A California assemblyman has incurred the wrath of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms for sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom in which gun control seemed to be far more important than controlling the coronavirus outbreak.
Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-53rd District) wrote in his April 13 letter to the governor, “Thank you for the work that you and your administration have been doing to face down the COVID-19 pandemic. I am writing today to urge you to enact a statewide suspension of firearm and ammunition sales, with an exception for law enforcement and authorized peace officers.”
“Adding more firearms to our current state of affairs perpetuates the cycle of public panic and impulsive action,” Santiago added. “By suspending firearm and ammunition sales and arming Californians with strong safeguards on public health and safety reinforced by state peace officers, we can mitigate undue risks to our public.”
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, in a statement released Thursday, was blunt.
“At a time when so many are fighting this virus and so many more have lost their jobs due to the governor’s ‘stay home’ order, and the state’s economy is hurting,” he said, “Santiago’s preoccupation with restricting the rights of gun owners seems, at the very least, to be completely out of place.”
On his website, Santiago is described as having “authored some California’s toughest gun safety regulations.” First elected in 2014, Santiago congratulated Newsom in the letter for his “proactive leadership during these trying times.” He also notes that the state Department of Justice estimates “approximately 22,424 firearms are still in the hands of prohibited persons in California.”
Second Amendment activists contend lawmakers in Sacramento are more concerned about limiting their rights than in disarming the criminals. They are also concerned about the release of some 4,000 inmates from the Los Angeles County jail.
“Since Santiago is so interested in gun control,” Gottlieb observed, “he should know that restricting the rights of law-abiding firearms owners, and those who want to buy their first firearm, is not the panacea to the pandemic. At a time when jail inmates are being released to protect them from infection, Santiago wants to prevent honest citizens from protecting themselves from criminals. He’s neither interested in public health or public safety. He’s just interested in public disarmament.”