CA Vet Seeks Justice After LAPD Destroys His $700k Gun Collection

Wayne Wright (r). Via michellawyers.com.

Wayne Wright has a serious problem. About eleven years ago, the Vietnam veteran, police officer, and firefighter was the subject of a triumphant LAPD press release about a conquest it had achieved in its war on the private ownership of guns by California residents. The press release is still there on its website for all to behold . . .

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department aggressively targets suspects involved in the illegal sale of firearms to stop the flow of guns to the streets of Los Angeles.

On September 16, 2004, the Gun Unit, Detective Support Division, working from recently developed intelligence information, conducted an undercover gun buy operation in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles. The suspect, Wayne Wright, engaged in an unlawful firearm transaction with an undercover Gun Unit officer. Wright was immediately arrested for the violation and during a subsequent search of his vehicle 11 additional rifles and shotguns were recovered.

Gun Unit Detectives then obtained a search warrant for Wright’s residence in the city of Simi Valley. During the service of the warrant, Gun Unit detectives recovered 376 weapons, including rifles, shotguns, handguns and assault weapons. Many of these guns are the types routinely used in crimes in Los Angeles. Also recovered at Wright ’s residence was a silencer and thousands of rounds of ammunition, including tracer rounds and armor piercing rounds, all of which in California, are felonies to possess.

During 2003, the gun unit seized 348 firearms. Year-to-date in 2004, the Gun Unit has seized 411 firearms. The seizure in this case of 388 total firearms nearly equals that for the first 8 months of 2004 and exceeds the total seizure for 2003.

The suspect, Wayne Wright, is not a licensed gun dealer and the Los Angeles Police Department believes that Wright is actively engaged in unlawful gun trafficking.

Suspect: Wayne Wright, 56 years of age, a resident of Simi Valley, California was booked at Devonshire Area Police Station for 12072 (d) P.C. – Transfer, Delivery or Sales of Firearms.

Traditional media outlets like the Los Angeles Times jumped on board, dutifully reporting without question whatever the police said about the matter. The story even managed to make the Sydney Morning Herald.

The only problem with the story: Wright wasn’t actually engaged in unlawful gun trafficking. Despite the seizure of hundreds of his firearms by the police, the only violations the DA could make stick was a single misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of an “assault” weapon (apparently he’d been the executor of the estate of a brother law enforcement officer, and, according to his attorneys, had simply ‘forgotten’ about it, which might be plausible given that he had 300+ firearms to keep track of.)

Wright ended up working out a plea deal for informal probation on that charge, and because the misdemeanor wasn’t punishable by more than one year in prison, Wright didn’t lose his right to own firearms.

That should have been the end of things. But it wasn’t. Despite completing the informal probation, Wright never got all of his guns back. The City of Los Angeles kept over 300 of them, with an estimated value of over $700,000.

He’s spent years jumping through hoops, fulfilling (arguably illegal) demands for proof of ownership, copies of original sales receipts, and the like. Everything from 1911s to a Walther PP, a Browning Hi-Power to a Browning Citori. The entire list can be seen here, in the complaint recently filed by Wright’s attorneys.

Despite the fact that none of them were owned or possessed in violation of the law, despite the fact that he remained legally entitled to own  them, despite the fact that even some elements of the bureaucracy acknowledged that, yes, the firearms should be returned, the LAPD ignored all of his efforts to have them returned.

And then it got worse: the LAPD simply destroyed the lot of them.

Wright isn’t taking this lying down. He and his attorneys – C.D. Michel and Joshua Dale – filed a complaint alleging not just violations of U.S. civil rights law, but also violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, under the theory that the firearms were destroyed to show that “the City’s Gun Unit was being sufficiently effective in using federal grant money to keep guns ‘off the streets’….”

It’s an interesting theory. RICO provides additional penalties and causes of action against criminal acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. It was intended to assist in the prosecution of criminal gangs (i.e., the Mafia) but it has been applied to many organizations deemed to be criminal enterprises in the past including, interestingly enough, the Key West, Florida police department.

To prevail in a RICO action, Wright will have to show that an enterprise, in this case the LAPD, engaged in conduct that showed a pattern of racketeering activity. Here, they argue that since the city Gun Unit intended to deprive Wright of his firearms even though he wasn’t under suspicion of any crime, simply to bag a large haul to show that they were being effective at keeping guns off the streets. And to continue to enjoy the fruits of federal largesse supplied to them for that purpose.

The complaint alleges – unsurprisingly – that Wright is hardly the only one to have been subjected to this sort of behavior from Los Angeles’s finest. They point out the rather strange conditions of his arrest (which they consider entrapment):

The Gun Unit, led by Defendants Tompkins and Edwards, contacted [Wright] as ostensible purchasers of a firearm from [his] collection. They arranged to meet…to inspect the firearm and arrange the transfer. [They] met in Los Angeles County…. Edwards agreed at the meeting to purchase the firearm after inspecting it. {Wright] wanted to immediately take the firearm to a local Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”) in order to properly effect the sale under state and federal law. Edwards agreed to the immediate FFL transfer, but played the “eager buyer” and insisted that [Wright] allow Edwards to drive the firearm to the local FFL to surrender the firearm to the FFL and begin the transfer paperwork. After cajoling by Edwards, [Wright] agreed, and gave Edwards possession of the firearm to drive to the FFL, at which point, Gun Unit officers appeared and arrested [Wright].

