Are 80 Glocks Legal in California? | Gun Control Act Legalities You Need to Know

What is the most popular gun you may have come across in California? Perhaps you have encountered discussions on a Glock, a type of firearm that is best-selling in the United States. A Glock is a semi-automatic pistol of polymer-frame and short-recoil operated. 

If you live in the Golden State and want to go with 80 Glocks, you might ask yourself "Are 80 Glocks legal in California?"

Well, there are notable laws surrounding the possession and use of guns in California. If you are a Glock enthusiast, there is much to know about owning and registering your dream firearm.

Keep reading here to find out more about owning a Glock in California.

Two 80 glocks on wood

Are 80 Glocks Legal in California: What to Know

Yes. The Polymer 80 Glock is legal as long as the firearm is registered with the California DOJ and built correctly.

Upon conducting your own research, you will find out that the ATF clarified it is legal to buy 80 lowers and assemble completed firearms. Before you start assembling your gun, you must apply for a unique serial number.

In addition, the 80 lower Glock becomes a completed firearm after slots or holes have been drilled to hold the firing mechanism. So, when buying a firearm kit, these pieces, according to California law, are not considered weapons.

Buying your 80 lower receivers from a reputable company will clear your doubts about whether to buy an illegal firearm kit to assemble. Many reputable manufacturers receive a determination form "BAFTE" to clarify the standard of the products.

With the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BAFTE), you don't have to worry about gun raids if you assemble your own guns. You need to submit your sample to the Firearms Technology Division or produce a Federal Firearms License (FFL).

Polymer 80 Glock gun

What Is the Legal Definition of a Glock in California?

Under California Law, the definition of a Glock is integral. A Glock is one of the guns or firearms that are legal in California.

A firearm in California is any weapon that will shoot, fire, or launch a projectile. It doesn't matter if your pistol or handgun is loaded to qualify as a firearm.

According to the Gun Control Act, the legal definition of a firearm classifies it as a frame or receiver of any such weapon. The definition of a Glock also pitches it as any destructive device or a firearm silencer or muffler.

A lot comes to mind when you think of or hear about an 80 Glock and whether it is legal in California. These are types of Glocks commonly referred to as 80 lowers, 80% receivers, 80% lower receivers, or unfinished receivers.

A polymer 80 glock gun

Their surging demand and interest perfectly fit them into the legal definition used in California gun laws. As the term implies, the 80 Glock will refer to the unfinished frame or receiver of a handgun or pistol.

Therefore, you will look at the frame or receiver of the 80 Glock as part of a gun that provides the firing mechanism. This means when you buy the lower receiver of your gun, you have to follow the legal processes put in place.

What Is an 80 Glock?

An 80 Glock is a self-made firearm. It is a Glock-compatible pistol of any series made at home using a polymer 80% lower frame. It has been machined to replicate the real Glock series in build, form, and function.

This is what is commonly known as an unfinished firearm in federal law. Interestingly, you have to fabricate the remaining 20% frame to make it a firearm ready to assemble with different Glock parts.

So, does it look like a Glock? The 80 Glock is nearly indiscernible from the real Glock series at first glance.

The polymer80 Glock uses genuine parts of the Glock model, from magazine to muzzle. However, the grip angle is about 18 degrees compared to the factor grip models that measure 22 degrees.  

The purpose of the grip angle is to give this Glock a more ergonomic feel. It shares the standard features of the Glock handguns and the function of its frame. The 80 Glock model is, therefore:

A 80 glock gun on a wooden background


  • Reliable
  • Accurate
  • Better point ability
  • Feels right in your hands
  • Desirable Capacity
  • Durable

If you are a Glock enthusiast and want to build your own 80 lower models, it's easy to deal with the trigger issues. Installing a polymer 80 frame on your Glock will present a reliable solution. The polymer glock frame is 80% unfinished or complete and guarantees the same features as the 1911 pistol you may own.

How to Build a Polymer80 Glock

You will require some essential tools to build your 80 lower Glock. They include:

  • Handheld drill
  • Hammer
  • Tabletop Vise
  • Sandpaper
A 80 glock gun wuth bullets

Here are easy steps to follow:

  1. Drill press to make sides holes.
  2. Mill the top rails off using the mill bit.
  3. Mill the interior barrel block.
  4. Cut the rails using the provided small mill bit.
  5. Install the locking block system and ensure the screws are tight enough.
  6. Install other essential parts like the slide, kit, barrel, and other accessories you want.

