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California Legal NFA Firearms

In California, you may legally own AOWs, C&R Short Barreled Rifles (SBR) and C&R Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS). Please note that modern SBR and SBS are not allowed to be transferred in California without a California Dangerous Weapons Permit (DWP). These are NFA firearms, so the process is a quite different from a standard firearm purchase. First, if you cannot get law enforcement signoff of your paperwork (most in California cannot), you can transfer the firearm into a corporation or LLC or establish an NFA trust which can be done for as little as $200. The trust creation is a one-time process and has no ongoing costs. You can transfer as many firearms as you wish into the trust. Once the trust is established, notarized and valid, you can do any of the following:

1: Come to our location and purchase from us. We complete and submit an ATF form 4 to transfer the firearm into your trust. This approval process currently takes 5-6 months. The firearm has to stay in our possession until approved by ATF. The ATF is currently very understaffed in this area so time will vary depending upon the workload of the agent that does all the applications for California. When we have the approved form 4 back, the gun has to be run through the California DROS system in a single shot exempt configuration with a 10 day wait. Once that is done, you take delivery.

2: Purchase from us and ship to another NFA dealer. Normal FFLs cannot receive this firearm unless they have a class 2 or 3 SOT which allows them to deal in NFA items. Ask your FFL if he has this. If not, we can assist you in possibly finding an NFA dealer in your general geographic area. There are only a handful of FFL/SOT dealers in California willing to do transactions with the public. See post on CalGuns here for a current list:

California Public Friendly SOTs

To get the transfer process going to another NFA dealer, we fill out and submit an ATF form 3 which must be approved before the gun can be shipped. This typically takes about 4-6 weeks. Once we receive the approved form 3 we will ship to your dealer. Once your NFA dealer receives the gun, the process continues as in 1 above.

3: Purchase from another NFA dealer and have us do the transfer. The originating dealer fills out and submits an ATF form 3 which must be approved before the gun can be shipped to us. This typically takes about 4-6 weeks. Once we receive the gun, the process continues as in 1 above.

Keep in mind that this process is identical to buying a full auto firearm if you live in a free state like Arizona, so you have to be very patient. The nice thing about an AOW is the tax stamp is only $5 for an AOW transferred from a dealer instead of $200 for most other NFA items. 


You have two professionals that can create your NFA trust to whom we can refer you:

Gregg, who is a Legal Document Assistant, can do a simple NFA trust. He does them for $200. He cannot advise you on any legal issues and he creates a standard NFA trust for you with no custom features. The trust can be done by email and phone and takes a day or two. See here:


We have an attorney contact named Kevin (Oaklander on CalGuns) who does a trust for approximately $600. He can tailor the trust to your specific needs and answer your legal questions. See here:

California NFA Trust

Please contact us if you have questions.