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California’s Gun Repo Men Have a Nerve-Racking Job

BloombergYahoo News- by Michael B. Marois and James Nash | BusinessWeek

On the evening of March 5, nine agents from the California Department of Justice, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying Glock pistols, assembled outside a ranch-style house in a Los Angeles suburb. They were preparing to confiscate weapons from a gun owner who’d recently lost the right to possess firearms after spending two days in a psychiatric hospital. They knocked on the door and asked to come in. These touchy encounters sometimes end in anger and, occasionally, handcuffs. This time, the agents came out peacefully with three guns. Then it was on to the next stop on the list for that night.  

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?” California Attorney General Kamala Harris wrote to Vice President Biden after the shootings in Newtown, Conn. She recommended that Biden, heading a White House review of gun policy, look to California as a model.

Nationwide, as many as 200,000 people have lost their gun rights but keep their weapons, says Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California at Davis. 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.

California’s been going after guns since 2007. Last year agents seized about 2,000 weapons, 117,000 rounds of ammunition, and 11,000 high-capacity magazines, according to state data. The list of those no longer eligible to keep weapons is compiled by matching files on almost 1 million gun owners with databases of new criminal records and involuntary mental health commitments. About 15 to 20 names are added each day, the attorney general’s office says.

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. “We’re not contacting anybody who can legally own a gun,” says Marsh, who never knows what to expect when he approaches someone’s door. “I got called the antichrist the other day. Every conspiracy theory you’ve heard of, take that times 10.”

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. “We think that crime control instead of gun control is absolutely the way to go,” says Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. His only complaint is how the law is funded. On March 7, California’s senate voted to expand the seizure program using $24 million from fees that gun dealers charge buyers for background checks. “This program has a benefit to the entire public,” Paredes says, “and therefore the entire public should be paying.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-s-gun-repo-men-have-a-nerve-racking-job-155325406.html

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10 Responses to California’s Gun Repo Men Have a Nerve-Racking Job

  1. CJ says:

    Nobody made them take the job. Cry me a river.

  2. Dave says:

    Ding dong, who’s there? “The police, we’re here to take your guns”
    Sorry, I sold those 9 years ago, bye bye…

    • NC says:

      That’s ok, we’ll just come in anyways and see for ourselves and if you don’t let us in, we’ll bring the whole precinct down on your house and arrest you for “Interference with a public servant”. Oh yea and the 4th Amendment, what’s that?

      Sorry Dave, but unfortunately, these days, that excuse won’t work.

  3. NC says:

    I’m telling ya, these neighborhoods need to come together as a group in order to protect the other when the police come. So when they come for the guns or to beat on innocent people and the whole precinct shows up (like that video of those cops in Nebraska), then the whole neighborhood will be ready to come out, surround them, line them up for police brutality and take matters into their own hands like a modern day Paul Revere, “The Police are coming! The Police are coming!”. And if they see any spider drones flying in the sky, that’s what a rooftop sniper is for.

    • Smilardog says:

      That is coming, NC. I have a bunch of neighbors already talking! A lot of them young and wide awake. I don’t want to say much more.

  4. Brent says:

    Cough without covering mouth in California and person loses gun possession rights. Sell millions of dollars of cocaine, heroin and meth…Obama and Holder will have agents give you thousands of top shelf weapons to kill with???

    What’s interesting always is to encounter the “legal” gun owners with holier than thou attitude looking down their nose at the poor bastard neighbor whose wife just called the cops.

  5. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “California is the only state that takes legally obtained weapons away from citizens who are no longer supposed to have 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.”

    “California’s been going after guns since 2007. Last year agents seized about 2,000 weapons, 117,000 rounds of ammunition, and 11,000 high-capacity magazines, according to state data.”

    “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.”

    This state sucks.

    Thanks, Smilardog.

    You really cheered me up. :-(

    • Smilardog says:

      I am sorry, Brother!!! I grew up there and it breaks my heart too. It’s to bad that you are tied to a job there. It also breaks my heart about what Colorado is doing because we have been building our dream mountain retreat there and are planning to move there in a couple years, or WTSHTF. After reading this article I kind of think the war might start there in Cali with the cops going door to door, maybe that is a good thing, to get this party started

      • # 1 NWO Hatr says:

        I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but there’s a WHOLE lot of crazy (certifiable) people in this state, with a more than generous portion of them in here in metropolis.

        It would only be a good thing if these lunatics figure out who they need to be shooting at in time, once the SHTF.

        • Smilardog says:

          That is our job to point our finger and say that’s who you want. I went to a funeral tonight and dinner afterward at a house where everyone could talk. all of the women went to one side of the house and the men the other. Well, there was about 20 of us men from all over the America. Naturally, I started the conversation off in the proper direction. Seeings how we were all family in one way or another I first wanted to know. Does everyone here pay attentions to current event? does everyone agree that the Shit is about to hit the fan? so on, and so on. All agreed. To my dis-belief everyone is wide awake and getting ready for collapse and a We The People Restoration War. Four of them are active duty military and they said everyone they work with is awake and talking among themselves about what’s going on, and they pretty much said that the military is on the side of the people, and their Oaths to the Constitution. Couldn’t get much more than that out of them. But, they are pissed and the Miss Barry regime is the enemy to them. Also, a few other of the guys work as civillians for DOD they were out of ignorance thinking they were on the gov side. after I explained a few things they seen the light. They were like… Oh, yeah, right, duh! So, We The People have insiders to make the wheels of the machine grind to a halt, even those evil machines that fly. I wish I could be more specific

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