John Leonardo, Arizona U.S. Attorney, Supports Obama's Gun-Control Plan

Categories: Guns

John Leonardo

John Leonardo, Arizona U.S. Attorney, released a letter to the public today that expresses support for banning certain kinds of guns and requiring background checks for all sales of firearms.

Leonardo begins his letter by explaining that the "political climate for a constructive discussion about gun control appears to be more favorable now than ever before. If not now, when?"

He supports President Obama's plan to require background checks for all private sales of firearms, such as those at gun shows. And he wants to ban "military-style assault rifles," magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and armor-piercing bullets.

Leonardo replaced former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in disgrace in 2011 because of his role in approving the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau's "Fast and Furious" scandal. Burke had been a staunch gun-control advocate long before becoming a federal prosecutor, and was a key figure in the creation of the 1990s federal assault-rifle ban.


See also: John Leonardo, Arizona's New U.S. Attorney, is No Fan of Sheriff Arpaio

The letter doesn't necessarily read like Leonardo knows he lives in Arizona. Well, he is from Tucson.

Leonardo claims that "most American (sic) believe ... that we all share a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that guns are used safely and don't fall into the wrong hands."

That may be true, but most Arizonans likely don't necessarily define "reasonable steps" the same way as Leonardo or Obama does.

The former judge might want to shut off his phone this weekend.

Read Leonardo's entire, unedited letter below:


Letter to the Editor on Reasonable Gun Control Measures

TUCSON, Ariz. - In the wake of the January 8, 2011 shooting here in Tucson, and other mass shooting incidents in this country since then, culminating with the school shooting in Connecticut last month, the political climate for a constructive discussion about gun control appears to be more favorable now than ever before. If not now, when? In recognition of this, the President and Vice President are leading an effort to identify concrete steps that can be taken to help prevent mass shootings and reduce gun violence in this country. As the President said, "While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence - if even one life can be saved - we have an obligation to try." Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly have also responded to this issue by founding Americans for Responsible Solutions to help foster this discussion and move it forward.

What are the most reasonable, widely accepted, steps that can be taken? The President outlined four areas:

Close background check loopholes to keep guns out of the hands of criminals;
Ban military-style assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and armor piercing bullets;
Make schools safer; and
Increase access to mental health services.

The primary action is closing the background check loopholes that now allow a person legally prohibited from possessing guns to obtain them, without a background check, simply by buying them at a gun show. This is an obvious step that has little opposition. The only issue is a practical one: how to provide background checks in a private gun sale? A common sense, not overly burdensome, solution would be to require all gun sales and exchanges to go through a licensed firearms dealer that has the ability to run a background check. Dealers would be entitled to collect a modest fee for their trouble and every firearms exchange would then be subject to the same screening process to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. This system would also maintain up to date and accurate gun ownership information that would assist law enforcement in tracing guns involved in crimes.

The second essential part of any effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals must be to get tougher on those who buy guns with the express purpose of selling them to criminals and punishing anyone who helps such "straw purchasers." The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has the primary responsibility of enforcing our gun laws, but it has been hampered in its mission by both a lack of effective law and resources, and the fact that Congress has not confirmed a director of this agency in six years.

Congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10 round limit for magazines. The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with high capacity magazines, has one purpose: to pump out as many bullets as possible, as quickly as possible - bullets often designed to inflict maximum damage. While such a ban would not eliminate the possibility of a mass shooting, it would likely reduce the extent of the damage and loss of lives that could be inflicted in such a situation. The shooters at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, and Newtown all used magazines holding more than 10 rounds. These high capacity magazines, which currently come standard with many handguns and rifles, enable any semiautomatic weapon to be used as an instrument of mass violence.

We need to make our schools safer. Each school is different and should have the flexibility to address its most pressing needs. Some school will want trained and armed police; others may prefer increased emergency training and counseling services. Either way, each community should be able to choose what is best to protect its own students and teachers. New resources should be provide to hire school psychologists, social workers, and counselors to support students struggling with mental health issues and thereby help to avert a crisis before it occurs. School security systems and safety equipment should be available, and every school should have a high-quality emergency plan in place.

We need to keep guns out of the hands of people with serious mental illness, but we also need to identify mental health issues early and help individuals get the treatment they need, before dangerous situations develop. Teachers and others who regularly interact with students are in the best position to recognize young people who need help and ensure they are referred for mental health services. The President has proposed stipends and tuition reimbursements to train more than 5000 additional mental health professions to serve students and young people; he has also proposed that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits at parity with other benefits.

