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Riverside Sheriff Opposes Feinstein Semi-Auto Long Gun Ban

By   /   February 4, 2013  /   27 Comments

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On February 1, 2013, Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff notified Senator Dianne Feinstein by letter that he formally opposed her federal legislation banning assault weapons, and he outlined his reasons for opposing that bill. This letter was also released to our congressional delegation.
On February 6 and 7, 2013, nearly all of California’s 58 Sheriffs will gather in the Coachella Valley for one of their bi-monthly California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA) Board of Directors meetings, hosted by Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff. It’s anticipated that proposed gun control legislation at both state and federal levels will be discussed this week.
For questions, please contact Jessica Gore, Legislative Assistant to Sheriff Sniff at (951) 955- 0147 or jlgore@riversidesheriff.org (CSSA’s website: http://www.calsheriffs.org/).
Enclosed is the text of the Sheriff’s February 1st letter to Senator Feinstein:

February 1, 2013
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Re: Opposed to “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013”

Dear Senator Feinstein:
I serve as the elected Sheriff of Riverside County and have done so since 2007. Riverside County, at nearly 2.3 million residents, is California’s 4th most populous, as well as the 4th largest in sheer physical size at 7,300 sq miles, of our State’s 58 counties. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, at nearly 2,200 sworn employees and nearly 4,000 full-time employees is the 5th largest of California’s police and sheriff’s departments. In addition to providing court security, coroner operations, and jail operations, the Sheriff’s Department provides police services under contract to 17 of our county’s 28 cities.
I have served in full-time sworn California law enforcement since 1975, first as a city police officer, and then within the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. I also was commissioned as an Army officer and retired from the Army Reserve as a colonel after 30 years of service. I have had over 4 decades of participation in the various shooting sports, and am very familiar with public safety, the criminal justice system, military weapons, and the firearms policy issues involved in both past and current debates on gun control.
I have taken the time to review the materials your office has put out publicly on your recently proposed federal legislation “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013”. Although our state and local law enforcement agencies do not enforce federal laws, and you have served our State well over many years in many ways, I do not support this proposed legislation, and I recommend others in Congress also oppose it.
In many ways your bill unreasonably impinges on the Second Amendment, and it focuses largely on purely “cosmetic” features of legitimate sporting, hunting, and recreational firearms already in widespread use within our nation. The cosmetic issues alone cause far too much meaninglesscomplexity for law enforcement officers, and worse, could cause common citizens to unintentionally commit crimes that have serious potential sanctions.
What really concerns me is that the term “assault weapon or assault rifle” is a misnomer, coined by gun control advocates that also incorrectly use that term with the phrase “weapons of war (or, “weapons from the battlefield”) have no business on our civilian streets”, in an effort 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. 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.
Many of our state and local law enforcement agencies authorize these very same civilian-style semi-automatic rifles that are subject to your ban for self-purchase, in lieu of spending increasingly scarce taxpayer dollars, to practice with and to use on-duty as patrol rifles in order to defend themselves, for use at the distances we see in our rural areas. It would seem that same self-defense use for our citizens, not in law enforcement, in much of our nation’s rural areas, should also be part of their inherent right pursuant to the Second Amendment. In this same fashion, some of the shotguns you seek to ban are used by our officers and should also be available to citizens for hunting, recreation and self-defense as well. Again the cosmetic attributes seem to be the defining criteria.
The central target of your proposed bill – the AR-15 series platform – is probably the most prolific rifle platform in our country today. It is enormously popular because it is “uniquely American”, modular, adaptable for the size and sex of the user, and is capable of multiple uses: hunting, competition, recreational shooting and self-defense. Because of the generally high costs involved in those rifles, it is relatively rare that law enforcement comes into contact with them in contrast to smaller, more concealable, and cheaper firearms.
The AR-15 series semi-automatic rifle is literally a modern American “musket”, and that is evidenced by the massive panic-buying going today as a result of your proposed bill and still others at the state level.
I think all of us universally support increased efforts in keeping firearms (and other weapons) out of the hands of those who should not have them, and increased sanctions for those who willfully misuse them. In your own State, California, we could dearly use greatly increased funding for our overcrowded local jails and state prisons, so that those very sanctions would have some meaning and deterrent value.
I thank you for your long and distinguished service to our State and to our Nation, but I urge you to abandon this bill, as it is really a “pretext gun control” bill for increased regulations that are unreasonable and unnecessary. And, I believe it is overreaching within the context of our Second Amendment. It places legitimate citizens, both now and in the future, at potential risk of not being able to lawfully defend themselves, or to participate in legitimate recreational shooting sports that should be available to all across our great nation. In the end, I believe this proposed bill will cause far more harm than any good.
I remain at your service, and can be reached in Riverside at (951) 955-0147 or ssniff@riversidesheriff.org for any further information or questions.
Stan Sniff, Sheriff
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

