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None of State Senator Leland Yee’s gun control bills have ever been signed into law

By on April 3, 2014
State Senator Leland Yee

Was alleged gun-runner and gun control advocate Leland Yee all talk?

Before you answer, here’s a surprising fact: the San Francisco Democrat, who has been called one of California’s leading gun control advocates, has never successfully authored a gun control law. Not a single gun bill written by Yee has been signed into law.

It’s true that Yee has repeatedly proposed gun control bills, including a ban on assault weapons, 3-D printing of weapons and “bullet buttons.” None of these proposals have been implemented.

During his 11 years in the state legislature, Yee authored 138 bills that were signed into law, not a single related to gun control, according to a analysis of Yee’s legislative accomplishments. 

2013: Yee failed to pass gun control “study bill”

Yee, who was arrested on March 26 on weapons trafficking and public corruption charges, has been surprisingly ineffective at turning his headline-making-gun-grabbing into law. He has even struggled to convince his colleagues to pass minor gun control proposals.

In 2013, the San Francisco state Senator authored a bill to require safe storage of firearms. When SB 108 failed to gain traction, it was turned into a study bill. Even that minor “study” bill died in the State Assembly.

And his legislative ineffectiveness with respective to gun control isn’t the result of overall legislative ineffectiveness. Yee has a high overall success rate at passing bills, having successfully passed 181 bills during his 11-year career in the legislature. Moreover, his legislative successes have included controversial proposals, such as an unconstitutional ban on the sale of violent video games in 2005 and a 2012 law that grants juveniles sentenced to life without parole an opportunity for a rehearing.

Gun Control Group: Leland Yee California’s “2nd most outspoken gun control advocate”

Yee’s surprising ineffectiveness with respect to gun control legislation hasn’t stopped gun control groups from heralding him as a leader of the movement.

“Ironically, while he’s being charged with gun trafficking, next to Dianne Feinstein he was probably the second most outspoken gun control advocate,” Paul Song, the executive chairman of Courage Campaign, told the Associated Press. “This really leaves us scrambling for someone to pick up that mantle.”

Following Yee’s arrest and indictment, media outlets, including, have been quick to point out the irony of a gun control politician secretly running guns. The Huffington Post described Yee as the “California Senate’s Top Gun Control Advocate.”

“Trying to stop gun trafficking while trafficking guns,” joked The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart. “That’s what’s known in the business as a win-win!”

Future press conferences: Toy guns and Photoshop?

About the only people who have noticed Yee’s ineffectiveness have been California’s leading Second Amendment advocacy group.

“It’s quite possible that Senator Yee’s civilian disarmament bills were really just a way to ensure the health and welfare of gangsters like Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow,” said Brandon Combs, president of the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, which closely monitors California gun control legislation.

He added, “At this rate, so many Democrats in the Legislature will be prohibited from having firearms that the caucus will soon have to use toy guns and Photoshop to pitch their anti-gun bills.”

The Daily Show: “Innocent Until … Who Are We Kidding?”

California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees Video on Leland Yee



About John Hrabe

John Hrabe spends his time traveling the world as a freelance journalist. When he isn’t on an international flight, John writes about state and national politics for,, Huffington Post and the editorial pages of the Orange County Register. John’s most recent high-profile investigation uncovered the questionable labor practices of Goodwill Industries, the nonprofit organization famous for its secondhand clothing stores.