Assault Weapon Ban

You Can Already Buy a Kit to Circumvent California's Brand-New 'Assault Weapon' Law

The Bullet Button Reloaded disables the magazine release until the rifle is opened.


California, which in 1989 became the first state to ban so-called assault weapons, has expanded that category twice since then: in 1999, when the legislature added a generic definition to the original list of specifically proscribed models, and last week, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill aimed at a device that legally circumvented the ban. With the ink barely dry on the new law, another workaround is already available.

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. 

Gun controllers saw that creative solution as an outrageous loophole, which they sought to close with S.B. 880 (a.k.a. A.B. 1135). The new law makes any of the six detested features illegal on a gun "that does not have a fixed magazine," and it defines "fixed magazine" as "an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action." Enter the Bullet Button Reloaded, a.k.a. the Patriot Mag Release, which allows removal of the magazine only when the rifle is opened, thereby disassembling the firearm action, as demonstrated by inventor Darin Prince in this video:

Prince, who describes himself as "the inventor of the original bullet button," says, "We have had the BB Reloaded in the wings for many years," which suggests entrepreneurs are at least a step ahead of gun prohibitionists. "The Bullet-Button Reloaded is hardly ideal," writes Dan Zimmerman at The Truth About Guns. "AR owners will have to release the rear pin on their rifle and tilt the upper receiver forward in order to drop the (10-round) magazine. But it's at least an option for keeping and continuing to use your long gun legally."

Zimmerman says "the moral of the story" is "there's almost always a way, and some enterprising individual will find it." More specifically, Prince's invention once again demonstrates the futility of trying to reduce gun violence by banning arbitrarily defined categories of supposedly intolerable firearms. Every time legislators pass an "assault weapon" ban, its supporters complain that the firearms industry is complying with it by making functionally unimportant changes. They think that's an indictment of sneaky gun makers; it is actually an indictment of misguided legislators. 

[Thanks to Robert Woolley for the tip.]

NEXT: Privatize the Postal System, Abolish a Monopoly

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Here is some prime derp for ya’ll this morning, courtesy of Facebook:

    What. The fuck. Is going on.
    White people, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot cry that the second amendment lets you carry whenever and whatever the fuck you please and continue to allow the MURDER OF BLACK MEN AND CHILDREN FOR DOING THE SAME THING YOU ARE ADVOCATING FOR. Oh except the children only need to be carrying toy guns before police get to murder them with zero fucking repercussions.
    Seriously, someone help me understand what the fuck is going on. Why does this get to keep happening? Serve and protect, huh?

    1. Because supporting the 2A equals supporting murderous cops. I think that person has a few short circuits upstairs.

      1. And because all white people share one mind, apparently.

        I can’t say for sure, but I would imagine that most carry advocates are pretty outraged when a cop becomes aggressive with someone because they disclosed that they are legally carrying, whatever the races involved are.

    2. More:

      America 2016:
      White Friends —
      What if everything people of color are saying about what living in 2016 in America is actually true, even if it seems so distant from your experience?
      What if it’s not just a cynical political ploy or a ‘race card’ to be thrown out in moments of chaos, but it’s actually all real?
      What if millions of Americans literally feel judged for and fearful because of their race, literally every single day and in every single setting?

      1. The thing about both of these people is they have never really interacted with any black people other than in the role of Upper Middle Class White Progressive Savior.

        1. Wait, are you saying that the person who posted that is white? I wouldn’t expect a white person to address people as “white friends” outside of a KKK meeting or something.

          1. I wouldn’t expect a white person to address people as “white friends” outside of a KKK meeting or something.

            It’s OK if you’re chastising them for their racism. (Their racism).

          2. I wouldn’t expect a white person to address people as “white friends” outside of a KKK meeting or something.

            oh, but they do.

            Its their way of saying, “IM NOT ONE OF YOU” … while pretending to be in a position to lord over their racial peers because, you see, they also once possessed misconceptions but have now been edumacated.

      2. Yeah, better banging then.

        1. Best spell check ever.

      3. Well, if all that is true, then we need to do better defending the rights of black people to peacefully carry weapons without being murdered by cops.

        1. We could start with a document saying that all black people — hmmm, maybe better make that all people of color — mulattos who are heroic? Fine, let’s just say in that document that everyone can keep and bear arms without that being a cause for being murdered by cops. Or by anyone.

      4. I’m white and lived in the black community in New Haven for 17 years. I do not have the statistics to establish the truth of RBS’s contentions, but I can say he expresses a sentiment common in black communities in America. Black people do commonly feel singled out by the police, and a certain reciprocity gets built into the relationship — the blacks long have seen themselves ruled by “whitey” laws, and the police respond with a general idea that all the blacks are “lawbreakers.”

        Needless to say, that simply feeds the original contention, even though much of the actual crime is black-on-black, and the police are protecting the blacks as much as anyone.

    3. White people, you cannot have it both ways.

      I presume the person saying this was as white as Lawrence Welk after watching Human Centipede on acid.

    4. “get to” keep happening. Apparently us white folks are in total control of all cops.

    5. Why is that derp? If the police can get away with killing you by claiming you were armed, then the right to be armed is effectively a dead letter.

    6. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.
      This is what I do_________

  2. Well, that does it. Gunsmithing must be made an illegal profession, like drug dealer.

    1. Drills, lathes, tool and die, CNC, and other manufacturing apparatus will have to be registered with FedGov.

  3. Jacob, you forgot to mention that states with more restrictive gun laws see fewer gun deaths.

    1. Jacob, you forgot to mention that unicorns fart rainbows.

    2. Shitbag, you forgot about, oh, Chicago
      Do you ever post honestly, or is that impossible for a lefty?

    3. Which of those states have a rising violent crime rate and which one has a falling crime rate?

      You don’t like the answer so you’ll ignore the question. Cognitive dissonance hurts (but not as much as it should).

