CA DOJ go get the guns (courtesy bloomberg.com)

The People of the Gun are getting jumpy. And no wonder. They’re getting jumped. Post-Newtown, more than one hundred pieces of state and local gun control legislation are wending their way through their respective legislatures. New York’s done deal—the ironically named SAFE Act—is the most egregious infringement on the Second Amendment in this country’s history. Then there’s California, Connecticut, Colorado, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. While the western and southern states remain steadfast in their opposition to civilian disarmament, residents can’t ignore the possibility that the feds will sell out their gun rights. Gun confiscation, formerly as credible as alien invasion, seems somehow inevitable. In fact, it’s already underway . . .

From bloomberg.com

Wearing bulletproof vests and carrying 40-caliber Glock pistols, nine California Justice Department agents assembled outside a ranch-style house in a suburb east of Los Angeles. They were looking for a gun owner who’d recently spent two days in a mental hospital.

They knocked on the door and asked to come in. About 45 minutes later, they came away peacefully with three firearms.

Right. Peacefully. ‘Cause when NINE cops show up at your door asking for your guns “making a fuss” isn’t really an option. Although, strangely, it is.

Merely being in a database of registered gun owners and having a “disqualifying event,” such as a felony conviction or restraining order, isn’t sufficient evidence for a search warrant, Marsh said March 5 during raids in San Bernardino County. So the agents often must talk their way into a residence to look for weapons, he said.

Hi! See these NINE cops with guns? Good! Do you mind if we come in and have a little chat, maybe look around? Thank you.

According to this article, all of the people getting the proverbial “knock on the door” are gun owners who’ve lost their legal right to own guns. So it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest that California’s financially reinvigorated gun getters are trampling the Second Amendment by chasing the 20k people who have broken the law.

That said, I don’t believe that felons and people suffering from mental illness should automatically lose their gun rights. More generally, watching a law enforcement team confiscating firearms from private citizens gives me the heebie-jeebies. And for good reason . . .

“What do we do about the guns that are already in the hands of persons who, by law, are considered too dangerous to possess them?” [CA Attorney General Kamala] Harris said in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden after a Connecticut school shooting in December left 26 dead. She recommended that Biden, heading a White House review of gun policy, consider California as a national model.

Notice that little phrase “by law”? There’s your trouble. What happens when the legal definition of a prohibited gun owner gets a little . . . fuzzy? Or the confiscation process lacks accountability?

Six days ago, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey re-introduced a bill that would bar citizens on the FBI’s “no-fly” terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms. How do you get on the list? How do you get off the list? How do you even know you’re on the list? There’s no public protocol.

It’s not that hard to imagine a time when gun owners—who consider themselves law-abiding Americans—receive a visit from a California-style (trained?) gun confiscation team.

Not anymore it isn’t.

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54 Responses to California Confiscation on Such a Winter’s Day

  1. If you’re not expecting anybody OR if its the police, NEVER answer the dang door. Let ’em kick it in, or get the hell off my property!

    • If you do answer the door, be nice. Say no you are not allowed on the property with out a warrant and close said door. Real easy.

      • Actually don’t open the door. Say it through the door. And no I don’t mean with two blasts from a shotgun. Once you’ve opened your door to say anything to them, they have the ability to enter, even if you just opened it to say “f*ck off”.

        • Techinically they don’t have the legal authority to enter without a search warrant, exigent circumstances, or permission. The mere presence of the police does not constitute exigent circumstances, but the doorway of a residence is usually considered to be a public place.

          Don’t allow police inside your home without a warrant, and don’t invite them in if they are present to confiscate your hardware.

        • Dont open the door because they can say they ‘SAW’ something. Crack your window open from a place as far away from the doorway as possible and yell through the blinds that they are not allowed inside. This way, they would incriminate themselves by kicking in the door.

  2. I wrote something like this on another blog.

    Somewhere in a super secret progressive archive there’s a plan to classify the felt need to protect yourself from an over intrusive
    government as a mental defect.

