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California governor signs law funding seizure of legally purchased guns

Published time: May 02, 2013 16:57
AFP Photo / Jewel Samad
AFP Photo / Jewel Samad

California Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation that will allocate $24 million to hire special agents that will track down and seize guns from 20,000 Californians who have been disqualified from owning them.

Thousands of Californians have made legal purchases of handguns or assault rifles, but have since become ineligible from owning them due to mental illness or a criminal conviction. The measure, SB 140, will provide the funds for agents to find these individuals and confiscate their weapons.

Mark Len (D-San Francisco), author of the new legislation, said California has a system that tracks cases in which gun owners became disqualified from keeping their weapons, but has always lacked the funds to go after them.

“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” he said in a statement.  “However, due to a lack of resources, only a few of these illegally possessed weapons have been confiscated, and the mountain of firearms continues to grow each day.”

In a three-year period, about 20,000 Californians owning about 40,000 weapons became ineligible to keep them, according to the state’s Bureau of Firearms. The $24 million in surplus funds, which comes from fees paid when Californians purchase weapons, will provide dozens of agents the means to find the illegally owned firearms. 

“This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals,” Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, told the Los Angeles Times.

But opponents of the new legislation are disturbed that the money for the gun seizures comes from fees inflicted upon lawful gun buyers.

“Going after criminals is a good thing, but the way they are paying for it is grossly unfair,” Sam Parades, executive director of Gun Owners of California, told the LA Times, arguing that the program should be paid for by the state general fund. “They are putting the entire burden on the back of law-abiding gun purchasers.”

Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee), told the Huffington Post that the surplus funds should be used to conduct background checks, not to hunt down gun owners.

“For example, if you go to the DMV and pay for a driver’s license, that fee is for possessing the driver’s license, not for setting up sting operations for catching drunk drivers,” he said. “If the legislature wants to raise extra funds for the DOJ, it would have to impose a tax on firearm sales, which requires a two-thirds vote.”

Some Americans have taken a stand against what some call an unconstitutional attempt to disarm people.

But lawmakers who backed the new measure believe California will become a role model in regards to gun control, and that other US states will soon follow in its footsteps. Garen Wintemute of the Violence Prevention Research Program told Bloomberg News that as many as 200,000 people in the US possess firearms but are no longer qualified to own them.

In 2012, California Attorney General Kamala Harris seized about 2,000 weapons, 117,000 rounds of ammunition and 11,000 high-capacity magazines.  And with $24 million to track down disqualified gun owners, the state of California is now working to seize 40,000 more.

by on May. 3, 2013 at 7:53 AM
Replies (71-72):
by Gold Member on May. 5, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Exactly my thoughts as to where this is probably going.

Quoting cammibear:

Who decides who is mentally ill??? That's the million dollar question.

If they can label evangelicals as domestic terrorists, it's really not a stretch to think they could just as easily label them mentally ill...

It wasn't that long ago that homosexuality was considered a mental disorder...

What about all these kids that are so conveniently labeled and placed on medication...

All the adults prescribed pain medication (which is known to cause suicidal thoughts)...

Quoting tnmomofive:

I also do not see it only being serverely mentally ill.Who decides what mental illness qualifies for the person to be disarmed?Anyone who has saught medical care? Taken anti depressants? This is the back door to disarming Americans imo.If we are all disarmed what is to stop corrupt politicians from either side from trampling whatever other rights we have? I cannot believe Americans are allowing this crap to happen.Seems to me too that the majority of our vets would not be allowed to have a firearm..

Are they going to reimburse the people they confiscate from their monies? I mean these folks bought their firearms and ammo legally.

Here's another question will they be going after the crypts and bloods and whatever other gangs out there in Cali? They don't seem to do much about them now out of fear..seems to me theyd rather go after those who are not near as a threat...wondeer why that is? hmmm yeah Anyone with a brain can see where this is headed.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I'm sorry but if someone becomes mentally ill they should have their guns taken away...

That is what this bill is about.

by on May. 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Then you Ms. Sisteract, DO NOT know your facts.  Do you know that every man in Switzerland owns a gun, given to them by the government, to defend their country.  Please explain.  Now, the Hitler reference is important because again you have to understand the past or we are will repeat the past.  Why didn't the Japanese attact the West coast when they had the chance.  Can you think?  And, do not throw the immigrant word at me.  Both me and my husband are 1st generation Americans.  You really are just attempting to be cool, hip and make sure your very liberal viewpoint is more important. Attempting to silence the voice of a conservative.

Quoting Sisteract:

Why doesn't your hubs make his own?

Sorry... anyone who prematurely drops a Hitler reference is beyond my help.

Hard to take that approach seriously.

My mom is an immigrant from Switzerland- She does not now (at 80) own a gun and never has. She has also never been a victim of crime.

