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California's Gun Repo Men Have a Nerve-Racking Job
California is the only state that takes legally obtained weapons away from citizens who are no longer supposed to have them. There are almost 20,000 such gun owners, state records show, including convicted felons, people under domestic violence restraining orders, or those deemed mentally unstable. “What do we do about the guns that are already in the hands of persons who, by law, are considered too dangerous to possess them?”
Many states lack the ability to confiscate firearms because they don’t track purchases as closely as California, which requires most sales to go through a licensed dealer and be reported. “Very, very few states have an archive of firearm owners like we have,” says Wintemute, who helped set up the program.
Showing up at people’s homes and demanding their guns is about as fun as it sounds. A felony conviction or restraining order is flagged as a “disqualifying event” in California’s database, but it isn’t sufficient evidence to obtain a search warrant, says John Marsh, a supervising agent who coordinates the seizures. So the agents—there are 33 statewide—often must talk their way into a residence to look for weapons.
During the March 5 outing, the agents visited a home in Fontana, in San Bernardino County. They were looking for a gun owner with a criminal record for running a prostitution business, according to the attorney general’s office. Marsh says that while the woman appeared to be home, she didn’t come to the door. Without a warrant, the team left empty-handed.
They had better luck at the ranch house in nearby Upland, where they seized the three guns from the home of a woman who’d been hospitalized for mental illness. One gun was registered to her, two to her husband. “The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm,” regardless of who the registered owner is, says Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.
Although violating gun ownership laws is a felony, the agents don’t usually arrest people whose weapons they confiscate unless they’re convicted felons, who are prohibited from buying, receiving, owning, or possessing a firearm, Gregory says. The program has met little resistance from gun groups, which have pressed state and federal lawmakers to enforce existing gun control laws instead of writing new ones.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
I find it interesting that they are apparently performing this task without a warrant.
It should be easy enough to get one with a record of the conviction and the record of ownership so why are they going about it all shady like?
Originally posted by Mamatus
The best guns are those that are not tied to ones name or address. Just like in New Orleans during Katrina LEO's will come for legal gun owners guns. Many owners had their only means of defense taken. So IMHO the only people that will be able to defend themselves are those that do not own a "legal" weapon.
Originally posted by wills120
I'm in Kalifornia, and a gun owner. The important thing is to just not register your guns when you move here....it's a misdemeanor and I'm sure they'd take it from you but it's a hell of a lot better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.