Last Updated:September 30 @ 08:09 am

Firearm confiscation moves forward in California

By Los Angeles Times

SACRAMENTO -- The state will send dozens of new agents into California neighborhoods this summer to confiscate nearly 40,000 handguns and assault rifles from people barred by law from owning firearms, officials said Wednesday.

The plan received the green light Wednesday, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation providing $24 million to clear the backlog of weapons known to be in the hands of about 20,000 people who acquired them legally. They were later disqualified because of criminal convictions, restraining orders or serious mental illness.

The bill is the first of more than a dozen gun measures introduced by California lawmakers after the December massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals," said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

California is the only state in the nation to operate a database that cross-references gun owners with those who are subsequently disqualified from owning firearms. But budget cuts have prevented the state Department of Justice from keeping up with the list, which grows by 15 to 20 names every day, officials said.

The new funds will allow the department to hire 36 additional special agents and support staff, with the first officers expected to hit the streets in July, said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris. The money comes from a surplus in fees paid for background checks by people purchasing guns.

The new agents will work primarily in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and Riverside, which have requested additional help, Gledhill said. The effort is expected to take three years.

"Our reinvestment in this tracking program gives us the opportunity to confiscate" guns from those who should not have them, said state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), author of the legislation.

Opponents of the measure include the National Rifle Assn. of America and Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, who said any confiscation campaign should be paid for by the state general fund.

"Going after criminals is a good thing, but the way they are paying for it is grossly unfair," Paredes said. "They are putting the entire burden on the back of law-abiding gun purchasers."

Paredes said some gun owners may not know that they are disqualified from possessing guns for reasons that include, for example, a restraining order in a domestic violence case. He said an education campaign urging people to turn in weapons would be less costly and safer than sending out armed agents.

Some Republican lawmakers voted against the bill, SB 140, because they too objected to tapping money not intended for the new purpose. Other Republican legislators supported the allocation, helping to give it two-thirds approval in both houses.

Of the gun owners on the prohibition list, 32% were disqualified by conviction on a felony or a violent misdemeanor, Gledhill said. About 30% were disqualified for mental health reasons, including court determinations that they are dangerous; 20% are the subject of an active restraining order for cases including domestic violence; 18% are wanted by authorities for violent crimes.

The existing squad of 33 special agents investigated nearly 4,000 people and seized about that same number of weapons, including 300 assault weapons, during the last two years, officials said.

"California is leading the nation in a common-sense effort to protect public safety by taking guns away from dangerous, violent individuals who are prohibited by law from owning them," Harris said in a prepared statement.

The California Legislature is still considering measures that would require ammunition purchasers to pay for a permit, close loopholes on the existing assault rifle ban and impose a nickel-per-bullet tax to pay for mental health programs.

The Democratic governor, who has said he owns guns, has not taken a public position on the remaining bills.

patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

___

(c)2013 the Los Angeles Times

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26 Comments

  1. Jota_Comment by Jota_
    May 2, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    “This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer….”

    No one is safe when the state uses the law to pervert the law

    “disqualified because of criminal convictions, restraining orders or serious mental illness”

    restraining orders are given out like candy during a divorce, no evidence need be provided and no determination need be made of validity of the request, it is simply granted by virtue of the fact someone ask.

    “36 additional special agents” “The money comes from a surplus in fees paid for background checks by people purchasing guns”

    If the state is charging more than the cost to do the check then they are guilty of theft, but they then see no reason to prevent them from then using the money for one purpose to undermine the reason they have the money in the first place, people trusted them with it, not to use it against them

    And the lesson learned here, don’t trust the state. After all if they had not legally acquired the gun, in the first place, the state would know nothing about it.

    When the state becomes the enemy of those who follow the law, only those who don’t, are safe.

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    • truegritComment by truegrit
      May 2, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

      I hope what is being instituted works, we will not know until the trial period is over. I just hope that the people determining who is mentally unstable know what they are doing & dont use it for taking away legal gun ownership.

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    • nmleonComment by nmleon
      May 2, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

      In some areas those divorce restraining orders have presented HUGE problems for law enforcement. They get divorced too.

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    • LardoComment by Lardo
      May 3, 2013 @ 4:44 am

      The whole purpose of this “trial” period is a test run for taking away legal guns.