Quoting susan115:

Please explain the difference of when Hilter took away the guns from the people and Switzerland, who every household is given a gun?  Liberals, you actually have to read because this will not be on Huffington Post, Diane Sawyer, MSNBC, or Brian Williams or 60 Minutes.  Also, explain why DH is buying more bullets.

Quoting Sisteract:


Quoting idunno1234:

 Nice....the dishwasher comment.  I have a lot I could say about that but this thread is about guns.  In this case, specifically guns which are in the possession of people who have done stuff which has made them lose the privilege of owning them.  At least that's what my pathetic little dishwasher brain gathered.

The fact is, I will never agree with the interpretation of the 2nd amendment that gun lovers have.  I get that guns can be a useful "tool".   If I had one available and I had to use it to protect my family, then I would do what I had to do.  I'm not a hunter and other than people who depend on that meat to get by, I don't get the joy of killing a living creature.  However, if I had to shoot and kill animals to feed my family, I would do it.

But the thing is, I have to wonder how many people have to needlessly die (and yes, I say needlessly because stricter licensing and mandatory prison sentences for possession of unlicensed guns would absolutely have an impact on gun violence and accidental shootings) before all of you who bow at the alter of the 2nd amendment admit that the 2nd amendment was written at a time completely different than now, with completely different weapons and therefore, the wacky interpretations of it that so many cling to for no other reason than they want an unlimited arsenal that no one can interfere with (because after all, you're all law abiding citizens) makes literally no sense to me. 

 I do not think the authors of the 2nd amendment would be happy to have Wayne LaPierre as their spokesman.

I do not get the logic of the arguments against stricter licensing and gun control.  I see the basis of those arguments being founded on paranoia and fear and that is reinforced by the idiots on here who talk about the willingness to engage in violent revolution if anyone comes to take away their guns.  The people who feed into all the Obama conpiracy/socialist/satanist/muslim/communist/fascist (and whatever other shit some idiots spew about the president) crap are the ones I am scared of.  Yup our government sucks but frankly, our government reflects us.  It just can't reflect all of us accurately at the same time but it doesn't matter- they are both(all) sides of the same coin. 

I don't like our government, any government.  Since I was aware enough to know better, I never have.  I distrust any kind of groupthink that tells me what I can and can't do, although I get the necessity of it sometimes.  Be it our government, political parties, the local girl scout troup, the PTA, Corporations, the NRA, the NAR.......doesn't matter.  NONE of them represent me and my little dishwasher brain.  I don't really expect them to. 

So that's why enforcing an exisiting law (something all you pro gun people are always saying should be done) is a step towards sanity.  This isn't the Obama led federal government paving the way towards tyranny for God's sake.  Its signing a law to fund the seizure of guns, legally purchased but the owners did something that made them lose that privilege. 

And yes, because humans are what they are- animals who are incredibly destructive, often rash creatures- it IS a privilege because too many people have shown that in today's world, with today's population, today's weapons and today's problems that they cannot handle that "right" without dozens of people needlessly losing their lives every day.   And please don't come back with the same old shit about banning cars, knives and anything else that can kill.  Guns were invented purely to kill and to do it as easily and efficiently as possible and they have proven to do that very effectively.

Sanity is recognizing the reality of the world we live in.  Not believing or feeding into the bizarre idea that even if our elected government turned on its own people, that everyone having a private arsenal would stop that from happening.  More likely, those are the fools that the average citizen would have to be scared of.

Time to wake up and smell the 21st century.  There are a shitload of laws, weapons and other things that weren't in place at the time of the creation of the 2nd amendment, so trying to hold onto this idea that gun ownership should be made as easy as possible because it is a "right" that can't be tampered with is ludicrous.  How many tens of thousands of people have died because of that "right", including people who "legally" had firearms??  Exactly what is it that you all think the 2nd amendment is protecting?  Our freedoms????  Who's freedom, yours?  The only freedom you're talking about is the freedom to have guns, period.  You all need to stop blaming our forefathers for that because that is certainly not what they intended, no matter what your interpretation is.

Quoting Carpy:

I await your answer.I can see why you have a dishwasher job though.

Quoting idunno1234:

 "....pointless babble post,"

Ah...Carpy.  Something you do so well yourself.  What did you mean by the first step?

Have to go. My dishwasher job is waiting for me.  My BA in psychololgy will come in useful for pointless babble to those dirty pots and pans.

If I'm still able to function when I get home, I'll try to explain why its a step to sanity.  Until then, feel free to continue to babble pointlessly all  you want.  I won't judge.

Well....maybe just a little.

Quoting Carpy:

I have been thinking of stopping replies to pointless babble post, but I will ask, anyway. Why is it a step to sanity?

Quoting idunno1234:

 Towards sanity.

Quoting Carpy:

The first step.

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