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How Gunmakers Tweak Rifles to Get Around Assault Weapon Bans | WSJ

– [Narrator] Take a
look at these two guns. One is an AR-15 Style Rifle, that’s been altered with something called a Juggernaut Tactical Hellfighter Kit. The other is a classic Colt AR-15. The two guns look kind of different. But they have a lot of the same features. And a lot of similarities
in how they shoot. The biggest difference
you actually can’t see. One has been illegal in California for more than 30 years, which
is why we had to use a photo. The other you can buy
at a local gun store. Over the past few decades
lawmakers in California have repeatedly tried to ban what they define as assault weapons. And each time gun manufacturers responded by making small changes
so they could continue selling that style of gun in the state. One of these guns, an AR-15 style rifle was used in April in a shooting at a synagogue near San Diego. Despite California’s bans,
the gun the shooter was using was perfectly legal in the state, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation. To understand how this happened, you have to look at how guns
in the state have evolved. First here’s the Colt AR-15 again. This is approximately
what AR-15s looked like back before the state’s first ban in 1989. And what they still look like in states that haven’t passed bans. It has a pistol grip
and a flash suppressor, features that California
lawmakers have since said make the weapons particularly dangerous. This type of gun was banned in 1989 after a gunman entered a school in Stockton, California, and opened fire. He killed five, and injured
32 others, using an AK-47. After that, the state
passed the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act, which bans certain guns by name. – There was a lot of outrage,
and this was the impetus for the first assault weapons ban in the nation, in California. – [Narrator] In response,
gunmakers started developing similar guns
with different names. That meant that guns like the Colt AR-15 were changed slightly and resold with names like the Colt Sporter. Then, in 1999, lawmakers amended the law to ban weapons with specific parts. Such as semi-automatic rifles
with detachable magazines, pistol grips, thumbhole
stocks, folding stocks, grenade launcher, flash suppressors, and forward pistol grips. But there was a way around this. Guns with fixed magazines
could keep these features. – One of the areas they
focused on was making it harder for mass shooters to reload and have as many rounds of
ammunition in their magazine. The definition of a fixed magazine was that you couldn’t
remove it without a tool. And the manufacturers realized that a tool could be a bullet. – [Narrator] So gunmakers
modified guns so the magazines could be changed with a single bullet, which met the state’s
definition of a tool. This allowed them to
keep the banned features and still sell guns with magazines that could be changed
without much trouble. This became known as the
Bullet Button Loophole. This bullet button modification was legal in California
for around a decade. Then, in 2015, two shooters
stormed a holiday gathering in San Bernardino, California,
and killed 14 people. They were carrying AR-15 style rifles with bullet buttons they
had bought in California and then illegally altered. After the shooting, lawmakers
tried to pass new legislation. This time they focused on closing the Bullet Button Loophole. – This incident caught the attention of a state lawmaker by
the name of Steve Glazer. And he decides he wants to try to close this so-called Bullet Button Loophole. And so he does something to
ban these bullet button guns, and what he does is changes the definition of a fixed magazine to
one that cannot be removed without the disassembly
of the firearm action. – [Narrator] The law passed, which meant bullet button guns were banned. And yet again modifications were made so that more AR style
features could be kept. Remember the AR style rifle with the Juggernaut Tactical
Hellfighter from the beginning? The Juggernaut Tactical Hellfighter is a kit that alters
an assault style rifle so that users can change the magazine by cracking open the action
just a hair, like this. Gun dealers say this legally counts as disassembly of the firearm action. So gunmakers started here. And decades later, after
multiple assault weapon bans, they ended here. – If you talk to any gun dealer
or person who shoots guns, they’ll tell you a
California compliant AR-15, as they are called, shoots just
the same as a normal AR-15. The bullet’s going just as fast. – [Narrator] Smith and Wesson,
Ruger, Colt, and Juggernaut did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson from the National
Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for gun manufacturers, said of the state laws,
“They’re basing the bans strictly on cosmetic
features that have no bearing on the operation or the
function of the firearm.” A spokesperson for the
California state attorney general declined to comment on
the modified weapons.

100 thoughts on “How Gunmakers Tweak Rifles to Get Around Assault Weapon Bans | WSJ

  1. O they bought weapons legally and then illegally modified them wait I thought that being against the law would make criminals not do that wow it didn’t work no way just like banning drugs because that totally worked

  2. So aren’t majority of hand guns semi automatic and some hand guns able to buy extended magazines.

    This is a touchy subject and I feel for all the families affected by people who are careless and ill minded.

    But this will start a issue for gun owners who are responsible with the firearms.

