San Diego inventor feels justified after state senator's arrest

SAN DIEGO - A local gun shop owner and inventor felt slightly vindicated Thursday after a state senator who had targeted a gun safety device he created was arrested this week by the FBI on corruption charges.

North County Firearms shop owner owner Darin Prince invented the Bullet Button, a safety device that makes it harder to replace a magazine in an AR-15.

“It simply allows you to comply with the law the way the law was written,” Prince told 10News.

However, about four years ago, state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation to ban the invention. Yee has since targeted Prince’s invention four times.  In 2012, Yee told 10News he was trying to protect Californians.

"The gun manufacturer found a way to skirt the law, and all I’m doing is just plugging that loophole,” Prince said.

Prince called Yee a hypocrite after the FBI arrested the politician Wednesday. Yee is accused of illegally importing guns for what he believed was an Italian gangster in New Jersey.  The gangster was an undercover federal agent.

“He was constantly trying to disarm law-abiding citizens in California while setting up deals to arm the criminal element,” Prince said.

Prince said the battle cost his store hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It simply shows that no law is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” Prince added.  “It’s just going to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.”

Yee was considered a leading candidate for California secretary of state.  His office declined to comment Thursday.  Yee posted $500,000 bail and is awaiting a hearing in federal court.

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