Franklin Armory CA7 – CA DOJ Approved AR-15 Pistol

    Franklin Armory is well known for pushing the envelope and creating some outside the box products that skirt the law to some degree. Take their Reformation. It looks like a short barreled rifle but since it does not have spiral rifling, it is not a rifle. Their most successful product so far has to be their Binary Trigger. This allows you to release the hammer when you pull the trigger, and once the gun completes its cycle, when you release the trigger a second round is fired. Now they have a new gun for California, the CA7.

    If you recall, Franklin Armory makes the F17. An AR style rifle chambered in .17 HMR. In some states, like California, assault weapon bans are based on features like a pistol grip and detachable magazine. This does not apply to rimfire rifles. But for those of us who want to shoot a bigger cartridge through an AR style firearm, the gun has to be featureless or we have to register them as “assault weapons”. Registration is not a palatable option for many so they choose to go featureless. Either a fixed magazine or a fin grip satisfies most firearm restrictions.

    These workarounds do not apply to handguns in California. The problem with California (there are many–but lets focus on handguns for now) is that handguns must be approved by the California Department of Justice. They require additional features like loaded chamber indicator and magazine safety. They are also subjected to further drop safety tests. If it is not on the DOH approved list, you cannot buy it. There are some exceptions. LE can buy almost anything they want and then sell it. People moving into CA can bring their handguns as long as they comply with CA AWB regulations. Like you can’t have a threaded barrel on a Glock. Another way is to bring a gun in and make it into a single shot exemption. This has been modified recently and single shot exemption applies to break action and bolt action handguns.

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    Some how Franklin Armory got their CA7 approved and on the CA DOJ roster.

    Here is the excerpt from their press release.

    Franklin Armory® President Jay Jacobson noted that, “This is historic since the CA7™ is the only AR pistol approved by the State of California that is NOT a single shot.”
    The CA7™ features:
    •7.5” barrel
    •FST™ 7” handguard
    •Mil-spec pistol marked forged lower receiver
    •Pistol Buffer tube with foam cheek pad
    •Detachable 10/20 magazine
    The official link to the state roster:
    Franklin Armory® is no stranger to helping Californians acquire legal firearms. The DFM™ Drop-in Fixed Magazine, the F-17™ series in .17wsm, CSW™ and a host of CA compliant rifles are also available to customers in California.
    What is interesting for CA firearm enthusiasts is the fact the CA7 has a detachable magazine. AR Pistols are legal in CA but have to have a fixed magazine. Handguns cannot have a detachable magazine outside of the pistol grip. So how did Franklin Armory get this approved? It is a bolt action AR pistol. This type of AR pistol is a recent development in NY state as well. My friend Larry recently got approved for an AR pistol on his pistol license. In NY state, in order to have a pistol, you have to have a pistol license. But NY has a weight limit to handguns and it is 50 oz. AR pistols weigh more than that. So his work around was to use a straight pull bolt and make a manually operated handgun.
    While those of you in free states cannot contemplate the hoop jumping we have to do, please remember that leaving these states is not as easy as you think. We are still here fighting for our rights and companies like Franklin Armory are helping us by making products that we normally cannot have.
    If you are in CA and you want an AR pistol, then this is one way you can have one and it is approved by the CA DOJ. The CA7 has an MSRP of $934.99 and has an 8+ week lead time for new orders.
    Go to Franklin Armory for more information.
    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]