[Wright’s] reluctance to engage in the transaction in the unlawful manner which Edwards insisted upon was clear from the surveillance recordings of the encounter, and the matter would never be charged as a crime…. It was apparent that no crime had been committed but for Edwards’s insistence of “holding” the firearm while they drove to the dealer to get the lawful transfer process started. It was a bad sting. Nonetheless, LAPD then used the fact of the arrest to get a search warrant to seize Plaintiff’s collection, claiming, with no corroborating evidence, that the collector was a “gun trafficker….”

The complaint also details the many steps Wright took to get his property back, and how, despite having the law on his side, and having gone above-and-beyond to meet every request, no matter how unreasonable, they not only kept his firearms, but destroyed them.

Will Wright be successful in this lawsuit? I’m not a California attorney, but I understand that occasionally, justice prevails even in that distant land. We shall see.

 

DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

comments

  1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Ouch-californiastan strikes again…I got no suggesttions…

    1. avatar brentondadams says:

      Ive got a couple that might set off an NSA alarm..

      I live in gun unit territory. My security system is set up mainly to slow them down or at least preserve some evidence. Regular criminals I can deal with..

      The face of one party far left rule is the face of the gestapo storm trooper. Weathers nice though.

      1. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

        “Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out”

        “Remember: Evil exists because good men don’t kill the government officials committing it.”
        ~Kurt Hofmann.

      2. avatar Cyberat says:

        Add an RPG, land mines & claymores to your property for additional safety from government mafia goons.

    2. avatar Billy-bob says:

      Take off and nuke it from orbit…it’s the only way to be sure.

      1. avatar angryaz says:

        Should start with some orbital kinetic strikes to get things going

        1. avatar Desert Ranger says:

          Neutron bomb, yo! Don’t damage the infrastructure!

        2. avatar WedelJ says:

          Well-placed kinetic strikes may crack the San Andreas fault wide open, right? I’m sure we can all get behind that idea.

      2. avatar MotoJB says:

        Lovely…some of us fellow gun rights fighters and gun enthusiasts live here in CA. Yeah, just bomb us and/or have us drop into the ocean. Great plan.

        1. avatar Zermoid says:

          WHY does anyone who likes guns and values their freedom still live in that cesspool?!?!
          I was born in NJ and I got out as soon as I could!

        2. avatar The Trouble with Timbo says:

          Come on Zermoid, everyone wants out of NJ…

        3. avatar Shane says:

          Being from California I even agree with this plan! I suggest you invest in some new ocean front property in Nevada! But seriously get out, get out and leave cali to destroy its self! Good luck in your fight!

      3. avatar mark s. says:

        We can’t just nuke em Ripley , don’t you realize how much money the government has invested in that place ?
        All right , you heard the man , asses and elbows . COME HERE HUDSON >
        ……….. I think we should lay down suppressing fire and back out of there .

        1. avatar Gringo Cracker says:

          “What is it, Hudson?”

          “How do I transfer out of this chickensh!t outfit?”

  2. avatar Richard in WA says:

    While I hope he wins, it sucks that the California taxpayers have to foot the bill for this criminal activity.

    1. avatar Model 31 says:

      Well, a majority of voters, many of them taxpayers, did vote for their government.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      I’ve been saying this for a while:
      The only real difference between the mob and government is that government has tricked the majority into believing it serves a legitimate purpose.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        I would be willing to bet money that the mob is less corrupt AND more effective than our legitimate Govt in CA at Federally.

        I mean, those pesky bill of rights and the amendments sometimes trip them up, but the Govt never lets those setbacks dampen thier spirits.

        1. avatar WedelJ says:

          Yeah, I would agree. Given the same task, the mob would undoubtedly accomplish their goals before the government.

        2. avatar HotandEmpty says:

          @jason m

          The thing that makes organized criminals efficient is that they have two enemies to outsmart. Those enemies are of course other organized criminals that will kill them for their money, and the government that does the same.

    3. avatar Jjimmyjonga says:

      I am curious if Wright, now retired and on a public pension, ever infringed upon the 2A rights of others during his work.

      1. avatar BillC says:

        I’m curious if you are an idiot.

        1. avatar Jjimmyjonga says:

          Hahh.. name calling…you certainly win mr. Wonderful. The question I pose is valid, as the article states he was a career policeman.

        2. avatar HotandEmpty says:

          @jimmyjonga

          Excellent observation of the hypocrisy of a LEO. They can’t understand that they are just useful idiots until the state comes after them.

      2. avatar Gabe says:

        Definitely a good question. While he was certainly a ‘victim’ of The State here, how often was he the arm of The State in the past?

    4. avatar GunGeek says:

      LA taxpayers – the city that just outlawed magazines > 10 rounds. Poetic justice IMO. The rest of of are funding the stupid litigation that prohibits any pistol images on CA gun storefronts.

