A California state senator who advocated gun control legislation asked for campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover FBI agent to an arms trafficker and told him how to get shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles.
The allegations against state Sen. Leland Yee were outlined in an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint. The affidavit accuses Yee of conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms. He was arrested Wednesday and appeared later in federal court.
Yee was the author and main sponsor of California’s infamous 2005 law that sought to criminalize the sale of violent video games to children. The law was struck down by numerous courts before finally being overturned for good by the US Supreme Court in 2011 on First Amendment grounds. The failed legislative and legal effort ended up costing California taxpayers $1.8 million in attorney’s fees alone.
Through it all, Yee remained a staunch defender of the idea that the state should aid parents in making violent games harder for children to access. He has given numerous statements over the years to that effect. “Plain and simply, the current rating system is drastically flawed, and here is yet another reason why we need legislation to assist parents and protect children,” Yee told GameIndustry.biz in 2006.
“This is the same technology the armed forces use to help soldiers kill the enemy. All we’re saying is, ‘Don’t sell it to kids,'” he told The San Jose Mercury News in 2008. “When you fight the good fight for a cause you know is right and just, and it’s about protecting kids, you don’t ever regret that,” Yee told The Sacramento Bee in 2012.