Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp's warning to street gangs and drug traffickers that he intends to enforce "to the hilt" the new Assault Weapons Control Act is an empty threat (Part A, Jan. 4).
If he can't enforce the laws against murder, assault and drug dealing which these criminals are breaking openly in the streets, then how does he plan to enforce a law against unregistered firearms hidden in closets and car trunks?
The threat is very real for the 300,000 honest citizens who legally own the banned firearms for legitimate, traditional and constitutionally protected reasons. Those who choose not to register because they feel that the law is unjust face criminal arrest, but only after violation of their right against search and seizure. In no other way is enforcement possible. Those who comply with the law will have their name, address and description of firearm given to local police for some unstated reason.
What, exactly, does "to the hilt" mean?
JERRY L. ALLEN