    5. avatar Cyberat says:

      We’ve reached a said state of affairs when a criminal is a valuable asset to the injustice system, as a milking cow they can pass through revolving doors repeatedly. At the cost of our lives, limb, livelihood and quality of life. Then to be punished for damaging such asset in any way.
      Revolution Now !

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    Search the cops houses. If one weapon ever turns up all CA 5-0 do hard time. Re-open Alkatraz.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Stupid loose-lipped beat cops would never be trusted to withhold evidence like this; check the houses of the department Chief on up to the Mayor, and their friends/donors/family living ‘la dolce vida.’

  4. avatar SD3 says:

    Damn it, man! I was *just* thinking about moving to California, too. Or not.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Stay away from the coast, and it isn’t so bad except for the laws the legislature shoves down our throats. LAPD and LASO are infamous for their bad conduct in conducting stings and raids.

      1. avatar jsl55 says:

        The corrupt “justice system” in LA Co stole a S&W Model 29 and a Ruger Single Six Convertible from me in 1980. When asked for the the return of my guns, the judge said that they had already been destroyed, even though all charges were dismissed and the record expunged. I would never consider living in LA Co again.

        1. avatar Alan says:

          jsl55:

          Was Proof of destruction ever offered, or was it simply a case of “word from on high”, not to be questioned by the mere citizen?

    2. avatar Cyberat says:

      I have a need to take care of my aging/dying parents. What is your excuse ?
      Be informed, be educated, prepare.

  5. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Nothing is more petty, vindictive, and spiteful than a bureaucracy. If they want to do you over, morals, ethics, and even the law will not stand in their way.

    Why? It is all for the greater good.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Nothing is more petty, vindictive, and spiteful than a bureaucracy. “

      Indeed.

      And beware when you a-hole neighbor has a friend in city/county government:

      http://www.naturalnews.com/035524_Andrew_Wordes_Roswell_chickens.html

    2. avatar Bob says:

      The real criminals here: LAPD.

  6. avatar Joe R. says:

    More evil liberal blue house of (D) bs. I blame all residents of CA, since you don’t have to be a citizen to vite there.

    1. avatar vv ind says:

      You should write and publish a romance novel (D)ude

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      Yeah. That Ronald Reagan, who signed many of these anti-gun laws, was quite the liberal blue (D) left…yada, yada, yada…
      <YAWN>

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        JasonM ,
        Could you please elaborate , I did not get the comment , AT ALL .
        What guns ? What laws ? What are you talking about .
        I would love to discourse with you on this subject if it is pertaining to RR .

        1. avatar Cyberat says:

          Until 2014, no rebloodican, democrip, independent or libertarian ever overturned the anti-firearm laws, in any state. As they began in 1933.

  7. avatar Nate says:

    LAPD gun unit?! LOLOLOL wow…if the BAFTE, FBI, and DOJ weren’t interested then its probably because those agencies knew it was nothing they could control or adequately prosecute….of course that has never stopped Kommiefornia from making hell on gun owners….

    I’d say the entrapment charge based off that story will stick. Entrapment is very tricky to prove, I have some case law on it somewhere but its tripped the DOJ by the legs in bigger rings than California so I have hope. After the Key West PD got RICO’d anything’s possible. I happen to know an Asst. US Attorney that RICO’d a gang or two lol, if I get a chance I’ll ask him about this since I’ve always been curious about RICO in general and he’s one of the few prosecutors that seams to be a pro at it.

  8. avatar DoomGuy says:

    I’m sure a lot of those “destroyed firearms” ended up in a lot of officers’ private possession.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      300K worth? I’m pretty sure a lot of these cops turned around and sold these guns to people who’d keep their traps shut (organized crime) for some quick cash.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        According to the complaint, most of the guns were C&R.

    2. avatar TheBear says:

      I think you may be right.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      If they don’t have video evidence of the destruction, I don’t believe a single one was destroyed.

  9. avatar HotandEmpty says:

    “under the theory that the firearms were destroyed to show that “the City’s Gun Unit was being sufficiently effective in using federal grant money to keep guns ‘off the streets’….”
    It’s an interesting theory. ”

    When the government does the very definition of furthering a criminal enterprise by engaging in illegal activities it is just a theory, but when motorcycle enthusiasts do it they get shot in the head,illegally detained, and their cases deemed more top secret than one of hillary’s Secretary of State emails.

    The burden of proof is supposed to be on the state, which is no longer true. Now, the state can’t even be bothered to follow the law, which is an abuse of authority that already has a name.

    .

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      The case you refer to is a stain on Texas. I hope the guilty are actually punished, regardless of uniform or agency.

  10. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Wow. I just got done reading that whole thing. Only took me a half hour. I hope he gets everything he asks for, including treble damages.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      What about bass or midrange damages?

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Soprano. Because they’re mobsters, see?

        1. avatar JR Pollock says:

          Castrato is called for in this case..

      2. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

        I certainly hope it’s enough to push the LAPD off a financial cleff.

