RIVERSIDE – A Second Amendment Seminar, held three days after California’s Primary election, which featured Riverside County Sheriff Stan Smith as a panelist has drawn the ire of Sniff’s opponent in the upcoming November election.
“It was definitely a political ploy to try and garner Second Amendment votes,” Chad Bianco told Uken Report. “The election was not talked about so they could defeat the political speech argument.”
The June 8 meeting was held in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the County Administration Center. The request was made at the behest of First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. The event was hosted by the Riverside Lincoln Club and USA Tactical Depot to discuss the latest rules and regulations as they pertain to firearms.
Sniff was one of five members on the discussion panel.
After a contentious, drama-filled, and costly primary election in which the two exchanged insults and hurtful remarks, Bianco, as of June 19, lead the pack of contenders with 106,668 votes, or 36.29 percent, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. Sniff has 93,642 votes, or 31.86 percent. The two go head-to-head in November.
“He has neglected the legitimate concerns of residents for years,” Bianco said of Sniff. “Since he took a major hit in the polls concerning this issue he is attempting damage control.”
That is simply not the case, Sniff told Uken Report. The Second Amendment Seminar was set up and promoted three to four weeks before the election and results tallied.
“The purpose was to talk about the maze of gun laws that currently exist and the news ones currently making their way through the Legislature,” Sniff said, adding that he routinely and frequently talks to groups about the complex rules and regulations regarding guns.
“There’s lot of angst in the firearm community, especially when it comes to concealed weapons,” Sniff said.
Sniff was appointed by the Board of Supervisors 11 years ago to fill a vacancy, won a full term in 2010 and handily bested Bianco in 2014.
Some members of the public questioned the use of the County Commission Chambers for a gun seminar and asked whether “Black Lives Matter” or “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” could also hold events in the Chambers.
“I believe the meeting you mention was not viewed as a non-county event because of the attendance by multiple county elected officials,” said Ray Smith, public information officer for Riverside County.
Any community group can submit a request to hold a meeting in a county facility and Board policy H-20 (attached) outlines the requirements and approvals that are needed, Smith said. The Facilities Management Division of the Economic Development Agency probably is the best, first contact for any group interested in using a county facility to hold a non-county meeting. The contact information is:
EDA, 3403 10th Street, Suite 400, Riverside, CA 92501
You may read the full policy here.