    So even ignoring the recent ATF decision that SB is a stock when used as such, after all, none of their letters actually do you any good in terms of immunity against prosecution from the state, if your state has the corresponding laws on the books and actually enforces them.

    This goes for everything else, too. Stuff like Serbu Shorty etc. When in doubt, don’t just ask the ATF, also ask your state attorney general (e.g. Serbu is okay in WA despite the SBS ban, because AG decided that it is not a shotgun, following the ATF interpretation).

  19. no doubt I love it when they put estimated street value at 1.3 million dollars and you’re looking at it in your life who did they ask to ask what the street value of drugs are is there like a encyclopedia that tells you what the street value of a certain amount of some kind of illegal product is? I was just wondering this all seems so freaking stupid

  20. Isn’t that one of those “ghost guns”? “This is a ghost gun,” de Leon begins, holding an unloaded rifle in his hands. “This right here has the ability with a .30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip in half a second.”

    Mindless morons, the whole bunch of them.

  21. In section (b) it almost reads like they can depending on their mood, consider whatever they want as an SBR regardless of featurs or if its a literally a “pistol” “if it’s concealable”.
    Ca code 16530. (a) As used in this part, the terms “firearm capable of being concealed upon the person,” “pistol,” and “revolver” apply to and include any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. These terms also include any device that has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
    (b) Nothing shall prevent a device defined as a “firearm capable of being concealed upon the person,” “pistol,” or “revolver” from also being found to be a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun.


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