Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I would appreciate it if you would stop representing yourself as a gun rights activist, at least until you can learn how to handle firearms responsibly. Oh, and stop fibbing as well. You don’t have a concealed weapons permit and, according to California law, you had no legal right to carry a loaded firearm, concealed in your briefcase. You certainly should not have carried it into an airport terminal, where even off-duty peace officers would be prohibited from carrying. Your lame excuses to the press do not help your case and, in fact, have made every responsible gun owner in the state look stupid because you are listed by the press as being a gun rights advocate.
Your lame excuses go nowhere. You represent and live in the 59th District, which is largely in San Bernardino. Even setting aside the fact that you are a well-known legislator and would have no trouble finding good cause to obtain a concealed weapons permit anyway, you offered as an excuse that you have received death threats because you support repeal of the, so called, Dream Act. How silly can you get? San Bernardino is probably one of the easiest counties in which to obtain a CCW permit. And your other credential as co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of California (along with another unsubstantiated death threat) would have given you plenty of cause. Were you too busy to bother? Certainly, if I had received death threats, whether they were substantiated or not, I would have at least applied for a permit. Yet, you chose not to. And, now you pay the price.
And, what is that price? According to the Mercury News, you were cited and released. Your gun was taken from you. You face a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, if convicted. Oh, but wait. Your gun was loaded and you had no CCW. Now, you could be looking at a felony. That would mean loss of your station as Assemblymember for the 59th District and possibly prison time. Forget about realignment and going to county jail. You had a loaded gun. Can we say dangerous crime? That could very well mean you are on your way to the big house.
And, all because you, a gun rights advocate and gun owner, were not responsible enough to make sure you knew where your gun was. That’s something even my daughter, as the child of a responsible gun owner, knows.Your casual handling of firearms around others is inexcusable.
So, please, I -along with the rest of the responsible, 2nd Amendment advocates in the state of California- would appreciate you taking the “gun rights advocate” listing off your credentials. It is embarrassing and we have enough of a PR problem without people like you.
I wish you well and hope that the District Attorney and judge in your case (and jury if you go to trial) are fair with you. I hope you don’t lose your job over this incident because, when all is said and done, you are a pretty good legislator. I understand it was a mistake and you have already paid a heavy price in bad publicity. Hopefully, any deal you can make will not result in the permanent loss of your right to own a gun as an ex-felon or one convicted of serious gun charges. Hoping that is the case, in the future, take some lessons at the local range. And, let me know where you are shooting, so I can cross that range off my list. Like I said, no offense but you have not shown enough responsibility to be around me with a loaded gun.
A Responsible California Gun Owner