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  2. PATRIOTComment by PATRIOT
    May 2, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    American patriots, pay close attention to California’s gun confiscation program discussed in this article. California has put together information databases that enable them to identify those owning firearms and where they reside for confiscation purposes.

    In this case, they tell us it deals only with those who cannot legally own fireams. Keep in mind that if the Progressives are successful, they will achieve enhanced background checks on a nationwide basis. This will enable the government to much better identify all firearms owners and where they reside. Confiscation of all firearms, which is the Progressive end-game will then result when the political climate is right.

    This California confiscation program is a model of what can be in the future for all Americans. Remember, Senator Fienstein (D CA) stated that if she could she would have America turn them all (guns) in. Do not compromise in any way on gun control or the 2nd amendment will be forever lost.

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    • EyevinsComment by Eyevins
      May 2, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

      The way I see it, this is the 1st in a long line of things on the horizon.

      Next, they will make you show ID and enter your information in the system similiar to cold medicines used to make Crystal Meth. Then they will limit how many rounds you can buy in a given period of time using said system.
      THEN they will start a witch hunt on those buying the “WRONG TYPE” of ammunition, leading to the arrest and costly legal battles for law-abiding citizens.

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    • nmleonComment by nmleon
      May 2, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

      Good catch Patriot. Kali has to have defacto registration for more than just handguns.

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  3. jsquiresComment by jsquires
    May 2, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

    Because the state thinks you might do something, they are seizing personal property without even thinking about due process. When was the 5th amendment and the 14th amendment to the US Constitution nullified in California. I must have missed that news story.

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  4. bna42Comment by bna42
    May 2, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    “They were later disqualified because of criminal convictions, restraining orders or serious mental illness.”

    I still want to know WHO is responsible for determining the definition of “serious mental illness”. Is it a judge, is it involuntary commitment, is it a report from a neighbor that the person is strange or acts weird, or is it some cop who shows up at your door and isn’t happy about the responses you give to his intrusive questions?

    “California is the only state in the nation to operate a database that cross-references gun owners with those who are subsequently disqualified from owning firearms.” This database is thoroughly unconstitutional. WHY would a list of ALL gun owners be allowed in any state just because the people legally own guns?

    “California is leading the nation in a common-sense effort to protect public safety by taking guns away from dangerous, violent individuals who are prohibited by law from owning them.” Pardon me, but I don’t believe that keeping a database of ALL gun owners in California can be described as a “common-sense effort to protect public safety”.

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  5. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    May 2, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    those agents better wear there body armor cause i gotta feeling some will not give them up!

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    • lowlifeComment by lowlife
      May 2, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

      People with any sense will gather up their guns and everything else and leave the state. Let the commies try to disarm the illegal aliens and tax them to fund their welfare/police state.

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  6. JDZComment by JDZ
    May 2, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

    The “do-gooders” in our country naively think they are solving crisis level problems as they push for more and more government oversight and control of our lives requiring us to give up more and more of our individual freedoms. They are relentless and must stay up at night thinking of more ways to take our freedoms away from us as they expand government and raise taxes and fees to pay for it.

    Gun ownership, driving gasoline powered cars, eating salt, drinking big gulp beverages, denying our Christian faith when on public property, subsidizing abortions for any reason, turning our back on Muslim terrorists, public acceptance of same sex marriage, being forced to buy health insurance, and paying higher and newer taxes, etc. are some of the baseline tenants in the liberal nannystate government agenda.

    We are being forced to accept this deliberate attempt by the socialist elements in the Democrtic party to “transform” America into something akin to a socialist country. Under the Obama administration, it is a full court press with Obamacare being the most insidious and broadest government program that will push the country into socialism.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      May 2, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

      “We are being forced to accept this deliberate attempt by the socialist elements in the Democrtic party to “transform” America”

      When enough people lose enough freedom to realize they have been pushed too far, maybe they will decide to get together and do something. But it will need to be the people because our elected politicians are NOT going to do anything.

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  7. shafawnComment by shafawn
    May 2, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    The age of the lost constitution.

    Every bit of this is Obama’s fault.

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  8. LardoComment by Lardo
    May 2, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

    “The “do-gooders” in our country naively think they are solving crisis level problems…”

    No they don’t. But they do want you and me to believe that’s why they are doing it.

