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I’m a Second Amendment absolutist. If someone has served their time for a criminal offense, if they’ve finished their probationary period, they should have their gun rights restored. Period. Also, if someone is too mentally unstable to own a firearm, if they’re too dangerous to leave on their own in society, they should be committed to a mental institution. Upon their release, having received a clean bill of health from their caregivers, they should have their gun rights restored. So when I heard that California had redoubled its efforts to disarm people on the prohibited list, I was none too happy. California Democrats (of course) and Republicans (yes Republicans) disagree . . .

State Senate Republicans on Tuesday asked for an oversight hearing to look into the slow progress being made by Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris in reducing a backlog of gun owners who are not allowed to possess firearms because of crimes or mental illness.

The Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $24 million in mid-2013 to reduce the backlog of people on the Armed and Prohibited Persons System. The system began 2014 with 21,000 people and reduced the backlog during the year by about 17%, according to a new report by the Department of Justice.

Republican Senators voiced concern that there are still 17,479 prohibited individuals with more than 36,000 firearms despite the state Department of Justice having spent 40% of the funds appropriated to eliminate the entire backlog.

According to, the Republicans are using this issue to try to wound Ms. Harris as she begins her run for the Senate. At the same time, they’re telling (someone) that they’re the party of fiscal responsibility.

Meanwhile, where’s the well-funded oversight on the Armed and Prohibited Persons System? Last I heard they were disarming Californians convicted of ancient, minor drug offenses. Amongst others, of course. But still . . .

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  1. Only in California could Republicans try to outmaneuver a Democrat who’s one of the most antigun politicians ever by suggesting that she’s not being aggressive enough on guns.

  2. Robert,
    Thank you for expressing true Second Amendment support so clearly. Anything less is partial support of the 2A. If ANYBODY is safe enough to be out in public, they should have all rights granted to them by the Constitution. The ones that slip through the cracks… Darwin will sort them out.

    • Dale Smith,

      Remember that our United States Constitution does NOT grant rights. Our rights are pre-existing and unalienable. The Constitution merely states some of our rights and reinforces the fact that government must keep their hands off of our rights.

    • I think this “absolutist” mindset is a bit flawed… I don’t think a people with certain levels of mental defects (Down syndrome, autism, etc…) should have guns, but I don’t think we should take their freedom to live in society away. You (and the author) believe that if you cannot exorcise gun rights safely, then you should be forced into a mental institution? That’s bogus. I’ve dealt with a few down syndrome people and they were beautiful people, but by no means would I give them a gun…. And no, down syndrome is not treatable, so you would be locking them up forever.

      • No, it is you who is proposing locking them up forever. Anyway, there are legal manners of dealing with that situation, guardianship and use of mental age over physical, for instance. Either you are unaware or purposely avoided mentioning that.

        The absolutist position is correct. When the BoR was demanded, it was constructed carefully. Take notice that caveats and exceptions to tbe absolute nature of the enumerated rights are already included. Adding further dilutions is not ti be taken lightly.

      • People in the legitimate, lawful custody of another don’t enjoy the full exercise of rights. Minors, persons under arrest, prisoners, those of severe mental deficiency, patients under serious medical care (during surgery, etc), and others all have legitimate custodians. If the individuals that you describe are of enough diminished capacity then they ought to have a guardian/custodian through which they might exercise a limited set of rights.

  3. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the California government seems intent on providing free bus service.

  4. Disarming people for minor drug offenses? How so? They would have to be felony convictions.

    That aside, you are telling only half the story. The money allocated to this disarmament effort did NOT come from the general fund. Instead, it came from the fees generated through the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) fees charged when acquiring firearms, which now stand at $25. The fund was only supposed to cover the cost of running California’s background check system, but in fact generated a surplus in the millions. When someone sued to have the excess refunded, the Legislature allocated those excess funds to this disarmament project. So although this project is supposed to “protect” the public at large, it is being funded entirely by gun owners.

    • To my understanding, up until last year simple possession (i.e. not intent to sell) was still a felony in CA.

    • I believe these days it includes +any+ offense for which a person +could+ serve 1 year or more in prison, notwithstanding felony vs misdemeanor or the sentence they actually recieved.

    • Cal Guns Shooting Eports Foundation hird Michelle and Associates to challenge AG Harriss on this:

      The money for fixing the problem of 40% of records in CA Database should come from General Funds, not the DROS fee. Its just another money grab by Sacramento.

      Also, CA is apparently unable to manage its IT lrojects, for in addition to using parts of the DROS for inapproprate expenses, its also asking for another extension of yime to reprogram the data base. The judge was unsympathetic, to say the least.

