The 2018 California Senate Race Will Be Interesting

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), age 84 and the oldest person currently in the US Senate, has announced she plans to run for re-election in 2018. Despite her pro-Obamacare, pro-abortion, pro-climate change, gun-grabbiness nature, she is considered a moderate and “too bipartisan” for California. A number of potential candidates who might have run for the seat if she had announced her retirement have opted out of the race which may cost $50-100 million.

State Senate President Kevin “Ghost Gun” de Leon (D-LA) has announced he plans to challenge her from the Left.

Kevin de León announced Sunday morning that he would challenge veteran US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, saying he’ll stand for a wing of the party that feels she no longer represents the progressive makeup of the state’s Democratic Party and has not aggressively challenged the policies of President Donald Trump.

The bold move by de León, the State Senate president pro tempore who is termed out next year, set up an internecine battle within the Democratic Party that some fear could draw attention and resources away from the seven competitive House races that could flip control of the US House of Representatives to the Democrats.

But de León represents the younger generation of California Democrats who have been frustrated by Feinstein’s mild criticism of Trump and the lack of opportunity for higher office because of the lengthy tenure of figures like Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Jerry Brown and former Sen. Barbara Boxer (who retired and was replaced by Sen. Kamala Harris last year). Feinstein will be 85 at the time of next year’s election.

In a video statement released Sunday morning, de León said that in his three years as the State Senate leader he had worked to infuse “progressive California values in important policy efforts like immigration, women’s rights, quality education, civil rights, job creation and fighting climate change.”

“We now stand at the front lines of a historic struggle for the very soul of America, against a President without one,” de León, who is 50, said in his video statement, taking aim at Trump. “Every day, his administration wages war on our people and our progress. He disregards our voices. Demonizes our diversity. Attacks our civil rights, our clean air, our health access and our public safety. We can lead the fight against his administration, but only if we jump into the arena together.

Given that California has a modified open primary system, the top two candidates regardless of party will move on to the general election. Thus, it is quite probable that the top two will end up being Feinstein and de Leon. I can imagine the anti-gun rhetoric along with misinformation coming out of their mouths. There will be a lot of eye-rolling going on.

Thus, gun prohibitionists can rejoice. No matter who wins, the rest of free America loses.

NSSF Fires Back At Feinstein’s New Anti-Gun Jihad

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has launched a new effort in her anti-gun jihad. She is circulating a letter among her fellow senators to get them to urge President Obama to issue an executive order banning the importation of any semi-automatic rifle that has or could possibly be converted to have a capacity of 10 rounds or more. Sebastian wonders if her goal is to have the Democrats lose control of the Senate.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has fired back at her anti-gun jihad and urges people to call their senators to tell them not to sign the letter. I can be reasonably sure that one of my senators – Richard Burr (R-NC) – is not being asked to sign the letter. I can also be reasonably sure that the other senator – Kay Hagan (D-NC) – would be a fool to sign it. That being said, you can never assume that when it comes to guns that a Democrat won’t act like a fool.

From NSSF:

Call your Senators!
Tell them Not to Sign On to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Attempt to Ban Imports of Many Semi-Automatic Rifles

She’s back! Roundly defeated legislatively and procedurally on the Senate floor a year ago, Dianne Feinstein, the U.S. Senate’s leading foe of Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights, is resuming her jihad against semi-automatic modern sporting rifles using a different tactic.

This time, the California Democrat is asking her fellow U.S. Senators to sign on to a letter to President Obama asking him to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to ban the importation of what she calls “assault weapons” and “military-style rifles” that are not “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”

If that sounds like nonsense, it’s because it is nonsense. Here’s some more of her flawed reasoning:

“In 1998, the Department of the Treasury — which then housed ATF — issued guidance that interpreted the import ban to prohibit only semi-automatic rifles that use magazines originally designed for a military rifle. Many semi-automatic firearms on the market today do not have a military origin but are modeled closely after military firearms. These military-style firearms are not prohibited under the current import ban, even though they are functionally equivalent to prohibited rifles with a military origin. In addition, the Treasury Department’s 1998 guidance allows foreign-made firearms to be imported into the United States without military features, even though these firearms have the capacity to fire multiple times in quick succession without the need to reload and can easily have military features attached.”

