The California Department of Justice has a police squad dedicated to confiscating firearms from prohibited persons through the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS). They work from a government database. See the problem? “[Michael] Merritt said that was the night of Nov. 5. Several agents arrived at his door and started asking questions about which guns he owned. ‘I thought, he’s here to get my guns for some reason,’ Merritt described. ‘He says, ‘You have a felony here from 1970.’ I said, ‘A felony? A pot possession charge from 1970.'” Let’s talk about “gun bullies” shall we? “‘We told them to leave the house and go get a warrant, and they said that’s fine,’ wife Karla Merritt said. ‘But, when we get the warrant and we come back, you’re going to jail,’ agents reportedly told the couple.” So Merritt handed over his guns. And then . . .

Merritt said several days after his guns were taken, an agent called back to say his guns would be returned.

“I asked him, ‘Why did you do this? What’s going on?’ He said, ‘We made a big mistake,'” according to Merritt. [ED: His pot conviction was a misdemeanor.]

On Nov. 21, Merritt said several officers came back and returned all the guns.

Props to bakersfieldnow.com for asking the obvious question: how often does this happen?

Eyewitness News asked how often guns get returned after an APPS seizure. The spokesman didn’t have hard numbers, but said sometimes guns are returned based on a court order, disposition of a case, or they can be transferred to another individual.

As for how often there’s a situation like Merritt’s, the assistant chief said it’s rare.

No hard numbers eh?

“Over the last two years, DOJ agents have investigated nearly 4,000 people and seized nearly 4,000 weapons, including nearly 2,000 handguns and more than 300 assault weapons,” reads the AG [Attorney General’s] statement. The Bureau of Firearms assistant chief says in 2013, the unit did 3,885 investigations and seized 2,714 weapons.

No doubt fans of the police state will rejoice at the stats. Right until they get that knock on their door in the middle of the night.

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79 Responses to CA DOJ Gun Confiscation Team Gets It Wrong

    • doj came to my house broke in and took my roommates gun but didn’t take his needles or the one packed full of heroin .they left it on the floor

  1. Guy needed just a little more spine.

    Actually requesting and having that warrant presented might have avoided the whole problem. Same reason that when the cops show up during a party, I open the door, step outside, and have someone else lock the door from the inside while I’m chatting with our boys in blue.

    This, you know, ignoring the part where they showed up to take an American’s guns. Based on a marijuana prior from a superbly flawed justice system. In California. Of all places to use a pot charge as justification.

    • Actually don’t say a darn thing.
      Tell them they need a warrant to enter and you will not answer any questions without council present.

      If they continue to question you, they are breaking the law at that point.

      • That’s the overall strategy, but if the first words are a calm, reasonable “Could you turn it down a little?” then I’ll be reasonable and, well, turn it down. That way I avoid a noise complaint. I’m all for civil solutions for civil society.

        Otherwise, I agree, don’t talk to the police. Especially not when it comes to issues like firearms or controlled substances.

        Not because I/you/anyone else don’t/doesn’t like the police, but because it’s plainly not in our best interest to do so.

        • Strangely, being reasonable usually works. Especially when most cops who get called to a noise complaint want nothing more than for the situation to be resolved without much time and paperwork involved. But when someone is unreasonable the cops still have to do something, and that something becomes less easy and simple.

      • Not to be snippy, but:

        Council = a public legislative body

        Counsel = attorney or counselor at law

        I have a vested interest over this subject. Just saying 🙂

      • Really. Breaking the law? What “law” are they breaking? Please cite the statute or penal code.

        Don’t give advice on the internet when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • You probably already knew this, but for those who don’t know….

          I believe he is referring to the 6th Amendment and the right to, “the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” In Escobedo vs Illinois (1964) The Supreme Court went so far as to overturn a murder conviction (with a confession) on the grounds that Escobedo was denied counsel.

          I actually learned this from Dirty Harry.

      • Actually, they are not “breaking the law” unless you are “in custody”, at which point Miranda kicks in ( I assume that is the “law” you were referring to). OTOH, if you are not “in custody”, or at least being “detained” you can go on about your business. .

  2. Coming to an area near you. Except that it’ll be at 3 a.m with 40 armed swat guys and you’ll be shot and your guns confiscated.

