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Riverside Sheriff slams Feinstein anti-gun legislation

By Jeff Stahl, KESQ News Channel 3 Morning News Anchor, jstahl@kesq.com
Published On: Feb 05 2013 07:49:36 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 05 2013 08:24:30 AM CST
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff

Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff took aim at Dianne Feinstein's federal gun control legislation, notifying the US Senator by letter Friday he formally opposes her proposals to ban so-called assault weapons.

The Sheriff said the senator's effort focuses on cosmetic features of guns and would "cause far too much meaningless complexity for law enforcement officers, and worse, could cause common citizens to unintentionally commit crimes that have serious potential sanctions."

"In many ways your bill unreasonably impinges on the Second Amendment," said Sniff, adding the terms "assault weapon or assault rifle" were inaccurately coined by gun control advocates to frighten or confuse the public.

"Even a little research will underscore that military "assault rifles" fire fully automatic, or 3-round burst, and that military feature is their defining characteristic," Sniff said.  "These civilian-style semi-automatic rifles are essentially no different - other than cosmetics - than millions of other semi-automatic rifles used by civilians for hunting, competition and sporting purposes - for generations of Americans for over a century," Sniff added.

Sniff is expected to talk about gun control efforts this week as he hosts nearly all of California's 58 Sheriffs in the Coachella Valley.  The California State Sheriffs' Association is meeting for one of its bi-monthly Board of Directors meetings Wednesday through Friday.

Sniff said he does support efforts to keep firearms and other weapons away from those who should not have them and more sanctions for those who misuse guns.   He said California desperately needs more money for overcrowded local jails and state prisons.

But Sniff said he's opposed to the Feinstein legislation as proposed because it would place legitimate citizens at a potential risk of not being able to legally defend themselves, and the effort would cause far more harm than any good.

The Sheriff has served the nearly 2.3 million residents of California's 4th most populous county since 2007.   He oversees nearly 2,200 sworn employees and nearly 4,000 full-time employees, the fifth largest of California's police and sheriff's departments.


You can read the entire text of Sheriff Sniff's letter to Dianne Feinstein at http://www.riversidesheriff.org/press/admin13-0204.pdf