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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 currently 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 (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 California 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 - what do you think? 

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.

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Michael August 07, 2012 at 01:19 AM
people are killed in cars every day so we should ban cars to eliminate death in cars right? Same baseless argument for gun control. the more controls we try and put in place the more that the common citizen is put in jeopardy. Research shows that in places where it is required by all households to have a gun, crime is way way down. Yet we toil over the same lame arguements any time a tradegy occurs where a gun is used. Like it or not there are a lot of crazy people out there. Too bad a gun carrying person didn't nail that idiot in Colorado. I suppose if they had we would have arrested the good person and held them as some kind of a criminal for defending himself and others. Our politicians do not have any special insight into this on going and old social problem so they should not be afforded any special powers in this regard.
Lizzardking's Rise August 07, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Michael, no offense man, but you are one scary deed incapable of rational thinking. Cars are built for transportation purposes while assault weapons are built for massive killings of human life which can occur within sixty seconds. Really, no offense, but for you to compare a car to an assault weapon is just friggen idiotic, man. And for the record, we are talking about assault weapons, not guns or rifles. Michael, you strike me as the kind of person who should be on the radar screen as someone who should never ever be sold an assault weapon. But I will go further, why in tarnation does ANYONE need an assault weapon? Does anyone find the need to kill fifty people in under five minutes? Does anyone feel the need to kill fifty deer in under five minutes? I'd like to find all your guns and stick flowers in them. You're one messed up dude man, and coming from me, that's saying a lot.
Sean Erickson August 30, 2012 at 08:33 PM
It funny that Mr Yee wants to take away our Constitutional Rights yet he's protected buy guards who carry sub machine guns concealed. I can't get a concealed weapons permit just to protect my family or even own a sub machine gun like an Uzi, yet Mr. Yee's staff can. People have you had enough of the Democrat Communists hypocrites running California into the ground yet?

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