SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (D – California) today signed a package of bills creating the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation including SB 880 by Senator Isadore Hall, III (D – South Bay) and Senator Steve Glazer (D – Orinda), which closes the bullet button loophole in California’s assault weapons ban. The measure was approved by the State Assembly yesterday on a vote of 44 to 30 and had been approved by the State Senate in May on a vote of 24 to 14.
SB 880 specifically redefines an assault weapon to include military-style semi-automatic firearms that do not have a fixed ammunition magazine, requires such weapons to be registered with the California Department of Justice and prohibits the future sale, purchase or possession of such weapons in the state.
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. Such tools are sold on the Internet and elsewhere explicitly advertised as a way to evade state law. Bullet-button equipped weapons have been used in a number of recent gun attacks across the nation including the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino that left 14 Californians dead and 21 injured. Passage of Hall’s SB 880 will close this dangerous loophole and enact one of the strongest and most progressive laws in the nation to reduce gun violence.
“Governor Brown and the Legislature’s decisive action to approve SB 880 reaffirms California’s commitment to end gun violence,” said Senator Isadore Hall, III (D – South Bay). “Bullet button-equipped semi-automatic weapons have no legitimate civilian use in our nation. They are designed only to facilitate the maximum destruction of human life. Too many Californians have died at the hands of these dangerous weapons. SB 880 will make our communities safer and upholds our commitment to end gun violence in California.”
“Today’s actions in California also send an important message to our leaders in Washington, DC,” continued Senator Hall. “Now is not a time for more empty rhetoric. Now is a time to act. Now is the time to stop the senseless bloodshed and end our nation’s gun violence epidemic. I call upon our federal representatives to show courage and to follow California’s lead by passing meaningful legislation that will help to end gun violence in our nation.”
SB 880 will take effect on January 1, 2017.