California Undercover Agents Staking Out Nevada Gun Shows
The State of California is sending undercover California law enforcement agents to prowl the parking lots of gun shows to watch attendees with California license plates on their cars.
According to the LA Times those agents are only looking for California residents who are buying “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines to bring back home.
Dan Zimmerman of TheTruthAboutGuns.com writes, “Now that ammunition is subject to a background check in the Golden State, you can bet that they’re stopping those buyers, too. And while not mentioned in the article, does anyone think they’re not also staking out gun stores near the border as well?”
Former chief of California Justice Department’s Bureau of Firearms Steve Lindley said this year’s Reno, Nevada gun show had half of its parking spaces occupied by cars with California plates.
The Organizer of the event in Reno said the presence of California Justice Department agents doesn’t bother him or potential customers. He said, “We invite them … The only ones they’d scare away are the ones that got no good on their mind.”
California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra defended deploying agents across state lines saying, “The importation of those assault-style weapons is against California law … We may have progressive gun laws, but if other states don’t match us, we have to rely on catching these individuals.”
During the show, California state Justice Department agents called on the CHP to pull over a 65-year-old man who was thought to be bringing “5 high capacity magazines into the state from Nevada.”
The man later “entered a plea bargain for a misdemeanor charge of bringing an ammunition magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds into California.” He was sentenced to four days in jail, fined, and community service. His attorney, John Runfola said it concerned him that arrests can be made for legal purchases because it all “seems like a setup.”
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has been on a campaign to toughen restrictions on firearms in his state, including a law that limits purchases of semiautomatic rifles to one per month. He has also worked in conjunction with Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak to raise “national awareness” of the sale of firearms at gun shows.
Sisolak recently signed a measure that requires background checks for private-party gun sales. Newsom said of his counterpart in Nevada, “He is a very enlightened person. He doesn’t necessarily have the kind of legislative support of the folks you see around me. So his is a more challenging job in many respects.”
The Attorney General of California revealed the real intention of the two governors is to encourage Congress to come up with a national policy regarding guns. He said that he could not enforce California laws in Nevada but a “national law that restricted purchase or transportation of assault-style weapons” could have prevented what happened in Gilroy.
This past June at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a 19-year-old gunmen killed three people and wounded another 17. Authorities allege the man used what they described as military-style AK-47 purchased legally at a Nevada gun store.
Once again, the end game remains the same — point to a law that wasn’t enforced to justify banning guns everywhere.