  3. A bullet button is a loophole? Try a speed reload with a bullet button on an AK or AR styled rifle. These videos are a joke. What happened to people only speaking on things they know about? Everyone is an expert in 2019

  4. It is impossible to ban
    "assault wepons". Because that is not a real term it is a term that was created to make people who don't know a lot about guns scared.

  5. sounds like California keeps moving the goal post. the definition of "assault weapon" is a fully automatic machine gun. thous were banned in 1986. they won't stop till all guns are banned.

  6. CORRECTION: How Gunmakers Tweak Rifles to Get Around Semi-Auto Weapons Bans. The picture does NOT show an assault rifle only semi-automatic guns. Assault weapons are fully automatic and have outlawed sense 1932.

  7. When are Leftists going to admit they just want to take away our 2nd Amendment Right?

    Pretty soon they’ll be trying to ban “high-capacity (8+)” pistol magazines, oh wait…

  8. "Tweak?"
    "Get Around?"
    Gunmakers make firearms that are compliant with the law, and anti-gun politicians get upset because their goal is to eliminate the civilian ownership of the means of defense.

  9. Oh so our the second amendment was written after coming back from a turkey shoot. There are Isis training camps "no go zones" in every state. Muslim and Iranian brotherhood, Russian mafia, gangs etc. That's why "Shall not be infringed" means just that. Let's not forget it was box cutters and planes that "allegedly" took down the towers. Just think about that! Just let that sink in! The problem with the gun laws are there are gun laws. A well armed people can stop a violent crime fast!

  10. Makes NO sense being banned because of the flash suppressor and pistol grip… wth does a flash suppressor have to do with it…. freaking idiots

  11. After all the mass shootings in California even with tough gun control. You would think they would try tackling the real problem. But instead they keep trying to ban certain types of guns. Keep doing the samething expecting a different result lol.

  12. 4:51 “ it’s the same as a regular AR 15 and the bullet is going just as fast” what an idiot bet he wouldn’t know the difference between a 223 platform or a 308 platform if it was explained to him!

  13. Criminals intent on committing murder (which is already illegal), will not follow the law. This video even stated that truth at 3:20. What gun law, or how many more gun laws would have stopped San Bernardino? The answer is none.

  14. "Assault weapons" were just a made-up term that was made to put automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons into the same category.

  15. Shall not be infringed, unconstitutional , and lawfully protected by the 2nd amendment , gun control only hurt law abiding gun owners, not criminals , idiots

  16. Well true is,, If all firearms were to be banned.”they will not” The very same troubled people will simply use “simple improvised explosives”

  17. Most gun crime is done with illegally owned unregistered weapons … a 22cal semi automatic weapon is not an especially dangerous weapon. If someone attacks a group of children with a hammer, would these fools then try to ban hammers ?

  18. So no ones gonna mention the fact that theres always a mass shooting coincidently and ironically around the same time legislation gets drafted to ban specific parts? like the las vegas shooter who supposedly used a bump stock to kill lots and lots of people and shortly after trump signs legislation to have them banned? no? well if that doesn't scream government orchestrating these mass shootings, youre just too asleep or stupid to ever get it.

  19. This video reminded me, I almost forgot to install that new pistol grip and new flash hider I bought the other day for my AR. Thanks WSJ!

  20. Its like changing window tint, tires, rims, speakers on a car, How does that affect how the car drives same dumb concept. Focus on the shooters! Just making criminals out of citizens

  21. But isn't that what you hysterical dopes wanted? Fixed and truncatd rounds? 🤨 duh… "Then, in 2016! MoaR murderers!" YOU STUPID PEOPLE… OF COURSE CRIMINALS ARE GOING TO MODIFY THEIR WEAPONS. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT LAWS IF THEY'RE WILLING TO MURDER PEOPLE. DUH!!!! The only people affected by these moronic restrictions-by dumdums who know nothing- are people who ya aint gotta worry about. 🤪

  22. You say the criminals bought a compliant rifle then illegally modified it to release the magazine. So what your saying is that criminals don't follow the law who would have thought?

  23. This is because once somebody understands how guns work and what they are, they think that banning them is idiotic.

  24. These people are so bad at their jobs that they don't even know how to enact policy to achieve their own goals.

    Imagine being this stupid.

  25. As much as I love the hellfighter feature, it’s not compliant in NY.
    The wording in the UNsafe Act, to have the assault rifle “features”, the magazine MUST be fixed. Either machined in the lower or pinning it. And by pinning it, it’s “permanent”, until you physically remove or grind out the pin.

  26. San Bernardino they didn’t buy the rifles they used a friends rifle. Now what your talking about before reporting.

  27. It’s so simple. Just ban all firearms. They only hurt people. Then no one will be killed by them. It would literally be impossible to acquire something that’s illegal.

