Kamala Harris confiscated guns
Then-Attorney General Kamala Harris looks over some of the guns seized from individuals legally barred from possessing them following a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, June 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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Yesterday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris [above] announced that a six-week statewide sweep by 99 luftballons—sorry, Department of Justice agents yielded 1,209 firearms and 155,731 rounds of ammunition. According to the Golden State’s top cop, all of the guns were confiscated from people who shouldn’t own guns, including citizens deemed mentally unstable and people with active restraining orders. And what of criminals, you ask?

Well, Harris mentions them in her prepared statement . . .

Seizing guns from felons, gang members and other prohibited persons is the kind of smart, proactive law enforcement that makes a difference in the everyday lives of Californians. We are all safer thanks to the sworn officers who carried out this sweep and I am committed to strengthening this program.

And how . . .

To clear the APPS [Armed & Prohibited Persons System, Click here for the AG’s fact sheet] backlog of approximately 34,000 handguns, Attorney General Harris is the sponsor of Senate Bill 819, which would revise the penal code to expand the use of existing regulatory fees collected by gun dealers to allow the state Department of Justice to use fee revenue to pay for the APPS program.

The bill would also allow the DOJ to seek to hire new agents, and offer training to local law enforcement agencies in support of the APPS program.

I know this is a digression, but where did the CA AG get that “34k outstanding illegally held guns” stat? foxnews.com

The [APPS] system was created 10 years ago to cross-reference five databases to find people who legally bought guns and registered assault weapons but are now barred from owning the weapons.

It has found nearly 18,000 people who shouldn’t have weapons. However, Harris said local law enforcement and state agents don’t have the time or personnel to track down their addresses and conduct the high-security operations needed to safely seize the guns from people who are presumed to be dangerous. Many of them own more than one weapon.

If we’re doing the cost – benefit analysis thing, wouldn’t these DOJ dudes be better off rousting convicted felons? Where’s the proof that mentally ill people and citizens under restraining orders are more dangerous than, I dunno, gang bangers? Speaking of which . . . Felons’ firearms in this sweep? None.

Harris said 90 percent of the people who had guns seized were barred from owning weapons because of mental illness and 10 percent because of restraining orders or convictions usually related to domestic violence.

Never mind, let’s do it! Send in the pre-cogs! And join us on the road to hell paved with good intentions. Or am I too cynical when I think that any task force with lots of money that has nothing to do will do . . . something. Hi-cap mag? Safely stored weapon? Prohibited “assault rifle” part? Knock knock.

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  1. So, the guns were confiscated from people who were prohibited by law from having them. And were these illegal gun possessers arrested? Because if not it seems like they’ll just go right back out there and get another gun (illegally, of course.) And this is in CA where all legal firearms transfers have to be made through a FFL.

  2. To me, it reads like these were people who were originally allowed to purchase guns and then over the years became ineligible to own guns by committing a crime, getting a restraining order or taking crazy pills. I could be wrong though.

    • You’re not wrong. This is about finding people who were eligible at the time of purchase then subsequently became ineligible but didn’t get rid of the gun(s).

      “Or am I too cynical when I think that any task force with lots of money that has nothing to do will do . . . something.”

      That’s not cynical, it’s just true. No group of government employees is going to say “the problem we’re supposed to address has largely been solved, you can go ahead and slash our budget now”. Never happen.

  3. “Attorney General Harris is the sponsor of Senate Bill 819, which would revise the penal code to expand the use of existing regulatory fees collected by gun dealers to allow the state Department of Justice to use fee revenue to pay for the APPS program.”

    SB819’s purpose is to turn the collection of dros fees into a slush fund to both justify raising fees (at any time) AND to pay for augmenting the DOJs budget whenever it wants. Fees collected are not supposed to exceed the cost of said check (by law). Currently more money is collected then the actual costs. Hence, why the proposed new law. The DOJ doesn’t want to lower the cost of dros ($25) and they want the ability to raise fees to whatever level if their budget continues to be cut.

  4. This is about money.

    So many people in California are buying guns that the program (DROS) for collecting and administering it is running a significant surplus. And was tapped for other programs in violation of the law.

