“Unfortunately there are many individuals in the state and in this country that look to the bill that I am carrying as really un-American. And I will tell you that I am probably as American as anyone else.” Probably so. What’s also probable: California State Senator Leland  Yee [above] is deflecting criticism of his “bullet button bill” by playing the race card. The left leaning media (e.g., sfweekly.com) is taking the bait hook, line and sinker—without linking to California State Senate Bill 249 (‘natch). “His office is getting threatening calls, with some telling him to go back to communist China and other racially charged statements,” San Francisco’s CBS 5 asserts. That would be the same station whose report—“[showing] people at the range firing semi-automatic rifles, even though California has a strict assault weapons ban”—inspired the legislation. So . . . what? Will Yee’s attempts to muddy the issue assure his anti-modern home defense black sporting rifle bill’s passage? Watch this space.

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35 Responses to CA Bullet Button Senator Leland Yee Plays the Race Card

    • Under California’s form of the AWB, semi-auto “black” rifles were required to have “fixed” magazines. I guess the thought was that a fixed magazine would make it more difficult to reload, thereby reducing the firepower of the rifle. (Also banned were magazines of greater than 10 rounds.) The “problem” is the stautory definition of “fixed.” Under the law (that Yee drafted) “fixed” means that a tool is required to remove the mag. When the law was first passed, you had to pop the rear pin on the upper to reload an internal mag. But some bright smith figured out how to make a “bullet button.” These buttons are in the same place as the original mag release, but cannot be operated with a finger; instead a tool is required–usually a bullet–which is pressed into the recessed release. This is perfectly legal under the statute as written, as the DOJ has conceded. The most recent iteration of the bullet button tool is simply a magnet that pops onto the release and is pressed. (These are of questionable legality, because the rule has been that the tool must be separate from the firearm). When Yee caught wind of them, he drafted a new law that will return us to the early days of the AWB–and to a place where there isn’t likely a manufacturer of compliant weapons. The intent is quite clear–our infamous representative Portantino (of the open carry ban) specifically stated the purpose was to rid the state of “assault weapons”, and it mattered to him not one whit that they are legal in all of the other states in the Union. “We don’t want those semiautomatic rifles here,” he said (roughly).
      The democrats have a near supermajority in the Legislature. The republicans cannot stop its passage. Only Brown can do so by vetoing it, or a constitutional challenge that will be filed one minute after he signs this legislation into law.

      • CA AR owners take note: the other 49 states welcome you and your talents. We need more workers and taxpayers.

        • Thanks GS, we are considering seriously moving.
          Somewhere where I don’t have to hear these politicians embarrassing the hell out of my intelligence.
          I broke down and got a Pirate Spikes Tactical lower today, well ok paid for half and did the paper work.
          Sure the rear block isn’t milled out so you can’t make it a class III rifle but I don’t care. They had 25 lowers in their stock and are down to 4. I got the 5th. People are buying like crazy before SB 249 hits. This way they will be grandfathered in.
          The first person they try to confiscate from it will get real ugly real fast.
          I was living abroad and didn’t vote, but I get it. Folks were really liberal. Lots of illegals wanting rights and a government to pay for it all. Now folks are turning things around. They are voting down the fat pensions for city workers. They probably won’t vote the extra state taxes into law either. Folks are getting sick and tired of the BS.
          All I need is a good tech job somewhere else and we are outta here…

      • Oh ok thanks. I knew about the bullet button stuff I just wasn’t clear what they were trying to do which apparently is ban bullet button assemblies.

        • Hey, California voters voted these s***-for brains politicians into office and keep re-electing them. I’m not real keen to put out the welcome mat for anyone from that Great Un-Fenced Penitentiary to the west.
          Stay there and fix your own State. Enough Birkenstock-wearing, liberal nanny-statists have already moved to Colorado. We need no more people here. We’ve got more than enough.

  1. So he’s American. He can still be a hoplophobic a$$hole declaring the sky to be falling. As a matter of fact, there are lots of people who are all of those things. I just wish they’d stop getting elected.

  2. I think we should just give California back to Mexico, land and citizens included. Or at least everything South of and inclusive of San Francisco and West of Sacramento. Rename northern California the state of “Jefferson.” Other than having to move the SEALs out of Coronado, I can’t see that we would be missing much. And having Babs and George Clooney be citizens of Mexico would be priceless.

