BELLEVUE, WA – The horrible truth emerging in the aftermath of the Rancho Tehama Reserve rampage is that California’s legal system and restrictive gun control laws failed miserably, allowing killer Kevin Neal to remain loose and commit mass mayhem, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
“After Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston’s acknowledgement that his department knew, or at least suspected, that Neal had firearms in violation of a court order and did not take proactive steps, it is clear that the legal system in Tehama County, if not the entire state, is a train wreck,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Johnston’s revelation that Neal had four guns illegally, and that he was able to manufacture two rifles at home prove that the state’s Draconian gun control laws are a joke to be laughed at by any criminal or crazy person who wants a gun.”
Johnston told reporters Wednesday that, “we’re seeing that the more restrictive that the laws come to people that purchase firearms, we’re going to see those criminal elements build their own. That’s what they do.”
“Sheriff Johnston’s astonishingly candid remark literally eviscerates California’s piecemeal gun prohibition strategy,” Gottlieb observed. “Here was a man who was out on bail, on multiple felony charges, and who was a walking violation of every major gun control law in the state.
“The explanation for not confronting Neal is simply outrageous,” he continued. “Johnston said Neal was ‘not law enforcement friendly.’ What a shock! Neal was facing felony prosecution, his neighbors had a restraining order and he had apparently been shooting guns that he wasn’t supposed to have, on his property. Of course he’s not going to be friendly, but that’s why we have search warrants and SWAT teams and jails.
“Two neighbors who reported him are dead,” Gottlieb noted. “Their restraining order was worthless. Gun laws that treat honest Californians like criminals failed to stop a real criminal.
“Our hats are off to the courageous deputies who stopped this madman,” he said. “But we are disgusted by the way the system failed. If this case proves anything, it’s that people who think gun control laws keep guns out of the wrong hands are sadly mistaken, and five new gravestones make that point clear.”