  11. avatar More Dead Soldiers :) says:

    Asset forfeiture makes all cops racketeers. This is self-evident.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Has been for decades. Remember when the DEA didn’t have a large fleet of private jets?

  12. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    The only things important to California voters are Marijuana intoxication and all forms of welfare. I’m glad I left.

  13. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The entire Los Angeles Police Department needs to be replaced. If they aren’t shooting up two innocent women delivering newspapers in pickup truck, they are stealing a firearm collection from an innocent man. It is time for all new staff from top to bottom.

  14. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Hopefully some of the parties involved made ineligible for gun ownership via the convicted felon route.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Ain’t gonna happen. Only the LA County DA can bring charges, which will never happen, or the US Attorney, which is only slightly more likely. The civil suit can only result in a damages award.

  15. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Given the value of many of the firearms in that collection, I’m sure many of them ended up in LAPD officer’s homes and offices. Some of those guns are worth over $5K each. Many of them are what I would consider nice guns, with several Very Nice Guns scattered in there. I’ll wager that many of the Springfield 1903’s weren’t in military dress, but were sporterized rifles with an obscure heritage and lacked provenance, but still valuable nonetheless.

    This report, coupled with the LEO stonewalling on the biker gang slaughter in Texas, give me yet more reasons to despise cops. This proves what I said last week: law enforcement officers lie. They’ll lie right to your face, they’ll lie right to your attorney’s face, they’ll lie to a judge’s face. They’ll lie about the law, they’ll lie about warrants, they’ll lie about jurisdiction. They’ll lie on affidavits, they’ll lie to labs, they’ll ask forensic labs to lie for them. They’ll play party to a DA committing a fraud upon the court, and here, they’re showing they have no qualms about perpetrating grand larceny under color of law.

    This all results in my indifference (tipping into smug approval) in response to reports of cops being killed in cold blood by various urban activists. You cops bought this result. Enjoy the result as people like me tell well reared and upstanding young people to always beware of cops, that cops will lie right to your face, and there are almost no situations that are improved by calling the cops.

    And when young men ask me about a career in law enforcement, what I now tell them is “You are always known by the company you keep. Think carefully about whether you’d want to be thought of as most cops are perceived. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a bad cop. You’re not that kind of person. But… people don’t get to interview cops before cops stop them or visit their home to find out which cops are good and which are bad. So when people read reports of bad cops, they start to assume the worst of all cops. It is human nature to stereotype. If you see a grizzly bear tear your neighbor apart, are you going to give the next grizzly you see the benefit of the doubt? Of course not. The next grizz you see could be a bear that will run, not walk, the other way when he sees you. You, however, won’t give him that chance – you’ll be pointing a gun in his direction ASAP – because you remember what happened to your neighbor. Stereotyping is a human evolutionary adaptation. It’s in full effect when you’re dealing with people.”

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Agree.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        law enforcement officers lie

        When cops do it in court, it’s called “testilying.” Yes, it’s a thing.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “When cops do it in court, it’s called “testilying.” Yes, it’s a thing.”

          As much as people despise lawyers, they’re the most effective weapon to use against corrupt law enforcement.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          Don’t take this personally, but the most accomplished liars are lawyers and politicians. But cops lie, too, and should absolutely be held accountable for them.

          For the record, I’m not LAPD or LASO and had no part in this incident. If this promotional transfer goes my way LA will be in my rear view mirror.

        3. avatar WedelJ says:

          @Accur81

          Lawyers may be very accomplished liars, but sometimes you’ve got to fight fire with fire, and the lawyer is on your side. Now if only we could get politicians on our side as well…

          PS, I hope you can put LA in your rearview ASAP.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Cops are the new Vietnam veteran (as perceived by media of the day)

      1. avatar Chicago Steve says:

        Except no one is drafted unwillingly into being a cop. ‘Nam vets are different story.

        1. avatar More Dead Soldiers :) says:

          80% of Vietnam vets volunteered, brah.

          Although it would seem cops today are far more delusional.

          “We mutilated your baby with a flashbang for public safety.”

        2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          A lot of Vietnam vets volunteered–for the Navy or Air Force so they wouldn’t get drafted into the Army. I grew up during the ‘Nam war. I don’t know a single person who volunteered for the Army. I know some who got drafted and others who volunteered for other services.

          Although I know that Westmoreland said 2/3 of Vietnam vets volunteered.

        3. avatar Bruce L. says:

          My unit in Vietnam was mostly drafties. My service number started with US55…….. so I was one as well. There did seem to be a lot of us in Nam.

        4. avatar Ralph says:

          @More Dead Soldiers, I was a Vietnam era volunteer in 1967 — in the Air Force. I figured that the USAF was the one branch where the officers went out to fight, and the enlisteds stayed home.

