California has been making draconian gun laws for decades in their ever-increasing efforts to control their population.
Thankfully, gun manufacturers have been developing guns to circumnavigate those gun bans for just as long.
This is the bottom-line problem with most of what California has done to curb gun violence in their state – legislators are constantly attacking the wrong “problem.” Instead of working to change the justice system so that there are fewer repeat offenders, or better managing the state’s problems with mental health, the legislators have taken the easy route and just banned things that “look” scary.
California’s anti-gun legislators have banned certain versions of rifles because of the way they look, while other rifles that operate in the exact same manner continue to be completely legal. They have banned firearms that are hardly ever used to commit crimes, while continuing to allow the guns most often used by violent offenders. They have banned guns that are wildly popular across the country, or created arcane rules for how NOT to design a gun.
But as the Trace explains, these rules just lead gun manufacturers to create new styles of guns:
In 2000, the state expanded the list of banned assault weapons to include whole classes of AR-15 and AK-47 style weapons, along with any center-fire semiautomatic rifle with a detachable ammunition magazine and (the “and” is crucial) any of six features:
- A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
- A thumbhole stock.
- A folding or telescoping stock.
- A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
- A flash suppressor.
- A forward pistol grip.
The gun world responded to the updated regulation with fresh workarounds. Many companies introduced so-called featureless rifles that have a detachable magazine, but none of the other attributes that would qualify a firearm as an assault weapon under California’s rules. Taking the opposite route was the mechanism that would come to be known as the bullet button.
In singling out detachable magazines, California lawmakers were attempting to curb a design feature that makes it possible for a shooter to eject a spent magazine with the flick of a finger, then quickly reload a new one. Still allowed, according to 2000 regulation, were magazines that required a tool to remove.
Introduced by Prince in 2006, the bullet button is just what it sounds like — a button that can be activated by the tip of a bullet or other simple implement — and it makes reloading as simple and fast as possible, within the confines of the law. Because a rifle with a bullet button did not technically have a detachable magazine, it could be customized with all the other features that for assault weapons fans are key to their appeal. Soon, big manufacturers like Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and Stag Arms were incorporating the bullet button into their products.
Liberals complain that such manufacturer changes may comply with the letter of the law, but they obviously undermine the spirit of the law. Conservatives say, that’s the whole point. When the letter of the law doesn’t actually do anything, it’s bad legislation. These laws should not exist.
Another case in point, the just released “featureless” AR-15 from gun manufacturer FN.
The new rifle allows Californians to keep up with the rest of the nation, even as Democrat legislators try ever harder to undermine the 2nd Amendment.
In an effort to keep the estimated 13 million gun owners in California supplied with a state-compliant MSR, FN on Monday announced two new FN-15 rifles.
“Many of California’s pro-gun residents have had very limited options in terms of what they could purchase because of the state-imposed regulations on firearms,” said John Keppeler, vice president of sales and marketing for FN America, in a statement. “FN saw California’s market as an opportunity to expand the FN 15 line.”