  3. WAIT RF! Let me put my shocked face on….
    Well ok not really.
    Sam Paredes of GOC had this to relay.
    “This year, a California Sheriff reported that the system has shown to be anywhere from 40-60% inaccurate, regarding persons who have been labeled “prohibited” and have thus had their firearms seized needlessly.”
    https://www.gunownersca.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153%3Agoc-responds-to-proven-inaccuracies-in-california-s-boasted-armed-prohibited-persons-system-apps&catid=21&Itemid=178

    • The question in my mind is, of those who had their guns returned due to erroneous confiscation, were they simply automatically returned with an “Oops, sorry” commentary, or did the gun owners have to jump through hoops and demand their return?

      • In this case it was automatic, but I have heard at least one instance where it was a bit of a legal fight.

  4. I would have said, “Fine get your warrant and I will NOT be going to jail” if I was in this man’s situation. Actually, it doesn’t matter, if this had happened to me in my own situation I will say exactly the same thing since I have never been arrested for anything in my life. The worst violation I ever had was getting a $25 ticket for having an open container of alcohol 20 years ago; I had a half of a plastic cup of beer and I was standing in the sidewalk outside of my friend’s house.

    • +1

      If they don’t have justification to haul him off to jail when they first arrived, how are they magically going to have that if they come back with a warrant. Indeed, tell the JBTs to piss off, then tell them if they want to talk to you about guns, make an appointment, and you’ll come to the station, with attorney, to see what they want to talk about.

      • Justification? You mean like legal justification? When has that ever stopped a determined cop?

        As the saying goes, you’ll likely beat the charge, but you won’t beat the ride. Had someone the temerity to demonstrate non-bootlicking behavior, I can guar-on-tee that when they got back with that warrant he would have been arrested on some specious charge. Likely, “obstruction”. They like that one. If they were feeling particularly inconvenienced, there’s always one guy on squad with a drop gun. Who knows the history of that thing when they “find” it in your living room couch cushions?

        If he was fortunate, he won’t hit his head being ‘placed’ in the squad car. maybe they won’t stop to give him an ‘attitude adjustment’ along the way. Hopefully, they let him go after 24 hours, or at least only a few hours after his lawyer showed up. Takes time for processing and all that. If he’s really fortunate they won’t stick him in a pen with the murderers and rapists ‘forgetting’ he’s in there.

      • Yes he would have gone to jail charged with illegal possession of firearms. Under California and FEDERAL law, it is a crime for a felon to possess firearms. According to the records reviewed by the DOJ, he was a felon. The reason they did not have a warrant when they showed up is, as is often the case, they could not know if he had any weapons. Apparently the DOJ’s firearms records are hopelessly inaccurate, as often times subsequent sales of firearms are not correlated with purchases, etc. Consequently, the DOJ cannot have a good faith belief that he indeed possessed any weapons, without which there was no probable cause for a search warrant. However, since he admitted that he owned a number of weapons, probable cause was admitted.

        His saving grace, of course, was that his felony was a “wobbler” that had been reduced to a misdemeanor, and this was a basis for the return of the weapons. But that is a separate question.

        • No, his conviction was a misdemeanor not a felony. The original charge had the potential to be a felony conviction but if he plead or it was reduced and his conviction was as a misdemeanor then he didn’t have a felony.

        • He was charged with a felony, and that is what the records showed that the DOJ was looking at. Turns out the records were wrong, which is why he got his guns back–but until that was cleared up, he would have been arrested had he resisted the seizure as a felon in possession.

        • It said in the article that they SPECIFICALLY asked if he had certain weapons, so apparently they knew ahead of time what weapons he possessed.

      • You’re forgetting that these aren’t REAL cops that are fighting crime and have a semblance of pride. These clowns are the “Bow and Arrow Squad.” This is probably where all the screw-ups we hear about wind up. The Peter Principle in action. And they know it, which is why the intimidation and deceit.

    • Yeah, the only problem is that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, nor does it matter if you believe you’ve done nothing wrong, The only thing that seems to matter is what the State thinks you’ve done.

    • Unfortunately, the idea and need to stand and fight is becoming
      far less abstract and indirect (i.e. through the courts, elections
      etc…) and far more literal.

    • Organize, organize, organize.

      At every opportunity push out membership forms to whatever organization you prefer, NRA, GOA, whatever…
      If NRA membership in CA only increases by 10,000, that’s 10,000 more copies of their magazine being circulated and perhaps talked about. No organization is perfect, but if you’re waiting for perfection you’ll get it in the form of a perfect tyranny.

  5. simple advice: HOME CARRY

    When the Po-Po shows up, ask for a warrant. If they don’t have it, ask them to come back with one. Otherwise, an unlawful entry and home invasion will be presumed.

    • Recommend several video cameras with offsite streaming and storage to accompany this strategy.

      That way you have a chance of appearing justified in the eyes of the common man even when you’re dead or doing life.

      • It’s pretty neat to see both of those links are from WaPo. Maybe it’ll wake some otherwise complacent folks up.

        Much of the time they seem to have their collective heads stuck in the mound of Beltway “holier-than-thou-and-therefore-justified” steer excrement.

  6. Love it. Making them do their job, get a warrant, upsets them and causes them to threaten and escalate.

    How dare you little pissants stand in the way of great American heroes as they dispense glorious justice.

  7. Best Advice, move away from STUPIDVILLE! Or get a guntrust then you can actually tell them you don’t own any guns.If the sieze them ,you’ll have them back in 24 hours and your lawyer will have a lawsuit against the officers personally, the city/county and Kamala Harris’s Atty General’s office.Ilegal search and seizure ,theft, 4th Amendment violations,trespassing,you get the idea.YOU GUYS IN CALIFORNIA GET A CLUE ,SET UP A GUN TRUST AND THEY CAN’T TOUCH YOUR FIREARMS,THEN GET A GREAT GUN ATTORNEY,HELLO???

    • Umm, yeah. I don’t think it works that way. A felon cannot POSSESS a firearm, and it matters not at all whether he OWNS it. Felons cannot borrow firearms, and you cannot take a felon to the range to shoot YOUR guns. so even if the guns are OWNED by a trust, if they are in the possession of a felon or other prohibited person, they may be lawfully seized. I remember a case where a guy got totally screwed by his ex wife–she got a TRO, and then reported to him the police because there was an old shotty in the attic that he’d inherited from his dad and pretty much forgotten about. That cost him two years in jail.

      If you want to practice law, go to law school.

      • You don’ t Think, and I don’t need law school As I have a trust and an attorney.Do your homework I did mine .A trust protects you no matter what as felons spouse can own cause you can’t deny her rights and they don’ t own them.so get a clue bro.Stop guessing and get the law on your side.

        • You are wrong. The trust may own the guns, but that is not the question, possession is the question. If you were right, and I put a gun in a trust, are you telling me if a felon steals that gun and is then arrested with it in his possession, he cannot be charged with illegal possession simply because he does not own it? Ahh, I don’t think so, sports fans!
          Same if you are married to a felon and you have a gun trust (because you are not a prohibited person). If you spouse is stopped while in possession of one of your guns, he/she would be arrested, charged, and in all likelihood convicted and sent to jail for at least two years. A gun trust may protect the OWNER who is not a prohibited person, but it WILL NOT protect the prohibited person from a charge of illegal possession. A gun trust CANNOT give possession of a firearm to a prohibited person, actual OR CONSTRUCTIVE. So if that prohibited spouse ahs access to your safe, then that spouse can be charged. Period.
          If you think otherwise, I suggest you talk to your attorney. [Ad hominem deleted.] And I am not guessing.

  8. As a warrant is one of our natural, civil and Constitutionally guaranteed rights I would hope that as a matter of course, and regardless of threats from LEOs, we would demand that they provide the document. If an arrest was appropriate they should undertake that as a first effort, not as a result of you forcing the warrant.

    Also, it seems to me that if an arrest were appropriate for the violation that preceded their appearance at your door they would have asked for and obtained the warrant beforehand.

    Always keep in mind, people, that it is NOT illegal for law enforcement to lie to you in order to gain information or compliance.

  9. When dealing with cops there very touchy thing they well give chose of turn in all your guns or take you jail for not turn in your guns. So no win choses of doing as they say or not going jail for not doing as they say there. Best way void that is live some where else where never going happen.

  10. Worse is that everyone in CA who has bought a gun is paying for the DOJ team. Last legislative session the morons at the capitol passed a bill to seize DROS money (thats money paid by the gun buyer to perform background checks and system upkeep) to fund these DOJ teams.

    Likewise, if the DOJ agents just returned the guns they most likely violated a provision of the penal code that mandates background checks be conducted on the guns owner and anyone in the house who could have access to the gun. From experience this takes several weeks at a minimum.

  11. Well at least they admitted their mistake and gave him his guns back. I’d be less surprised if they had come back, shot his dog and arrested him for some trumped up charge to cover it up.

    • Yeah, but did you see how they were laying them out on his garage floor? I’d been like,”Uh, I believe those were in my safe when you took them.” Oh well, at least someone from Bakersfield got to be on TV without anyone’s meth lab exploding.

  12. Excuse me while I scoop the California out of my cats’ litter box. It starts to stink if I don’t clean it every day.

  13. Correct me if I am wrong, but these guys DO need a warrant to come inside. Their only weapon is persuasion. What this man others are doing is volunteering the police to come in.

    Everyone should be telling them to get a warrant and you will call a lawyer and everyone be back later. I bet there is enough of that it becomes real expensive real quick for the state as well as a well recorded list of mistakes that can then be challenged in court.

  14. I’m just impressed that they confessed to the mistake and returned his guns. I was expecting the outcome to have been them returning at 3AM, tossing the house and “finding” a couple kg’s of coke and a few bundles of hundos all conveniently stuffed in a police duffle.

  15. They violated his rights…should be consequences to that…fired without pay, fines, jail time for the cops involved… This would be no different than if they forced someone into slavery…

    • Keep dreaming of your anarchistic state that has no cops. Would you take a job if a mistake cost you your freedom, as opposed to just money and/or your job? I didn’t think so.

      • You have alot to learn. To not have this KIND of police in this country is not anarcho-dreaming at all. To have Constitutional obedient law enforcers IS what we need. We do not have that anywhere in America hardly. What we have are armed thugs with badges that the govt/union thugs protect at all costs unless they figure it’s time to cut their losses on some of them. That’s the way it works for LEO’s. They get 100% protection almost & we get none because WE LET them abuse the Law while talking about, oh, we’re enforcing “laws” but those are illegal, unconstitutional statutes/codes that have no water to be enforced. The very mere existence of a special police squad like this is unconstitutional! It is illegal. They’re outside the bounds of the Law & are enforcing a 2nd set of illegal amoral crap statutes & codes that violate the Constitution/Bill of Rights. You need to get your head out of your arse, all of you also who actually think this is okay at all.

    • Fired? It’s not like they shot up a truck full of old ladies or anything, and even if they DID shoot up a truck full of old ladies that’s still not a fireable offense. Once you’re a state employee you’re pretty much set.

    • Actually they didn’t violate his rights, he agreed to let them take his guns and that is where the problem begins. The oft repeated advice applies here: Don’t answer questions for cops and never agree to a search.

      • They threatened him which is a felony because it entails armed action by armed goons with badges who are acting in violation of the US Constitution. I’d argue you’re wrong on so many levels it’s not even funny. These LEO’s are not legal & they’re actively violating our Constitution/Bill of Rights, period!

  16. NEVER open the door for a cop. You’re only asking for trouble. Just stay quiet. If they have a warrant they would never have knocked anyway, a swat team would have busted in.

    Cops are bad actors in society.

    • Yes, the police are canvassing asking neighbors about a lost child that may be abducted, and you want to stay in your house stroking your shotty. You’re the reason neighborhoods go bad.

      Act like a reasonable person in society. Know your rights and assert them as you want. The best of both worlds.

  17. The ONLY statistics you need to know about this program: The number of gangs, felons, and heroin dealers disarmed: 0.00.

    • I like they way that they were able to make the claim (undisputed) that the program had saved lives, even though they could provide no affirmative proof of that if their lives depended on it.

  18. From the archives:
    ‘Speculation has it that among the many reasons marijuana wasn’t long ago legalized, regulated and taxed accordingly was due to the ‘big bucks’ influence on government by the pharmaceutical industry.
    If it had been legal years ago to just smoke a joint, many of the prescription meds popular today wouldn’t ever have been sold in the first place, and ’Big Pharma’ would have lost billions of dollars in revenue.
    Now that there’s only a small portion of people who smoke at all and millions of people are hooked on prescription meds and won’t use pot, ’Big Pharma’ probably won’t notice much of a loss at all. Besides that, government’s now in control of virtually every aspect of everyone’s life and legalizing dope’s not only a new source of quick money, but what’s better for government than making it perfectly legal for people that don’t take prescription meds to self-anesthetize?’
    ******
    With regard to the decriminalizing / legalizing possession and use of marijuana and Fire-Arms ownership —
    Consider as you may be so inclined the GUN CONTROL AGENDA is based on the singular goal of eliminating legal ownership of all Fire-Arms by every person not employed within or specifically authorized by government.
    Pressures on those within Fedgov to implement this AGENDA are being exerted from a variety of sources on global levels.
    Given this rudimentary understanding, every conceivable tactic will be used to affect this intended outcome.
    With the aforestated in Mind, if you’re a user of marijuana and own a Fire-Arm, it’s only a matter of .gov’s tracking users just like yourself, and enactment of but a single law making it ‘illegal’ for users of marijuana to own any Fire-Arm to transpose YOU into one among the rapidly increasing numbers of former Citizens that .gov has already turned into Instant Criminals Under Law.

    Conscience, Morality and ‘Rights’, my friends…Conscience, Morality and ‘Rights’.
    Do No Harm / Successfully Defend

  19. I dont do cops..Ever.. in the unfortunate event that I violate a traffic law.. I say nothing.. hand my papers over and wait.. If they come to my house, I dont answer the door, If I happen to meet one in a social setting I avoid him like the plague.. I dont converse, chit-chat- make small talk, or introduce myself.. I dont talk guns, politics, football, baseball, women, nothing with them.. If I saw one in need, injured, or in distress, I would walk the other way…

  20. IMO, never open the door for the police. If you do by accident, be polite, ask if they have a warrant, if they say no, tell you are sorry but that you cannot let them inside. I would not respond to any questions about my guns (no “yes” or “no”). If they get the warrant and come back, and take your guns, why arrest you then and not if you just say from the get-go that you have guns? In either case, you are still a felon in possession of guns.

    Why leave you go if you just give them the guns up-front (where you were still a felon in possession of guns) versus arrest you if you require them to get a warrant first because you exercised your rights (remain silent, unreasonable search and seizure)?

    What makes the warrant any different?

  21. There is something some of you of lesser intellects need to get straight, while they were distracting the foolish to look under every bed for a godless communist it was the Fascists that actually took over and who run things to this day. Bankers and/or Corporatists were never in charge in a communist country. This is important because there are some things even a communist won’t do. So never give up your guns just understand who is really after them.

  22. This is the problem with American’s, they’re just willing to hand over their liberty and the things that protect our liberty over to the illegally acting thugs. There can be NO kind of “police squads” like this if our govt (whether it be local to the national level, Constitution applies to all levels) we’re in compliance with the Rule of Law. It’s not, so we get this crap. Even IF he had a felony, so what??? He would be out & had served his time, & legally, he cannot be stripped of his natural rights. He still has the right to keep & bear arms! I would’ve said come back with that warrant & let them threaten me with arrest because they’d come back & many of them would not leave alive. At this point (we’ve been at this point for awhile too, it’s almost like it’s hanging in the air waiting for us to start reacting finally) in America, no matter where you are, blue/red state/city, the days of complying should end & the reactions of armed groups of patriots & individual patriots should respond accordingly to these armed govt thugs. This is what makes America awesome & why we fought to have this nation created. If we fail to restore Her then we deserve this all. Period.

  23. It’s unconstitutional for people who have served their time in prison to be stripped of their rights that the Law protects! It’s impossible. It only exists because 1, we let it happen & 2, because we refuse to wake up and overthrow the tyrannical system which heavily relies upon duped and idiotic citizens.

    NEVER hand over ANYTHING you own to the government. Especially weapons. If they want to wage a one on one war at your home, fine, kill them. If you die at least you did the right thing & refused to comply. Yes, there is a thing called morals & character, even if it means others would make fun of your choice & death is the least of our concerns in my opinion. It’s living in this country tolerating this illegal activity by the police/govt that is killing us much more.

  24. Thank you so much, local “Republicans,” Jeffy Gorell and Scott Wilk for voting for this abomination. We expect this from foaming at the mouth Progressives like Das Williams , Fran Pavley, etc., but not those supposedly defending the Constitution.

    The bill, the way it is written, is way too open-ended and subject to abuses.

  25. Our neighbor has already formulated a plan that if the goons show up at a home, the homeowner calls two, who call two who call two, etc. When the goons look around they’ll be looking at twenty to fifty armed citizens videoing them from several angles. Since we have several attorneys in the neighborhood, one, or more, will be inquiring into the situation as it unfolds.
    Not gonna put up with any BS from the goons.

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