AR15.Com Archives
 ‘Bullet Button’ Used To Get Around California Gun Laws
COLT  [Member]
5/12/2012 6:45:32 AM EDT

May 1, 2012 12:08 AM

A “California Legal” AR-15. (CBS)

AR-15, Assault Weapons, Bullet Button, CBS 5 Investigates, Guns, Weapons

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. But one wouldn’t know that going to the firing range these days. AR-15s and AK-47s are the must-have guns of choice. How can that be?

Every time California tightens up the assault weapons ban, the gun industry finds a way around it. The latest example involves a tiny device.

John Largaespada loves his AR-15 and goes to the range every week to fire it. And he’s got plenty of company. “There is usually like a 30 minute to an hour wait for rifle lanes,” he said.

That’s because the most popular guns at the range these days are semi-automatic rifles. In a state with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, how is it these military-style guns are legal?

Brian Normandy is an instructor at Jackson Arms. “As long as we don’t have a detachable magazine in it, it’s actually a legal firearm,” Normandy said.

Other states allow people to use their finger to pop out the magazine and quickly reload. It’s called a detachable magazine, and in California, its use in combination with other features such as a telescoping stock or pistol grip is illegal.

The intent is to slow down the process of reloading the weapon. But many target shooters don’t like the reloading hassle. “For me to use this on the range, I would have to open up the receiver and top load it,” said Normandy.

To get around this, gun manufacturers are selling firearms to Californians with what is called a “bullet button.”

The user uses the tip of a bullet to release the empty magazine and pop in a new one. The button doesn’t work with one’s finger, so the magazine is considered “fixed.”

That makes it an assault rifle that everyone is calling “California legal.”

“Of course manufacturers don’t want to break the law, so they are going to make a legal version of it that doesn’t meet the restrictions,” said Normandy.

And it’s a hot seller. CBS 5 went undercover to a recent gun show at the Cow Palace in Daly City and found “California legal” assault rifles throughout. There were also were gadgets to release the bullet button, in case one doesn’t have a spare bullet around, such as the “Mag Magnet.”

So why isn’t law enforcement cracking down on what appears to be a loophole in the state’s gun control laws? CBS 5 put the question to Bay Area police departments. None would comment, same with the California Department of Justice.

Even Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the strongest gun control advocates in the country, told CBS 5 she was “not able to participate.”

But at least one group in Washington D.C. is watching the issue closely. “If the bullet button assault weapon is allowed to come into the state then the California assault weapons ban basically doesn’t exist any more,” said Josh Sugarmann with the Violence Policy Center.

Sugarmann said the bullet button marketing campaign is huge. “We are talking about every major assault weapons manufacturer in America. Companies like Bushmaster, Colt, Smith and Wesson and myriad others. And the reason they are all focusing on bullet buttons is because California’s ban has been so effective, right now they view California as the last great market,” he said. “The end result is that California law enforcement, California citizens will all be placed in jeopardy because of this marketing move by the firearms industry.”

But gun rights proponents like Brian Normandy point to a lack of hard data showing assault rifles being used in crimes. He argues, why should law-abiding citizens be deprived?

“If Californians are wanting these things, someone’s going to step up and make money while doing it and why not? I mean that’s exactly what free America is,” said Normandy.

Out on the rifle lanes, Largaespada said he can see both sides. “The bullet button, I could see where I guess officers and stuff would be concerned about that,” he said. But for him, it’s all about the thrill of owning an assault rifle.

“It’s an adrenaline rush. You just feel like you’re on top of the world,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco.
Paid Advertisement
radioman12  [Member]
5/12/2012 7:07:10 AM EDT
The demand, and the gun industries response to the demand has outpaced the goverment ability to regulate by a wide margin. The current laws are (I believe) in the 3rd generation of attempting to ban the product, and we all see how well that has worked out for them.

For DiFi to pass up a photo op means she is beaten, and she knows it. I think that is a pretty important news story right there.
COLT  [Member]
5/12/2012 8:31:21 AM EDT
before the 2000 ban was the largest buyer of ar15 rifles. For one reason, 40,000,000.00 people but still a lot of sales. I bet they will be the number one state again for sales of ar15's ect.
uglygun  [Member]
5/12/2012 2:46:42 PM EDT
I'd like to sit down and have a nice one on one talk with the person who wrote that drivel.

The article kinda side steps the real issue of behind the "intent" of the original AW law. Here we have a perfectly legal 10 round semiauto firearm. Functionally no different than that of a Mini14/30 or M1A with a 10 round detachable magazine if the AR/AK is stripped of evil features. If evil features are left on it is actually even less functional(to a degree) than the Mini14/30 or M1A due to the magazine being non-detachable.

So, what is the real point here? Are we simply trying to ban guns because they look scary? Are they trying to suggest that the bullet button is too easy of a "work around" and that the firearm can be modified back into an "assault weapon" which is banned and would constitute a crime to manufacture/possess? Is it that they simply want to drive support for more legislation to even further ban guns?

Since the article is written by a person who is likely an uneducated idiot on these issues it is hard to know. It is more likely that the author if the article is working within constraints for article length/size that doesn't let them do more than slap a couple stupid quotes and opinion into a paragraph or two while trying to vilify the bullet button issue.

Either way, I'm sure it will go over huge with idiotic sheep readers.
Partner Content
Seiran  [Team Member]
5/12/2012 4:57:43 PM EDT
Nice hit piece. Given where it was written out of [San Fran] I'm not surprised either.

Still, was awesome to see the guy at the range they questioned actually being a good guy and not a driveling idiot telling them what they want to hear. I was especially pleased how DiFi kept her big fucking melting face out of it.

Still, a bullshit article drummed up to scare the sheep into fearing something that is nothing to be afraid of.
sirbordsalot311  [Team Member]
5/12/2012 10:29:56 PM EDT
Where's Iggy Chinn on this one
uglygun  [Member]
5/13/2012 7:33:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sirbordsalot311:
Where's Iggy Chinn on this one

Somebody was tracking his professional career a year or two back, he's no longer with the DOJ if I recall correctly. That or they hid the schmuck some place he cannot be as visible. My hope, he moved onto something else where people can learn to hate him all over again.
Z_0  [Member]
5/13/2012 7:43:30 PM EDT
In other news, many cars sold in California are designed to get around California speed limit laws. All you have to do is step on the accelerator hard.
Chaingun  [Team Member]
5/13/2012 8:02:35 PM EDT
I do much prefer the featureless option better
leelaw  [Member]
5/13/2012 10:13:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By uglygun:
Originally Posted By sirbordsalot311:
Where's Iggy Chinn on this one

Somebody was tracking his professional career a year or two back, he's no longer with the DOJ if I recall correctly. That or they hid the schmuck some place he cannot be as visible. My hope, he moved onto something else where people can learn to hate him all over again.

SFPD, to protect some of his pension from an ex.

Tenderloin, last I heard (2010)
superjc  [Member]
5/15/2012 8:51:14 PM EDT
Whoa, just glanced over at the mini-14 leaning against my wall and got a


from the


gotta go walk it off guys, BRB
wyv3rn  [Member]
5/16/2012 8:55:43 AM EDT
Good points. Also the bullet button was created by a person. It was not created by the big bad (implied) gun industry... which as you know are big bad corporations just like the tobacco companies. Trying to get people "high" off thrilling adrenaline.
Paid Advertisement