On December 26, 2019 a Chinese man got up early to take photos of the sunrise on the premises of the Naval Air Station in Key West according to a report from Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald.
Witnessed ended up spotting Lyuyou Liao around 6:50 a.m. on Thursday walking around a perimeter fence and entering the military installation by going through the rocks along the water.
They initially warned Liao that he was illegally entering a restricted area — Truman Annex — as he shot photos of government buildings near “sensitive military facilities,” based on a federal criminal complaint filed Thursday.
The U.S. Military Police saw him taking photos using his cellphone, approached him and reviewed the pictures. The police officers immediately summoned a federal agent, who arrested Liao for entering naval property with the intent of photographing defense installations.
Liao wove his Miranda rights and told the agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in broken English that “he was trying to take photographs of the sunrise,” based on a complaint affidavit.
However, when Liao gave the agent the pass code to his phone and allowed him to review the images, he found “photographs of Truman Annex on the camera.”
The 27-year-old Liao had his first federal court appearance on Friday afternoon in Key West conducted via a video hookup with Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt in Fort Lauderdale and Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Gilbert in Miami. Hunt then appointed the federal public defender’s office to provide Liao with representation and scheduled his pretrial detention hearing for January 6, 2019. Liao will be arraigned next week.
Liao’s arrest is the second time since 2018 that a Chinese national has been charged with taking photos of defense installations at the Key West Naval Air Station.
Key West police caught Zhao Qianli, who claimed that he was a music student from China, for trespassing onto the Naval Air Station.
He subsequently told authorities that he got lost on the tourist trail and did not recognize it was a military base.
Investigators found photos and videos on Qianli’s cellphone in addition to his digital camera that he had taken of government buildings and a Defense Department antenna field on the military facility.
Earlier this year in February, Qianli pleaded guilty to one count of photographing defense installations at the Key West military facility. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Qianli to one year in prison.
Not too long after in March, a Chinese woman was arrested at President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach after she lied her way into Mar-a-Lago to allegedly attend a “United Nations friendship” event that she was aware had been canceled before she left China.
Yujin Zhang ended up being charged with trespassing in a restricted area and lying to a federal agent.
In September, U.S. District Judge Roy Altman convicted Zhang and sentenced her in in November to eight months in prison
Given China’s rise as a superpower and their expansionist foreign ambitions using soft power, the U.S. will need to keep tabs on China’s attempts to exploit the U.S.’s immigration system.
Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation
Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.
Under The Background Check Expansion Act, gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House
“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.
According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.
Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms.
Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.
Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race.
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