While Franklin Armory builds rifles for every state, the Homeland Security Carbine (HSC-15™), Libertas™, Salus™ AR Pistols, and SE-SSP™ AR Pistols were initially designed and constructed specifically for the California Market. Some people will erroneously believe that all AR type rifles are illegal "Assault Weapons" in California. We have openly discussed our product manufacturing with the Cal-DOJ and every other level of government. No agency has found a single law, regulation, or code to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and/or possession of our products. Furthermore, DOJ field representatives have informed us that the Franklin Armory products will NOT generate an enforcement referral (ostensibly because a prosecutable statute does not exist!) To explain why our products are legal, we have decided to quote the following sections and court cases that relate specifically to this subject. It is not easy reading, but it clarifies why our AR based HSC-15™, Libertas™, Salus™, and SE-SSP™ firearms comply with state law.
Penal Code section 30510(a)(5) and 30510(f) defined all "Colt AR-15 series" semi-automatic rifles as "assault weapons." However in 2001, the California Supreme Court limited this law in "Harrott v.County of Kings" (25 cal. 4th 1138.) The court held that the firearm must be specifically named in regulations under the provisions of Penal Code 30520. The California Legislature subsequently passed AB2728 in 2006, which limits the California Department of Justice from ever adding new names to the list after January of 2007. Consequently, it is legal to possess any AR receiver that does not have a manufacturer and model specifically itemized in 30510(a) so long as the firearm is not configured in a manner that would make it an "assault weapon" under 30515(a)(1-3).
Penal Code section 30515 (aka SB23) defines "assault weapons" by particular features. These physical characteristics are fully described in 30515(a)(1-3), but in order for any of these features to be relevant the rifle must first have a "detachable magazine" as noted in 30515(a)(1). The Franklin Armory HSC-15™ & Libertas™ does not have a standard AR type magazine release. We use the Bullet Button™ magazine release, which, the State of California has noted in court proceedings, takes “the weapon out of the statutory definition of an assault weapon.” Since a tool must be used to release the magazine, our California rifles and pistols, by definition, are in complete conformance to the California Code of Regulations, Title 11, Section 5469.
Subsection (2) of Penal Code 30515(a) does require that fixed magazines be of no greater capacity than 10 rounds. As such, we sell the Franklin Armory HSC-15™ and Libertas™ in CA with a 10 round magazine. We also double check the capacity of every magazine before it leaves our factory. It is critical that end-users in California never use a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds while they are in this state.
And lastly, subsection (3) of 30515(a) requires all semiautomatic center fire rifles to have an overall length over 30 inches. At Franklin Armory, we make sure the HSC-15™ and Libertas™ is measured to be well over 30 inches. In fact, with the flash hider removed and the stock fully collapsed, our HSC-15™ and Libertas™ carbines measure 30.5 inches.
The SE-SSP™ and Salus™ are our Self Extracting - Single Shot Pistols. They comply with all of the AW provisions noted in 30515(a)(4) pursuant to pistols. In addition, these pistols are exempted from the requirement to be on the Cal-DOJ handgun list per 32000(a). Instead, they fall under the provisions for exemption under 32100(b). What is really interesting is that the State of California has officially condoned our product by placing the Franklin Armory products in the official list of Exempted Pistols. Now when dealers process the DROS of a Franklin Armory SE-SSP™ or Salus™, they can select the specific model in the drop down menu on their DROS computer.
Overall, the law in California is extremely complex, and firearm regulations are no exception. Some might say that our product cuts a little too close to edge of what is legal, but then again, how many 16 inch barreled bolt action .22 rifles or 18 inch pump shotguns have been sold in this state without incident? Would not these firearm transactions have violated state law if they were only .1 inch shorter? Yet, no licensed dealer we know would have a problem selling a Ruger 10/22™ or Remington 870™! We encourage you to review the original sources for the references noted above and get back to us with any questions.