Before he was arrested and indicted on numerous federal charges Wednesday, including allegations of gun running, State Sen. Leland Yee was a major advocate for gun control and pushed to ban a device called a “bullet button.”
In 2012, KPIX 5 reported on what gun control advocates called a huge loophole in California’s ban on assault weapons. The reports focused on the bullet button, a device that gun manufacturers designed in order to legally sell guns such as the AR-15 in California.
The bullet button enables the magazine of a semi-automatic rifle to be removed quickly, with the tip of a bullet. Removable magazines in combination with other features like a pistol grip and telescoping stock are banned under California law. But the bullet button is legal because it doesn’t work with one’s finger, so the magazine is considered “fixed.”
The report prompted Yee to introduce SB 249, which would have banned the bullet button. Yee received a lot of heat from gun advocates over it. Opponents even put up billboards on Bay Area freeways.