    4. He also forgot to mention that people want a hand up, not a hand out.

      1. Touch?. You’re the guy that wants to have shoot-outs with the cops, after all.

        1. Huh, I thought you had to shoot at the police to install a socialist government in the first place. Weird to hear you saying that. Then again, logical consistency, truthfulness, and honest reflection have never been your strong suits.

    5. Fewer than what?

    6. Almost none of those gun death are rifles of any type.

    7. Nice touch of the word “states”, AmSoc. Try “cities”. Chicago, Baltimore, New York City, DC. All with very restrictive gun laws. All with high murder rates.

    8. Jacob, you forgot to mention that states with more restrictive gun laws see fewer gun deaths.

      And what do you find when you behave with honesty and remove suicides from those numbers?

  4. “I’m all in favor of innovative problem solving, but there have to be reasonable limits.”

  5. you forgot to mention that states with more restrictive gun laws see fewer gun deaths.

    You forgot to distinguish between willful homicide and other fatalities.

  6. Is it irrational to be angry that progs keep creating terminology designed to confuse people and then pass a law to codify said terminology into law so that they force all political opponents to engage them with their own dishonest terminology?

    There is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” The several states that have made laws can’t seem to agree on what pointless features qualify any given rifle as one. They intentionally made up the term so that people who don’t know anything about rifles would be confused and think they’re fully automatic.

    1. No. It is not irrational at all.

    2. “Assault weapon” is the pass?. The new term is “assault rifle”.

  7. There is no such thing as an “assault weapon.”

    But Army Men! Movies! Ten thousand bullets in the blink of an eye!

  8. Drills, lathes, tool and die, CNC, and other manufacturing apparatus will have to be registered with FedGov.

    There was a pretty good (I know, I know) article in Bloomberg Bizniss Weak about Defense Distributed’s new business venture, a dedicated tabletop CNC machine which will hog out an AR receiver from a billet. I believe they call it the Ghost Gunner.

    Definitely worth a read.

  9. A bullet button? I don’t want to have to fire a second gun at the magazine in my first gun just to get that one reloaded. That’s simply not practical.

    Well, on second thought, let me try it first.

    1. “Hold my beer.”

  10. Once again:

    “Life, uh, finds a way.”

  11. I don’t think they outlawed existing guns, you just can’t resale them or am I wrong. But the way I figure it there are now to many gun laws to even understand so I will ignore the ones that interfere with my rights.

    1. Oh yes they did. And existing magazines which hold more than 10 rounds.

      You underestimate their mendacity.

      1. No one wants to take your guns. They just want you to hand them over under threat of fine/prison time.

        1. Yeah, they don’t want to take your guns you’re forcing them to take your guns. See the difference?

    2. That’ll make a fine excuse when you end up in court charged with a felony.

  12. Similar doodads have been marketed for a few years as an alternative to the bullet button.

    Downside is that you might perturb the sight alignment for particularly precise rifles.

    IANAL but can you comply with the magazine limit with a magazine plug? Something that could be removed easily if the zombies arrive?

    1. I believe the wording requires “permanent”. So no.

      1. Replacing the follower is easy enough. I suppose possession of the original follower could be considered possession of a “kit.”

  13. Happens every time. Complying with the law = Loophole. Can’t people get with the spirit of the law and just give up their guns.

    1. Not until we all learn the Horst Wessel Lied.

  14. If 8 rounds is good enough for a 1911… why do you hate America?

  15. I just bought a 100 round box of .45acp at Walmart. No ID, no “background check” (WTF?!).

    Suck it, Kahliforniunz.

  16. There is also this option, where you don’t even need the bullet button:

    I am not sure if this will still work with the new laws though.

    1. Yep, it turns out that workaround still works you guys out in CA. Deputy Matt gives a good update here:

      1. Huh. Did not know that that magazine law was an infraction. What assholes.

  17. I get to take my bullet buttons off completely when I register. Thanks, assholes.

    1. So what’s the deal with registering as an “assault rifle”?

      I mean what does it entail, and does it mean you can suddenly have all the same features as the the people in freer states enjoy?

      I think I remember someone saying that when the owner of a registered assault rifle dies, the gun gets confiscated or has to be sold out of state? Can’t you just register the gun to a trust, like you can for NFL items?

      Lastly, fuck California.

  18. You have to open the action to replace the magazine, so the law still serves its purpose.

  19. Idiot lawbreakers, er, law dreamers, can’t figure out this: the criminals like that perp in San Bernardino will modify their weapons in whatever fashion they wish in order to make them more usable for their foul purposes. What that means is that, in the few venues allowing the law abiding to defend themselves, said law abiding will once more be placed at a disadvantage. Of course, in every California venue where such attacks have happened, guns are prohibited to everyone….. except, of course, those bent upon murder. Since murder is a capital crime, what have they to lose by killing ten or twenty more? And doing so with an “illegal” firearm?

    I’d wonder what these legislators, the peoples’ “representatives”, have between their ears. It certainly cannot be brains in the traditional sense…. UNLESS, of course, the object is not really to keep the people “safer”, but disarmed and thus vulnerable. Yes, I believe that explains it. Silly me, thinking their intentions were honourable.

  20. Hey nice article i am looking forward to buy this weapon, but in meanwhile busy with mine work as the general manager of showbox app can you provide any link to buy it online?

  21. Ingenious!

  22. that’s how we can play with law’s just like we do with shaw webmail account.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.