Four weeks ago, California state Sen. Leland Yee (D) got a death threat “unlike any other” he has ever received.
“The author of the email specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol,” Yee said in a statement released Thursday. “He stated that he was a trained sniper and his email detailed certain weapons he possessed.”
Yee said the email “was not a racist rant on my ethnicity or culture, but instead it was very deliberate and specific.” His office immediately notified law enforcement.
Thursday’s statement came after authorities made an arrest in the case. On Tuesday, law enforcement officials arrested Everett Basham, 45, a Silicon Valley engineer, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In his statement, Yee said “illegal weapons and bomb-making materials” had been found during a search of Basham’s home. Chief Scott MacGregor, head of the California Highway Patrol’s protective services division, told reporters at a press conference that authorities are “not suggesting that [Basham] was anywhere near taking action on the threat” against Ye, but instead that “he was arrested for making the threat,” according to the Times.
Yee, who represents San Francisco and San Mateo County, is pushing a number of gun control measures, including a bill that would prohibit the use of “bullet buttons,” which allow for quick reloading of of magazines on semiautomatic assault rifles.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com