Legal Issues

Stop SB 249 – Ban on Possession of Magazine Release Parts

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.

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 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)

  1. 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!

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. “Any other part used in an assault weapon”

    Seeing how they’re NOT ASSAULT WEAPONS TO BEGIN WITH, assault weapons being defined (by normal people) as a weapon that can fire FULL-AUTO. This all encompassing last line in the bill is a “In case we forgot something” clause that just about covers EVERYTHING ELSE. The government needs to stop writing and to be held accountable for writing all these vaguely defined bills that allow them to interpret them ANY WAY THEY FEEL LIKE.

  5. Senator Yee,

    I am an IT Security Engineer. If anything banning the AR guns including putting the bullet button on it is a sign of a criminal playground. You cannot stop criminal from bringing weapons in across the states. This is the only defense you have against something like North Hollywood shootout. I migrate to this country and became a citizen and strive this freedom for my family. SB249 will definitely take that away from any Americans. Again, as an IT Security Engineer, please take my advice and do not ban the rifle. It will definitely work backwards. I would even recommend CA gun owners to have a regular AR without any kind of modification on it other than keeping it semi automatic. We are not savages. We spend real hard earning moneys to get these defense mechanisms. We are not criminals. We respect lives and liberty of all living beings under this guy. Please do not put us back to stone age where you have dictatorship. If you pass SB 249, YOU WILL TAKE AWAY MY FAMILY’S SAFETY INCLUDING MY OWN. You will become a criminal above the law. Please do not put this into practice.

  6. It seems that there is no limit to how far the legislature, in the People’s Republic of California, will go in order to disarm citizens so that the State can finally rule them without fear of a violent uprising by its enslaved citizens. That is the basis for the 2nd amendment; the last firewall between an individual and the all-consuming tyranny of government.

  7. Legislators in California are all Left Wing idiots. Why do people elect these tools.Are you all wackos out there on the Left Coast? Not that we’re any better here in New York Stupid State. Fight this bill with all you have and vote out retards like Leland Yee!

  8. If California Senate Bill SB249 is allowed to pass, it could very well effectively ban thousands of different types of weapons in California. The way this bill is soo poorly written, it’s basically using a “shotgun” technique by trying to include soo many types of individual firearm parts in the “prohibited” list in order to effectively ban as many firearms as possible regardless of their design or purpose! I dont think that there has ever been such a blatant effort here in California to strip law abiding citizens of soo many firearms at one time! California already has the strictest firearm laws in the country. State Senator Leland Yee is 110% anti-gun and if he had his way, ALL firearms would be banned in California for private, law abiding citizens. Please support CALGUNS and the NRA in fighting SB249 before all of our Second Amendment rights are STOLEN from us here in California.

  9. “Senator Yee, I write to you to voice my opposition to SB249. I’d ask you kindly to reread your constitution and reconsider the power that you wish government to control over your fellow Americans. The second amendment gives you and your fellow Americans the right to keep and bear arms. The limitations you are attempting to impose on the firearms you are so embarrassingly scared of are asinine and unnecessary. Law abiding Americans do not wish to use these “assault” weapons for anything more than sport and to protect their loved ones from criminals and members of government such as yourself from forced entry for purposes of intimidation, theft, or harm. By introducing SB249 and attempting to impose these limitations, you yourself are proving why guns are necessary to protect the rights we enjoy from a tyrannical and freedom restricting government. Please use better judgement in the future by using our tax dollars to work on solving real problems rather than spending your time taking away the few freedoms that Californians are still “allowed” to enjoy.”

    My letter to “senator” Lee. Feel free to copy and paste if you’d like friends 🙂

  10. (I’m going to say this ‘kind of’ jokingly, but am afraid there may be some serious truth behind it…now, placing tongue firmly in cheek…)
    “It’s California? WHat more can we expect from them? It’ll be the first place the Chinese land when their side of the invasion begins.”
    (Removing tongue from cheek.)
    Sorry- I just cannot take anything that happens in California seriously any longer. The people keep electing Pelosi, Boxer, Brown, et al. THey deserve what they get.

  11. Senator Leland Yee, when he isn’t making stupid bills about video games, he’s making stupid laws about guns.

    While wearing a tiger costume.

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