Gun-control advocate groups are scrambling to find a new legislative leader to champion firearms restrictions after one of their most outspoken supporters, aside from Dianne Feinstein was charged in a federal gun-trafficking case.
Both sides of the gun control issue said the charges against state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, may slow consideration of gun legislation this year.
Paul Song, executive chairman of Courage Campaign, a nonprofit advocacy group said the following: “Ironically, while he’s being charged with gun trafficking, next to (U.S. Sen.) Dianne Feinstein he was probably the second most outspoken gun control advocate. This really leaves us scrambling for someone to pick up that mantle,” … “If it wasn’t so sad it would be comical. But what we’re really worried about is that this will further destroy the momentum for gun control here in California.”
AP reported that court documents allege that Yee sought campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover FBI agent to an arms trafficker. An FBI affidavit says Yee talked with the undercover agent about acquiring weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired missiles, from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines.
Organizers said the arrest of Yee particularly clouds the future of two of his gun control bills. Yee’s SB47 would prohibit the use of so-called bullet buttons and other devices that allow for swift reloading of military-style assault weapons. His SB108 would require the state Department of Justice to study safe firearm storage methods. Both stalled in the Assembly last year.
“I feel very dismayed and upset,” said Amanda Wilcox, an advocate for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, whose daughter was a victim of gun violence.
Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said he was saddened by the damage done to the Legislature as a political and governmental institution. He said Yee’s arrest may give other advocates pause.
~Rebel Rebellion III%