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California gun owners warily eye rifle, shotgun database requirement

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This is from The Sacramento Bee.

How long before Moonbeam Brown decides to use this

database to start confiscating guns?

Give the way Kalifornia has trampled on the residents of the

states Second Amendment rights it is possible. 

Neither Matt Dittmer nor the people he shoots with are happy about a new law that will preserve information about their gun purchases in a California state database. But he is resigned to it.

“I don’t like it, but I’m living in a state where I don’t have a choice,” Dittmer said as he stopped by Auburn Outdoor Sports on a recent afternoon to buy a sleek black AR rifle.

In the aftermath of a horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, California lawmakers advanced dozens of gun control measures in 2013. Despite that fervor for tougher firearms laws, the most stringent and far-reaching measures largely failed. The discards included a bill by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg D-Sacramento, that would have outlawed semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines.

Even as those bills met their demise, a previously passed gun control measure loomed. Assembly Bill 809, signed into law in 2011, imposes on rifles and shotguns the same record-keeping requirements that currently apply to handguns.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2014, the California Department of Justice will retain information on long-gun purchases, data it had formerly been compelled to destroy within five days. Dealers will need to register purchases with the state.

Dittmer said it wouldn’t influence the types of firearms he chooses to purchase, despite his view that the measure is symptomatic of California’s increasingly constricting gun restraints.

“It won’t affect me personally,” Dittmer said, “because I do abide by all the laws.”

While Dittmer said his shooting range compatriots are anticipating the law, it was the first that Nancy Stewart, who had stopped in to pick up a pair of .22-caliber rifles to expand the family collection, had heard of it. Stewart said the measure wouldn’t deter her from buying a gun. But it did give her pause.

“You wonder, what does this information mean?” said Stewart, a 55-year-old paralegal who lives in Grass Valley. “My ultimate concern is if someone knocks on my door and says you’ve got three guns, we need two of them.”

Other reactions among gun advocates range from bewildered to disturbed.

“This is the one that sends the tremor, that reaches every owner in the state,” said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “It is the one that scares us the most.”

Supporters of the legislation said it closes a dangerous gap in California’s gun laws, creating uniformity in firearms regulations by treating pistols and rifles the same.

“One of the things the Legislature found persuasive is that long guns play a large role in our state’s epidemic of gun violence,” said Juliet Leftwich, legal director for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, one of AB 809’s sponsors.

Dozens of police chiefs backed the bill as an addition to their law enforcement arsenal. They said it will bolster efforts to trace guns recovered at crime scenes and to seize guns from people legally barred from owning them because of past crimes or mental illness. Officials will have more comprehensive gun purchase data to compare against California’s Armed and Prohibited Persons list, a catalog of people banned from owning guns that the Legislature fortified with an extra $24 million this year.

It will also help protect officers conducting criminal investigations by informing them of the type of firepower they might encounter, said Fairfield police Chief Walt Tibbet.

“Currently the one area we are very vulnerable in is trying to understand the availability of long guns, and more and more we’re seeing suspects with either rifles or sawed-off rifles,” Tibbet said.

“It’s not our intent to take guns away from law-abiding citizens,” he added. “I’m trying to keep my officers from being shot.”

Gun owners critical of the law argue it will target people who purchase their guns legally and leave a paper trail, rather than those who obtain their guns illicitly.

“It really does nothing to address the criminals themselves,” said Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, one of a minority of law enforcement officials to openly oppose the bill. “Generally, the criminals that have firearms, they aren’t on any database.”

Beneath questions about the law’s effectiveness lies a sense of unease about how the trove of data will be used. Many gun owners see a sinister intent behind a measure tied to confiscating guns, Paredes said. He predicted that fear would lead to a surge in sales before the new law kicks in.

“Everybody is running down to the local gun store and buying whatever long guns they want to have and don’t want the government to know they have it,” Paredes said. “I think between now and Dec. 31, you’ll see quite a run on long guns.”