Sen. Feinstein’s intent is clear. Again she is pursuing “banning” firearms because of their characteristics and not focusing her effort on the criminals who misuse firearms. What does she want President Obama, acting through ATF to do? Here’s what (her words):

  • “Prohibit importation of all semi-automatic rifles that can accept, or be readily converted to accept, a large capacity ammunition magazine of more than 10 rounds, regardless of the military pedigree of the firearm or the configuration of the firearm’s magazine well;

  • Prohibit semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds;

  • Prohibit the importation of the frame or receiver of any prohibited rifle, regardless of whether it is incorporated into a fully manufactured firearm.

  • Prohibit the practice of importing assault rifles in parts and then constructing the rifles once they are in the United States by adding the requisite number of American-made parts;

  • Prohibit the use of a “thumbhole” stock as a means to avoid classification of a rifle as an assault rifle; and

  • Prohibit the importation of assault pistols, in addition to assault rifles.”

That would be a lot of semi-automatic rifles! This effort must be stopped short! Why should law-abiding citizens have their rights curtailed by an anti-gun Senator’s effort to convince other senators to join her jihad?

Call both your Senators today (Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121) and tell them NOT to sign on to this letter!

Feinstein’s No Guns For Gulag Survivors Act of 2011

If one goes by the press release sent out the esteemed senior Senator from California, then any person convicted of a felony overseas for a crime that would also be a felony in the United States would not be eligible to own a firearm.

Opposition to an authoritarian state and agitating for democratic reforms is probably considered treason in countries like Cuba, the former Soviet Union, and others of their ilk. Treason is most definitely a crime in United States courts. So by Senator Feinsten’s reasoning, if you were convicted of treason and sent to the gulag for opposing a Communist state (and somehow survived), you were convicted of a felony in a foreign court thus are ineligible to own a firearm if you make it here as a political refugee.

I’m sure she and her fellow travelers would object to this example but unless she carves out an exception for political crimes then it would apply. Of course, what you have to do to be convicted of treason in the United States is not the same as what it would take in Cuba.

Feinstein: Prevent Foreign Felons From Obtaining Firearms

“Cannot continue to give foreign-convicted murderers, rapists and terrorists the right to buy firearms in the United States”

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced legislation to close a loophole in current law to ensure that individuals convicted of foreign felonies and crimes—including domestic violence—cannot possess firearms in the United States.

Under current federal law, people who are convicted in the United States of violent felonies like rape, murder and terrorism are prohibited from possessing firearms. However, the law does not currently prohibit criminals convicted of these same violent crimes in foreign courts from possessing guns.

“America cannot continue to give foreign-convicted murderers, rapists and even terrorists the right to buy firearms in the United States,” said Senator Feinstein. “It makes no sense to have a law that forbids convicted Americans from possessing a firearm, but leaves the door wide open for foreign convicts to possess a firearm in our country. We must close this loophole before it is exploited by terrorists, drug gangs, and other dangerous criminals who threaten our communities.”

The No Firearms for Foreign Felons Act of 2011 would make it clear that if someone was convicted in a foreign court of an offense that would have disqualified them from possessing a gun in the United States, then they will be similarly disqualified from gun possession under American law.

This loophole for foreign convicts is the result of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Small v. United States. In that case, the Court analyzed the 1968 Gun Control Act, which states that anyone who has been convicted of a felony “in any court” cannot possess firearms. The Court concluded the phrase only applied to American courts, despite the fact the Gun Control Act had routinely been applied to foreign felonies since 1968, the year it took effect.

As it is, many criminal offenses committed overseas including the ones that Sen. Feinstein specifies in her press release are a bar from even entering the United States legally. You cannot be given a visa for a whole host of reasons including having engaged in any terrorist activity, having been convicted of prostitution, and, of course, murder and rape. And that is just for visitors. Immigration requires an even higher bar to jump over.

Since this is the case, why introduce a bill that applies to virtually no one who is here legally? Could it be that Senator Feinstein is trying get more publicity for one of her pet causes, i.e, gun control? The multitudes of illegal aliens in her home state of California are already precluded from purchasing a firearm. In case she doesn’t realize it, that is one of the questions on the ATF Form 4473.

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has more on Feinstein and “the foreign felon loophole hobby horse”.

NSSF On The Feinstein-Schumer-Whitehouse “Report”

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued a so-called report on Monday blaming American guns for the violence in Mexico. Frankly, I think it was timed to draw media attention from the Gunwalker hearings that started that afternoon.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has responded to that report and takes apart their numbers. Rather than showing 70% of guns being traced from Mexico to the U.S., it actually shows a decline in the number of American firearms being traced by Mexican authorities.

