Antique Firearms

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Federal law does not include 'antique firearms' as firearms for purposes of 18 USC 922.

California law is less forgiving; while transfer may be made without using an FFL, 'antique firearms' ARE firearms for purposes of transfer to and possession by felons, and for purposes of carry and possession by persons who are not disabled by law.

Definition

Generically a weapon made in or before 1898

CA Penal Code routinely defines Antique Firearm as those that are defined in USC 18, Sec 921(a)(16). In at least one place, CA Penal Code defines Antique Firearm as "made prior to January 1, 1899". In one area, dealing with "destructive devices", it defines it according to [Section 479.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.] [1]

[USC 18, Sec. 921(a)(16)][2] reads:

The term "antique firearm" means -

   (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock,
   flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system)
   manufactured in or before 1898; or
   (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if
   such replica -
   (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or
   conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
   (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition
   which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which
   is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial
   trade; or
   (C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle
   loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black
   powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For
   purposes of this subparagraph, the term "antique firearm" shall
   not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or
   receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading
   weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily
   converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt,
   breechblock, or any combination thereof.

California law

Penal Code 16170

(a) As used in Sections 30515 and 30530, "antique firearm"
means any firearm manufactured before January 1, 1899.
  (b) As used in Section 16520, Section 16650, subdivision (a) of
Section 23630, paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 27505, and
subdivision (a) of Section 31615, "antique firearm" has the same
meaning as in Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States
Code.
  (c) As used in Section 17700, "antique firearm" means either of
the following:
  (1) Any firearm not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or
conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and
manufactured in or before 1898. This includes any matchlock,
flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or
replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the
year 1898.
  (2) Any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before
1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United
States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of
commercial trade.

Penal Code 16250 says

(a) As used in this part, "firearm" means any device, designed to be
used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a
projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.

(b) As used in the following provisions, "firearm" includes the
frame or receiver of the weapon:
...
(14) Sections 29800 to 29905, inclusive.
...

Penal Code 27500 is the prohibition on transfer to ineligibles:

(a) No person, corporation, or firm shall knowingly sell, supply,
deliver, or give possession or control of a firearm to any person
within any of the classes prohibited by Chapter 2 (commencing with
Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of
Division 9. 

Violation is punished according to Penal Code 27590

(b) If any of the following circumstances apply, a violation of
this article is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for
two, three, or four years.
  (1) If the violation is of subdivision (a) of Section 27500.

Penal Code 29800 is the punishment for an ineligible in possession

(a) (1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws
of the United States, the State of California, or any other state,
government, or country, or of an offense enumerated in subdivision
(a), (b), or (d) of Section 23515, or who is addicted to the use of
any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in
possession or under custody or control any firearm is guilty of a
felony.

Unloaded open carry

For a very special circumstance, the ban on unloaded open carry at PC 26350 exempts unloaded 'antique firearms' through PC 16520(d)(5).

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