Gun control groups proclaim "police violence is gun violence" while exempting police from their laws

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The gun control lobby has a love-hate relationship when it comes to law enforcement. As part of the Democrats’ coalition of interest groups, they have to side with those that bemoan policing and advocate for defunding and “reforms” that aim to keep as many offenders as possible away from prison if they want to be good foot soldiers for the left, but in order for their treasured gun control laws to actually be enforced they must depend on the very same police that so many progressives view as the enemy.


Their allies in the media may not call out groups like Brady and Change the Ref for wanting to have it both ways, but when those entities took to X to once again proclaim that “police violence is gun violence” their hypocrisy was quickly put on full display by Second Amendment advocates.

Of course there’s been no response from the anti-gunners. What would they say other than “Yeah, you got us”? It’s undeniable that the vast majority of gun control bills supported by groups like Brady and Change the Ref exempt law enforcement, including Illinois’ recently-imposed ban on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines.


In California, police are even exempted from the state’s handgun roster, which means they can purchase firearms that are off-limits to most California residents even though they’re readily available for all consumers in most other states. The very exemptions granted police by Democratic lawmakers (with the blessing of gun control groups) incentivize law-breaking and have led to multiple officers being accused and convicted of acting as illegal gun dealers for purchasing and re-selling firearms to Californians who wouldn’t otherwise be able to acquire an off-roster firearm. Here’s just one example from 2021:

At the conclusion of a second trial prompted by an earlier conviction being overturned, a former Gardena Police officer has been found guilty of federal charges for scheming to purchase “off-roster” firearms not available to the general public and then illegally reselling the firearms for profit.

A federal jury on Thursday convicted Edward Yasushiro Arao, 51, of Eastvale, of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing firearms without a license and a substantive count of engaging in an unlicensed firearms business.

According to the evidence presented during a four-day trial, Arao and his co-conspirator, former Gardena Police officer Carlos Fernandez, 46, of Norwalk, exploited their positions as police officers to operate an illegal gun-selling business.

As part of the scheme, Arao purchased “off-roster” firearms – all Colt .38 Super-caliber handguns that were not available to the general public, but which could be legally purchased by law enforcement officers – through Ronin Tactical Group, a federal firearms licensee that Arao owned and operated. Arao then transferred the guns to himself individually from the inventory of Ronin Tactical Group and re-sold 41 of these weapons to non-law enforcement officers. Similarly, Fernandez obtained multiple “off-roster” weapons, which he re-sold to the general public through Ronin Tactical Group. Through messages on Instagram and via other means, Arao and Fernandez negotiated the prices and terms of firearm sales, and then delivered the guns and accepted payment, often in cash.

In a previous trial in November 2019, a federal jury found Arao guilty of the same two felony charges and found Fernandez guilty of conspiracy, selling firearms to a convicted felon, engaging in an unlicensed firearms business, and making false statements in federal firearms licensing paperwork.


California’s handgun roster is a constitutional abomination in and of itself, but exempting police from its prohibitions has also created a black market for off-roster firearms that unscrupulous law enforcement officers are exploiting for their own financial benefit and personal gain, and it’s all thanks to the gun control lobby and their legislative allies.

If groups like Brady and Change the Ref truly believe that “police violence is gun violence”, then they should quit insisting on carving out exceptions for police in almost every one of their proposed gun laws. Think that’ll happen? Yeah, I don’t think so either, but the public should be reminded of their hypocritical stance every time they try to have it both ways.


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