While most American believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to bear arms, they also believe that we all share a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that guns are used safely and don't fall into the wrong hands. The President's proposals recognize both our right and our obligations.

John S. Leonardo
United States Attorney
District of Arizona



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21 comments
trankwoods
trankwoods

Sounds like a prett ycrazy plan to me dude. I like it.


www.AnoTimes.tk

robert_graham
robert_graham topcommenter

I support the assault weapon ban. The right to bear arms does not mean all arms.  If there was such a thing as assault weapons when our Founding Fathers gave us the right to bear arms, they would surely have excluded them too.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

What a useful idiot!

todddemodd
todddemodd

Sometimes man, you jsut gotta rol lwith the punches, thats all.


www.NewzAnon.tk

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

The 2nd Amendment was not intended to allow terrorist-like attacks in public locations.

The intent of the Amendment was to allow the colonists to have protection from the British soldiers. It's protections aren't absolute. The Gun Control Act of 1968 is an example.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

All you fucking sheep can go ahead and let them have your guns. Save the suspense and anxiety. Go ahead and give away that which millions have fought and died to save for you. You fucking disgust me.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

"If not now, when". This from the man who said "Not now, not ever" and closed the Federal abuse of power investigation into Joe Arpaio. This was clearly intended to avoid further energizing Obama's opposition. What a coward! Now, pay attention to his words on Obama's gun control proposals. Regarding backround checks he says "This system will maintain accurate and up to date gun ownership information...". This is also known as gun registration.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan I prefered reading posts by the original JoeArpaioFan compared to yours. He came by his stupidity naturally. It was fun to beat him like a pinata and his anger was like the spilled candy at the end. Your posts can be useful for making a wider point. Like you, I often wish that hateful people saying hateful things would shut up. But they SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO SHUT UP! I found a website, stephenlemons.com, started by JoeArpaioFan. He wants Stephen Lemons fired by Phoenix New Times. The site has been completely flooded by nonsensical posts. Conspiracy? I don't know. I do know that the real haters of freedom, like Lester Pearce, would have a field day if they could prove you silenced oppostion. I urge you to stop now.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 One of the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 was the registration of all ammunition sales. The sales clerk at Kmart would pull out this huge book so I could buy a box of 22 shells. My Mom would have to get out her drivers license and sign the registry. For a box of 22 shells! That provision was dropped years later because there was absolutely no benefit to law enforcement. It was never used. Think about it. Even today with the benefit of computers, it be useless information. Hell, even with witness statements identifying rapists MCSO didn't pursue the leads.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Remember the Whiskey Rebellion? That happened before the 2nd Amendment. The Founding Fathers were fully aware of the consequences of an well armed population. Wealthy people owned cannon. Complete surrender of ALL guns would not prevent a terrorist attack. Ask Mexico.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

If you give them your guns now, maybe they'll use lube later. Maybe even a kiss after.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

Remember how the announcement was made regarding the closing of the investigation? Very late on a Friday afternoon. Just like this announcement on gun registration. What a fucking coward. But I have to wonder if the White House knew this announcement was coming.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

@jonnyquest

The Boston Massacre of 1770 also occurred prior to the authoring of the 2nd Amendment. That still doesn't change the Amendment's intent.

The only guarantee the 2nd Amendment makes is for a well-regulated militia.

The right to bear arms is a privilege, not a right. Essentially meaning that someone who poses a threat to someone else or someone who is mentally sick is likely to be denied access to a gun than someone who is responsible with guns.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 Your parents need to see if they can get back the money they spent on your education.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

@dan13998

Article One Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution permits Congress to raise and support an Army and provide a Navy. This is what the Second Amendment applies to.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

@dan13998

The Constitution also permits Congress to raise and train an Army and a Navy. Are you saying that the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to our military?

dan13998
dan13998

@MaskedMagician1967 

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."

- George Mason
Father of the Bill of Rights
Co-Author of the Second Amendment

Source: Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

@jonnyquest

Just because you can cite one case still doesn't change my view that bearing arms is an absolute right. It is still a privilege.

I don't have to own a gun but I retain the ability to purchase one if I so choose.

Just like the right to remain silent. Just like the right to a speedy trial. Just like the right to a lawyer. All are privileges, essentially meaning that I can communicate freely with police. I can request a trial instead of accepting a plea bargain. I can refuse legal counsel.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

@jonnyquest

What I'm saying is that a citizen is not legally obligated to own a gun but has the option of doing so.

Just like driving a car.

That is what I meant.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 District of Columbia vs Heller 2008. Look it up.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 You're mistaken. The Supreme Court ruled that it is an individual right.

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