    While we’re at it let’s ban murder too because it would literary be impossible to do anything illegal.

  28. People just don't realize that of you ban guns, criminals will still be able to illegally get them. Except this time no one has guns to protect themselves against them.

  29. And what's the moral of the story?
    Try as you might, you'll never outmaneuver the ingenuity of man. Especially when it comes to the GOD GIVEN RIGHT of self defense. When are you self righteous gun grabbers gonna get the clue?

  30. "One has been Illegal in California which is why we had to use a picture". B.S. You can get a rifle that looks exactly like that in California with the same looks right now. The Colt AR was just banned by name.

  31. The whole idea of an "assault weapon" is that is fully automatic and therefore can provide effective covering fire. Covering fire is what you need for an assault. Lay down covering fire (i.e. automatic rifles/machine guns), then when the enemy takes cover, use the opportunity to move forward, i.e. push the ASSAULT on the enemy's position. Semi-automatic guns are not assault weapons, period.

  32. 2nd largest mass shooting in history was done at Virginia Tech. 35 people killed by handguns. Can't ban a violent will and mind.

    1500 killed last year by knives. 200 by rifles. More Police Officers sacrificed their life last year then killed by rifles. Do we not care about them?

    How many died last year by DUIs? Do you go after Honda, Ford, or Chevy? How dare they have good horsepower! Why do you need the ability to go 180 MPH! What about Jim Beam? Budweiser? How dare they make it so easy to get such a high BAC before I drive! Why do we blame a chunk of steel for a person's crime? Sound familiar?

    Learn facts not what sounds cool.

  33. Shooting happened: Using and AK, lets ban the AR and few other guns of the time. But what was omitted was that this 89' Law had a sunset clause the main point of the law was to prove the banning gun lowered crime after 10year Zero correlations were made the law lapsed. Along side these facts, the companies did not work around the the laws the lawfully complied and so has nearly every gun owner is CA.

  34. Juggernaut tactical hellfire 😂 Is this a joke? Was this written by Mr.kuntzman, the guy who said he got ptsd from shooting a AR-15? Maybe you should make videos about something you're slightly knowledgeable about. You're embarrassing yourself.

  35. 1911: Turkey; citizens disarmed – 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered
    1929: Russia; citizens disarmed – 20 million Russians murdered
    1935: China; citizens disarmed – 20 million Chinese killed
    1938: Germany; citizens disarmed – 6 million Jews murdered
    1956: Cambodia; citizens disarmed – 1 million “intellectuals” killed
    1964: Guatemala; citizens disarmed – 100,000 Mayan Indians massacred
    1970: Uganda; citizens disarmed – 300,000 Christians put to death

  36. The legislators do not understand what they're banning because there is no such thing as an assault weapon. The "law" only focuses on cosmetic features on certain rifles, so companies are forced by the "law" to be in compliance or be subject to lawsuits. Now that the companies are in compliance with the "law" now the media & politicians call it a "work around" or "loophole."
    This extremely bias reporting is why no one listens to msm like the WSJ.
    Instead focus on reporting on where the vast majority of gun violence is coming from; Gangs in the larger cities; Which the msm will not report on because of… You guessed it. BIAS.

  37. The story does not mention the NRA instructor Stephen Willeford who used an AR-15 to stop the church shooter in Sutherland Springs, TX.

  38. An assault weapon ban only affect the law abiding people because most criminals buy their guns ILLEGALY! Seriously how do you people don't understand this

  39. Guns don't kill people do!
    Ban Murder! Get Criminals off the streets before they Murder! Criminals will still have guns even if you banned 'em.
    Have Mandatory Mental Health evaluations in California!! That should remove all liberals and put them in the bughouse! Then we all would be happy. 😃😃😃

  40. "Assault style"? I just flinched at u…am I not an assault style person? Ridiculous assault is a verb. "AR style" is common style

  41. 🤦🏻‍♂️ok when people follow the law with innovation it is not a loophole. It is just following the law while attempting to exorcise there 2A rights without being harassed by there public servants.

  42. It seems like the places where these horrible tragedies happen occur are in areas with the strictest gun laws.. My heart goes out to all the families that suffered a loss by the hands of a criminal with a weapon… if a person is that sick mentally and there aren’t warning signs they won’t abide by the law… the most reasonable way to defend yourself from a gun is with a gun…. our crime rate up here in north Idaho is virtual non existent compared to where I came from in central CA… when criminals know there is a good chance u have a weapon 9/10 times they won’t chance it… be prepared and stay folks

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