    The only “problem” these leftists are trying to solve is the one called “liberty”. You know, the one that allows you and me to live free. To think and believe according to our own conscience. And to keep the fruits of our own labor. They really hate that.

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  9. JDZComment by JDZ
    May 2, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

    California is basically a lost cause as it continues to allow radical liberals in the state to dominate state legislation and policies. The liberals, coupled with the public service unions, have a super majority in the state legislature and can do whatever they want to the citizens of California, and it is not a pretty situation to experience.

    The highest tax structure in the country, the stiffest set of environmental regulations in the country, the least cooperative and balanced energy management policies in the country, the most liberal immigration enforcement policies in the country, the highest level of welfare and food stamp participants in the country, the worst public education in the country, the worst maintenance status of the overall infrastructure, and a declining tax base with a mass exodus of both companies and individual taxpayers.

    California used to be, under conservative Republican leadership, a leader of GOOD things for the country at large, however, unfortunately, it is now a leader of the worst things to do in the best interests of the country.

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  10. Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
    May 2, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    THAT ought to be really interesting! And, of course when they go knock on doors to confiscate guns, the people are just going to hand them right over.

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    • spindizzyComment by spindizzy
      May 3, 2013 @ 7:42 am

      But when they see a dozen or so armed and swatted “cops” at their doors and surrounding their homes, what else could they really do? And if they resist, they will be killed, probably in front of their families, and that is all the “proof” the authorities would need to justify the confiscation. It is easy for me to say I would resist, but if that scenario ever played itself out at my house, I am not sure I would be ready to die that day. I would surely be ready to fight. But the ways confiscation is carried out is one at a time, greatly outnumbering the victims so it would be suicide to resist. Even if communities stuck together, it may take the gestapo longer, but eventually a big enough force is sent out to accomplish the confiscations. Folks, this is not good stuff. Think about it. We CANNOT let this scenario be set, for if the scenario is even set, it is all over.

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    • nmleonComment by nmleon
      May 3, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

      “Oh officer, those firearms don’t belong to me anymore, that would be illegal. I gave them to my (wife, brother, son, friend) who also lives here.”

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    • spindizzyComment by spindizzy
      May 3, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

      Ah, nmleon, you misunderstand the law…For these types of cases, there can be no firearms in those residences. They are unlawful for anyone to possess at that residence, and WILL be confiscated also if they are there!

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  11. nmleonComment by nmleon
    May 2, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    I predict that a lot of men getting divorces will give away or “sell” their firearms to a friend or family member the minute they hear of a restraining order.

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  12. coachbrianComment by coachbrian
    May 2, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

    There were no limitations or restrictions whatsoever on our rights specified when our founding fathers drafted and ratified the U.S. Constitution and later the Bill of Rights. Hence, all “Gun Control Laws” are blatantly unconstitutional. Any questions?

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  13. cabindwellerontheyukonComment by cabindwellerontheyukon
    May 2, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

    How do they know convicted felons and some of the others have any weapons? Oh wait, the felons I’m sure registered their weapons. Ya, that’s it!

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  14. Scruffy-USN-RetiredComment by kerryp
    May 3, 2013 @ 5:26 am

    This is a perfect example of why not to register guns and background checks were not to be a database of where all of the guns are. Like the billboard said “turn in your arms, the government will take care of you”. Yea right, the liberal social democrat party wants nothing more than to control you and have you serve and depend on them. Maybe all of the citizens in California should steal their weapons, instead of buying them. Then the socialistic California government won’t know where the guns are.

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  15. librabobComment by librabob
    May 3, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    I am curious about the 30% who were disqualified from gun ownership for mental health reasons. Who determined that? Why is that percentage so high? Is the state tapping into people’s private medical records and drawing their own conclusions? Are combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD by the VA included in that number and how did the state get that information? Lots of unanswered questions!

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    • Scruffy-USN-RetiredComment by kerryp
      May 4, 2013 @ 5:39 am

      Keep in mind this is California, where the majority of fruits and nuts live and the democrats of California believe just like all other democrats believe that people need the government to care, feed and control them.

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  16. Pingback: Gun Confiscation Via the Therapeutic State Moves Ahead in California – 5/3/2013 | The Freedom Report

  17. Pingback: Gun Confiscation Via the Therapeutic State Moves Ahead in California | Spread Liberty News

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