Politics

Gun Control Advocates Say Leland Yee Arrest Is A Setback

View Comments

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up
FBI Corruption Raids
yee Gun Control Advocates Say Leland Yee Arrest Is A SetbackState Senator Leland Yee Arrested, Offices Raided In Massive FBI Sweep raymond chow Gun Control Advocates Say Leland Yee Arrest Is A SetbackRaymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow Billed Himself As Reformed Gangster Before Arrest yee voting Gun Control Advocates Say Leland Yee Arrest Is A SetbackArrest Of Democrat State Senator Leland Yee Throws Party Leaders Another Curveball marlon sullivan Gun Control Advocates Say Leland Yee Arrest Is A SetbackNFL Sports Agent Netted In FBI Raids, Accused In Murder For Hire Plot leland yee Gun Control Advocates Say Leland Yee Arrest Is A SetbackLeland Yee Resume Shows History Of Successful Lawmaking, Murmurs Of Misconduct

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — Gun-control groups said Thursday they were trying to find a new legislative leader to champion firearms restrictions after one of their most outspoken supporters was charged in a federal gun-trafficking case.

People on 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.

“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,” said Paul Song, executive chairman of Courage Campaign, a nonprofit advocacy group. “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.”

Read More:
Complete Coverage Of The Leland Yee Scandal
Download the 137-page Criminal Complaint (.pdf)
Who Is Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow?
San Francisco Sports Agent Netted In FBI Raids

Yee was arrested and later freed on bond Wednesday as federal authorities unsealed charges against 26 defendants, including Keith Jackson, Yee’s campaign aide.

Yee’s attorney, Paul DeMeester, has said Yee plans to plead not guilty. His legislative spokesman, Dan Lieberman, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Jackson, a former San Francisco school board president, did not enter a plea Wednesday as the FBI accused him of being involved in a murder-for-hire scheme and trafficking guns and drugs. He was denied bail and is due back in court Monday.

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.

But, “his actions don’t make what is good policy any less good policy,” she added.

Her husband, Nick Wilcox, said advocates are exploring other ways to move Yee’s bills forward. He said he can’t argue with opponents who view the alleged actions as the height of hypocrisy.

“If these allegations are true, Sen. Yee is easily the biggest hypocrite on gun control to walk the halls of the Capitol in Sacramento, if not the entire United States,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said on its website.

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.

“Denying law-abiding citizens semi-automatic firearms … and then to funnel guns for illegal activity is the height of hypocrisy,” Paredes said. “There’s no other way to describe it, because it’s just (like) a movie script.”

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54,008 other followers