    • Just label them as “paranoid and delusional”, because obviously the Government isn’t out to get them. This is for their own good, and for the general welfare. We will be safer.

    • It isn’t even a secret folks. The LA Times article from yesterday says if you are white, conservative, and own a gun you are a terrorist. Got that? Yeah a terrorist.
      “They’re not jihadists. They are white, right-wing Americans, nearly all with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists.”

      • The LA Times is borderline retarded. I got a call to order the paper a few years ago and told them that I wouldn’t even use their paper to wipe my a$$. At the time, someone had written an article sympathetic to the 9/11 terrorists.

  3. I think in this case (the one described above) it sort of depends on why that person “…spent two days in a mental hospital.”.

    If it was for severe schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts, hearing voices, threatening the neighbors, and being off his meds… Might be it wasn’t such a bad idea to have the police pay him a visit.

    Of course, it seems like if that were the case, they would be able to get a warrant.

      • NO DONT! I have one, outside of my bedroom, but dont put it on your front door step. There have been cases where the police observed the door mat, and without knocking, came back with a warrant and didn’t enter in a polite manner.

    • Two days is about how long it takes for them to decide you aren’t mentally ill.

      Do you really think someone who was an actual threat would be out in 48 hours.

      Wake up. Pretty soon you’re the one who is gonna be “mentally ill”.

      Demand due process!

      • The real question is whether this individual was even classified under law as a threat to himself or others, per Welfar & Institutions Code section 5150. If not, disqualification is questionable. Read on another forum yesterday where a woman’s VOLUNTARY admission for a couple of days to a mental health facility (because of drug interaction/dosing issues) resulted in the police not only confiscating her firearm but two that belonged to her husband. No 5150, no adjudication, but our dear sweet Kamela is taking the position that a mental health patient cannot have access to firearms, meaning that no one i her house can have them either. I suspect this will get challenged at some point, as it requires a rather strained interpretation of the disqualifying statute. But then again, we already knew that she will disqualify any one she can for whatever reason she can concoct. There are multiple stories now a firearms owners (who have lawfully purchased weapons in the past) now being “delayed” because the DOJ has found some apparently unreslolved misdemeanor from the dim and distant past (i.e., no conviction or dismissal of record), and at least some of them involve cases where a conviction would not be a disqualifying event. Kamela is our Lisa Madigan.

        • We do not know the reason this person was in the hospital. What if they were in there for an anxiety attack?

        • If I chose to guess (I will), this guy would be in cuffs if he was found with weapons he was actually not allowed to own. In this case he voluntarily let them into his house then (likely) voluntarily gave up his guns for the same reasons. He was ignorent of all the confusing laws (who isn’t) and intimidated by the nine armed men asking scary questions. It’s not called a lie when you’re being interviewed by the authorities, it’s a ruse.
          ‘And the ruse will set you free (lie)’.

  4. As a former New Yorker, I assured myself that my ability to legally own and possess firearms and other weapons would be safe once I reached Florida. As I see the winds of change at the federal level…………………I………………….%$#@!

  5. Gotta keep showing some of my friends these stories. Unfortunatly some still have their blinders on. A few are just to stubborn to realize the direction things are going but stories like this help out big time. Keep em comin RF.

  6. Play this scenario in your mind, commit it to memory.
    Police: “Do you mind if we come in and have a little chat, maybe look around? ”
    Me: “Yes I do mind. Come back with a warrant if you want to look around.”
    Police: “We can come in if we have probable cause…”
    Me: “Since you asked for my permission to come in that demonstrates that you don’t think you have probable cause. Get a warrant. Good bye.”
    Sound of door closing. (If it ever was open…)

    • “If you are too dangerous to own a gun, you are too dangerous to be free in society.”

      I don’t like the sound of that vague idea. What constitutes too dangerous and were exactly would you keep these people.

