Californians are rushing to purchase the evil AR15 semi-automatic “assault” rifle before a new ban goes into effect on January 1, 2017. Governor Jerry Brown signed the gun-control measure into law back in July and with a 10-day waiting period for all gun sales, time is running out to purchase the gun and take possession before next year. All of these newly purchased guns must be registered with the state before the deadline kicks in on Wednesday, December 21.
The latest ban concerns “bullet button” rifles, which are themselves a workaround for a previous gun law that placed restrictions on “assault weapons.” Jacob Sullum explains:
The 1999 law covered any semiautomatic centrefire rifle with a detachable magazine and any of six “military-style” features: 1) a flash suppressor, 2) a grenade launcher or flare launcher, 3) a thumbhole stock, 4) a folding or telescoping stock, 5) a forward pistol grip, or 6) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon. But regulations issued by the California Department of Justice defined “detachable magazine” as “any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required.” The regulations specifically said “a bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool,” which left the door open to “bullet buttons” that release the magazine when you insert a cartridge into them. Since guns with bullet buttons did not technically have detachable magazines, they could legally include the features that offended the sensibilities of California legislators.
The new law now restricts the use of rifles with a “bullet button.” And yes, people have already figured out a workaround.
Sales of the long guns have doubled, gun store owners report. Since Brown signed the ban on July 1, nearly 260,000 semiautomatic rifles have been purchased in California. That’s far more than all of 2015, when more than 153,000 such guns were bought.
“People have been kind of holding off,” Terry Fong, of Rocklin Armory, told FOX40. “The last 30 days have been absolutely crazy. Phone calls, probably 50-60 phone calls a day, just looking for specific brands of AR’s. Now, they’re looking for any AR’s.”
“I have families coming in that have never purchased any rifles before. Well, now’s the time. The deadline’s here,” Fong said.
The new CA law doesn’t ban all rifles: “The M1/A1’s, the Rugers, which are the same calibers, just doesn’t have all the ‘evil features,'” Fong told FOX40. “So all semi-automatic, detachable magazines, up to 10-round magazine, and they’re not banning these. Yet.”
If you live in CA (why? Get out!), you have a little more than 24 hours to pick up a bullet button rifle. And if you forget to pick it up in time before Jan 1, you are out of luck. Retailers will be prohibited from delivering your gun to you.