    So they are running a dog and pony show to allow the funds to be transferred legally, i.e. SB819.

    A bigger question: A 10 year old program needs funds now for something they have been doing all along?

  5. Jerry Brown our current Governor and former AG, forgot or chose not to do this while serving as AG. When they start coming after the legal weapons, there will be blood!

  6. They’re taking guns away from citizens deemed mentally unstable and people with active restraining orders? OMG, they’re disarming half the cops from Los Angeles to San Berdoo!

  7. Robert F., I’d like to know how many guns were taken from mentally unstable people versus how many guns were taken from people with restraining orders (read “guys accused of spousal abuse in the course of a divorce”), which is pretty much an automatic restraining order.

    I’d also like to know how many of the so-called “mentally unstable” also fall under the “accused of spousal abuse” category.

    In short, I suspect the majority of the guns collected were from people who were accused but not convicted.

    • It is troubling when they start saying mentally unstable. At what point do they look at a vet treated for PTSD? I take Lexapro daily to reduce the nightmares and to avoid anxiety attacks. Does this put me in the loony crosshairs?

      • The standard applied by most states (including CA) is that you have to have been adjudicated as having mental health issues. That means you would have had to have a judge order you into mental health concealing or a psychiatrist to have had you legally committed.

  8. Hold on just a minute here…

    For decades, we pro-2A people have been telling the government that the solution to firearm problems has been to “Go out and enforce the laws already on the books!” instead of making more asinine restrictions.

    So in this case, the government goes out and… enforces laws already on the books. It’s been well established that the law says those with active restraining orders or folks with mental health issues should not possess firearms. So California does the obvious thing which is to glue the database of firearms owners to the databases of restraining orders and those with adjudicated (i.e. as determined by a judge) mental health issues. Once they glue these databases together, they go knock on doors of people who are not legally in possession of firearms.

    They did what the NRA has been telling the government to do for decades, CA is enforcing laws that are already on the books.

    Can we argue that removing firearms from felons would be better? Absolutely! The issue with that is that felons likely do not possess a firearm through legal means, so WTF is CA supposed to do? Retrain truffle pigs to sniff out felons with firearms?

    Our collective response to the Giffords shooting has been that the local law enforcement apparatus in Arizona didn’t enforce the law to insure Laughner (someone with mental problems) was barred from legally owning a firearm. So California goes out to insure those who can’t’ legally own firearms don’t have them… and we get our panties in a bunch?

    • Spoken like a mindless indoctrinated progressive liberal!

      Did you realize that a person can get a restraining order against ANYONE at ANY Time with zero proof that said person did anything illegal or intent to do harm or abuse of any kind? Fact.

      A judge/court will almost ALWAYS issue a restraining order, even if the person filling out said restraining order has a past record of making other false claims…. once the restraining order is issued, the majority of which are issued under “emergency restraining orders”, that person has a very high chance of having his house & business raided by police/swat, have all their firearms ceased and 9 times out of 10 arrested or “detained” until deemed not dangerous. All this happens in front of neighbors/fellow employees and there is little to no recourse of action available to the accused which could have stopped it… hey but when you get out of jail or mental hospital after being forced to under go a 72 hour mental observation, all your neighbors or work mates will believe you did nothing wrong because that’s what people always do!

      With nothing more than a simply statement of “fear”, an American citizen can/will lose his Constitutionally protected 2n amendment RIGHTS (all his firearms), as well as his freedom because many times the accused is forced at gun point and taken to a mental hospital to undergo a court ordered 72 hour mental observation or is placed in jail until a dangerous hearing can takes place.

      But you go right ahead an act like the zombie like mindless progressive liberals and assume that anyone who has a restraining order issued against them should not have firearms and that is somehow okay to instantly have most, if not all, their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS STRIPED AWAY WITHOUT their ability to fight from it happening in the first place!

      Now do everyone a favor and research the difference between RIGHTS vs PRIVILEGES and than research how tens of thousands of innocent law abiding people have had their lives destroyed by restraining orders, which are used by child minded people as weapons to hurt others for little more than getting “even” or “teaching a lesson”…

      Do some damn research before you make another ill-informed comment, it will help stop you from making more of an @ss out of yourself next time. People like you GAKoenig are a disgrace.

