Calif. lawmaker – leading gun control advocate – mistakes BB gun for semi-automatic pistol

An attempt by Asm. David Chiu (D–San Francisco) to tie a piece of litter on the streets of his hometown to on-going gun violence in the city ended with a bit of egg on the legislator’s face.

Sunday, Chiu tweeted out a photo of the “discarded packaging of a semi-automatic on a leisurely weekend walk.”

Chiu included a photo of the packaging for a Glock 19 semi-automatic air-soft BB gun, which – though designed similar to the Glock 19 – is not a firearm.

The BB gun, though not pictured in Chiu’s tweet, is usually tipped with an orange muzzle to denote that it is not a firearm.

The packaging, however, does note that the gun was the airsoft version rather than the firearm.

Chiu caught considerable flak for the gaffe, as he is a leading proponent for gun control in California’s state legislature.

The San Francisco lawmaker’s marquee achievement in Sacramento was authoring Assembly Bill 2847, which called on gun manufacturers to transition to a form of bullet tracing technology known as microstamping.

Despite being enacted by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020, the industry has repeatedly argued is technologically infeasible.

After harsh feedback on Twitter, Chiu deleted the tweet and backpedalled.

It isn’t the first time a high-ranking Democrat in California has taken on gun issues, only to find himself the subject of jokes from the state’s gun enthusiasts.

Former State Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D–Los Angeles) had a similar incident related to so-called “ghost guns.”

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at