Auburn Outdoor Sports would seem to affirm Paredes’ forecast. The store has run ads bearing the phrase “LEGISLATIVE ALERT” and warning that customers have until the new year “to purchase your non-registered rifle or shot gun.”

But Billy Prior, the store’s owner, said he has not seen an influx of customers looking to buy guns before the law changes. Prior, 48, has been in the business long enough to see how people react to new regulations, and he said younger gun owners already expect registration. The loudest dissenters, Prior predicted, will soon adapt.

“Some people say, ‘Forget it, I’m not buying a gun after the first of the year.’ They’re going to buy what they want now,” Prior said. “But what’s going to happen is six months from now, a year from now, something is going to come out, they’re going to want it and they’re going to buy it.”

Anecdotal evidence has long-gun sales ranking “somewhere between average and exceptional” this month, according to Brandon Combs, president of the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees. That could reflect a seasonal phenomenon, Combs said, as people head to gun stores to pick out Christmas presents.

Still, Combs has heard skepticism of how the new purchase record requirements will play out. His organization is already mulling lawsuits on behalf of gun owners Combs said were mistakenly flagged by the state as ineligible to possess firearms.

“I think it’s not entirely unfounded, a fear of the state misusing the information,” Combs said.

Only people who pose a legitimate public-safety risk will have anything to worry about, said Steve Lindley, director of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms.

“If you do become prohibited, we are going to come confiscate your firearms,” Lindley said. “But only people who have done something in their life – committed a felony, committed a violent misdemeanor, they are a fugitive from justice or they have been deemed mentally ill and a danger to themselves or others. We need to take action and prevent those people from possessing firearms.”

That prohibited class represents a small sliver of California’s population of gun owners, Lindley said. Otherwise, gun owners can rest easy: His department has no plans to “go out and confiscate people’s firearms for no reason.”

“We still have our Second Amendment rights here in California,” he said.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6003230/california-gun-owners-warily-eye.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

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California Department of Justice agents sweep Fresno, Clovis for illegal guns

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This is from The Fresno Bee.

I have a problem with this gun sweep.

Even though they claim they were targeting criminals.

But how many legal gun owners get raided?

 

The sign in the window warned burglars that the homeowner owned a handgun and would use it in self-defense. The state agents knocking on the door were there to confiscate the weapon.

The agents are part of the California Department of Justice‘s Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS), a program that takes firearms from people barred from owning them. The law says that group can include ex-felons and people deemed to be mentally unstable.

Often arriving in SUVs and dressed in black tactical uniforms, the teams regularly sweep through California cities with a list of names and addresses.

It was Fresno’s turn last week.

Thursday night, the agents went to the home near Roeding Park to collect a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol from a woman who had been evaluated under California Welfare and Institutions Code 5150 as a danger to herself and others. As such, she had been ordered to surrender any firearms in her possession and had not.

As is often the case, the agents were told that the weapon was not there and the woman’s father-in-law had it in Bakersfield.

But that won’t be the end of the search, according to Kisu Yo, a special agent who was part of the team making the sweep.

“There’s no such thing as safe-keeping (by another family member),” Yo said.

Team members say they are dogged: They will press a prohibited person to allow them to search a home to look for the gun and ask to see the paperwork if they are told a weapon has been sold.

If agents are denied the search but have reason to believe they are being lied to, they will seek a warrant and lock down the house until they get results.

“That can make for a long night,” said Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice.

Long nights are part of the job for the 33 agents who make up the APPS teams. They work evenings and nights because they are more likely to find people at home during those hours. They work in teams because they often have to approach darkened homes where there is likely to be an armed person inside.

“It really is a dangerous job,” said Yo, a Marine Corps veteran of the first Gulf War. “Every time we make a contact, it’s a very dangerous situation.”

Agents also say they are understaffed, but they are likely to get some help soon.

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation to use a $24 million surplus from funds paid during firearms purchases to hire as many as 36 more agents. (Fresno gun dealer Barry Bauer and several Second Amendment groups are suing because they say the diversion of funds is unconstitutional.)

