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Deadline Looming for AR Modification, Registration in Calif.

Gun owners who legally purchased an AR-15 or other assault-style rifles could face a felony charge if they don’t register their weapons or modify them by midnight Saturday.

Anyone trying to register at the last-minute may find it a painstaking and long process.

The state’s latest effort to stop the sale of assault weapons has added to the list of features that define such weapons.

The so-called “bullet button” magazine release, once considered a manufacturer’s loophole around California’s original ban, is no longer.

“Let’s say I’m shooting and I am empty. I can push it and I am loaded that’s it,” The Gun Range Sales Manager Jason Stevens said, demonstrating the button.

Stevens says centerfire rifle owners with bullet buttons, can keep their weapons as long as they register them with the California Department of Justice (CDOJ) but there are other options.

“This is a Sig Saur MCX rifle. It is a .556 rifle, kind of like an AR-15. It is a little different but it fires the same round,” Stevens said.

It has assault rifle features that are banned, such as a retractable stock, pistol grip, and flash suppressor, but no bullet button magazine release.

To reload you have to first disassemble the weapon.

“A fast reload would be about five or six seconds. That’s a fast one. Most people would take 10 to 15 seconds,” Stevens said.

Centerfire rifles with quick release reload buttons like a “bullet button” are still available for sale, they just can’t be manufactured with the other banned features.

“It becomes almost laughable. You have something that does the exact same thing they are trying to prevent you from doing,” he said.

So far, gun manufacturers have shown, for every change in the law governing the sale of guns there is a modification to a weapon to meet it.

The sale of centerfire rifles equipped with bullet buttons has been prohibited since January of 2017. It has taken this long for the state to develop a registration process for gun owners who purchased those weapons before that.

Gun owners trying to register online last minute have crashed the website this week.

The CDOJ staff will be available to assist with registrations and assault weapon serial number requests via email until Saturday at midnight.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Source: NBC San Diego

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