          I chose well. I know plenty of young guys who did the same. I advise young people who want to enlist today to do the same. Some of my friends who chose to enlist in the Marines back then have their names engraved on a wall in DC. I don’t think that it helped their families cope with their loss.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          People “volunteered” for the Army, too, in order to get preferential treatment as per assignments versus if he waited 15 minutes to be drafted. So they show up as “volunteers” instead of “draftees” in official records, proof that government lies. Another truth is that after the volunteering was complete, the Army went back on its’ promises. My brother was promised a research job, utilizing his BS in Chemistry, in 1968, or he could wait a few weeks and be drafted. So he volunteered! After 18 months of mostly infantry training as a 2/Lt, he was told his promised desk job would be waiting upon his return from Vietnam, past the end of his commitment. Unfortunately, he did not return alive. So, I guess he fits in the demographic of dead “volunteers” as opposed to dead “draftees”. Pardon me if I don’t recognize any difference, we were all draftees, except those career military before the war began.

    3. avatar Sian says:

      If even a single one of the ‘destroyed’ guns ends up in an officer’s possession, or anywhere else but the true owner’s hands, it should unleash a shitstorm.

      It probably won’t but I can hope.

      1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

        Yeah, “The LAPD simply destroyed” a lot of them. Kind of like those unfortunate boating accidents, where many former firearms owners lost their collections…

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          When the political hacks of LA last had a hissy fit about guns (the 1930’s), they literally took boatloads of guns seized from private owners out past the harbor limits and dropped them in the Pacific. I have pictures of this from 20 years back, but I can’t find them right now. I should digitize all this stuff I have and ship it up to the RKBA cloud somewhere…

    4. avatar mark s. says:

      I think what I must be confused about is the callousness towards police evidenced by the remarks here by people who live predominately in Progressive States . I can only assume that when you deprive the citizenry of their 2nd Amendment rights for long enough the law enforcement community become evil tyrants standing above the law and lauding their authority over the citizenry like jack booted thugs .
      Police officers don’t behave this way in my neck of the woods . They are by and large respectful , helpful and supportive of Americans constitutional rights .

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        mark s, what state do you live in?

      2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Again, mark s, I ask you–what state do you live in?

        1. avatar Will D says:

          That would seem to be the great state of Denial. Police abuse rights everywhere.

        2. avatar Alan says:

          I wish the citizen the be of luck, along with the following. Hire the best legal talent available. Then put oin your “patience coat”, for the guilty parties the LAPD, the city and county of Los Angeles among others, will likely drag the thing out for as long as they possibly can..

  16. avatar Steve Clark says:

    OMG. Someone needs to pay for destroying all those firearms. Kill him, jail him, flog him, and kill him again.

  17. avatar Stinkeye says:

    I love the part about how “many of these guns are the types routinely used in crimes in Los Angeles”. If that’s so, then LA’s gang-bangers have really nice taste in old collectible guns. Lots of drive-bys being perpetrated with Mausers, Krags, and turn-of-the-century .25ACP Colts?

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      And guns like this:

      – Springfield Armory Model 1898 Krag, NRA Style Sporting Rifle
      – Mannlicher Schoenauer Model 1905 Carbine, London proofed 9X57 Mauser Lyman sights
      – FN Model 98 Mauser Rifle.333 OKH (which most people here won’t recognize, but I know is a custom ‘smith job)
      – Mauser Model 1898 6.5X57 Fehringer
      – Francottee, Acier Special Belgium Double Barrel (which is in contention to be considered a “best gun” in English parlance)
      – L.C. Smith No. 2E Grade, Double Barrel Shotgun
      – J.P. Sauer 12 Gauge, Double Barrel Shotgun
      – L.C. Smith 12 Gauge, Double Barrel Shotgun, No.3E Grade Museum Letter
      – Browning Superposed, 20 Gauge Shotgun
      – Remington Model 32 Shotgun

      Yea, real gang-banger pieces right there. All of them worth considerable money.

      Most cops wouldn’t know what those guns are from the listing, but seeing them in person, I’m sure the reptile kleptocratic parts of their brains said “Oh, niiiice… I’ll take that one!”

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        “kleptocratic”

        There’s that word again. I LOVE that word.

        Adding reptile to it as a descriptor is icing.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        The Francottee caught my eye too.
        I also saw a Chinese SKS labeled as a war trophy. Likely brought home by him.
        Just my humble opinion, but I don’t think that collection could be replaced by the amount of dollars he suing for.
        If I were him, I’d use some of that money to move east a couple of hundred miles. Then start over.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          The problem with valuing a collection such as the one named in the link is that so much of the valuation depends on condition. Without extensive and properly executed photographs, or the actual gun in front of you, there’s no way to say whether the guns are in 80% condition or 95% condition. On some of the higher end or rarer long guns, the difference between 80 to 95% condition can be thousands and thousands of dollars per gun. I have had some LC Smiths through my shop recently that were very unusual instances of LC’s – but their condition was harmed by some very moderate bore corrosion. That seemingly minor bore corrosion tool perhaps as much as $1K valuation off what could have been a $8K gun.

          So without the gun in hand or good photographs having been taken, a middling appraisal must be made, which probably screws the owner of a collection like this.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          DG, if the cops cannot produce the guns for inspection due to their own actions, they should just have to take his word that they were ALL 95%. Fair, no?

