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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 10/8/2007 10:22:47 PM EST
I've been considering buying a parts kit for an AK, but are they legal? I came across old posts talking about how the BATF started confiscating parts kit for a PPSH several years ago. Could the same thing happen to a California parts kit ordered?
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 10:29:08 PM EST
Yes, parts kits are completely legal since everything is simply considered a part. If the ATF was confiscating PPSh kits, I'd have to assume that the receivers weren't cut to their specs (then again, they pretty much do whatever they want so who knows).

There are a few companies that won't sell parts kits to CA for whatever reason though.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 4:37:22 PM EST
Parts ktis are generally legal to possess. As always, several caveats exist:

(1) Some vendors ship parts kits (like Imbel FALs) with 1 hicap magazine. Send letter (and retain copy) on your order expressly requesting no hicap mags to be sent so there are no questions of illegally importing a hicap mag.

(2) Some parts kits may contain a grenade launcher muzzle device (a la Yugo Simonov M59/66). These G/Ls are not just an AW 'evil feature' but are intrinsically illegal destructive devices under CA law - watch out.

(3) While parts kits are generally legal to possess on their own, if you also possess a receiver that can mate up with the kit you have to watch out for NFA issues.

If the parts kit were shipped with a short bbl (for example, "Krink" kits) and you had a bent AK flat in your possession/control, you 'constructively possess' an SBR (short-bbl rifle) under both Fed and CA law.

Another example: if you get a parts kit for common tube-based 9mm SMGs and you also have a tube receiver that can accept the orig parts, you could well be illegally constructively possessing an SMG. A couple of Calgunners have just skirted by the skin of their teeth with this one (after expensive lawyering) and I think it didn't worse because they were demonstrably making efforts to keep the firearm compliant with CA AW laws.
It probably also helps that the SFO US attorney's office is fairly busy, understaffed and undergoing mgmt changes.

Other than the above gotchas, go get your parts kits! Whee!

Bill Wiese
San Jose CA

Link Posted: 10/9/2007 7:41:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/9/2007 7:41:57 PM EST by NeoWeird]
I believe the issue with the PPSHs had to do with the fact that they were considered demilled enough to be transfered without license at one point and then later they realized they actually were not; very similar to the original CA P22s. I believe the issue was that the receivers, while seperated into several pieces, were NOT cut by ATF approved methods. The ATF approves methods that "destroy" the parts where as the PPSH parts had simply been cut by a chop saw and I vaugely remember some rumors of kits that could be assembled and used without modification because mating parts, like fire control groups, held the receiver parts together so well, and the cuts were so thin and clean, that the gun operated. There may have also been an issue with the open bolt design.

Either way the AK parts kits are FAR from either issue.
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