      • LOL oh come on Ralph all of Holly Wood would love it!
        That is until the Zetas started mowing folks down and loping their heads off.

    • Whew had me worried for a second, this would make me a resident of “Jefferson”! I guess I’m movin’ on up!

  3. What counts as a “assault weapon” in this case, or any case, for that matter? As a former anti, the more I’ve learned about firearms, the more I’ve gotten confused about what exactly an “assault rifle/weapon” is. Black rifle? You can paint a bolt action .22 black. Full auto is incredibly restricted, expensive, and essentially a non-factor AFAIK. Adjustable stock? People have different arms lengths, and hell, I hear those suck for actually bludgeoning in melee anyway. Removable magazines or hi-cap? Rails? What is it supposed to mean? I really want to know.

    • “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

      • So it really is a completely meaningless term. Huh.

        I think it was when I realized that an “assault rifle” seems an awful lot like a 1930s rifle upgraded with 21st century conveniences (adjustability between users, lower weight due to polymers, tighter tolerances, ease of adding and changing optics and other accessories, etc.) that they became not as scary. Still need to be just as safety minded with them as you would be a weapon as old as my grandfather, but not scary in and of itself.

        Oh, and I realized that they aren’t going to eat me alive while I sleep. And using the “Force” to poke inanimate objects at a distance is actually rather fun. Especially that last one. Ah, the progression of a former anti.

        • Glad to see you have used logic and (not so) common sense in your maturation on this particular subject. I really think that if most anti’s could actually divorce themselves from the emotional aspect that they’ve been spoon fed and looked at it rationally, it boils down to self-determination and the ability to protect your “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Yep, the tools do change. Hell, just look at a shovel today and compare it to its’ likeness from 300 years ago. In the grand scheme, it does the same thing today it did then. Guns are the same- they’re just tools that have evolved to be more ergo-dynamic and efficient over time. Also like a shovel, it really depends on the operator of said tool. Unfortunately, anti’s completely ignore the folks using the tool and focus on the tool itself. Ban the shovel, and someone will find a tool that, while different, will have the same use as if they had been using a shovel. Look at the 10-fold increase in baseball bat purchases in the UK over the past 5 years. They don’t even play the sport…

    • Gyufygy: Aside from Ralph’s definition, which is really more accurate than mine anyway, I can offer you three equal statements, each of which stand alone, or work in conjunction with the other two.

      #1: Assault rifle, except when it’s used incorrectly, is pretty universally defined as an automatic rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Emphasis on the automatic part. Assault rifle is a very specific bird. Your average semi-automatic black rifle is not an assault rifle, regardless of manufacturer, accessories, color, or attachments, unless it has select fire capability.

      #2: Assault weapons are like the old saying about porn. I can’t tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it.

      #3: Assault weapon is a generic term invented by people who need to invent names for things. It is non-technical, non-specific, and always open to interpretation. It did not have a specific definition until Congress tried to give it one in the 1994 AWB, and they did an astoundingly horrible job of it. A basic definition would be a semi-automatic rifle with any of several features — primarily those that make it “scary-looking,” but I’m editorializing, so ignore that part — such as a pistol grip, detachable magazine, flash hider, or folding stock. Or, infamously, a barrel shroud, AKA “the shoulder thing that goes up.”

      Before you even finish that list of features, you immediately run into problems, because what if it has the last three, but not a pistol grip. Is it an assault weapon? What if it only has a pistol grip? Only a detachable magazine? Some AW laws use some combination to meet the qualification, some use any one of them.

      Basically, when in doubt, refer to rule #2 above. Alternately, you could try to answer your own question by attempting to navigate the California Rifle Identification Flowchart, but know that if you go that route, you walk alone, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      • Okay, from reading all this, it seems like an old milsurp M1 Garand, distributed by the CMP, would be completely legal, despite (and this is without ever having fired one… Yet.) having a very powerful cartridge that could probably punch through most body armor and a pretty damn quick reloading system (it even ejects the old clip for you! How kind).

        Hmmm, on further reading, bayonet lug and flash suppressor would be no-nos. Unscrew the suppressor and Dremel the threads and lug? (Yes, Dremel + M1 = a *special* Hell, I know. Trying to figure this out.)

        It also just occurred to me that beyond getting in an uproar over an inanimate tool, this all completely ignores the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”, being under suspicion and official disapproval despite not having done anything wrong. I think I reinventing the wheel here, but we all move at our own pace, I guess. :p

        Thanks for all the feedback and answers for a noobie.