  9. Not a great use of my tax dollars, heaven forbid they fix the roads, rebuild the levees in sacramento, or improve education. But I can appreciate that this would reduce the possibilty of another Jared Loughner incident. Not that it matters, you can’t stop crazy.

  10. Did anyone else notice that they apparently picked up a Spencer(maybe Sharps) Carbine? Seriously? A crime is going to be committed with a weapon that requires special ammunition and knowledge to operate? Damn…

  11. There is so much wrong with this:
    Non-violent citizens getting the dynamic entry treatment.
    This is what happens when you register your private property with the state.
    Were these people compensated for the financial loss?
    Will the weapons and ammo be sold or destroyed?

  12. 1) Those who had their guns ripped off by the Killer Robots are probably lucky they didn’t get the Jose Guerena treatment from the Kalifornia Einsatzgruppen.

    2) Cujo:
    Q: “I take Lexapro daily to reduce the nightmares and to avoid anxiety attacks. Does this put me in the loony crosshairs?”
    A: If it doesn’t now, just wait. The Pre-crime Einsatz Amt is working on that loophole.

    3) Interesting factoid: various antidepressants (Tricyclic antidepressants, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [includes Lexapro], Venlafaxine, Bupropion, Duloxetine, et al) are used in the treatment of chronic pain. “Studies indicate that patients with pain have a substantially increased risk for depression, anywhere from 2 to 5 times that of the general population.” (Pain, Pain, Go Away: Antidepressants and Pain Management by Randy A. Sansone, MD, and Lori A. Sansone, MD). Common side effects can include worsening depression, suicidal thoughts and behavor, sexual malfunction, and others. Call me paranoid (no wait, don’t. That could be an invitation to a door-stuffing party at my house) but it seems like treatment for chronic pain, or failure to treat it, could make one a prohibited person due to mental illness.

    4) This quote from Lyndon Johnson, an expert in poitical chicanery “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.”

    5) Don’t worry – with Urkel in the White House the Republic is in good hands.

    • They could double strike me-I have chronic migraines from an unrepairable fracture in my eyesocket. An unknown a-hole hit my truck at 80mph and split the scene. Me thinks that this veteran is better left alone. I have skills, a sharp wit and a sharper attorney. The more I know the government the more I prefer anarchy…

  13. The restraining order is virtually automatic in Ca. Many, if not most most restraining orders in CA are granted ex parte without the defendant’s -er- respondent’s knowledge. Such injustices are a violation of due process. However, Americans have no rights unless they can pay for them in the form of legal fees and competent representation. That renders the seizure of many of these firearms unconstitutional. Too bad for you, if you don’t have the money to pay for your rights. The gradual encroachment on the rights of Americans is just a repeat of the tactics used by despots in history. When all the guns are taken from the people, the hot tyrrany goes into high gear. Vote Ron Paul if you like freedom.

  14. How many times do we hear the anti-gunners say that registration does not lead to confiscation? When they came for me, there was nobody left to speak up!

  15. Interesting, it’s not enough for a judge to authorize a search warrant. So why are they even attempting this stupid game? It’s just the initial setup for a complete confiscation! If they show up at your door, tell them “not tonight, boys”, you are not welcome to come in for anything!

  16. This seems like a theft of public funds from their designated use; you wonder why?

    If you go after gang bangers or drug dealers, they might shoot back; these victims do not.
    I remember browsing the CA Vehicle Code 10-15 years ago when my son was studying for his drivers license; seemed like about 200 code sections that banned kids from owning firearms for some years; non of which had to do with motor safety.
    Hopefully this will be Ms. Harris last term. She is paid to prosecute crimes, not penny ante stuff.
    I had a friend 10 years ago who was forced to park his firearms with a friend (luck he was allowed to instead of giving the police). Handicapped his work with boy scouts and others as a firearms instructor; this happened because 12 years after his divorce, his ex complained that he owned guns; Far as I know, his two boys were much happier with him than her. He finally moved out of state; Not a bad idea.


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