  5. Way off here. I don’t want felons or mental cases having guns, sorry. Both felons and mentally ill people have a certain amount or repetition in their behaviors, hence the three strikes law for the former class. Before everyone jumps on me for being a commie or whatever, let me give the example… not all speech is protected, right? I can say I hate the government, but I can’t say I want to blow the capitol building up… well I can, but there are consequences. Mentally ill people can’t become cops (usually), or adopt kids… right? Good idea. So I’m not as out raged about ex gang bangers not being able to buy more Hi-Points as I am about say… 10 round mags or no detachable mags, or a list of which pistols I can have but the local PD doesn’t have to worry about. In other words, bigger fish to fry in CA than the poor fluffy puppy eyed felons and mental cases.

    • There are more than two answers here. If you truly want felons to be rehabilitated and not re-offend upon release, you have reintegrate them into society. On a lot of levels, we do a piss-poor job of that. Even those with the best of intentions have few if any job opportunities, few housing options, and severely curtailed civil liberties. If the only open pathway to any kind of living is through crime, why are we so surprised that our recidivism rate is so high? Same goes for gun rights and voting rights. If you don’t provide some kind of pathway to get those rights back, the logical conclusion is that we as a society have no intention of reintegrating ex-felons. In which case, why let anyone out? I lie in between you and Robert; they don’t get them back at the end of probation, but do provide some sort of longer term pathway so that, once someone is clearly not going to re-offend, they can regain full rights.

    • You seem to have missed the part in the argument where it specifically talks about them NOT being released if they are still dangerous.

      The Three Strikes thing you mention, and recidivism in general, is a symptom of the revolving door Justice System and is not a characteristic of a true incarceration-rehabilitation-release cycle.

      You are taking the present system as working properly and using that as an attempt to discredit a system that represents the ideal of working properly. The current system is broken…for a LOT of reasons.

    • Why are you letting a person walk around who would use a gun to kill people? If you don’t trust them to live in society with guns, you have to either get rid of the guns(impossible) or keep them locked up until you feel they are ready to rejoin civil society.

      That is our real problem right there. We don’t actually rehabilitate them. We instead send them to a criminal training camp to make them into more violent criminals. THEN we release that criminal back into society, with reduced rights, and limited job prospects. Gee, wonder why he goes back to crime…

      • On top of which, a person who is walking around wishing to kill someone can obtain a gun faster than I can, even at midnight on Sunday. These laws do not, and never have prevented a felon from obtaining a gun, any more than laws kept that felon from smoking pot within hours of release from prison.

    • Vitsaus,

      In theory I could almost go along with you. In the real world, however, I cannot. Lots of people are wrongly convicted. Others made a one time mistake early in life. Still others have not actually committed any real crime at all (harmed someone) but merely broke rules that the State enacted via legislative fiat.

      For those reasons I support a person having their rights back after release — or at least after parole — especially for non-violent convicts.

    • As long as the government has the right to make the definition of “felony” and “mental illness,” it has the power to create vast swaths of unarmed peasants.

      Examples: selling horse meat is a felony in California, as was possession of .01 grams of heroin/meth/coke by a frat boy for personal use up until 2013 (that is practically residue by the way and I personally know DOJ lab techs that will not testify .01 is a “usable” amount) and the number one illness veterans suffer is the *mental* illness called PTSD.

      Do you want Vic the Veteran denied a rifle solely because he has PTSD?

      Look, it’d be great if Juan the Norte or Haldol-Is-For-Pussies Johnny would just follow the law and not buy guns off the street, but they don’t, so bans on felons and “mentally ill” possessing guns is absolutely meaningless…other than to f’ with people who you really shouldn’t care if they are armed.

    • You show the same lack of logic as well as the same level of delusion, denial and wishful thinking of a “commie”. ie liberal/regressive.

      Either way, not a good company to be a part of.

      Of what do I speak? The quaint belief that a law will stop a felon or a mad man from aquiring, carrying and misusing a gun. Similar to the belief that a GFZ will stop a mad man with a gun.

      So by denying all felons that have served their time and probation as forever to be denied the right to KABA’s; you mark the ones that do want to go straight as subhuman animals. Meanwhile, the unrepentant human predators will simply ignore your man made law and rape, pillage, plunder and murder, (even murder the disarmed law abiding felons)with or without an “illegal” gun, until they are stopped by a good guy with a gun. Whether by a citizen or by a citizen with a badge and a gun.

