On January 1, California fired a shot at the Second Amendment that has law enforcement kicking down doors and dragging citizens to jail.
Although California lawmakers would like voters to think that their recently enacted AB-1014 rule will make people safer, the implementation has created a threatening environment. The rule allows anyone to get a Gun Violence Restraining Order if they just say to a judge they feel threatened. Restraining orders have been widely abused and weaponized during family discord. Now, the police can and will come take your guns.
The other side of California’s crackdown on firearms stems from the seizing of lawfully purchased firearms from someone who was later convicted of a crime. With two methods to go after guns, California has formed Gun Squad task forces to knock on and kick down doors if necessary. The gun confiscation squads are being touted for their public safety work despite the lack of connection between legally purchased self-defense firearms and the conviction or restraining order.
A report by even the anti-gun leaning Washington Post inadvertently highlighted some of the major problems with California’s “Gun Squads.”
During a firearm sweep led by Senior Special Agent Sam Richardson, a group of officers reportedly banged on the door of 56-year-old grandmother Brenda Rivera. Although she had never been involved in a gun-related or violent crime, Rivera had suffered a criminal conviction.
Her felony theft record rendered her legal purchase of a home defense pistol unlawful. She was stunned when police knocked on her door and confused about why they were asking for her firearm. After more than an hour of dialogue between officers and the grandmother, the Gun Squad seized her pistol. She didn’t even have bullets. Agent Richardson claimed victory reportedly saying, “One more off the list.” The Washington Post called the fiasco “a hard-won trophy for a unit at the sharp, streetside edge of America’s debate over who should own guns and who should not.”
At another gun crackdown, the mother of an infant heard the bang of law enforcement on her door. Nohemi Page had fallen to drug addiction and suffered a felony conviction as well. Although the mother had successfully undergone drug rehabilitation, she found her name on the Gun Squad hit list. Before getting involved with drugs, she had legally purchased four pistols. They were rendered illegal to possess due to her non-violent criminal record.
Unfortunately for the trophy-hunting squad, the guns had been sold off with her other belongings while she was in a rehab facility. Their whereabouts remain unknown and no task force is in place to track them down.
During the Richardson-led gun seizure outing, the group of agents recovered only the grandmother’s pistol, some rounds of ammunition and made one arrest. Since California tasked Gun Squads with cracking down on lawfully purchased guns, the state has had a running list of more than 10,000 targeted people.
In 2013, California put upwards of $24 million into funding the Gun Squads, and the list has yet to drop below 10,000. Many of the people on the gun confiscation list were unaware that pleading guilty to a non-violent felony would result in their firearms being taken away. More than 2,000 live in the high crime Los Angeles area.
The National Rifle Association has lobbied against California’s overzealous and unfair targeting of non-violent offenders. The NRA issued a statement that many are “good people who were unwittingly prohibited from firearm possession and typically don’t even know of their prohibited status or that they may be violating the law.”
~ Ready to Fire News