cc: The Honorable Barbara Boxer, United States Senator

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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    On the other hand the San Bernardino Sheriff’s were out arresting folks for posession of assault weapons:

    On February 1, 2013 at approximately 8:12 p.m., Deputies from the Highland Police Department were dispatched to the 7800 block of Lankershim Avenue reference a man with a rifle threatening people. When deputies arrived, they contacted three victims who said they were assaulted by a white male adult, known to them as “Scott Neeley”. The victims stated that Neeley pointed an AK-47 at them and threatened to kill them. The victims feared for their lives and fled the scene.

    Neeley was witnessed leaving the area on foot carrying the rifle. He was later seen climbing over the rear fence of a residence on Lankershim. The property belonged to Neeley’s sister. Deputies surrounded the residence and made entry. Neeley was found in a bedroom, lying on the bed. On the ground next to the bed was a loaded AK-47 Assault Rifle. The weapon had a 30 round magazine inserted in it. Neeley was placed under arrest and the residence was held pending the completion of a search warrant.

    Detective Addy completed a search warrant for the residence. Additional evidence was recovered. Neeley was arrested, transported and booked into the Central Detention Center for PC 422 Terrorist Threats, PC 245(a)(2) Assault with a Firearm and PC 30500 Possession of an Assault Rifle.

    Refer: Deputy E. Leon
    Station: Highland Police Department

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Dan you are joking here right?

      Your lead in makes it sound like the San Bernardino County Sheriffs’ Department arrested this gentleman for “possession of assault weapons”.

      It seems that his activities of “Terrorist Threats” and “Assault with a firearm” probably brought his activities to the attention of the sheriffs’ department.

      Other than not being allowed to possess any form of an AK-47 in the State of California the other two alleged offenses seem like the most probable cause for the arrest.

      One could actually speculate that had the gentlemen simply kept the AK-47 with the 30 round magazine in his house instead of threatening people with the thing in public that the sheriffs’ department would never of had a clue that he had it in the first place.

      This appears to be a clear case of somebody looking for trouble and not the police looking to make trouble.

      Just saying.

  2. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    This is really a conundrum for folks like myself. I don’t know much about guns. Assault weapons mean to me those military looking guns with all kinds of handles and gadgets that shoot hundreds of bullets. Who needs that unless you are in a war? Well, I guess that our Second Amendment was supposed to provide for citizens to protect themselves in a war – especially to protect ourselves from our own government…and based upon the idiot politicians who are are so devisive in running this country, I would not be surprised if we need to take advantage of that law in our lifetime.

    I thought I was against those cartridges for bullets…then I read about the woman who had an intruder come into her home where she was alone with her children. She hid in the attic – WITH HER GUN WITH A CARTRIDGE – and with her children… and the intruder found her. The first shot did not take him down, but the other shots hit him and he ran but was captured. Too bad she did not take him out…but she did manage to protect herself and her children because she was able to fire off more than that first shot. If she was not able to do so, would she be alive to tell that story today? Probably not.

    It’s a conundrum for me.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      A weapon that can shoot hundreds of roads off in a few minutes are called Machine Guns. They have been restricted since 1934. You can if you pay a Federal tax and are cleared with a background check own one in most states. You don’t need makeup either but you have that in your feminine quiver don’t you?

      I thought I was against those cartridges for bullets. Huh? What? Good Gawd almighty….

