California’s Gun Confiscations a Mess

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A few years ago California implemented a program to tie their registration databases into their background check databases, and then create a new database of people who have guns but are prohibited by law from owning them. Sounds great right? Well, only if you’re not a gun owner, or are and believe that these databases are actually accurate, which often times they are not.  California has been sending police door-to-door as they’ve been going down the list and taking guns, forcing false positives to prove their innocence.  Now this issue is finally getting media attention.

Phillips says, “It was traumatizing.”
And shocking for the retired nurse, now a stay at home grandma, who’d never been in trouble before.
“My first thought was ‘oh no what did my kid do.’ “
The officers were there for one thing.
“They were looking for the guns, because one was registered to me.”
Phillips didn’t know yet, but her name was listed in California’s Armed and Prohibited Persons Systems. She was now considered someone who wasn’t allowed to own, or be around, firearms.  So, all of her husband’s guns were confiscated, but not before being laid out on the front porch for neighbors to see.

Read the whole thing. If you spent enough time around pro-gun attorneys you’ll hear of cases far worse than this. You’d be surprised how many stories I’ve heard of mental health commitments being erroneously classified as involuntary, when in fact it was someone voluntarily seeking help.

We already know that a good number of NICS denials are false positives. The 2014 numbers say 14% of challenged denials were overturned, and there were 30,100 persons who have been issued a UPIN number. For those of you not familiar, if you challenge a NICS denial and win, you get a unique identifier that you give to the dealer upon each transaction, which lets the system know you’re cleared despite an erroneous record in the FBI’s database. In a lot of cases, it’s to clear up confusion with someone else with the same name and date of birth who has a criminal record.

So potentially, while California may be reaching a lot of genuinely prohibited persons in their wide dragnet, they will have a very large number of false positives. This is yet another reason we won’t agree to registration. We know from the registry the federal government already runs, the NFRTR — which is the database that contains NFA items like machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and silencers — that the registry is a bloody mess that ATF has been trying to quietly clean up for years.

If California did not have registration, they could never have tried this kind of “common sense” approach using shoddy data that’s going to end up with and uncomfortable number of old ladies proned out on their front porches. And criminals? They don’t register their guns with the police.

7 thoughts on “California’s Gun Confiscations a Mess”

  1. “[UPIN] you get a unique identifier that you give to the dealer upon each transaction, which lets the system know you’re cleared despite an erroneous record in the FBI’s database.”
    You need to request it. You are also voluntarily demanding the FBI to be out in a database that will keep records of your firearms transactions. Been there.
    All my future transactions shall be with “unlicensed gun sellers” AKA Private Citizens as much as I can.

  2. Never call it registration it gives them control of the conversation. It is and always has been the gun confiscation data base.

    1. Quite right. Once everyone’s guns are included in the list, all the Powers That Be need is an excuse to go after them. And we already know they’re more than happy to do it piecemeal (“assault weapons” and semi-auto handguns first) and using false positives and bad data, like this mess in Kalifornistan shows.

      I can’t imagine it helps their cause when, after our side has said for years that registration precludes confiscation, and the anti-gun side has spent years denying it, now confiscations are actually happening.

      The state needs to get sued (again), and hard. The entire “CAPPS” process and system need a thorough review, every person falsely raided needs their guns back and a nice tidy settlement check, and whoever participated needs to be brought up on federal charges.

      But, this is Kalifornistan. It’ll never happen.

  3. To add insult to injury, this confiscation effort is paid for by registration fees.

  4. The problem is made worse because government officials, including police, have been granted judicial immunity from incompetence in official acts. This was not always the case, even a century ago.

    “One must not be misled by the generality of the phrase used in chapter 39 [Magna Carta], and think it unimportant because it looks simple. It is hard for an American or Englishman to get a fresh mind on these matters. We all grow up with the notion that nobody has the right to arrest us, nobody has the right to deprive us of our liberty, even for an hour. If anybody, be he President of the United States or be he a police officer, chooses to lay his hand on our shoulder or attempts to confine us, we have the same right to try him, if he makes a mistake, as if he were a mere trespasser; and that applies just as much to the highest authority, to the president, to the general of the army, to the governor, as it does to a tramp. But one cannot be too often reminded that this principle is peculiar to English and American civilization. Throughout the Continent any official, any judge. anybody “who has a red band around his cap’ who, in any indirect way, represents the state — a railway conductor, a spy, a station agent — not only has the right to deprive you of your freedom, but you have no right to question him; the “red band around the cap” is a final answer.”
    –Popular Law-making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-making by Statute
    by Frederic Jesup Stimson (1910)

    I suppose our liberties have been so usurped that we no longer have the time immemorial liberties that Magna Carta enumerated.

    I wonder if a smart lawyer could make the argument from Magna Carta to overturn the judicial exemption from the rule of law granted officials.

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