      3. avatar Tim Going says:

        Although truth be told, it would be pretty classy for a criminal to do hits with a custom .300 H&H Express rifle….

      4. avatar Alan says:

        Saturday night Specials all.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      He meant that they’re all centerfire firearms, which is the kind most criminals use.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        He meant they make a noise (not even a loud noise) when fired, or looked something like a gun, which makes them “like a criminal would use.”

        The writer of that press release probably has no clue, not one single neuron’s worth of an idea, of what kind of guns LA’s criminals actually use.

      2. avatar Cyberat says:

        The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
        ——————————————————————————–
        “On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322)

        “The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals…. It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.” (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)

        “The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States….Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America” – (Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.)

        “No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950])

        “The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])

        “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169)

        “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty…. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

        “…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

        “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

        “the ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,” (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)

        “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States” (Noah Webster in `An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution’, 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

    3. avatar Ovez Japanwalla says:

      also muskets and flintlocks.
      “Cap em with a perc. cap” is how it goes down on the streets.

    4. avatar mark s. says:

      1897 Ivers Johnson 32 caliber hammerless conceal carry pistol .
      The gangsters best friend .
      Used to shoot two presidents .

      1. avatar Cyberat says:

        Wrong, JFK was shot by at least 2 riflemen if not 3.
        Ronald Reagan shooting failed to kill him.
        Both puppets but JFK was truly an Irish Mafia Scumbag, a P.R. person to appease the people.
        Says one thing but does another. Like all scumbag that followed, current president included.

  18. avatar OneOfTheGoodGuys says:

    If these are all the facts, this is an atrocity! How can this happen in The United States of America? I have no words …

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      What rock have you been living under the last 40 years?

  19. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    These cops abused their jobs, violated their oaths, and in my view, should all serve some hard time. Contempt, is the word that describes the attitude of these…these…..crooks with badges! Their punishment should be a career-ending, pension-revoking, jail sentence. And they did this to a fellow officer, with impeccable credentials, and an honorable service record. The LAPD Gun Unit has been corrupted by the Fedgov.; paid-off with our tax dollars. Isn’t that called receiving stolen funds?

    1. avatar Billy-bob says:

      They think they’re the guys from “The Shield”.

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        Probably a few high ranking investigators crouched down on their knees , in a very dark storage room , investigating these guns with those tiny little investigator flashlights .

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      If he ends up with 2.1 million of NYPD money, the idea of criminal prosecution might come back up!

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        2.1 million is almost an entire LAPD pension payment , God forbid .

  20. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    I’d bet money that guns ended up missing, and that’s because they were stolen by cops. The LAPD knew they had a big problem, they were supposed to give the guns back and with lots of guns missing, OOPS!!! So the destruction was invented. Hell, it’s not their money if they have to pay up.
    I can tell you for a fact that during asset forfeitures and this type of action, valuable sought after firearms, cops steal it them, just like every other thief. It’s just that simple. Nobody is going to walk in and arrest a cop and they get away with this stuff, until they don’t.

    1. avatar A H says:

      Agreed. They probably thought the asset forfeiture was guaranteed so they started taking what they wanted and when he was found innocent and actually filled out the correct forms, they had a big problem that most of the guns were gone, so instead of having a huge memo to return (not to mention many were likely already sold as well as not wanting to part with them) they chose to externalize the cost and avoid getting in trouble with the “whoops destroyed lol” lie.

  21. avatar Anonymous says:

    Theft under the color of law. That simple. Zero surprise it was performed by the LAPD. The people there (majority) do nothing about it – they are totally ok with it and nod their heads supporting this kind of activity.

  22. avatar louringe says:

    I am so glad I moved out of CA

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    Cops only do stuff like this so that white people can hate them too.

  24. avatar SteveInCO says:

    My hat’s off to him for assembling such a fantastic collection.

    Which just makes the actions of those tyrants all the worse.

  25. avatar Don says:

    “Types of guns used in crime: Those that fire.” Duh.

    I only have one question: Why is anybody surprised about this coordinated abuse of power?

  26. avatar Heartland Patriot says:

    I spent a decade of my 20 year Air Force career stationed in California. As soon as my final enlistment was finished, my family and I left for “The Free States”. California is a beautiful place but run by statist jackwagons and full of useful idiots.

    1. avatar Bob in Calif says:

      California is a beautiful place but run by statist jackwagons and full of useless idiots.
      There, fixed it for ya.

      1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

        No, they are very useful to the statist jackwagons.

    2. avatar mark s. says:

      Lived in Torrance California between the age of 4 and 7 . Watched the fires of the Watts riots from a rooftop . Manson family creepy crawled my neighborhood . My dad worked for an ophthalmology group in LA and he fit Michael Landon with contact lenses while I scraped and fought these three Puerto Rico kids in school , from the same family , the Angelo’s , ages 6,8,10 , nearly every week , my brother , four years older than myself fought the older boys of the same family , ages 11,12,14 . We were taught to stand up for ourselves and not back away from a fight or a bully or it would only get worse , a lesson I passed onto my own children . We were chased by gangs of Mexican kids from the swap meat on several occasions and we once witnessed a shooting and robbery there , just after they had closed up . I have a lot of whacky memories from those days .
      I think California should become Three states . Northern , Eastern and Central Southern .

