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Poll: Should California Ban the 'Bullet Button?'

The bullet button gets around the state law banning semi-automatic guns and those with removable magazines.

Earlier this week, California Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) was given the Vanguard Award for "Elected Official of the Year" for his work in social justice.

We also reported that one of the biggest efforts Yee is working on is a Senate bill to ban the "bullet button" in California.

That certainly got people talking.

In California, an "assault weapon" is defined as a semi-automatic rifle with both a pistol grip and a detachable magazine, among other features. A "bullet button" is designed to replace a normal magazine release button with a recessed button that can only be accessed through the use of a tool—such as the tip of a bullet.

The California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) declared that semi-automatic rifles utilizing a bullet button are considered to be "fixed magazine" rifles, and therefore legal under the state's assault weapon ban. This was most recently reaffirmed in April of 2011 in the case of Haynie vs. Pleasanton, wherin the CA DOJ said that the arrest of an individual with such a rifle was without cause, as such a rifle is legal.

See the full text of 'Haynie vs. Pleasanton' in the PDF attached to this article.

Yee disagrees. Though the bullet button still slows down a person's ability to change magazines, Yee argues that it should still be banned for safety reasons, calling assault weapons and bullet buttons "public nuisances."

People all over the state - and across the country - feel passionately about the issue of bans on assault weapons and bullet buttons.

Many say such a ban is useless; that people who want to kill will find a way, and that whether or not bullet buttons and semi-automatic assault weapons are banned won't make a difference. Therefore, the ban would only punish law-abiding citizens who use guns and bullet buttons safely.

Others say, tragedies like the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting - which Yee has been using as a reason to push the bill even harder lately - are proof that more gun control is needed in this country.

Patch wants to know your opinion.

Let's continue the conversation. Please vote in our poll below, and feel free to share your thoughts and explain your vote in the comments section below.