      • Gyufygy: I’m not qualified to tell you whether your theoretical M1 Garand would run afoul of the rules. Do you live in California? If so, um… yep, not touching that with a pole from my house, and you see where I am.

        I will say that I’m pretty sure one of the guys that routinely runs into hassles with his local California PD, to the point of being arrested at least twice (and having the charges thrown out every time, because a judge recognizes that his guns aren’t illegal, but the cops keeps insisting they are)… is getting hassled over an M1 Garand. Or several. My point being that the cops don’t properly understand the laws they’re supposed to enforce out there. Not that that’s an unusual situation. Or exclusive to California.

        • Grew up in CA, moved away 10 years. Rural South since they, strangely enough Yay exposure to different areas.

          I think my example has gone as far as its going to work, but thanks for the feedback anyway.

    • Try this on for size, and understand why even the cops can’t tell the difference between a legal and an illegal rifle–they just seize them and let the courts figure it out:

      http://www.webshooters.org/images/CA_AW_Flowchart_Ver11b_2010_SideA.PNG

      Notes: rimfires excluded, but I’ve read of S&W M&P 15-22s being seized because they are black and look evil. Further, a forward grip, a flash suppressor, a folding stock or a bayonet lug will makethe gun illegal, even if it is otherwise compliant with California law. Sounds silly until you understand the history–and even then it is silly. The original law banned rifles by make and model. So the manufacturers made new models. In return the Legislature identified specific “features” found on evil black rifles (like the thingy in the back that goes up) and banned any gun that had them. This process neatly avoided banning some other wood stocked semiauto rifles with 3-5 round capacities that had been manufactured and sold for years.

  4. I bet Yee has an impressive collection of banned guns in his house, it’s been proven gun grabbers collect that which they ban.

  5. I long for the days when We the People elected representatives and not leaders…there is obviously a huge difference.

  6. What the hell is the point of this? Is there a wave of drive by shootings using bullet button weapons? Are fixed mag pistols next on the to do list? Is there not enough work to help comifornia become financially stable or help make jobs?

    • The point is the guns, nothing more nothing less, guns the politicos and the banners are afraid of. Califonia banned the Barrett .50 rfle even though there is no record of any crime being committed with one. But, as REpub Govenor Schwarzanneger said in his signing statement, these rifles have no nonmilitary purpose and could be used by terrorists to down a jet liner. Hmmkay. The same sort of thinking goes into the AR ban–not that they are automatic, but because they have the capacity (in a normal configuration) of rapidly firing up to 30 rounds of .223 or 7.62 (which has happened in gang shootings). At the time of the original ban passage, the street cops were outgunned by the gangbangers. And since these rifles has (allegedly) no legitimate “sporting” purpose, there was no good reason for anyone to have one. (Obviously, with the proliferation of uppers in many calibers, this rationalization no longer holds)

      • Good point on the 50 cal, I don’t think one has been used in the US for anything other than targets. I mean really if someone knows something perk up.
        There is no logic other than to disarm us.
        Even Hillary Clinton stated, and this is unsubstantiated, but she said that “The constitution gave us to much freedoms, and maybe some of that should be taken away” or something to that affect.

  7. Sadly enough, looking at the pathetic spread of morons that is the general American populace, he probably is about as American as most people. Which is sad.

    He is not, however, truly American. Not because of his race, but because of his mindset and values. He’s a fool, a tyrant, and deserves to be run out of office.

    You can be American by law and still be un-American in spirit.

    • You can be American by law and still be un-American in spirit.

      That’s what it really boils down to, doesn’t it? In a nutshell. Kind a reminds me of another point I once heard about the pursuit of the American Dream. You never hear of a French Dream or a Chinese Dream, do you?

  8. What Silver said. Yee is the CA senator who went after banning violent video game sales to kids. He’s the typical do gooder and attention whore.

  9. i am so sick and tired of these career politicians acting like little tin gods and constantly dictating to us whats good and whats bad for us. and the main stream media falling all over themselves agreeing with their stupid decisions.why don,t they ever say anything about the movie industry that constantly showing people always using guns for all the bad reasons, nothing is ever mentioned of that. and also when some idiot craps his pants all of a sudden we all have to wear diapers. discusting

  10. Telling Leland Yee to “go back to communist China” would be racist, except for the fact that he actually was born there.

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