Anti-Gun Report Shows DECLINE in Number of US Firearms Being Traced to Mexico
June 15, 2011
By Larry Keane

Once again anti-gun legislators are attempting to misrepresent firearm tracing data, though this time, with declining numbers and a public wary of political posturing, it may just backfire on them.

A report (“Halting US Firearms Trafficking to Mexico“) released Monday by a trio of anti-gun senators including Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) appears to show the number of firearms that have been recovered in Mexico and traced to the United States as actually declining in recent years from an unsubstantiated 90 percent to, now, an unsubstantiated 70 percent.

It is important to note that these percentages do not reflect the total number of firearms recovered. In fact, in a letter to Sen. Feinstein discussing this very report, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson admitted, “There are no United States Government sources that maintain any record of the total number of criminal firearms seized in Mexico.”

So to be clear, the 70 percent claim relates only to the very small number of traced firearms – not the total number of firearms recovered. And it’s no surprise that so many come from the United States. We have a very good system for tracing firearms through serial numbers and purchase records (some countries don’t trace them at all). Mexico recognizes this fact and submits for tracing only those firearms that it believes would likely prove trace positive.

Earlier this year a report by the independent research group STRATFOR noted that less than 12 percent of the total number of guns seized in Mexico during 2008 had been verified as coming from the United States. STRATFOR cited a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noting:

30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008.
Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the ATF for tracing.
Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF.
Of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.

The Feinstein report follows an update to the U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico Report issued by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. According to that update, Mexican authorities have submitted trace requests for “tens of thousands of firearms” to the ATF. However, the ATF has stated that many of these requests are duplicative, with some firearms being resubmitted for tracing five times or more. Moreover, the update notes that 75 percent of the firearm traces are not successful and that only eight percent lead to an investigation. Furthermore, as ATF has repeatedly stated, the tracing of a firearm (or the opening of an investigation) in no way indicates criminal wrong-doing by either the retailer or the first purchaser of the firearm.

The Wilson report also notes that most of the traced firearms were originally sold at retail more than five years earlier. The report doesn’t say how much earlier, but ATF has previously said that firearms traced from Mexico were on average 14 years old. This demonstrates that of the small percentage of guns that do come from the United States, these firearms have not been purchased recently.

Despite attempts by anti-gun legislators to utilize these reports as leverage for pushing gun control, no one should be under any illusions; the United States is no more the source of 70 percent of the weapons used by the Mexican cartels than it is 90 percent. These numbers only allege to relate to the small percentage of seized and traceable firearms submitted to the ATF.

Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with their friends in the Senate hope that you will ignore the hearings being held before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker) and the ATF’s role in letting guns walk to Mexico.

Cam Edwards of NRA News disposed of the 70% figure last week yet there are some that will continue to repeat it because it buttresses their cause. As Mike at Sipsey Street Irregulars says, “Repeat The Lie” often and loudly so that people will ignore the real stats and the role of ATF in gunrunning to Mexico.

After the hearings tomorrow, that will become harder and harder even with misleading numbers, reports, and press releases from the Feinsteins and Schumers of this world.

Feinstein, Schumer, Whitehouse Report Calls for Stronger U.S. Response to Firearms Trafficking to Mexico

Urges Congress and the Administration to strengthen firearms laws to stem drug-related violence

70% of weapons recovered in Mexico originated in U.S. according to ATF

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, along with Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today released the findings of a Congressional investigation that concludes American military-style weapons are arming Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking organizations at an alarming rate and policymakers are not adequately responding.

“Congress has been virtually moribund while powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations continue to gain unfettered access to military-style firearms coming from the United States,” said Senator Feinstein. “New ATF data provided last week reveals that more than 70 percent of firearms recovered at crime scenes and traced by Mexican officials actually originated in the United States.”

According to the report, Halting U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico, the overwhelming majority of firearms recovered at crime scenes and traced by Mexican officials originate in the United States. In a recent letter to Feinstein, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson indicated that in 2009 and 2010 20,504 of the 29,284 firearms (70 percent) recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing were United States-sourced.

“This report confirms what many of us already know to be true: although the Senate’s recently passed border measure will help make our Southern border safer, it is still too easy for Mexican drug lords to get their hands on deadly military-grade weapons within our borders,” said Senator Schumer. “We need to redouble our efforts to keep violent firearms out of the hands of these traffickers.”

“This report outlines common sense measures that will help protect our border and our communities by keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of Mexican gangs and drug cartels,” said Senator Whitehouse.

Conclusions of the report:

It will be very difficult to successfully reduce drug-related violence in Mexico without starving the country’s drug trafficking organizations of their military-style weapons.

