- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2014

A California Democratic state senator with a reputation for clamping down on Second Amendment freedoms was arrested and arraigned on a range of federal charges late Wednesday — among them, for alleged gunrunning.

The local CBS affiliate, KPIX 5 in San Francisco, reported that Mr. Yee was a huge gun control advocate and wanted legislation that banned the “bullet button,” a device that allowed manufacturers to legally sell AR-15s in the state. It worked by letting users drop out the magazine quickly, by tapping the tip of the bullet — but not a finger — to a button on the weapon.

Mr. Yee’s bill to ban the device, SB 249, received a lot of outcry from gun rights groups. But Mr. Yee stood strong, saying he was “a father, and I want our communities to be safe,” the CBS affiliate reported.

Now Mr. Yee’s been charged with conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and with conspiracy to illegally transport firearms. He’s also been charged with six counts of plotting to defraud citizens, Mercury News reported.

“It seems like nobody knew this was coming, and everyone is astounded by the allegations,” said Corey Cook, the director of the University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, in the Mercury News. “I’m just astonished. … Political corruption is one thing, but this is a whole other level.”

A San Francisco political consultant, Keith Jackson, who also formerly served as school board president, allegedly served as a link between Mr. Yee and a Chinatown gangster contact, Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who was previously arrested for a range of charges related to racketeering and drugs.

Both Mr. Yee and Mr. Chow were arraigned in San Francisco before Federal Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins on Wednesday afternoon, NBC Bay Area reported.

Mr. Jackson, meanwhile, was accused by the FBI of involvement in a murder-for-hire plot, as well as charges related to gun- and drug-trafficking, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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