Long Gun Sales Surge in California

Long Gun Sales Surge in California
A "bullet button" requires a special tool to detach a magazine from a rifle, though a bullet can also be used, giving the device its name. photo from guns.comweb photo

In California, the state with some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, has seen long-gun sales surge to an 18-year high in November, according to this story from guns.com.

Using numbers from the FBI's database, which processes NICS background checks for gun purchases, dealers in the state processed 82,554 applications for long guns last month, a 57 percent increase over November 2015 and a 34 percent jump from October 2016, the story says.

Some are saying the reason for this surge is the bullet button ban.

California regulations forced gun manufacturers to add the infamous “bullet button” to guns like AR rifles, so that a tool of some kind, like the tip of a bullet, was required to depress the magazine release button, making the reloading process theoretically slower.

On July 1, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill outlawing guns with bullet buttons as part of a package of legislation drafted after the mass shooting in San Bernardino.

“Gun control advocates argue closing the bullet button loophole in California’s assault weapons ban could prevent future mass casualties.”

“The National Rifle Association lambasted state lawmakers for exploiting a terrorist attack in order to pass ‘draconian’ laws that make gun owners ‘second class citizens.’”

“‘My goal in signing these bills is to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,’ Brown said in a July signing message.”

Predictably, after the law was signed, July and August ranked as the most active months this year in California for NICS checks, the story says.

Come January, not only will guns with bullet buttons be banned in the state, California will also mandate current owners to either register their firearms, sell them across state lines, turn bullet-button long guns over to law enforcement, or destroy them. Many gun owners have simply said they will not comply with the new rules.

Gun sales are up across the nation, with last month’s tally of 2,561,281 NICS checks officially made 2016 the biggest year for background checks, even without December’s numbers.

On Black Friday, NICS checks set a new record for the biggest shopping day of the year, with 185,713 applications.