      So go ahead and “feel” safer by creating a sub-human class of people. Go ahead and “feel” better that a whole class of human beings can’t effectively defend themselves or their families from depredations by criminals because of actions that might have happened twenty, thirty or fourty years before while not having one iota of an effect in actually stopping a person from deciding to be a predator on other human beings.

      Yep. You might not believe yourself to be a liberal/regressive, but you definitely think like one.

      • Well then lets just let them buy guns from prison too. And the mental institutions. Why restrict it at all? Set up FFLs in those places so they can get their guns before even being let out. After all, serving your time shows you “won’t do it again” right?

        • Well Vitsaus, once you start getting petulant, you’ve acknowledged that your position really is indefensible.

          So you start throwing out outrageous examples to make up for this weakness in yor position

          It’s simple, prison is a place of punishment, where you do lose a certain number of rights. You “pay your dues”. This is also reminder to the law abiding of what happens when they violate the social contract. This is also why getting those rights back afterwrd as an incentive not break the law again.

          Did I say that a felon getting out will automatically be law abiding? Of course not. But those that will be law abiding will be rewarded with their rights being returned. For those felons that will continue being human predators? Well. no man made law will stop them except the Law of Motion of a well aimed fast moving object.

    • Being a cop or adopting a child are not rights. You are quite at ease with dismissing the rights of others, for your own perceived well-being. I always felt that if anyone should lose their rights, it should be those who so quickly rationalize away the rights of others.

    • And your answer is a law that only the law abiding will follow? Isn’t that right? The only people who would obey this law are those who while being under this laws effect have no intention of violating the law. If they have no intention of violating this minor law they likely have no intention of violating other more serious laws right? And what about those people you are so afraid of, those who would commit mirder robbery and assault. Would they obey this law when they wouldn’t obey those greater laws? If you could try to give me some idea of the utility of this law I would appreciate it. I can plainly see the pitfalls of this law but the upside? I don’t think it exists.

        • She has a prestigious and presumably high paying job at Stanford, and I believe she’s far too smart to re-enter the circus I Washington. My guess is she believes she can accomplish more where she is, without subjecting herself to more stress and less pay.

  6. Robert,
    I love and agree with those first couple opening sentences. The right to bear arms is a fundamental one (like religion, free speech, freedom of the press). Felons should be able to have firearms like they can have blogs, cell phones, and Bibles.

    I favor executing a lot more criminals, and also think banishment, and flogging sometimes make sense. If someone is considered safe enough to live in society, then they should be allowed to bear arms for defense of their own life, and those around them.

  7. Have to agree with Vitsaus on this. Our government has decided that mentally ill folks cannot be held in institutions. So, most of them are out among us and taking pills to keep them somewhat stable. Quite common for quite a few of them to think they don’t need their pills once they feel normal or to stop using them because of the side effects. At that point it is very possible for some of them to become very dangerous. I don’t want someone like that to have firearms at all. Similar situation with criminals. Our government has decided to plea bargain, let criminals out early to save tax money and so on. Just because they are out now does not mean that they should have their gun rights restored. Some of them, maybe. But surely not all of them. Too many of them re offend. In an ideal world I would agree with the author of this article but in our real world, no way.

    • Gatha58,

      You do realize that many — possibly even most — people on the left consider us quite literally crazy/insane for owning firearms, right? That being the case, the fact that we own a firearm is enough for them to declare us to be legally “mentally ill” and therefore legally incapable of owning firearms.

      • …but if you use the authors logic then you (and I for that matter), a gun owner, should be locked in a mental institution until you are judged sane since “Gun owners are crazy and unsafe.” The “Absolutist” position, an any side of the political spectrum, is not a very good one…

        • The opinions of the left do not invalidate the absolutist position. If it did, I and a few others could merely deem anything you opine or do to be akin to lunacy, and have you but in the asylum.

    • What you describe could be shortened to “dangerous people” Dangerous people should not be loose on the street. But, you can’t lock them up just because some expert “thinks” they are dangerous, they have to actually DO something. In the process of waiting for them to do something, an innocent may be hurt or killed, but we still cannot lock someone away until that person is proven GUILTY of something. Guess what?! Freedom is not free. Living itself involves risk, at least if you’re doing it right. Feel free to add sentence enhancements that will put someone away forever if he uses that firearm to commit a crime, killing someone after a previous felony conviction. That would be punishing him for DOING something.

  8. Let’s not forget the $24 Million was stolen from gun owners. That money was not supposed to be used as general funds but to be used only to pay for the cost of the DROS scheme and background checks. The money was a surplus of that program that was overcharging gun owners for the incurred administrative costs.

