Stop SB 249 – Ban on Possession of Magazine Release Parts

By CTD Rob published on in Industry News

Well the government out in California is at is again. This time they are trying to make all sorts of scary gun parts illegal. Senate Bill 249 (Yee SD-08 “Firearms: assault weapon conversion kits”) is a California State Senate bill authored by Senator Leland Yee designed to prohibit possession, importation, making, selling, transferring, or loaning, any conversion kit. If this Bill passes, beginning July 1, 2013, violating the newly added gun control laws would subject people to civil and criminal liability.

California Rifle and Pistol Association

California Rifle and Pistol Association

The law would also consider conversion kits a public nuisance. SB 249 would allow a prosecutor to bring a civil action against the person possessing such a kit. Such a civil action could impose a fine and require the owner to surrender their weapon without compensation.

According to the bill’s text, a conversion kit means either of the following:

  • Any combination of parts that, when affixed to a firearm with a fixed magazine, are designed and intended to convert that firearm into an assault weapon as defined by one of the following: (A) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (B) Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (C) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515.
  • Any part that, when affixed to a firearm with a fixed magazine, is designed solely and exclusively to convert that firearm into an assault weapon as defined by one of the following: (A) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (B) Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515. (C) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) of Section 30515.

So what’s the big deal?

For starters, the definition of a conversion kit within proposed Penal Code section 30527(a) of SB249 encompasses any combination of parts (plural) whether or not the individual possesses a firearm capable of accepting the combination of parts. Under this regulation, it is not necessary to even have a firearm to violate this provision; mere importing, making, selling, loaning, transferring or possessing the parts to a conversion kit is a violation.

This combination of parts within proposed Penal Code section 30527(a) of SB249 is not limited to magazine magnets and other locking device accessories, but applies to any parts designed or intended to convert a fixed magazine firearm into a so-called assault weapon. By itself, a magazine magnet cannot convert a non-detachable magazine firearm into their definition of an assault weapon. Other features are required. Arguably, all other features identified as assault weapon features are therefore included within this definition. Therefore, a conversion kit can conceivably include any of the following:

  • A magazine locking device accessory that converts a firearm with a non-detachable magazine into a firearm with a detachable magazine
  • Detachable magazine kits, OEM or aftermarket
  • Pistol grips that protrude conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
  • Thumbhole stocks
  • Folding stocks
  • Telescoping stocks
  • Grenade launchers
  • Flare launchers
  • Flash suppressors
  • Forward pistol grips
  • Large capacity magazines
  • Threaded barrels, capable of accepting flash suppressors, forward handgrips, or silencers
  • A second hand grip
  • A firearm with any of the above referenced items affixed in a manner that someone cannot remove them
  • A firearm with the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip
  • Firearm receivers
  • Any other part used in an assault weapon

As such, the mere possession, importation, selling, of any combination of the above referenced parts could cause law enforcement to arrest someone and force them to defend themselves against allegations that they intended to convert a firearm into a so-called assault weapon.

Oppose SB 249

Please voice your opposition to Senator Yee. Contact Senator Leland Yee or you can e-mail him at senator.yee@senate.ca.gov.
Please also voice your opinion to your assembly member. Address your letter to your legislator and mail it to the State Capitol, Sacramento, 94248-0001.

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Comments (13)

  • Craig

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    My Letter To Senator Yee

    Dear Senator Yee,

    The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” which means that it is not the role of California, or any state, to erode essential freedoms of the Constitution because of our own myopic ideologies. At the risk of evoking preconceived, but incorrect, stereotypes I must include the language of the Second Amendment, which states that “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    It is for this reason that I write to express my sincere and strenuous objection to SB249 as it serves no purpose other than to erode the U.S. Constitution on the basis of political hyperbole guised as public protection. The arbitrary definition of “Assault Weapon” based on aesthetics does nothing to protect the public, but rather creates a fog of confusion while ignoring the real dangers of criminals committing crimes. The California legislature, through your cosponsor in the Assembly – Assemblymember Portantino, has already worked to erode the U.S. Constitution by effectively eliminating the “right of the people to… bear Arms…” and now SB249 works to erode the Constitution further by eliminating the people’s rights to keep Arms.

