Dealers say Gov. Brown's split decision on gun reform is a big blow

Governor Brown's split decisions on gun reform leaves supporters with some, but not all, of what they wanted. And some gun dealers say it's a death blow for them.

"This AR-15 is legal in California right now because it has a bullet button device on it," explained store owner Gabriel Vaughn. "But that's going to change."

The AR-15 is the best-selling gun in America, but in order to be sold in California, it's been modified with a release, requiring a tool, to reload ammunition.

That's because cartridges of more than 10 rounds are banned. 

Critics saw the "bullet button" as a loophole that needed closing. 

So most rifles that have them, are being folded into the state's assault rifle ban.  

"If you want to keep it, you'll have to re-register it come January first," explained Vaughn, behind the corner of his Petaluma store, Sportsman's Arms.

And starting in 2017, they can't be sold legally, a big blow to gun store sales.  

"It's going to make collecting some stuff illegal," complained shopper Stony Fritz of Mill Valley. "You're not going to be able to get it anymore and it's really sad."

Customers are flooding gun stores ahead of the change.

"Ammo's going to go up either way because people are going to be stockpiling it," said one buyer who did not want to be identified.

He was concerned about the new law requiring identification and a background check to purchase ammunition.

"If you own a gun you should be able to train, be effective, and be safe with a gun," he observed.  "And if you can't get ammunition effectively, that's going to be a huge issue for a lot of people."

"I think there's a lot of things that could be done nationwide," declared Vaughn, who's been selling firearms in Petaluma for 10 years.

"Better background checks, mental health screening, I'm all for it, great!" But he doesn't see the new California reforms as a path to a safer, streamlined system.  

"Not one bill today, nothing," he said, while lamenting the veto of a bill that would make stealing any gun a felony.   

"Why not make the actual repercussions severe? So many people get out with slaps on the wrist."

Criminals, he insists, won't worry about bullet button bans. 

And Vaughn, holding a semi-automatic shotgun, pointed out how it can be re-loaded faster than the one being outlawed.

"I could have everybody in here shot in seconds and be reloaded before anybody came," he mused, "but with this one I'd still be messing around with the bullet button."

At Sportsman's Arms, a stack of semi-automatic weapons sold in one day, await pick-up.

The pile of applications and background checks is a half foot thick.

Sales that will evaporate in six months.

"And now California loses out on the taxes and the revenue and the jobs," concluded Vaughn.