It is possible to walk to handguns stores and purchase your dream Glock series. But there are notable advantages of building your Glock from an unfinished handgun frame.

They include:

  • It's easy to customize a Polymer80 from scratch.
  • Building your own firearm is cheaper as there are no extra expenses like paying a premium or taxes.
80 Glock handle

Facets That Will Make Your 80 Glock Illegal?

There are conditions to know concerning self-made firearms. They include:

  • The gun must have a California DOJ assigned and a unique serial number engraved.
  • You must be legally allowed to own one in California.
  • Your self-assembled Glock must follow CA DOJ guidelines such as magazine restrictions.
  • The firearm must be solely owned by the person who applies for the serial number.
  • Felons are not allowed to own an 80 lower Glock or any other type of firearm.

Worth mentioning that there are strict regulations on the configurations and types of firearms to own in California. It is illegal to buy, own, or import an assault weapon or machine gun with .50 caliber ammo.

How Do I Register a Glock in California?

As soon as you finish assembling an 80% lower receiver and have a Glock, get to the application process as soon as possible. But as California residents, how do you go about having your guns registered?

It is easy to register a gun in California, but you must submit a Firearm Report Application(FOR). This form serves as a declaration of gun ownership; however, you cannot use such a privilege to register an assault weapon.

Welcome to California State Highway Entrance Sign


A licensed FFL dealer has the mandate to undertake the registration process. However, if you own a gun and move to the state of California, you have to submit a new FOR application.

The AB 857 law in California requires all completed firearms to have a serial number. You must apply to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) for a unique serial number.

The state will assign you a serial number to put onto your unfinished receiver. Surprisingly, you cannot choose your own serial number, and you have to put only what the government provides.

Registering your gun will also require you to send pictures and confirm your ID. Besides providing information about yourself, here are more details to provide:

  • Place of birth
  • Driver's license
  • Handgun safety certificate number
  • Any aliases you are known by in your state
  • Make your gun
  • Barrel length
  • Color of the gun
  • When and how you acquire the gun
A gun and a document being signed

Benefits of Registering Your Gun 

Once you apply for the FOR, it makes you the official owner of the firearm. Other benefits include:

  • A registered gun can be returned to the owner if lost or stolen. If not registered, there will be no official ownership of the gun. In addition, the guns will not be returned if stolen or lost to authorized gun owners.
  • A registered gun spurs responsible gun practices. The firearm registration system is also integral for curbing illegal gun activities.
  • Law enforcement officers can easily solve crimes and disarm criminals who are not part of a forum community dedicated to accountable gun use.
  • You will significantly receive a lesser sentence if you are illegally carrying a firearm registered to you or other guns.

What Are the Penalties for Owning an Unlicensed Glock in California?

The state of California is stringent when it comes to firearm offenses. If you violate laws about unlicensed or unregistered Glock, you may undergo a criminal trial, face jail time, or pay a fine.

Man with a case of guns


California laws state that taking a weapon out of your home is illegal without proper registration. If you are a registered owner of a Glock and don't have a concealed carry license, you are likely to face fines for carrying a loaded firearm.

Those carrying unregistered pistols without a unique serial number engraved may face up to one year in county jail or a fine of up to $1,000 for the felony charge.

Such a charge may make it difficult to get employment or a lenient sentence for future crimes. A background check is a key requirement in such situations. It is advisable to stay up-to-date with California law.

The state of California explicitly prohibits drug addicts, felons, and those convicted with a misdemeanor or an outstanding warrant from possessing a firearm.

Indeed, it is the best way to answer the question, "Are 80 lowers legal in California?" Further, it is important to do your own research regarding gun control laws and consult your legal counsel.

Guns displayed in a store

FAQ

Is 80 Glock Legal in California?

It is to own an 80 Glock in California. However, it is best with the CA Department of Justice and other authorities if assembling your own handgun.

Can You Customize a Glock in California?

You can customize your Glock in CA to meet your specific needs with the right accessories. But then again, you have to abide by all the set California gun laws.

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