Sen. Glazer introduces legislation to ban bullet button assault-style rifles

State Senator Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa, announced Wednesday he introduced legislation to ban rifles with fixed magazines that are easily detached by a mechanism known as the bullet button.

Sen. Glazer is joint author with Sen. Isadore Hall, D-Los Angeles, on the bullet button ban, SB 880.

A bullet button assault-style rifle was used by the shooters who killed 14 people and wounded 21 in the San Bernardino terrorist attack last month.

“This isn’t about hunting or home protection,” said Sen. Glazer. “I believe everyone has a right to hunt and to protect their families from harm in their home. It’s about a mechanism on assault-style rifles whose sole purpose is to allow someone to kill a lot of people quickly.

“We need to make it more difficult for a deranged person to enter a schoolyard, movie theater, or workplace with a rapid fire weapon. This measure is another small but important step in making our communities safer.”

Existing law prohibits the possession or sale of assault weapons and limits magazines to 10 rounds. But a loophole in the law – allowing guns with fixed magazines to be modified with a simple “tool”– has led to the manufacture of assault-style guns with magazines that can be easily detached – contrary to the spirit of the assault-weapon ban. The magazines are equipped with a button that can be pressed by a bullet or other tool to quickly detach the magazine.

Since the magazine requires a tool, the magazine is considered “fixed” and therefore legal.

“For years, gun owners have been able to circumvent California’s assault weapon laws by using a small tool to quickly eject and reload ammunition magazines,” said Senator Isadore Hall. “These types of modifications have no legitimate use for sport hunters or competitive shooters. They are designed only to facilitate the maximum destruction of human life. Such weapons have been used in a number of domestic gun attacks including the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino that left fourteen Californians dead and 21 injured. SB 880 is an important step to further protect Californians from our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”

The modification has allowed military-style rifles like the AR-15 to proliferate in the state, according to news reports. They’re some of the most popular guns used at gun ranges for target practice.

“Gun makers have exploited a loophole in the law that expressly prohibits assault weapons in California,” Glazer said. “We’ve seen the horror of these weapons with mass murders. We should not allow weapons that are designed specifically for modern warfare to proliferate on our streets.”

Senator Glazer worked as a senior staffer for Sen. President Pro Tem David Roberti in enacting a ban, in 1989, on assault weapons in California, the first state in the U.S. to do so. As mayor of Orinda, he was a charter member of the national organization, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” Glazer represents Antioch and most of Contra Costa County and parts of Alameda County in the State Senate.

2 Comments to “Sen. Glazer introduces legislation to ban bullet button assault-style rifles”

  1. Garth Gelster says:

    There is a lot of “fail” in this article.

    Senator Glaser needs to realize that AR-15 rifles are commonly used for hunting, home defense, competitive shooting and target shooting. These rifle represent a very small percentage of criminal activity using firearms. His legislation will have no impact on violent crime. I can only assume his goals are different than preventing violent crime.

    The article states: ” The magazines are equipped with a button that can be pressed by a bullet or other tool to quickly detach the magazine.” This is not a correct statement and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what is being discussed.

    • Garth Gelster says:

      Additionally, it is important to realize the rifles used in the San Bernardino shooting were purchased using a “straw” purchase which is already illegal and the rifles were illegally modified from a legal configuration for California.

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