Jerry Avalos August 04, 2012 at 05:44 AM
The AR or AK is a quick detachable magazine firearm by design. The bullet button changes that design from detachable to a fixed design which was never meant to be, but it does. Purpose is to slow the feeding way down which it does. Banning lawfully owned semi-auto rifles does not stop crime. Trampling on our gun rights isn't diminishing the activities of street gangs
joe jerry August 04, 2012 at 06:35 AM
I see that the poll was reset.
Jeremy August 04, 2012 at 06:53 AM
I guess Leland Yee likes talking to the Supreme Court Justices. He visited them two times with his video game ban. He lost on both attempts. Once so badly that ALL the Justices ruled against him. That endevor cost the taxpayers of CA. how much money? Now he thinks he can go after firearms? How much more money do the CA. taxpayers want to spend on pointless bills from this guy? How much money can CA. afford to spend on court cases? Isn't CA broke? Stop trying to make law abiding citizens criminals. Fix the budget. Bring jobs back. Quit trying to babysit the people that pay your sallery. Here is another Idea, if you want to reduce crime, keep the criminals in jail. Oh yeh, WE CAN'T AFFORD TO because whe spent $100,000,000 dollars tring to ban a video game, and FAILED. Get a clue. Leland Yee dose not care about jobs, the economy, crime, or the budget deficit. He only cares about the prestige of his title, and the sallery he makes. I will not be a part of another paid in full trip for Yee, to go to SCOTUS on the taxpayer's dime, for a lost cause!
Chris August 04, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Prohibiting the public from possessing bullet-buttoned rifle platforms will turn tenth of thousands of lawful citizens into criminals and deprive them of their lawfully acquired property without compensation and possibly putting them in jail while doing NOTHING to take guns out of the hands of criminals. Already California firearm laws are a mess that get dozens of good people, both civilians and law enforcement, in trouble because they have become entirely too complicated, are completely vague and are at their root unconstitutional. The proposed bill is a prime example of useless legislation introduced that will waste taxpayers money and solve none of California's real problems.
ThisisafriginJoke August 04, 2012 at 08:35 AM
That was actually the San Mateo patch that did the same thing. I would bet you have figured it out by now but just in case.
ThisisafriginJoke August 04, 2012 at 08:35 AM
Semiautomatic rifles with a bullet button attached has nothing to do with so called "assault weapons". They have never claimed a life or have ever been used in a crime at all. The very thought of making someone a felon for the simple owning of a 10 dollar piece of metal is beyond ludicrous. Not to mention if "assault weapons" are so dangerous then this bill if passed could cause the state to reopen the assault weapons registration process to make the half a million legally owned and processed through the DOJ rifles legal. The DOJ as stated admitted that the "bullet button" is legal and has processed and OKed the sale of these rifles for several years now. If this passes the state is on the hook for allowing this. This has not been thought through by Yee and if you hate assault rifles, they very well maybe 500 thousand more on the streets if this bill is passed though. No on SB249
Alan Thordsen August 04, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Senator Yee claims that he is ramming SB 249 through the legislature for the sake of "public safety". I believe that the law will create a scenario for a MUCH greater threat to public safety than the extremely rare occasion of a nut on a shooting spree. That is the inability to make a firearm safe in the case of a malfunction. If "law abiding firearms users" are forced to permanently fix their magazines to the action of the rifle and the rifle jams, they have a limited ability to make the firearm safe if they can't remove the magazine. The probability of a live round jammed in the action bursting because you have to pry a round out increases dramatically. If anything. The bullet button is a safety valve. Yes, it is compliant as a "magazine lock", but is also vitally necessary to be able to make the gun safe if something goes wrong.
Frank Groth August 04, 2012 at 04:48 PM
People bought and built rifles that have magazine locks so that they could fully comply with state law and regulation while enjoying their hobby / sport. The MagMagnet, while legal to purchase, was already a felony to actually use on a compliant rifle. So in response to a ratings sweep story on local TV, Senator Yee used legislative chicanery to change a bill from what it was into a poorly defined attempt to outlaw that MagMagnet from purchase / possession but which would have the effect of opening the door wide to any number of potential legislative attacks on lawful California gun owners. This when there is, so far as we can tell, no recorded case of a California compliant semi auto rifle being used to commit a violent crime. Makes the crime control argument kind of weak. Now Senator Yee appears ready to amend his bill again, through more chicanery, to change the laws and regulations which allow the California compliant rifle to exist in the hands of law abiding citizens who choose to own them. The proposed amendments appear to be driving toward making all the hundreds of thousands of legal rifles, again which have not been used to commit violent crimes, illegal and turning all the owners into felons instantly. Destroy your rifle, turn it in to law enforcement without compensation or get it out of the state. This is our 'democracy' in action.
Joe Meyer August 05, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Lee is once again going to cost us a ton of money in legal fees which we CA residents will pay. Here's why this is a non issue. Approximately 10,000 people were killed using firearms in, I think, 2010 (out of approx. 100,000,000 firearm owners in the U.S.). Of those 10,000 approx. 300 were killed with rifles (of all types). About twice as many people were killed with fists in the same year... go ahead and look it up. FBI stats show this. It would be nice if politicians that tried to pass unconstitutional laws had to pay the legal fees themselves when they lost.
pete August 05, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Jeez you guys sure get red faced over this topic. Maybe save a little of the outrage for a few other social inequality issues.
Juan August 05, 2012 at 09:45 PM
It is such a ludicrous argument to believe that bullet buttons will stop crime. Does anyone truly believe that people who want to commit mass murders will use rifles with a bullet button? Seriously? Victim: "Hey that man is shooting people with an AR!!" Politician: "Oh it's ok, it's got a bullet button on." Victim: "No it doesn't..." Politician: "Wait...what?!"
Dwight August 05, 2012 at 10:04 PM
No. Why? Because it just inconveniences your average law-abiding Californian and does nothing to actually tackle the problems of mass shootings or crime.
Mary Wright August 05, 2012 at 10:08 PM
The guns we own as law abiding citizens are both legal and safe. The proposed legislation would amount to 1) a taking of property 2) a violation of our second amendmen rights and, if "modified" result in an UNSAFE weapon. When legislators start trying to redesign wewapons, run for cover. We all know what the politics are here: To disarm law abiding citizens with no plan to disarm the bad guys who will keep their guns and we will become defenseless. Look at those great gun free zones like Chicago, the murder capital of America and other cities. Compare them to places where citizens can defend themselves. You really think a bad guy gives a twit about possessing a gun with a bullet button? Heck no. Purposeful effort by the Dems to disarm the citizens parading as regulation. Shame on them.
Mary Wright August 05, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Oh yeah, one more thing: Why did you reset the poll? Numbers agaisnt the ban too overwhelming? Hoping to "juice" the results? Laughable. Transparent tactics here by the press.
Chase Dine Mitchell Buchanan August 05, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Senator Yee's SB 249 is futile for two reasons. The first is that it will not save any lives or prevent any crimes, because murderers and other violent criminals do not use rifles. They use more easily concealable weapons such as knives and small pistols. The second reason is that the Supreme Court has ruled that people have the right to own commonly used weapons such as autoloading rifles. Therefore, if this bill is passed, it will immediately succumb to civil suits.
Anthony August 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Gun control laws are too often brought to us out of fear not from fact as statistics just do not support the effectiveness of these laws.We as a society need not to be so quick to stymie our civil rights.Would any of us support a ban or be willing to significantly restrict our freedom of speech or our freedom of religion because someone out of fear has a hunch that they may be dangerous?I think not.
Alan Smith August 10, 2012 at 06:47 AM
Why does senator Yee waste our tax dollars seeking to put in more laws and restrictions that only apply to law abiding citizens? Since when do criminal obey gun laws? Duh!

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