California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago wants the state to close down gun stores indefinitely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Democratic lawmaker, who represents the 53rd Assembly District, wrote a letter last week to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to “enact a statewide suspension of firearm and ammunition sales, with an exception for law enforcement and authorized peace officers.”
Santiago believes that the “panic-buying” of firearms during this crisis jeopardizes public safety.
“An increased population of firearms in our state not only poses a greater risk to children and families who are largely confined to their homes, but also to our communities facing racially motivated or otherwise targeted hate.”
Santiago also brought up the fact that there are approximately 22,424 prohibited persons who still have firearms in their possession, according to the California Department of Justice’s Prohibited Persons System.
Which doesn’t help his argument– at all. Because if it’s true that the state’s confiscation squads have yet to disarm over 20,000 bad guys wouldn’t it be best for all willing and responsible citizens to be prepared to defend themselves and their families?
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Not to mention the fact that law enforcement is, across-the-board, scaling back on arrests and releasing inmates to slow the spread of COVID-19. In Los Angeles County alone, over 4,000 prisoners have been set free in recent weeks.
If ever there was a time that a citizen should think seriously about exercising his right to keep and bear arms, now is it! Even the L.A. County Sheriff is worried about a surge in crime!
LA County Sheriff tells me he has released 4,276 nonviolent inmates from county jail, which equates to 25% of the inmate population. He says it’s been effective in preventing spread of #COVID19, with only 11 inmates infected, but now fears a possible surge in crime. 10pm @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/kI7ID8gaG6— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 14, 2020
Yet, Santiago disagrees as he believes the focus should be solely on social distancing, shelter-in-place restrictions and mandatory face covering — all of which are advisable at a time like this but none of which will stop a violent home invader.
“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,” wrote Santiago.
Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, responded to the Assemblyman’s letter in an email to GunsAmerica.
“His [Santiago’s] letter to the governor has nothing to do with containing the spread of the virus and everything to do with preventing people from buying guns and ammunition,” observed Gottlieb.
“He cares more about his gun prohibition agenda than saving lives from the CORONA virus or from criminals preying on unarmed victims,” he added.
Read Santiago’s letter below and tell us what you think of it: