"Firearms seized during a sweep by the Los Angeles Police Department using the California's Armed Prohibited Persons System initiative. The program uses a database to identify gun owners who are no longer allowed to possess a firearm." (caption and photo courtesy npr.org)

“During the month of September, Los Angeles County D.I.S.A.R.M. teams conducted 1,062 searches which resulted in the arrest of 134 probationers, the seizure of over $111 million in illegal drugs and drug money and 38 weapons, including 17 handguns, 1 assault rifle and 10 shotguns,” scvnews.com reports. Just in case you’re wondering what that clever yet deeply foreboding acronym stands for it’s . . .

Developing Increased Safety through Arms Recovery Management. They’ve been busy boys.

In conjunction with local law enforcement, probation officers conduct searches of probationers who, as a condition of probation, are subject to unannounced searches targeting guns, drugs and other contraband. Over 12 percent of probationers searched in this program were out of compliance with the terms of their probation.

So 88 percent of those targeted weren’t “out of compliance.” Or at least weren’t caught out of compliance.

But surely this endeavor is a good thing? That depends on whether or not you like the idea of a law enforcement team dedicated to disarming people. I mean, why isn’t this felon weapons check thing the sole responsibility of probation officers working with local law enforcement? Simple . . .

SB 950, which was signed into law in 2002, established the legal authority for the state to cross-reference criminal history information with firearms possession records. In July 2003, the Department of Justice received funding to build a database of this information—the Armed and Prohibited Persons System— which became operational in 2006 and made fully available to local law enforcement in 2007.

From this intrusion into firearms records – which Second Amendment supporters rightfully content shouldn’t exist in the first place – the Department of Justice’s D.I.S.A.R.M. teams were born.

They don’t just check up on convicted felons, either. Some 96 agents scour the Golden State for anyone on the Armed and Prohibited Persons (APP) list. That list includes any citizen who’s had their right to keep and bear arms “revoked.” People who used to own guns but are now the subject of a mental health commitment, a restraining order, a domestic violence restraining order, or a misdemeanor conviction that prohibits them from possessing firearms (e.g. some drug offenses). Back in February 2013, latimes.com reported . ..

There are more than 19,700 people on the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons database. Collectively, they own about 39,000 guns. About 3,000 people are added to the list each year.

Clearing the backlog would cost $40 million to $50 million, according to Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris. She estimated that once the backlog is cleared, fielding teams large enough to keep up with people added to the list would cost about $14 million a year.

That’s a lot of folks. A group whose number could expand further should California lawmakers so desire. Which they did, enacting the new-for-2014 Gun Violence Restraining Order (where a judge can remove a citizen’s gun rights without due process). [NB: Harris also got her $14m.] You see the problem here? If not consider this . . .

The D.I.S.A.R.M. team doesn’t use judge-approved search warrants when they “investigate” people on the APP list. They use the power of persuasion (i.e., showing-up at a suspect’s door in full tactical regalia) to convince suspects to come clean and/or allow them to search their premises. A visit which surely has a negative effect on the suspects’ rep in their neighborhood or workplace, where D.I.S.A.R.M. agents do not fear to tread.

So what if, in its infinite wisdom, the California legislature decides that D.I.S.A.R.M. agents should knock on gun owners’ doors to see if their [perfectly legal] guns are safely stored? Or ask if owners happen to have any firearms not on the approved list? May I check your AR-15 to see if it’s in compliance with regulations regarding the “bullet button”? Etc.

Basically, if you have a D.I.S.A.R.M. team, they will disarm people. And once they finish disarming the people who need disarming, they will start disarming – or at least checking up on – other people. “You know what? We’ve fulfilled our statutory responsibilities. We’re done!” Said no government agency ever. In short, D.I.S.A.R.M. teams are a bad idea from start to finish. And end whose arrival is not assured.

50 Responses to California Cops Are D.I.S.A.R.M.ing. How Great Is That?

  1. Mixed feelings about this one. Worked in a prison and have known people in my personal life that had law troubles. I know for a fact that a lot of crimes are committed by people on probation and on bail.

    Here in CA we have that 4 way search clause thingy for folks on probation. If a person has that in their probation terms they become a walking search warrent. Any vehicle they;re in, even if just a passenger, any home they’re in, even if just a guest is sbject to search without any further warrent than their presence.

    As for peple showing up on my porch and asking politely to come in and inspect my guns. It had better be the swedish bikini team.

    Otherwise, a polite no.

    • You are nicer than me. I’d tell them to f$&@ off.

      And for the record, I’m not even in the same agency as the DISARM teams. I hear they just ask people and don’t have the authority to make entry. They rarely have search warrants, just the tactical look with names and lists of people and guns.

      So if it isn’t already obvious, remember the 4th and 5th Amendments.

    • Actually, due to Brown’s efforts, California does have a budgetary surplus, but that is NOT where the money is coming from. Instead it is coming out of the DROS fund surplus. The Dealer Record of Sale is a $25 fee tacked onto every firearm purchase for the purpose of running the system for registration of firearms with the California DOJ. The amount of the fee is supposed to be tied to the cost of running the system. Lo and behold, it was actually running a surplus; but no sooner did someone file a lawsuit to require the DOJ to return the excess fees than the Legislature passed a law allowing the DOJ to run its firearms seizure business. So now the surplus is gone, and any accruing surplus paid by gun owners goes to enforcing the prohibited persons laws, since of course there is no move to lower the DROS fee to actual cost.

    • It is a shame, since the good guns will “walk” out of the police department, and the unwanted ones will be destroyed. I would like that spectre… Those suckers are rare.

    • what’s worse is, a couple of those have been banned in CA and are unobtainable legally in their current configurations. So proving that criminals will get guns regardless of the laws, and only the law abiding follow the rules. Sadly this is not mentioned in this crowing report. Where thousands of homes were raided and a handful of guns found. I suspect this will instead be used as an excuse to raid those who are not on probation…yet.

  2. I would be concerned if these weren’t convicted criminals.
    12% off their probation terms is still ridiculously high. I feel bad for those that are following their probation, but still, they did the crime.

    • Guess you missed this part:

      …new-for-2014 Gun Violence Restraining Order (where a judge can remove a citizen’s gun rights without due process).

      In simple terms, if your liberal family member does not like you owning guns they can file a report and have yours confiscated. No crime committed, yet you land on the prohibited person list.

      • Yeah, this is the “screw your ex-” law. Pissed off at the ex- boyfriend/girlfriend? Call the cops and tell them “he threatened me! I’m scared!”

        Bingo! SWAT team to the assault!

        • Nope, doesn’t work that way. An ex boy/girl friend is not a “close family member,” so this won’t happen. Second, the seizure without due process can last only two weeks, after which there is a hearing before a judge, and there must be clear and convincing proof to support the seizure. Second, even if the seizure is upheld, it can last no longer than one year. Third, there is a provision in the law allowing the owner 24 hours to dispossess himself/herself of any firearms. There is every reason to believe that these matters will be handled locally and not by the DOJ.

        • Until a restraining order of any sort is filed. If that happens, your guns all become illegal. And CA just massivly lowered the bar to have guns banned.

  3. Yeah! We’ve disarmed all the bad guys.

    Now what do we do?

    I know! Let’s disarm the good guys.

    We can’t do that. It’s against the law.

    No problem. Change the law to turn good guys into bad guys.

  4. 3 felonies a day…sure everyone convicted did the crime. Glad I don’t live in California. Illinois is bad enough. And Illinois is probably the “brokest” state too…

  5. So,a bunch of prohibited people had prohibited weapons in a restrictive state with restrictive laws…

    But, I bet people see this as a “win.”

  6. I’ve never found it difficult to avoid becoming a “prohibited person.” I’ve also never found it difficult to avoid being on probation.

    As for jack-booted tactical teams knocking on my door to ensure compliance with firearms regulations – I’m sure it could happen, but it’s far from the top of my list of worries. We need to work on eliminating those regulations in the first place.

    • Here’s to hoping your smugness put you on the top of the list. You don’t live in Cali….so what! Illinois isn’t much better.
      Just open your door. If you haven’t done anything wrong what do you have to be afraid of, right?

    • “I’ve never found it difficult to avoid becoming a “prohibited person.” I’ve also never found it difficult to avoid being on probation.”

      Good thing you not in CT, then, where the stroke of a pen and date on a calendar can turn you into a felon (aka, “prohibited person”) for failing to fill out a form.

      The danger with the prohibited person slippery slope, and the wholesale acceptance of it, is fiat crime. As someone else pointed out above, see CA Restraining Order as a nice example.

  7. and how exactly does the LA Times know that the people on the APP list possess 39,000 guns? People who live in the real world are just dying to know.

    honestly, I could care less what happens in California or to California (with apologies to our friends that are forced to live there).

  8. With the plethora of new laws carrying quite stiff penalties, the state can always find something you’ve done “wrong”. Everyone is now a potential “enemy of the state”. All it takes is for your name to show up on a list and then, if the state wishes to do so, your door gets kicked in. The key element in an authoritarian state is an oppressive police bureaucracy. We have that now.

      • The technology to monitor all of the communications and movements of a huge percentage of the population… That’s new, for one.

        An increasingly dependent and apathetic citizenry willing to accept almost any intrusion on their liberty, “because terrorism”… There’s another.

  9. So now the seized firearms are Government property. Are they going to be disposed of in accordance with State Laws on disposing of surplus property? Are the authorities going to try to find the original owners, if reported by them as stolen, to them? Will the California-compliant ones be auctioned off?

  10. First – ’38 weapons, including 17 handguns, 1 assault rifle and 10 shotguns’ how many of these were stolen?
    Second, I own several firearms and none of them compelled me to commit a felony (or misdemeanor).
    Third, none of my firearms have illegal drugs attached to them.

    Once again Cali seems to think guns cause all these issues.

    • Illogical conclusion. If you are a convicted felon, you have lost your right to possess firearms–everywhere in the US. And it does not matter whether you used a firearm to commit the felony. If you have a domestic violence conviction or restraining order, you have lost your right to possess firearms–everywhere in the US. And again it does not matter if you used a firearm to commit your DV. If you have been involuntarily confined in a mental institution, you have lost your right to possess firearms–everywhere in the US. None of these confiscation laws have anything to do with any “belief” that guns cause crimes, but instead arise from a belief that certain people, because of their conduct, shouldn’t have guns.

      • Since you are discussing illogical conclusions, point us all to where it says felons lose their gun rights…in the constitution.

  11. For a minute there, I thought you meant that California cops were disarming, and I breathed a sigh of relief on behalf of all petite Asian women in the Golden State who are busy delivering newspapers.

  12. I got an idea, let’s take those weapons and the cash and tool
    up the citizens who live where LE is too scared to go.

  13. I don’t see a problem. If they’re on probation for crime felony level and above and they’re subject to random searches, and they are violating their conditions, too bad for them. They should’ve thought about their 2nd amendment rights before, not after, they committed felony or above crimes. Tough luck. How many times are we going to read a local news article about some criminal on probation, one that should not have a gun due to either his felony conviction or his probation, going out and committing a crime with that gun?

    Law-abiding citizens aren’t subject to unwarranted search. Probationary criminals are. Sucks to be them, but they made their bed of crime, and now they have to sleep in it.

  14. gun owners and 2d amendment supporters are like the US and the radical muslims. “the US will never be at war with islam” (even though they are decidedly at war with the US). the civil war has been underway a long time; stalinist government agencies against the armed population.

    (actually, the civil war began with the founding of the nation, between those who needed to control people and those who did not….guess who is winning?)

    the mantra of government toward people (except the self-appointed elites in government) is, “surprise, overwhelming force, extremely violent action”. which just happens to be the mantra of spec ops teams. the tide in the country already turned, government is now hunting-down the losers.

    but hey, that is just my opinion. there’s no real indication that I am right, is there?

    cheers, ya’ll

  15. “which resulted in the arrest of 134 probationers, the seizure of over $111 million in illegal drugs and drug money”

    So, almost everyone arrested had almost a million dollars worth of drugs and money. WTF?!

  16. “… and 38 weapons, including 17 handguns, 1 assault rifle and 10 shotguns”

    Umm, the math doesn’t add up here…

  17. This is why I stopped buying long guns in California in 2013 and have never bought a handgun in this mess of a state.

    We’re moving back to the USA in a few months. Forget California and its parasitic state government. Everything I hate about this state is the fault of the idiots in Sacramento.

  18. If your not on probation or parole you dont have much to worry about. If you have an RO or have a mental commitment it depends on how recent it is. Much of what they do is the “knock and talk”. Dont let them in or answer their questions. Tell them to get a search warrant. Unless the info is recent a judge wont sign a warrant

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  20. ****please read>>

    > i just witnessed this type of search on monday

    9.5 years ago my dad got in a mutual fist fight and was charged with assault. (Neither person has any injuries not even a black eye, my dad was 50 at the time so doesnt move quickly). He was put on informal probabtion for 3 years and told he couldnt “purchase” a gun for 10 yrs. Since then my dad had retired, gotten married and is now battling melanom cancer. On 2/9/15 police knocked on his door demanding to search his house for firearms so my dad complied not on free will but only to follow directions from the police…they did not give him an option. His wife has a few funs since her dad was a hunter that were registered under her name…my 60 year old father was immediately put in cuffs and placed under arrest. Put in jail for TWO days before being allowed to post $20,000 bail. After his release has a panic attack and stopped breathing so i had to call ambulance earliee today and they had to do CPR. Anyone who thinks this is justice or positive in any way is crazy. My dad is sick from his cancer, not a violent man in any way,hes 60, was never told no one else in his house could have a gun, had no idea he was breaking any laws, was honest and coorperative to the police still since at that time he unaware he was violating any laws and now had to take out a loan for his bail and now is facing jail time, fines, and more probation. I recorded the whole search on my phone and its sad cause you can see my dad alnost crying in disbeleif of what was happening. If anyone wants to see it im happy to share… but i get trying to keep people safe and for felons i would agree with this but a misdeamor mutual fight with no weapons and no injuries fro 9.5 years ago???? The law is VERY flawed and is only going to violate rights of citizins that are good people and not real criminals

    • ^^^forgot to add other than the one fist fight my dad has no criminal record at all. Not before that fight and not after.

      Sorry for spelling errors. Having issues with my phones keypad. **

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