To do this, the United States must strengthen current firearms laws and regulations. This can be done through a number of key actions by the Obama Administration and Congress, including:

Enactment of legislation to close the gun show loophole;
Better enforcement of the existing ban on imports of military-style weapons;
Reinstatement of the expired Assault Weapons Ban;
Reporting by Federal Firearms Licensees on all multiple firearms sales; and
Senate ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA).

The Halting U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico report can be found here. Information from the report was gathered through meetings in Mexico and in U.S. border cities, briefings, interviews, and a review of documents from both government and non-government subject matter experts.

Another California Senator Heard From

I think this letter, when combined with the recent ATF study on the importation of shotguns, may signify a strong push to use the sporting purposes requirement of the Gun Control Act of 1968 to clamp down on imports of firearms. In other words, since the gun prohibitionists know a frontal assault is unlikely to succeed, they will work the flanks in their gun control efforts.

As to the use of part kits to assemble functional firearms, I think Feinstein misstates Section 922(r). I think we are all aware that compliance with Section 922(r) requires the use of a significant number of American parts in assembly. In other words, you just can’t slap a receiver on a parts kit and be legal. 27CFR178.92 specifies what is required to make a firearm compliant with Section 922(r). Now if Feinstein is urging that no combination of U.S. and foreign made parts remain legal, it is even more troublesome.

Senator Feinstein Urges President Obama to Prohibit Imported Assault Weapons

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein urged President Obama to prohibit the importation of military-style assault firearms that contribute to violence in the United States and Mexico.

Following is the text of the letter from Senator Feinstein to President Obama:

January 31, 2011

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to urge you to review enforcement of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) provision, 18 U.S. Code Section 925(d)(3), which prohibits the importation of firearms except those that are “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” Previous Administrations have used this authority to limit the importation of military-style assault firearms, and it could once again be a helpful tool in preventing the gun trafficking that is fueling the horrific gun violence in Mexico, the Southwest border region, and many cities and towns across our nation.

Since December 2006, more than 30,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence. Every day, there are reports of ruthless and brutal gun murders as Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) fight for control of smuggling routes and terrorize anyone who might get in their way. The DTOs have killed mayors, judges, and other officials who have tried to stop the carnage. They have even targeted young people, murdering 14 teenagers at a birthday party in Ciudad Juarez in October of last year.

Regrettably, firearms trafficked from the United States help fuel the violence in Mexico. Of the firearms recovered by the Government of Mexico and traced through ATF in the past 4 years, more than 50,000 were manufactured in, or imported into, the United States prior to being recovered in Mexico. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and other federal, state and local law enforcement are working to stop this gun trafficking and related violence, but they need additional help. The Administration recently took an important step forward with ATF’s initiative to collect information on multiple sales of semi-automatic assault rifles from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. I applaud you for this initiative. However, much more must be done.

Under the GCA, the Administration has the authority to prohibit the importation of non-sporting firearms. In 1989, in response to growing drug gang violence, the ATF under President George H.W. Bush denied applications to import a series of semiautomatic rifles that it found were designed and intended to be particularly suitable for combat rather than sporting applications. Similarly, in 1997, President Clinton used this authority and ordered ATF to conduct an expedited review to determine whether modified semiautomatic assault-type rifles were properly importable under the statutory sporting purposes test. In April 1998, ATF determined that rifles with the ability to accept a detachable large capacity military magazine “are not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes and are therefore not importable.”

Since the Clinton Administration’s efforts, the GCA’s prohibition against non-sporting firearms has not been aggressively enforced, and many military-style, non-sporting rifles have flowed into the United States civilian market. Some of the rifles are cheap AK-type variants from former Eastern bloc countries, while others are more expensive, high-tech weapons. All of them, however, share military-style characteristics that should make them ineligible for import. Furthermore, it appears that some importers are bringing in rifle parts and reassembling them with a small number of domestically manufactured components. This practice has gone unchecked, despite Section 922 (r) of the GCA, which prohibits using imported parts to assemble any semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under 18 U.S. Code Section 925(d)(3).

I urge you to review enforcement of the GCA and take any regulatory steps necessary to stop the both the importation of all military-style, non-sporting firearms, and the assembly of those firearms from imported parts. We must ensure that law enforcement has all the necessary resources and tools needed to stop the gun violence that is taking a deadly toll in Mexico and in our country. I look forward to working with you toward that goal. Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.


Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control

cc: Eric Holder, Attorney General
Kenneth Melson, Acting Director of the ATF