Former California State Sen. Leland Yee, the man once honored by the Brady Campaign for his work on gun control in the Golden State, has been sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to engage in racketeering, which included a scheme to buy automatic weapons from sources in the Philippines, the Sacramento Bee is reporting.
Unfortunately for Yee, who was trying to raise money for a political campaign at the time, the man he was talking to was an undercover federal agent. Yee was one of several people caught up in the criminal case.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said today that because the ex-lawmaker had pleaded guilty last year, “Yee is easily the biggest hypocrite on gun control to have ever walked the halls of the capitol in Sacramento, if not the entire United States.” At the time of Yee’s initial charging, Gottlieb said the 137-page court document was “staggering.”
Following his 2014 arrest, the Los Angeles Times recalled the former lawmaker had been named to the Brady Campaign’s “Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll” for his work on California legislation that required new semiautomatic pistols to feature so-called ‘micro-stamping” technology. Today, however, it’s nearly impossible to find anything but a passing reference to that honor Internet search engines.
The Los Angeles Times quoted U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer telling Yee from the bench, “The crimes that you committed have resulted in essentially an attack on democratic institutions. That in the court’s view is very serious violation of trust. Votes are not for sale. Positions are not for sale. And your conduct…indicating that it was for sale was a violation of trust.”
The Associated Press report, posted on the website for KOVR, a CBS affiliate, said Judge Breyer “called the weapons allegations against Yee…unfathomable and said it was frightening that Yee would be willing to go entirely against his public position on guns in exchange for money.”
Gottlieb called it a case of stunning hypocrisy, but noted in a statement that “world-class hypocrites are not above the law.” He recalled that during Yee’s time in public office he “worked hard enough to make California gun owners miserable that he was honored by a gun control organization. Yet now he stands convicted and sentenced to prison for engaging in the kind of criminal activity that is condemned by honest gun owners.”
“Maybe the Brady Campaign should do universal background checks on people it decides to honor,” Gottlieb said. “Maybe the people should start asking who are the real good guys, and who are the real bad guys.”
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