5 Reasons to Register Your AR15

5 Reasons NOT to Register Your AR15.

Recently, the anti-gun legislature in California passed a laundry list of firearms restrictions that will turn law-abiding citizens into instant criminals. One of those restrictions requires “bullet button” equipped rifles, such as the AR15, to be registered as “assault weapons.”  The registration scheme accomplishes several things for the State.  First, it informs the State that you have the rifle.  This is something the State may not already know.  Second, it restricts what you can do with that rifle and opens up the possibility of further restrictions down the road.  Third, it creates a database of rifles and rifle owners that can be used in the future to confiscate those rifles.  It’s very difficult for government thugs to confiscate something if they don’t know who has it and where it is.  Fourth, it brings the State money in the form of fees.

With that bit of background in place, it should come as no surprise that hardly a day goes by without somebody asking me this question, “Should I register my AR15?”  Well… right out of the gate, my simple one word answer is, NO!  There is no compelling reason for a government to register firearms except as a necessary step toward confiscating them.  We have seen this same progression in other countries, such as Australia and England.  There is no reason to believe that anti-gun government officials will act any differently here in the United States.  If they know you have it, they will do whatever they can to deprive you of it.

Now that I’ve cleared the air on that, I’ll explain the other reasons why I do not plan to register my AR15.   Right away, I have to acknowledge that the government already knows I own an AR15, regardless of whether I choose to register it.  I’m the host of an internet show and I’ve produced videos using my rifle.  I’ve also admitted to owning the rifle on this blog.   So, why not just register it?  After all, the government already knows that I have it.  If they don’t, they could easily figure it out.  Even so, I actually have some good reasons for not registering my rifle.  Here they are:

  1.  There are currently legal ways to avoid having to register the rifle.  Among them are: move the rifle out of the state of California; and alter the rifle so as to render it “featureless” under California law.  It is my understanding that a “featureless” rifle is not considered an assault weapon in California and does not need to be registered.  It also doesn’t require a “bullet button.”  All I have to do to render the rifle “featureless” is replace the collapsible stock with a straight one, replace the flash hider with a muzzle break, and install a “fin” on the grip.  It won’t look as cool, but it will work just as well.   Once the rifle is “featureless” I can also install a regular magazine release and ditch the bullet button.  That’s an added bonus.
  2. Once the rifle is registered, California will place additional restrictions upon it.  For example: I will no longer be able to sell the rifle, give it to a family member or will it to my children or grandchildren in the State of California.
  3. If I choose to move the rifle out of California at some later date, I don’t want to be grilled by California gun Nazis who want to know where I took it.
  4. Likewise, if the federal government should regulate AR15s at some point in the future, I would prefer that California be unable to provide the federal government with a database that includes my name and the particulars of my rifle.
  5. I don’t want to pay the fee.  California already taxes and fees me to death.  I prefer not to pay any more fees than I already do.

While I cannot and will not recommend that anyone break the law, I am firmly of the belief that the government has no need to know what firearms are owned by honest citizens.  I also object to the practice of legislators passing restrictive laws from which they themselves are exempt.  Only tyrants do such things.  Therefore, as long as there are legal alternatives to registration, I will urge people to seek those alternatives.  Which brings me back to my one word answer expressed above.  Should you register your AR15?  NO!


  1. Something that I don’t feel has been answered here: what are the reprocussions if I were to get caught with my unregistered AR15? From all the research I’ve done, this is a felony charge.

  2. If a Tavor SAR was registered before the featureless ban went into place does it still need to be registered? If so how would one convert the Tavor with a fixed magazine? Thank you for your time.

  3. I think I may have been a little vague with my question. A.M.L. stand for Ledesma Arms Manufacturing. They are California based and specialize in AR-15, AR-10.

  4. I unfortunately live in California and I do own several AR-15 style rifles. I do not want to register my rifles! I hope you can help me with my question. Is A.L.M. grip California compliant?

  5. Hi Dan. “Why?” is the easy question to answer. Because California liberal progressive politicians cannot completely ban the rifles. A previous ban exists by name and manufacturer. However, California law prohibits adding new guns to that list. As a result, they do everything they can to make the guns as nonfunctional and inconvenient as possible. The same goes for 80% lowers. They can’t ban them entirely, so they will make you serialize and register them so they know who has them. With that said, you can still purchase 80% lowers in California. However, at some point you will have to apply for a serial number from the California DOJ and register them if you are going to keep them in California legally. Here’s a link to a video I did on this subject: https://youtu.be/ttT9di11l_U

  6. Just came from Turners. May 2, 2017. They are selling stripped lowers. The same stripped lowers that I thought were going to be illegal January 1st. That is what they are registering. It’s an assault weapon if you attach something that looks scary to them. But it can be removed so, why? Other than the magazine none of the other stuff is even regulated

  7. Don’t forget the data the government collects can be stolen. The government wanting to make an anti-gun stance can release the information to the public. Individuals inside the government can release the data to the news or public on purpose with willful intent on their own initiative. A similar event like this happened on the east coast.

  8. Hey Joel,

    I really appreciate your channel and the time you put in to it.

    I haven’t heard this question, or rather a subset of a larger question, addressed yet. In regard to 80% lowers, that are still 80% lowers. It appears, based on the featureless approach, that an 80% lower could be millled out and utilized in full form / function as a featureless firearm. If the featureless buttstock is affixed to the 80% lower prior to milling, it would seem the finished product would remain featureless, from start to finish and everything in between.


    Thanks again for all you do. God bless.

  9. The two registrations are different. Guns are placed in a general registration when purchased. The assault weapons registration is a different database and requires a separate registration.

  10. Thanks for the reply Joel. So do you know the reason why one would need to re-register the firearm if it is already in the database? Just so law enforcement can more easily identify them and their “assault weapons”. The sad part is now with this ammunition purchasing requirement, they technically could search and see what ammunition you are purchasing and find out what firearm you possess indirectly I suppose.

  11. Hi Josh:

    Thanks for the kind words. You are correct. As of January 1, 2014 California registers every firearm that is sold by or through a dealer. That includes long arms (rifles and shotguns). Handguns had already been part of the registration law for decades. So, if you purchased a rifle or shotgun on or after that date, it is registered and it does appear in a Department of Justice database. Basically, the answer is “yes.” The California DOJ could simply look you up in that database and find that you own whatever rifles or shotguns you’ve purchase through dealers since that date. I’m sorry that I don’t have a better answer for you.

    Thank you again and have a terrific Christmas!

  12. Thank you for all that you do. Please clarify something for me. I believe since 2014, when we DROS a long gun, doesn’t the California DOJ already have the information in a searchable database? I understand that re-registering the rifle as an AW would make it easier for them to search but can’t any law enforcement agency already do that with the DROS system? What you said about how easy it would be for them to take away the rifle in one of your Prop 63 videos really resonated with me. Something as minor as a battery conviction or a restraining order is ridiculous. So if someone did have a charge like that against them, couldn’t law enforcement just look up on the DROS and see that they own the rifle? I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

  13. Joel, Your Video
    “5 reasons no ot to reg”
    Is being BLOCKED BY Facebook “Messenger”….
    I am trying to Send it to my friends via “Messenger” and I will NOT ALLOW me too. Thought you should know. Thanks for your Hard work and your Excellent YouTube channel

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