For those of us “On the Ground” in California with a more fact-based perspective:
- Since JB's taking office as AG, the DOJ Firearms Division was radically downscaled to a Bureau
. Funds appear to be moved to real crime fighting in the actual DOJ LE division.
- Several key personages, including DOJ agent Iggy Chinn and former Firearms Division, Director Randy Rossi, who drove a culture of abusive behaviors, etc. either were shown the door or left faster than the proverbial door could slam on their rear ends. Aggressive raids against FFLs for nonviolations and “aggressive compliance” dropped off the map. Certain local DA prosecutions of gun dealers for such noncrimes regarding “off-list” non-assault weapons somehow never seemed to be able to coordinate with somehow-always-busy DOJ Firearms staffers.
- Proposed regulatory changes relating to redefining term 'detachable magazine' as a goal to eliminating black rifle use, were killed. Since 2006, at least ~250K black rifles with only trivial modifications have entered California commerce (that’s somewhere around a QUARTER of a BILLION dollars in new CA gun commerce!) This number is higher by at least 100K than the number of existing registered pre-2000 California assault Weapons. I'm proud of being part of this effort, and believe this will profoundly help black guns be NOT "dangerous and unusual" when that time comes. :-)
- Other DOJ Firearms folks still present are effectively 'bound & gagged' in the basement.
- From what I've heard, aside from the Chicago brief, a DOJ anti-Heller brief was also suppressed - and that may even have been more important than Brown’s amicus support for McDonald.
- For a combination of reasons, microstamping is going nowhere
...Furthermore, Brown avoids the political taint of being "an NRA shill" if he maintains a distance, and he can couch his higher-level gunrights support as "fundamental civil rights" and not worry about being bogged down in the details.
Brown has had a 20+ year history of making strongly pro-RKBA statements in a variety of public forums - in the early 90s he was railing against BATF abuses. On his weekly KGO radio news interviews during his stint as Oakland mayor, he's repeatedly insisted that gun ownership is a fundamental right, and in addressing Oakland crime (approximate quote), "it's not NRA members holding up liquor stores at night." Various E. Bay operators of NRA recruiting booths (fairs, etc.) have reported favorable interactions with Brown, and several Calgunners who attended a Brown fundraiser had extended favorable interactions with him ("Hey, we're suing you over the handgun Roster, nothing personal..." ended up with a lot of laughter) - while the glum LCAV/Brady folks huddled in a corner.
The worrisome thing will be when Brown is no longer AG. Given frequent CA Republican party tilt toward biblethumper types – generally rendering themselves unelectable to statewide office (except for the occasional insurance commissioner, wow), the next AG is going to be a Dem unless the moon falls into the ocean.
If SF DA Kamala Harris becomes AG, I’d expect attacks on gunnies to rocket upwards. The bad news is it'll be a fight; the good news is, we'll win for a variety of intermingled reasons (incorporation, technical knowledge, legal knowledge). (We've already recently danced with her on some gun issues and she ran from the dance floor.)
Politically, Brown gets tainted from 70s - but where he inherited a Jimmy Carter "malaise" economy. He grew up a little in the interim since being Governor, and during his term as mayor of Oakland, his administration and mindset were largely indistinguishable from a pro-biz, anti-crime Republican. He had to fight a far, far left Oakland City Council and had good relations with line cops (quite a few NRA and Calgunners in OPD, including several of the four cops that were slaughtered by parolee Lovelle Mixon last year.)
Effective RKBA fights in areas like CA require "reading between the lines" skills and a bit of nuance. Anyone thinking that someone's gonna wave guns and shout "RKBA" at the top of his lungs has no idea about either CA politics or a grasp on practical political survival.
I am writing the above solely as an individual, based on several years' experience in this milieu (and not as founding board member of The Calguns Foundation, which cannot take stands on actual candidates, just issues.)
San Jose CA
Posted by: Bill Wiese
at March 18, 2010 10:15 PM