  27. avatar Tom says:

    And if he wins the lawsuit, the money doesn’t come from the LAPD budget. . Out comes from the tax payers.. along with the legal defense bill. .

  28. avatar Pete says:

    Those poor guns. Pleasant, useful, educational objects gone from the world. Further proof the cause can only be hurt by discussing compromise and so called common sense laws on guns. Any new law would lead to more jackboots with more excuses to do stuff like this.

  29. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    I hope he prevails. He should also demand compensation for legal fees and punitive damages as well. As far as the taxpayers of LA county (not CA as a whole) having to pay for it, well when you vote for the kind of filth that runs that town, this is what you get. Does anyone here believe that the LAPD operates without the full knowledge, cooperation, and direction of the politicians? Who put the politicians there in power?

  30. avatar Bob says:

    This is harassment. They knew what they were doing was unethical, they knew that their bullshit charges would be dropped, but they also knew how the media would play it and how much pain would be inflicted upon this “evil” gun owner.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      You think cops care?

      1. avatar Jjimmyjonga says:

        The article states he was a cop too…was he LAPD as well?

        1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          I don’t know what agency he worked for, or how many different positions he held. At one time he was a LEO helicopter pilot. Don’t know what else, if anything, he did in law enforcement. Sheriff’s Deputy, CHiP… There’s more to his story, though. He was used as fodder in a political race where his attorney was running against someone who had the support of the unions, so he and his attorney (the candidate) were publicly flogged as criminals and criminal lovers, joined at the hip in political smear ads.

          He was against the union-favored candidate and was suing them and pointing out what thugs and liars they were. So yeah, the police union was against him.

          Destroy his stuff. Or at least say it was all destroyed.

        2. avatar GunGeek says:

          suit says former Glendale PD

  31. avatar GunGeek says:

    Wondering if Wayne Wright reported the collection as stolen now that it has been allegedly destroyed. ATF might take a dim view if some were discovered in market or recovered from crime scene.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Yeah, if it were me, and the LAPD couldn’t provide verifiable proof of destruction (and a piece of paper saying “we smashed these guns” isn’t good enough), I’d take that list of guns directly to the ATF and have it entered into whatever “stolen gun” databases they have. After all, the guns were stolen.

  32. avatar Roymond says:

    He should get $100 million for pain and suffering, for all the years he couldn’t show his collection to friends, couldn’t pass the hours caring for them, etc.

    And in a just country, he’d get to use one on each of the officials involved in playing this corrupt game.

  33. avatar Hannibal says:

    Good.

    I don’t like the use of a RICO charge (like the PATRIOT Act, it was a law that gave lots of authority to fight a very specific type of crime\criminal but since then has been expanded to everything under the sun) but otherwise I wish him luck.

    Shouldn’t the LAPD have to prove ownership before they destroy something?!?

  34. avatar JimmyDelta says:

    This happens less frequently in countries where corrupt local bureaucrats are found tied to trees or in ditches.

    1. avatar Stoopid says:

      Some of that is coming.

      1. avatar tom w a glock says:

        Upside down from a lamp post would be more apropo.

    2. avatar BDub says:

      Woodchippers are all the rage these days. 😉

      1. avatar More Dead Soldiers :) says:

        I see what you did there. 😉

  35. avatar BDub says:

    Deprivation of property is always a tyranny’s hole card.

  36. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Sounds like he’s gotten hosed pretty badly by the People’s Republic out there. That’s to be expected there.

    There’s nothing stupid about responsible firearms ownership. However, California is a stupid place full of stupid people. Two out of three is bad enough. Get out while you can.

  37. avatar Aaron says:

    “uh, we can’t give ’em back, because uh, oh I know, we destroyed them! Yeah, that’s the ticket, we, uh, destroyed them!”

    yeah, right.

  38. avatar B Woodman says:

    I’m sure that the names of the LAPD Gun Unit, if not already known, can be readily and easily found out, from the lowliest trooper to the highest captain. Then publish names with all pertinent PII (phone numbers, addresses). Then, let the harassment begin, by one and all. The GU has harassed you long enough. Time to return the favor. Midnight phone calls and loud knocks on doors. Break home and auto windows, puncture car tires, etc. You get the general idea.

    Now all you remaining freedom loving Kalifornistanians, get busy.

  39. avatar John Fritz - HMFIC says:

    This story could be a John Grisham novel.

    I went through that list. It broke my heart. It starts on page 28 of the PDF in case you don’t want to bother with the preceding lawyer stuff.

    1. avatar PerplexedPistolero says:

      I would read that one, just to see the bad actors get their comeuppance.

      Reading through that listing, my jaw kept inching closer and closer to my keyboard. So many familiar models that I want to acquire….what a farce.

