Dear Senator / Assemblyman,
I am writing you to urge you to join Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff, myself, and hundreds of thousands of law abiding California citizen in opposing SB 249, which will be presented to the Appropriations Committee today (August 16th, 2012).
In the words of Sheriff Sniff: “Even more critically, we should not be turning entire classes of citizen gun-owners from all walks of life, which made good-faith lawful rifle purchases over the past few years, into criminals.”
SB 249 is a flawed piece of legislation. As written, this bill will convert hundreds of thousands of law abiding California citizens into criminals with the stroke of a pen through no fault of their own. SB 249 confiscates without recompense millions if not billions of dollars of property purchased lawfully over the past several years.
The Second Amendment to our Constitution reads in part, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Your oath of office reads, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.”
SB 249 is neither a fair nor just bill. I ask you to uphold your oath of office and oppose SB 249.
Thank you for your time and attention.
cc: Senator Leland Yee, Chief of Staff Adam Keigwin, Johannes Rognerud, Bob Blumenfield, Carol Liu, Charles M. Calderon, Chris Norby, Curren D. Price Jr., Curt Hagman, Darrell Steinberg, Diane L. Harkey, Donald P. Wagner, Felipe Fuentes, Gilbert Cedillo, Holly J. Mitchell, Isadore Hall III, Jerry Hill, Jim Nielsen, Joel Anderson, Jose Solorio, Loni Hancock, Mike Davis, Mike Gatto, Nancy Skinner, Nora Campos, Ricardo Lara, Ron Calderon, Steve Knight, Steven Bradford, Tim Donnelly, Tom Ammiano, Tom Harman
Thank you for contacting me regarding your opposition to SB 249 (Yee), which seeks to significantly change the current statutory definition of “detachable magazine” assault weapons. I share your concerns on this issue and the threats it poses to further weaken our 2nd Amendment rights.
SB 249 changes the current law regarding the definition of a ‘detachable magazine,’ thus criminalizing the possession of arms that are currently legal to possess in California. The 2nd Amendment and the 14th Amendment were enacted as a direct response to the British seizure of arms at Massachusetts Bay Colony and the widespread seizure of arms from freedmen and abolitionists in the reconstruction South. Ironically, but legally significant, the majority of seizures of firearms from freedmen were of their military rifles given to them in lieu of back pay for fighting for the Union in the Civil War. If there is anything that is longstanding, it is that the central purpose of both amendments was to make sure that government could not seize commonly owned firearms from the people.
The redefinition in this law makes the possession of certain firearms, some without even pistol grips or other regulated features, immediately illegal with no due process, nor compensation for the seizure of the property or even a possibility of modifications.
As a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment, I can assure you of my opposition to this bill and others like it that seek to undermine our constitutional right to bear arms.
Again, I thank you for correspondence to contact me on this important issue. Should you like to follow the status of this legislation, you may do so by visiting my website http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/2/. Please do not hesitate to contact me again on this or any other state issue of concern to you at (530) 223-6300. It is an honor to represent you in the California State Assembly.
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, 2nd District