      Dem guns, dem gun, dem dry guns,
      Dem guns, dem guns, dem dry guns,
      Dem guns, dem guns, dem dry guns,
      Now shake dem democrat Guns!

      The powder is poured into the Casing,
      The Casings connected to the Bullet,
      Altogether day makes the Cartridge,
      Now shake dem Democrat Guns!

      The cartridge’s connected to the Clip,
      The Clip’s stripped in to the Mazazine,
      The Magazine’s loaded in to the “Assault Gun,”
      Now shake dem Democrat Guns!

      Dem guns, dem gun, dem dry guns,
      Dem guns, dem guns, dem dry guns,
      Dem guns, dem guns, dem dry guns,
      Now shake dem democrat Guns!

    • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

  3. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Now don’t mawk me for the semantics/vernacular. I said I don’t know nothn’ ’bout dem guns. A “cartridge, a “magazine” (Vogue or Good Housekeeping?), I don’t know one from the other, and I’m not sure what they have to do with make-up, but maybe it does…I don’t know.

    I was raised in Michigan and my father had a gun collection and he made me shoot a rifle when I was about 10 years old, which knocked me on my ass, and that is my entire experience with guns.

    I don’t get your point…is that supposed to be funny? or insulting? or what? really…I guess I’m not savvy enough to know what you are talking about. I was trying to express my point of view, which is what I thought you wanted to promote on this blog…all different points of view. If I am wrong, please let me know.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Sorry Linda but Yeah you are wrong…. I take the defense of the 2nd Amendment seriously. Sorry your feeling got in the way of a simple lesson in firearms training to the tune of “Dem Bones”. I thought you were an old hand at this stuff. Had no idea you were so easily flustered.

  4. RescueGuy RescueGuy says:

    You’re fine Linda, but this blog is loaded with whining dicks of the highest order. Carry on…. and watch out for the liars and fools.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      RescueBoy… only a Liar and Fool comes on to blog using a pseudonym. Since you’ve been on the site all I have seen from your keyboard is whining.

      Unless you are willing to be publicly identify yourself and start using your own real name, no one is going to take much of what you say seriously anyways.

      Have a great day.

      Oh PS Only a cheese Dick would 5 Star and thumbs up his own comment. What a Maroon. :-o

      • Most of us in here would never stoop that low as to give yourself 5-Stars, but City Hall Guy (RescueBoy) hasn’t a problem giving five stars. Worse yet, many of us haven’t the authority to view in Dashboard who gives stars. Nice show of a manifest lack of character RescueBoy.

  5. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Well, I don’t think I am easily flustered, but I do feel…ignorant? I still don’t get the joke. Now, “what a maroon” is my fav, but “dem bones”?, I’m scratchin’ my head. Maybe youse guys are too far above my simple mind?..and I still don’t know a magazine from a cartridge…I just thought that, Dan, you are being just a teensy bit old-man-grumpy with me..and that’s not very nice either, so there.

  6. RescueGuy RescueGuy says:

    It is plain to see who I am, just ask Benny. Keep crying in your soup boys.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      But then one would have to care who you are….

      Over the years we have been blessed with scores if not a hundred anonymous individuals just like you, snobbish pricks with little to say other than insult and self righteous indignation. I’ve gotten used to your kind. I wouldn’t know what to do if it were not the occasional putz, postulating inconvenienced misconceptions like some brightly feathered dandy.

      Anyone can be a back shooter… Thats the easy part of being part of the Internet.

  7. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Loved the video…love the Delta Rhythm Boys…I’m still a maroon…but I got my day started on a fun note! I think I’ll just go out and attack somebody with my lipstick and forget about this whole matter. I spent almost five hours at a City Council meeting last night listening to nothingness so I need some head clearing fresh air.

  8. RescueGuy RescueGuy says:

    “snobbish pricks with little to say other than insult and self righteous indignation.”

    Pot meet kettle.

  9. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Which one of these ladies is you and which one is Rescue Guy?

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Well I am going to identify with the handsome Black Woman with a baseball bat…. Black and Proud, and unwilling to take shit from you White Folks.. LOL… Either of you two have a problem with that?

  10. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Not me, Sir…I mean, M’aam….I’m moving on, shows over.

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