    • Matt, the California Legislature is famous for creatively moving money around. The lottery was absolutely, totally and completely to be used for schools. (Nope.) a $600 “smog impact fee” levied on anyone moving into the state was simply pumped into the General Fund. A $2-300 (sorry, can’t remember the exact amount) “fire protection fee” per structure was levied on property owners living in rural areas (aka more conservative) and allocated to CALFIRE, whose budget was immediately reduced by the exact same amount received. State elected officials were busted after their emails leaked out regarding a ballot initiative to charge new fees on car registrations to fund state parks, with, again, the same amount being taken from the state parks budget and returned to the general fund. School districts are forced to issue bonds to meet operating expenses because the state is delinquent in paying them.

      Also, the state stiffs small businesses by not paying its bills for months on end, forcing business owners to borrow money just to meet obligations (including, obscenely, state payroll taxes).

      When they treat taxpayers and businesses that shabbily, no wonder they are out confiscating guns.

      No, this is not a threat.

  9. Ok well let’s see. This is a Sacramento over site committee.
    The APPS program has been ineffective, and over budgeted, and improperly implemented. That is besides the whole 2A fight. What the conservatives are doing is making sure this hits the light of day. If it is found to be a waste. And of course this is worse than all the other waste in Sacramento, then there is a good chance it can be de-funded, tossed, thanks for playing but you lose!
    So the GOP is not trying to take your guns, they are trying to get the state over site to kill the program because it is a waste of money and resources.
    As far as Harris is concerned she can kill her own campaign all on her own. She has been admonished three times now by the 9th circuit for things like false testimony, falsifying evidence, etc.

    • +1 on explanation of State Repubs point here.

      Not that it will matter, nof does Ms Harris abuse of Executive Action, and her legal setbacks matter much to Democrats in CA, most of whom can’t understand much more than ‘where is my gummint handout?”
      Or care, at voting time, except to vote as told, in the carefully gerrymandered districts tgat mean little to no challengers can upset incumbents

      Sacramento has been controlled by Dem majority in both parts of legislature, for decades, by Dem Governor for 6 years, and supermajority for last two. There is no check and balance with the notoriously politicuzed 9th Circuit of Appeals which has 2/3 dem appointees of 27 judges.

      Ca is nit representative democracy, its a Potemkin Village, disguising blatant corrultiin, hypocrisy, and incompetence you get from one-party rule since Givernir Pat Browns day.

    • That is my understanding as well. There are some pro-gun CA Republicans, as well as “Democrat lite” statists.

  10. That’s funny. California Republican. Hey, that reminds me of some other oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or loyal democrat.

    • …Ronald Reagan? Last time I checked he was a… Republican.

      Would I call him a friend to gun rights? No. But he was from California and he was a Republican.

      • I think he knows that, I imagine his point is that California republicans are not like traditional republicans. Rather, seen strictly by their decisions in office they would typically be considered dems elsewhere in the country. You can split it either way you like though, Either Reagan was a republican and so republicans can be anti gun or he was not a republican because republicans DO support individual rights and he didn’t.

    • Ah,nold. That guy who passed obscene laws abusing his constituents who were car owners while he him self drove a fleet of Humvees, including one with a non smog legal corvette engine swap and no vin tags. A vehicle that would be confiscated and destroyed with no opportunity for defense or remuneration for the owner if said owner was someone other than the great gap toothed hypocrite.

  11. It’s a shame views like the authors are considered radical in today’s society. That just goes to show how radical everyone else is. Even among so called pro gun people these ideas are called radical. There are to many pro gun people who are anti gun now. “I’m pro gun but” is to common in America today

  12. So If i get this right and a person that is not suppose to own a firearm lives in a house with those that can own one they take the firearms anyway!!!!!!!

  13. My wife and I just decided we had enough with this state. 6 months from now we are moving out of the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia to SC. I can almost smell the free air! 🙂

  14. I think we are all missing the big picture, here, the really important one. So, CA instituted a system by which (at least in theory) government has a registry, a list of who owns which guns. I am not certain how long ago that was, but it wasn’t forever. And today they are spending the first $24 million to pay armed men to go out and confiscate the firearms of the first 21,000 people on their list, after which it will be more money and more people and more guns, all while screaming obnoxiously, “No one wants to take your guns!!!”

    We’ve said forever that the only reason for registration is as prelude to confiscation, and been told forever that we are just paranoid. Now, here is CA, got the registration and here comes the confiscation. Oh, but these are just “prohibited persons” whose doors are being caved in by armed agents sent to take their guns. Yeah, and you and I might be “prohibited persons” tomorrow due to a parking ticket combined with a rules change.


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