    Recognizing that the natural, and predetermined, order for conversations in the gun control discourse would be for you to respond that “there is no need for hunters to use ‘Assault’ style weapons for hunting,” let me quickly address that here to save time in return correspondence. First, the architects of the constitution made no reference to the use of “Arms” for the purpose of hunting, nor do they limit “Arms” for use in recreation. While many enjoy both recreational shooting and hunting, the drafters of the constitution made no such reference, but rather recognized the necessity of a well armed people as essential “to the security of a free State….” Second and perhaps most importantly, despite the California legislature’s attempt to define an “Assault Weapon” as anything that looks like a military rifle, it would serve you well to understand that there is a real and distinct difference between an AR-15 and an M-16. There is a real and distinct difference between an M-14 and an M1A. That obvious difference is that the Military versions fire fully automatic compared to the civilian versions which fire semiautomatic. You might be well served to also understand, that despite the California legislature’s attempt to redefine “Assault Weapon,” that term derives from the German Sturmgewehr 44 which translates to “assault rifle” as it fired fully automatic. In other words, the so-called “evil features” of a pistol grip, collapsable buttstock, etc. do not make an AR-15 any more of an “Assault Weapon” than a Ruger Mini 14 which fires the same cartridge through a detachable magazine simply because it is ergonomically more comfortable. Identifying a 50BMG rifle as a “dangerous weapon” or calling a pistol grip an “evil feature” adds nothing to public safety, it serves only to demonstrate the absurdity of the California political machine and the politicians who compose it.

    On the effectiveness of California’s gun regulations, the data consistently shows that the arbitrariness of California gun laws have served no purpose other than to criminalize the citizenry while doing nothing to reduce or stop violent crime. Perhaps if the state legislature refocused their efforts on eliminating the root causes for crime (poverty and lack of education) instead of creating a false boogeyman we would have a state that did not consistently rank last or near last in education every year. Criminalizing magazine release parts will do nothing to make Californians safer, but investing in the education of our youth will. California consistently ranks last in education but remains one of the most dangerous states to live in. To claim that this is because people can “open carry” or purchase “magazine release parts” for their “Assault Weapons” is to move beyond absurdity. California has some of the most stringent and restrictive gun laws in the country yet violent crime continues to rise. Perhaps it is time for the California legislature to redefine their ideology regarding guns and focus instead on the true cause of the problem.

    Let me also be clear that the failings in the education system in California is not because we have “bad” teachers, though obviously some do exist, nor is it because we have lazy students or parents, though we have those as well. The fundamental problem with the education system in California has been that the state legislature and governors have continued to strip education since the 1960s. While no evidence, compelling or even circumstantial, can be presented linking the lack of gun control to the violence in California, there is a plethora of evidence that can link the rise of crime in California with the erosion of state education. Not since Pat Brown was governor has California increased funding for education – in real dollars – for subsequent generations. Since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1967 we have seen gun laws increase and funding for education decrease. Over that same period we have seen violent crime continually rise. The real problems in California exist because the legislature’s priorities have shifted from solving real problems to creating and defeating false boogeymen. It’s time we either refocus on real problems or focus on changing the leadership in Sacramento.

    Reply

  • Joe Turner

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    I’ve read the bill and don’t see any language that indicates it can ban anything other the crappy thumbless grip conversion kits, which are stupid anyway. The problem with the bill is it attempts to claim these “conversion kits” turn these weapons int assault rifles under Penal Code 30515 when30515 is clear that there must be a certain number of combinations to qualify as an assault rifle under California code. Which doesn’t make any sense that 30515 was simply amended… still bull crap and needs to be struck down by the Supreme Court, which after its most recent ruling gives me pause. Also, claiming that any accessory can fall under definiton as a conversion kit is stretching it. The “conversion kit” takes what was once a fixed magazine AR and turns it into a detachable magazine AR. Of which the bullet button is the complete opposite. This should be quite easy to defeat in court. Let the communist 9th Circuit uphold it, we’ll get our day in the Supreme Court that much faster to fight the good fight. Chicago and DC did fail on their hand gun ban. If this bill is as far reaching as people seem to think, then we’ll need our 2nd Amendment rights defended… once again…

    Reply

  • Ian

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    Wow, Senator Yee is so quick to push a bill to bans, restricts, removes, confiscate anything associated with guns, etc. But what about the state budget? I wonder is Senator Yee has initiated any ‘balanced budget’ proposals for Governor Brown to sign? What about SB 249 limits placed upon police SWAT teams? Will the police and highway patrol have to turn in their guns and assault weapons too?

    It all boils down to that these ultra left wing liberal politicians want to take away all freedoms of law abiding citizens in California by attempting to divert the peoples attention away from the real problems in California–balanced budget, jobs, lower taxes, better attitude for businesses, bloated government, corruption in government, too many gov’t employees, bloated state gov’t salaries, and bloated gov’t pensions costs, etc. (just to name a few!). That’s the real problem in California not assault weapons and magazine parts!

    Remember when the Second Amendment is banned then others will follow like right of free speech, religion, voting, and expression!

    Reply

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