      • The 2A is a natural right, not subject to the whims of the state. The prohibited people are an appeasement (infringement) to the liberals.
        If you are a criminal, you should be in prison. If you are mentally unstable, to the point of being a danger to yourself or others, you should be in an appropriate institution. If you are deemed safe to be in a free society, you deserve to have your natural rights.

        • I agree , at least in principle, but California has this little law that a 5150 results in a five year prohibition, and an actual adjudication of mental illness that is a threat to self or others (involuntary commitment for more than three days) results in a life time ban. For suicidal persns, release from a hospital merely means that the immediate crisis has rsolved; it is in no way a suggestion or affirmation that the person will not relapse within days or weeks. Depression is a life-long disorder that in some cases is almost impossible to abate, although the individual in many cases can return to a functional lifestyle. You just never know when the next crisis will happen.

  7. I’ll lay it out as simply as I can.

    Liberals believe all human problems can be solved, if the government is large enough. Civil ownership of arms is incompatible with the vision of a benevolent and large government: why do you need to take up arms against a government that’s feeding and clothing you and your kids?

    At some point, the 300 million guns in circulation will need to be “actively decreased” for the progressive endgame to be realized.

    • I’ll lay it out as simply as I can: your oversimplification of “liberals” is part of the problem and retarding our national discussion and progress.

      • OK specifically which “over simplification” do you object to?
        By saying over simplification do you say you agree with the premise but it is somehow more “nuanced” than presented?

        • Simply put, civil ownership of arms is perfectly compatible with the vision of a benevolent and large government. Because 1) it being benevolent today does not mean that it will remain benevolent tomorrow, and 2) the far more likely use is self-defense against criminals, not government, in any case.

          FWIW, the notion of large government is not necessarily “liberal”, too. You actually started on the right note when you spoke about a government large enough, but note that this isn’t really any different from conservatives or libertarians. The only point that differs is, large enough for what. Libertarians think that only foreign policy, defense and basic life & property right protection is “enough”. Conservatives generally want to spend more money on defense (often to the point where it ceases being defense and starts being policing the world), and also want the state to enforce morality – aka “government just small enough enough to fit in your bedroom”. Liberals want the state to be big enough to tackle a wide variety of economic and social issues (which mostly boil down to economic equalization and protection against private discrimination).

          The gun panic that’s common to modern American liberals isn’t really a fundamental part of the platform, but it’s rather stemming from the core demographics of the party being younger and urban, and therefore uneducated and clueless about guns. This lack of understanding is what produces the mental image of gun as some mystical thing that is inherently spreading death and destruction in its wake to anyone who has the misfortune of being in its presence. The politicians are just pandering to that electorate, and so does the media (simply put, liberal news outlets love gun hype because it makes for more eyeballs, just like Fox News loves the hype about terrorists because it has the same effect on their target audience).

          Gun education is key here. If you want to change a liberal’s mind on guns, focus on the guns, not on fundamental political differences like small vs large government – the latter is a good way to make everything else you say ignored. Taking someone out to the range and handing them an AR can often do wonders in terms of changing their perspective.

  8. It was interesting that only one of the confiscated guns was registered to the woman who had spent two days in the mental hospital. The other two confiscated guns were registered to her husband who would still be a legal firearms owner. BUT, “The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm,” regardless of who the registered owner is, said Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

  9. When are people going to learn to just shut up! They tell you in black and white:

    Merely being in a database of registered gun owners and having a “disqualifying event,” such as a felony conviction or restraining order, isn’t sufficient evidence for a search warrant, Marsh said March 5 during raids in San Bernardino County. So the agents often must talk their way into a residence to look for weapons, he said.

    Learn the rules of police encounters. If this person had kept their mouth shut, this would have never happened. Am I under arrest? No, then am I being detained? No, GOOD BYE. If schools were really interested in educating our children, they would be teaching them these lessons, along with the inevitable results of compound interest coupled with fractional-reserve banking…

    • They actually teach finance in schools then the government would not be able to blindly take the money from the peasents.

      The schools barely teach reading/writing and math and many kids who graduate and go to college end up taking remedial classes to catch up.

