Semi-automatic rifle sales have more than doubled in California as the new impending regulations passed by the Legislature are due to hit January 1st, 2017.

The state Department of Justice reports that 365,000 semi-automatic rifles were registered with the state between January 1st and December 9th this year. That figures is compared to the 154,000 rifles registered in all of 2015.

Via the San Francisco Chronicle:

California gun store owners say they expect the 2016 sales numbers to climb even more due to a spike this month in sales of semiautomatic rifles with so-called “bullet buttons” from customers rushing to get their hands on the specially outfitted weapons before a new state law removes them from shelves Jan. 1.

The bullet button is a tool developed by gun manufacturers that allows magazines to easily detach for rapid replacement. The new law adds guns featuring the device to its list of assault weapons already prohibited in the state.

“What we're hearing is that busy gun retailers have been selling pallets of rifles over the past month or so,” said Brandon Combs, president of the gun rights group, Firearms Policy Coalition, who added that many gun buyers were rushing to beat the clock for buying bullet-button weapons.

Read more here.