Gun Laws & Legislation

Bullet Buttons, Extended Magazines, and Dishonest Politicians

Mike Piccione Editor, Guns & Gear
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By Jim Pontillo, FMK Firearms


It’s not that I don’t like to call politicians stupid; it’s just that they aren’t all dumb, but almost all of them are dishonest…

Headline:   California Law Enforcement Unclear On Legality Of ‘Bullet Button’

For those of us involved trying to interpret the idiosyncrasies of California’s gun laws this headline is a hoot!

Usually if I have a question about some firearms law, I have friends at the LA Sherriff’s department (my Skeet & Trap shooting buddies) who normally will get my first phone call.

“Mack, how do you guys interpret the law on…?”

This is almost always explained, “Well the law isn’t clear, and we generally…”

Followed by, “The only time that law is invoked is when we want to get add-ons.”

(Add-ons are the bonus violations cops will give to some degenerate obstreperous perpetrator that doesn’t have enough sense to say to officers, “Yes sir, no sir, I’m sorry sir, etc.”  In other words, if you’re a jack-ass they’re going to get you one way or another, and they’ll get you double.)

The reason this headline is such a hoot is California Law Enforcement is unclear on the legality of almost all the gun laws!

In this article for example: 

Cops arrested a guy after conferring with each other on the legality of the “bullet button” in his AR-15 rifle.  The cops didn’t even know what a bullet button was.  In California, AR-15’s are illegal because they have a “readily detachable magazine”.  All kinds of other guns have readily detachable magazines, but California legislators made the AR-15 illegal because they decided it looks menacing.  Genius.

Next law: Any car with a spoiler on the back gets a special tax because spoilers look menacing!

To get around the “readily detachable magazine” canard, California gun owners replace their magazine release button with another that must be operated with a “tool” (ball point pen, bullet (hence name), etc.).  With this they can own an AR-15 style rifle, which happens to be the most popular style of rifle sold in the United States today.

The simple fact is most gun legislation (a lot of other legislation for that matter) isn’t designed to protect the public, but to intimidate it or to extract money from it.  Legislators cloak their true intent by suggesting they have altruistic intent that is easy to sell to a moronic populace.  Meanwhile, they institute more fees and regulations that give them more power and authority over us, and more funds with which to abuse that power and authority.

This is not just a phenomenon in California by the way.

My Sales Manager has made dozens of flights around the country.  He generally has a big case with six unloaded pistols in it which he always declares at the airline counter and ships through baggage.  We never had an issue, but never underestimate the potential stupidity of government workers!

On a recent trip out of Syracuse, New York after a trade show, following our usual protocol my sales manager presented our large locked case to the person at the baggage check counter, and stated, “These are handguns. I am returning from a trade show.”

The retort was, “Could you please open the case sir?”

Upon complying, the clerk’s eyes got really big and she exclaimed “These are guns!” where she went on to summon law enforcement.

Anytime an airline person repeats what you just said seconds before with astonishment, you’re screwed!

Needless to say, Dave missed his flight and was tied up at the airport four and a half hours.  He was instructed to always carry an original signed copy of our FFL with him in the future to avoid these kinds of mishaps.

Hilarious.  All FFL holders are instructed to file the original FFL away and only sign copies of the document.

By law enforcement, and customers who do not reside in California, I was asked to provide magazines with more than ten bullet capacity.  Our 9C1 handgun can hold up to fourteen.  Knowing that California requires an extended magazine permit to possess such artifacts I promptly contacted the California DOJ to request an extended magazine permit.  I was instructed that only dealers were issued these permits where I queried, “Well how do dealers get them if I can’t manufacture them?”

After many months and numerous phone calls I was finally told by California DOJ (our senior law enforcement agency) that I required no permit to make these, only to possess them?!  That’s a head scratcher, ain’t it?

The point is if our most high-ranking law enforcement agency has problems interpreting law, how on earth are the people lower down in the chain of command going to do it?


Mike Piccione