Earlier today, May 21, 2012, State Senator Leland Yee introduced SB249, a bill that would ban possession of any rifle that has a magazine that can be easily detached using a small magnet, tool, or tip of a bullet. Semi-automatic “assault weapons” with detachable magazines were banned in 1989, along with magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The bullet button replaces the standard magazine release button, preventing magazine removal unless a tool (specifically a bullet) presses a catch inside the button.
Yee proposed the changes after viewing a local CBS news story about the bullet button. “When I saw the news I was absolutely horrified,” he said. “It is extremely important that individuals in the state of California do not own assault weapons. I mean that is just so crystal clear; there is no debate, no discussion.” SB249 is designed to eliminate the possession of any long gun using a magazine that is not permanently attached. “These conversions are circumventing the spirit of California’s assault weapon statute,” Yee said today. “Absent this bill, California’s assault weapons ban is practically toothless. For the safety of the general public, we must close this loophole.” The California general assembly will consider SB249 next month. Chinese-born Senator Yee has served in the state legislature since 2003.