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Connecticut School Massacre Renews Call For California ‘Bullet Button’ Ban

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Bullet button

A bullet is used to detach a magazine from an AR-15 rifle. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -– The nation’s second-deadliest school shooting, in which a man with semi-automatic weapons opened fire Friday inside a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked as a teacher and killed 26 people, prompted renewed calls to close a major loophole in California’s state assault weapons ban that was first exposed by a CBS 5 report.

“In a year with so many appalling acts of gun violence, this is the most shocking of such tragedies. While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder,” said State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo).

Yee said he anticipated reintroducing a bill in January that would prohibit assault weapons from having devices known as “bullet buttons” and “mag magnets,” which allow semi-automatic weapons to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition.

“There is a loophole in that particular law whereby some modifications of an assault weapon could in fact be made legal and you could still own it,” said Lee.

The measure Yee authored, known as SB 249, died in August in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, despite significant support from gun control advocates.

California currently has a ban on most assault weapons, but the federal Assault Weapons Ban expired almost a decade ago. The .223 caliber rifle police claimed the gunman used is illegal in California, but is allowed elsewhere.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Sam Paredes, executive director of the organization Gun Owners of California, called the shooting “pure evil” but said it’s insensitive to bring up gun control so soon.

“Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions calling for this, that, or the other,” he said adding that the laws don’t work and that the solution is to address the problems of the people who commit such acts, but not to ban the weapons they use.

East Bay Congressman George Miller disagreed. “We cannot continue to avoid this confrontation and conversation over this issue in the United States Congress.”

Miller said the country has a greater obligation than just lowering flags and bowing our heads and would like to see Congress renew the assault weapons ban that Sen. Dianne Feinstein authored and along with Sen. Barbara Boxer, has been fighting to revive.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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