Can anyone shed some light as to what is legal and not-legal in terms of an out-of-state person carrying an AW that is on the DOJ ban list into CA? Firearms are on the ban list and have deadly features present. Can I bring it in, can I shoot it (sighting-in), etc? Mostly, I'm concerned about the airport personnel on my return trip to WA.
It all depends on what you plan to do with it, and where, while you are here. If you check the tacked FAQ thread that Paul has at the top of this forum you will find your answer, and the appropriate penal code that gives the reasons when it's ok / not ok.
Unless you're going directly to/from a major sanctioned match run by a recognized body (that is, say, a statewide NRA match, not the Lower Hayward Beer Can Plinkers Saturday Schutzenfest)
I'd really not do it, though.
If you do, gun would have to be transported in a locked case and unloaded. And even then I'd go directly to/from match, not stay overnight, etc. It all hinges on word 'directly'.
EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT BRING (import) IN ANY HiCAP MAGAZINES. Only bring in 10 rounders. There is no exemption for import of hicap mags, unlike guns - it's a separate body of law.
Esp when you fly in/out there could be more contact w/LEOs at airports - whereas driving, you only have traffic stops and illegal searches to avoid.
This can well be a case of "we bust you first, then you prove otherwise". Not a lot of people in the right spots know of these laws - in metro areas especially.
Even if you avoid criminal charges for illegal possession, importation and transportation of an unregistered assault weapon (and, yes, Virginia, all three can be separate compounded charges) you might find it difficult to get your AW returned without a lot of grief/expense and return visit(s).
For the record, I do fly in & out of CA all the time with my (legal, registered) Calif. AWs and hicaps, but then I live here and have the paperwork.
San Jose, CA