California is the only state to use a program like APPS, which cross references five databases to find people who legally purchased handguns and registered assault weapons since 1996 with people banned from owning or possessing firearms.

The Attorney General’s Office said that more than 2,000 firearms were seized last year under the program. The Department of Justice says there are about 21,000 prohibited persons who possess about 43,000 firearms in the state.

Gun rights groups such as the National Rifle Association argue that making surprise visits to homes of prohibited persons is a step too far, but agents argue that people who have lost the firearms rights are clearly notified in court paperwork and other documents that they are to turn in their weapons. When they don’t, the agents can make an arrest as well as take the gun.

That was the case for a Clovis man who is prohibited from firearms possession after being convicted of felony DUI and evading officers. When agents went to his home near Swift and Fowler avenues Thursday, they found a Taurus .45 caliber pistol and he was booked as a felon in possession of a firearm.

Arrests don’t always follow the discovery of a gun. Agents visited a nearby home in Clovis in search of a firearm owned by a man who had been evaluated as mentally unstable. They found that he had access to a gun safe with several long guns as well as a long-barreled .50-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver valued at several thousand dollars.

The man told agents that he and his entire family were hunters and that the revolver was used as a weapon of last-resort when facing an attack by a charging wild pig. He said he was devastated to lose his firearm rights. The agents left with the weapons but did not arrest him.

Left behind was a hunting bow.

“You’re not taking my bow and arrows, are you?” the man asked.

“No,” said Yo. “We’re not the bow and arrow police.”

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/16/3613913/state-agents-sweep-fresno.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

 

 

Gun Ban by Default

2 Comments

This is from Joe for America.

I know I am on break but I still surf doing research.

I wonder when the patriots in Kalifornia will say no more?

To borrow a line from Fred Sanford ‘You better wake up

you Big Dummies.

Your Second Amendment rights are slipping away.

 

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As of today, May 17, 2013, no new semi-auto handguns will be added, or renewed, to the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale unless they incorporate microstamping technology. Just what is that you ask? Here is what that means according to the California Department of Justice:

“Therefore, to be listed on the Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale in California, a semiautomatic pistol must be equipped with microstamping technology-i.e., a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol, etched or otherwise imprinted in two or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are transferred by imprinting
on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired.”

Read the whole announcement HERE

Ok you say, no big deal, there are a ton of great guns already on the Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale in California, I’ll just buy one of them. Not so fast! Take a look see at that roster. Notice the certification expiration dates?

Firearms-Micro-StampingThat’s right, certification expires and must be renewed every three years, you know, because the same make/model gun with no design changes suddenly will not pass the same stupid tests it passed three years ago.

I kind of think the lawmakers saw this as a long term way of eliminating guns, because as the years have gone by, they have continued to add requirements for the guns to be on the roster of approved guns.

The most recent added requirement is the inclusion of a magazine disconnect device (gun will not fire without a magazine inserted). Most manufacturers have refused to comply with this asinine requirement in order to sell guns in just one state, and rightfully so.

The few guns that do meet that requirement are now going to be forced to include microstamping if they want to make back on the list the next time around. To the best of my knowledge, no manufacturer is currently producing any firearms that include microstamping.

As a resident of California, it saddens me that many of the new handguns on the market are not available to us, but from a business standpoint, it makes complete sense. If I were a gun maker, I also would tell California to pound sand.

As a practitioner of law (from a cop standpoint, not a lawyer by any means), I think the residents of California may have a legitimate lawsuit against the state for essentially banning handgun sales. They may not have specifically banned them, but the net effect of their legislation is the same.

It is making handguns, a type in very common use, impossible to purchase which according to the Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, is a violation of the Second Amendment.

Looks like it is time for the California gun rights organizations to rally together and file a suit. Maybe we can get them to include assault weapons since those also fall under the “type in common use” verbiage in Heller.

 

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