  40. avatar Dick Robie says:

    One of the major reasons I moved out of California in particular Los Angeles–this is a disgrace

  41. avatar mike oregon says:

    This article if deeply disturbing, I and probably others believed that ultimately L.E.O.s and military personnel are Americans, and that they wouldn’t shred the Constitution. But in this case bureaucrats in uniform did help destroy someone’s civil rights, not only that but they turn on one of their own.

  42. avatar C. Joseph says:

    Police are getting out of hand everywhere. Albuquerque PD, which modeled itself after LAPD, has a long and infamous history of violations of rights. We’ve paid out $24 MILLION just this year in just THREE (3) cases of police misuse of deadly force. In January 2015, the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Narcotics Unit shot his own UNARMED man four (4) times at point blank range, in the bright light of day, nearly killing him. Two officers, Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy are going to be standing trial for murder. And this little goody, which is video footage of the Albuquerque PD buzzing our neighborhood, ESPECIALLY MY HOME and LAND, at about 100 feet of altitude in their 1981 Cessna 182R Skylane, was caught by my cctv security cam video on the day it happened. They buzzed my home, and others close to my home, at this low altitude a total of 13 times. They’ve not said WHY since I emailed them 17 August 2015. Complaints have been filed with the FAA & NTSB. Televised and print media have also been notified. I’m glad this gentleman is not giving up and continuing to fight them. The media here, though, are just as gullible as it is out in California.
    These are just two (2) of the 13 passes/’buzzes’.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAxV49Mytc0&feature=youtu.be

    1. avatar Neil Wampler says:

      Destroyed ? HAH ! those guns are now stored away in the homes of LAPD cops.

    2. avatar Cyberat says:

      Nothing is gullible or stupid at that level, fake news government media is a tool of brainwash & propaganda.

  43. avatar Alan says:

    Despite having seen only one side of this story, the entire thing reads like an ongoing episode of California BS, Entrapment seems likely, though it might be hard to prove.

  44. avatar GunGeek says:

    Current NYC Police Commissioner and former LAPD William (Bill) Bratton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bratton (see page 2 line 18 giving defendants) in suit http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Complaint.pdf

    None of the NY papers (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, NY Post NY Daily News) appear to be aware that their chief cop is being sued under the RICO statute for property destruction and for violations of the 4th, 5th & 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

    It would indeed be a tragic stain on his sterling reputation if the NY press were made aware of the litigation.

    1. avatar Alan says:

      The newspapers mentioned likely know what is going on, at least re actions at law, otherwise known as law suits.Thar being said, what they know about, and what they are willing to write about or report are different things.

  45. avatar rev_dave says:

    Well it is after all the LAPD, and they are often thought of by many as the most corrupt PD in the nation. I wish the victim success in his efforts to prosecute. And BTW, he should look for PROOF of destruction with a complete inventory. Given the LAPD’s reputation, many of his guns may have ‘walked out’ of the evidence room and be sitting in some cop’s closet. Or may have been walked to some Mexican drug gang.

  46. avatar Brian says:

    He should be glad he is not in Hawaii. They would have sent a “tactical team” to gun him down because he “Knew how to use a gun” (That was the justification used to send a bunch of closet homos with ARs to lock me up for taking a picture of my neighbor making death threats after coming on my mom’s property.) Note – never take pictures of an ex police employee making death threats to an elderly woman.

    1. avatar GunGeek says:

      Sounds like you have a wonderful case for an attorney. Helps if you find one that’s experienced in successfully litigating against police. Also helps if you’re clever about damages: attorney fees and something that city or county would find acceptable. Mandatory PD training, etc. In many instances, city/county doesn’t want potential liability of bad cops. They’re OK with throwing PD or specific officers under the bus if not too costly.

      1. avatar Alan says:

        Throwing bad cops “under the bus” was mentioned by one commentator. Sounds like a good idea, except that re throwing people under the bus. have a care. Obviously, while the individual offending officers deserve punishment,I submit that it is the people who set policy who should be “thrown under the bus”, and that said bus needs to go back and forth over them several times.

        As is the case with the Civil Asset Forfeiture scam, aka Theft Under Color of Law, jumping up and down of the first thing in sight might cause a feeling of satisfaction,however it won’t come close to solving the problem, the problem lying at law making and policy setting levels, which are quite far removed from the immediately offending party or parties, annoying as they e, for they are small potatoes.

        1. avatar GunGeek says:

          Absolutely agree. Sometimes practical considerations dictate that one settle for half loaf v. none.

          Fortunately in this property seizure case former LAPD Chief / current NYC Police Commissioner Bratton and others who guided the seizure policy are named as defendants plus City of LA, and 50 unnamed Does.

          Not sure if Bratton’s contract obligates LA to defend him. Hope not.

  47. avatar Alan says:

    GunGeek says:
    August 21, 2015 at 16:53

    Absolutely agree. Sometimes practical considerations dictate that one settle for half loaf v. none.

    Make sure that,if half a loaf is all you get, that you get the “right” half, that being the policy setting half.

  48. avatar Alan says:

    Re the possibility of the victim, that being the citizen obtaining compensation for his loss, I submit that in the end, it all boils down to the question of who has greater staying power, which is to ask who will outlast whom.

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