Now we have touched on the debate among California gun owners. I am also in California. There are three ways to have a California compliant AR.
2. Fixed mag
3. Not a semi-auto (like the KaliKey)
There are pros and cons for all three.
Featureless means giving up a lot of ergonomics, but retaining easy reloading by swapping the magazine. If you have >10 round magazines purchased during Freedom Week (the 1 week between a Benitez decision and an emergency stay) or before the magazine ban law you can still use them until the magazine ban case is decided.
Fixed mag - you can retain the ergonomic features of the AR platform like pistol grip and adjustable stock. However, reloading is a pain - you have to either use a tool (bullet button doesn't count), reload while in the gun (think like an SKS or M1 Garand reloads), but can't use Freedom week magazines. The challenge to the 10 round limit was not to the part of the law that limits fixed magazines to 10 rounds. However if the California Assault weapons ban gets overturned by SCOTUS I don't think anybody will retain fixed mag.
The law listing features is specific to centerfire semi-auto. So converting your AR to essentially a straight pull bolt action is another way around it. Also another thing seen is single shot AR pistols because the pistol assault weapons definitions also specify semi-auto. Calguns maintains a flow charts for determining if your rifle or pistol is considered an assault weapon.
https://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf - Rifles
https://www.calguns.net/caawid/hgflowchart.pdf - Handguns
https://www.calguns.net/caawid/sgflowchart.pdf - Shotguns
The key features you have to avoid on a semi-auto centerfire rifle with the capacity to accept detachable magazines to be "featureless" are:
- Thumbhole Stock
- PIstol Grip
- Folding or telescoping stock
- grenade launcher or flare launcher
- flash suppressor
- forward pistol grip
-Has to be 30 inches or longer in its shortest configuration regardless of fixed or detachable magazine.
So for example an SKS that has not been modified to have a detachable magazine is considered fixed magazine. It can have a folding stock, but not if folded the entire length is under 30 inches.