  10. I’d like to know more about this citizen’s stay in a mental hospital. Did he self-admit? 48 hours is a very short stay at a mental institution. Luckily for him, HIPAA and other federal and state privacy laws prevent us from knowing exactly why he was there. But that does make it difficult to evaluate this story fairly, equipped with all the facts.

    I think I’ll reserve judgment for the moment.

  11. Also, make sure someone in the house is making a video of the encounter. If it gets to your word vs. theirs….

  12. The first step is to target weak, non-ideological gun owners who give in very peacefully. Once the public is used to that, then target the extreme ideological gun owners that can be counted on to resist and make dilute they are shot very publicly and very dead.

    Then all the middle of the road gun owners will fall in line to voluntarily surrender their weapons.

  13. Translation: “We can’t do this through the legal system, so we’ll just rely on the citizens’ good intentions to allow us to confiscate their property.”

  14. The confiscation squads operate without court orders or search warrants – they call them “knock and talks.” They gain access to the house by coercion and intimidation.

    Suppose they visit the wrong address, or an address where the Prohibited Person no longer lives, and they talk their way into the wrong house? What if they find guns there that are legally possessed by the people who are living in that house? What if they find something else that looks suspicious, or is actually illegal, like drugs or stolen goods? They didn’t have a search warrant, just fishing, so are they able to arrest the residents and seize the evidence they accidentally found there?

    Even if the subject is legitimately a Prohibited Person, there are just so many opportunities in this scenario for police abuse.

  15. Why is a law prohibiting those with mental illness from owning a firearm bad? Because all it takes is on decision from HHS to say wanting to own a gun is a mental disease. If you want them you are sick. If you have them you are even sicker. We must make you and everyone safe and “healthy”, take your guns and then “rehabilitate” you.

  16. Given the data on police shootings, I think a serious case could be
    made that LEOs are “too dangerous to possess (firearms)”.

  17. So… we shouldn’t enact new laws, we should enforce the existing laws we have, except we shouldn’t because … the laws might be changed in ways that are disagreeable.

    I have a problem with this type of argument. 🙁

    The no-fly list example is a good one; because there is no public process for appealing inclusion on the list, and it appears to be extrajudicial, our representatives should have ample reason to not legislate its use. But our representatives *are* empowered to do just that.

    Less paranoid absolutism, more realistic objection, please.

  18. Denying rights based on a diagnosis? Maybe someone could be too unstable to vote? Too dangerous to pen an editorial? Slippery slope. Take away the voice of those deemed defective and quickly the definition of defective becomes any who disagree. We need to be public and vocal, so any actions taken by the authority is public and worthy of coverage. Media can be our friend, if it is an issue of civil liberties.

  19. here is another reason to get a security camera system. you get a loud knock at the door. and you can see it’s the cops without them seeing you see them. they don’t hear you shuffle to the door, they don’t see light in the peephole go black. you just pretend you aren’t home. if they have a warrant, yeah they might bust down your door but if they don’t, which is the case most of the time, they have to just go away. they can’t talk you into letting them search your house if you just keep on playing videogames in your basement.

  20. Right to bare arms will not be infringed. Doesnt matter what gov wants you to call yourself lib or conserv. Gun confiscation is illegal. Lies, Privacy violation, property violations, government giving guns to dangerous drug gangs, anyone enforcing gun confiscation has deemed themselves a major domestic threat…a terrorist. Local law enforcement must protect its citizens from these rogue agents seeking to disarm Americans. Military needs to be ready to step up and protect its citizens from this domestic threat these agents who seek to disarm citizens. Citizens need to be ready to protect your communities and homes from these terrorist cells that are openly taking action to disarm citizens. Protect our seniors, men, women, children and our disabled. Gun confiscation is a national threat to our country, state, communites and homes. Those of you that have made the oath to protect our country from foreign and domestic threats its time to do so and stop these rogue agents who seek to undermind our country by gun confiscation. Stand up now before its too late. Protect your country your friends family and communities.

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