Leland Yee is an anti-gun Democratic California State Senator from San Francisco and yesterday he was indicted for allegedly conspiring to illegally traffic firearms to an international crime organization in return for campaign donations.
Yee is depicted in a startling, 137-page FBI affidavit of repeatedly offering to broker illegal firearms sales in exchange for campaign contributions. He allegedly took part in dealmaking meetings with undercover agents, often arranged by San Francisco political consultant Keith Jackson, a close associate among two dozen figures charged in the case.
Yee is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, and six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of honest services. Each corruption count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while the gun-trafficking count is punishable by up to five years and $250,000.
The charges are particularly shocking given that Yee has been among the state Senate's most outspoken advocates both of gun control and of good-government initiatives.
Back in 2012, Lee introduced gun control legislation under the guise of "gun safety," and has been an outspoken proponent of more gun regulation. In this case, Yee is accused of telling an undercover FBI agent he could obtain automatic weapons and shoulder fired missiles from a Muslim group in the Philippines.
In an interview on KPIX 5, Yee said that he was not going to be intimidated, because he believed so strongly in keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys.
“This is not an easy issue,” Yee said. “But I am a father, and I want our communities to be safe, and god forbid if one of these weapons fell into the wrong hands.”
The government’s affidavit said that in August of 2013, at the same time Yee was pushing gun control laws, an undercover agent was being told the senator “had a contact who deals in arms trafficking.”
The affidavit also said Yee claimed to know a weapons trafficker who he had known for years, who was supplying “cargo containers” of heavy weapons to Muslim rebels in the Philippines.
More on Yee's anti-gun history from Bob Owens at Bearing Arms:
He’s attacked hunting, supported a law to ban the sale of “M” rated video games that was struck down by the California Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds, and has been the author of multiple gun control bills.
Yee had made repeated attempts to outlaw popular semi-automatic rifles, and his most recent effort, SB 374, was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown last year. Yee had vowed to reintroduce the legislation again in 2014, but will likely be more concerned about finding a good defense lawyer instead.
Funny how those who call for more gun control for the rest of us tend to have problems breaking gun laws already on the books.