By Chris Keller | Updated July 2, 2016
UPDATE: This post has been updated to clarify legislation signed Friday, July 1, 2016 did not take effect that day, and that firearms manufacturers created the "bullet button" to comply with California law.
The so-called "bullet button loophole" in the state's assault-weapon ban will close, the state will regulate sales of ammunition and owners of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition must sell them or turn them into the state.
These gun restrictions are contained in legislation signed Friday by California Gov. Jerry Brown. In all, the Democratic governor signed six of the 11 gun-related bills that landed on his desk the day before following a series of votes in the State Senate and Assembly.
The signings make California's already strict gun laws more so, and follow last year's terrorist attack in San Bernardino.
In a statement, Brown said signing the legislation will "enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible & focused manner while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners."
AB 1135 and SB 880 close the "bullet button loophole." The loophole refers to the sale of "California legal" firearms that don't fall under California's ban of guns with detachable magazines. To comply with the law, manufacturers created versions of firearms that feature a button that can be pushed with a small tool — for instance the tip of a bullet — to release an empty magazine and insert a new one.
This isn't the first time Brown has faced a decision to ban firearms with a bullet button. In October 2013 he vetoed similar legislation saying it was too far-reaching.
Under SB 1235 anyone purchasing ammunition would be subject to a driver's license check, which would then be sent to the Department of Justice after the purchase.
Capitol Public Radio's Ben Adler reports this bill would take precedence should a gun control initiative on the November ballot be approved by voters.
The bill has also exposed tension between its author, Senate Leader Kevin de León and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who are both Democrats. Newsom has qualified a gun control initiative for the November ballot, which would regulate ammunition sales, as well as adopting similar provisions to other bills voted on Thursday. De León had asked Newsom to hold the initiative off the ballot, if the bills pass, while Newsom has refused.
The two measures address background checks differently. The Newsom initiative would require buyers to obtain permits, similar to firearms permits, while De León’s bill would require a driver’s license check, which is then sent to the Department of Justice after the purchase.
Legislators established the "assault weapon" as a new classification of firearm in 1989. Following a court challenge in 2000, the law was upheld. Gun owners could keep their assault weapons provided they registered with the state before Jan. 23, 2001.
Below is an overview of the actions Brown took related to firearms legislation.