Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland’s At-Large Councilmember, issued a strongly-worded letter to Ray M. Roundtree, Special Agent in Charge or “SAC,” at Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, San Francisco Field Division, otherwise known as (ATF).
The letter concerned what she claims is the ATF’s action of leaving a gun unattended, and where someone can just pick it up and use it – a clear violation of 2015 legislation Kaplan spearheaded.
Kaplan’s staff writes “Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan has sent a letter of inquiry to ATF regarding the theft of unsecured weapons in an unattended staff vehicle outside the Federal Building last Tuesday, November 27th. The Councilmember was the author of the legislation that passed in 2015 to make it illegal to leave guns unsecured in unattended cars and sees this as a violation of that law.”
Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s Letter to ATF’s Ray Roundtree on guns
Here’s the letter:
I am writing to express my concern over the recent incident in Oakland where one of your
vehicles was involved in a smash-and-grab in front of the Federal Building. As we now know, this resulted in the theft of a fully automatic rifle among other weapons. As you know, I introduced and passed legislation in 2015 prohibiting leaving guns unsecured in unattended vehicles.
My question is this: have you already, or will you, order your personnel not to leave guns loose where they can fall into the hands of criminals?
We have had multiple people lose their lives in Oakland by weapons stolen from unattended law enforcement vehicles. Antonio Ramos – a talented 27 year old muralist – was among those who have died at the hands of a stolen gun left unattended in an ICE agent’s vehicle. This is unacceptable. I look forward to your response.
In 2015, during the announcement of Oakland’s law, Kaplan said “We must make it much harder for guns to get into the hands of those who use them to cause harm. Leaving guns unsecured in unattended vehicles creates a serious danger and risk to the public and should not be allowed. Together with the $1 million plan for police targeting of illegal guns which we passed last month, we are making it clear that it is unacceptable to put our communities at risk of gun violence.”
“Thousands of Americans are killed by guns every year in our country, including dozens every year in Oakland, almost all young Black and Brown men,” City Attorney Parker said. “Unfortunately the U.S. Congress is suffering from some kind of political psychosis when it comes to guns, refusing to pass common sense reforms such as universal background checks and licensing for all gun purchases. In this legal context, we in Oakland have a moral imperative to do everything humanly possible to address this crisis with our own legislation.”
At that time, according to the Oakland Police Department, approximately 300 firearms were stolen during auto burglaries in Oakland between August 2004 and November 2015. About 91 percent of those were handguns, and about 9 percent were “long guns” or rifles.
No word that Mr. Roundtree has responded as of this writing.