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Old January 7, 2014, 04:12 PM   #1
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What is going on in California..this time?

One of the interweb news sites is reporting that California is confiscating "legally purchased, registered" guns.

Apparently, California has expanded its definition of "prohibited person" to include people who owe the state money. Owing back taxes, and failure to pay tolls and fees in a timely manner, was mentioned in the report as putting you (now) on the prohibited person's list.

They said CA spent 24million dollars hiring more cops, to handle the gun confiscations.

Considering I have barely above zero confidence in reported news these days, anybody out there (in or near CA?) hear of this, or know what is going on?

It is a long established fact that if you don't pay property taxes, the state takes your property. Don't pay tickets/tolls, they cancel your license...

But, can they legally seize guns for failure to pay these debts?

The report did point out that the guns being taken were taken from people who had registered them with the state.....and, in at least one instance, at gunpoint.

Is this really happening?
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Old January 7, 2014, 04:48 PM   #2
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Interesting, any link to the report? I'm curious exactly how they are confiscating these guns. If confronted with such a situation my knee jerk reaction to a gun confiscation would be molon labe! But realistically, I would just tell the officers about the tragic sinking of my fishing boat, which happened to have all my guns in it. I mean are they searching these peoples houses with dogs or what?! I would like to see the story.

I believe all guns are supposed to be registered in CA.
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Old January 7, 2014, 05:09 PM   #3
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I read a post on another forum last week, with the poster relating a similar story of confiscation for unpaid taxes and back child support, but I can't remember the forum I saw it on.

I did a little search on cal-guns, but couldn't find anything during the few minutes I had to search, and didn't see anything mentioned in any of the California media sites I looked at.
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Old January 7, 2014, 05:18 PM   #4
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Found a couple links to stories on this.
No, I'm not going to say they're "trustworthy".

http://www.mrconservative.com/2013/1...in-california/
http://downtrend.com/travis/californ...urchased-guns/
http://www.teaparty.org/gun-confisca...ifornia-27656/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3117238.html

Reader beware.
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Old January 7, 2014, 05:57 PM   #5
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As CowTowner showed, the only sources mentioning this are highly partisan blogs. I can't find a credible, or at least mainstream, news agency reporting on it.

California has been doing APPS (Armed & Prohibited Persons System) sweeps since 2007 or so. Basically, they query a database and cross-reference it with DROS records. If they find someone who's become a prohibited person, they go to that person's house and confiscate the guns.

However, I have not heard of any provision that turns debt into a prohibiting factor.

Edit: If this was happening, I image it'd be all over Calguns, but there's no mention of it there.
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Old January 7, 2014, 06:27 PM   #6
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As CowTowner and Tom already said, Ive only heard of it on some of the non-typical type news/blogs.

The only thing that I could figure about the debt issue is if someone was so far behind in child support for it to be a felony under 18 U.S.C. ยง 228. I don't know of any other type of debt that carries that penalty, except for some few states that may have a similar penalty to the U.S.C.
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Old January 7, 2014, 06:47 PM   #7
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Something like that was attempted in the 2013 session, but I cannot locate it just now.

Didn't pass. Passed, but was vetoed.

It was SB 755. Governor's veto message: http://gov.ca.gov/docs/SB_755_2013_Veto_Message.pdf
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Old January 7, 2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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http://downtrend.com/travis/californ...urchased-guns/

This is the one I saw.

The interesting thing is I got there from an NBC "news" site.

Truth? Partial truth? complete fabrication?

I have no way to tell. Was hoping someone closer to the situation (if it exists) and/or more computer savy than I am (which doesn't take much) might be able to shed some light on it.

Even if this is a complete fabrication, it begs the question, does the state have the legal authority to classify you as a firearms prohibited person because of unpaid debt to the state? I would also ask if it was morally right for the state to do so, but lets put that question on the shelf for now.....

This is not the same kind of issue as "taking" (forcing the sale of) a gun collection during a bankruptcy proceeding. This is legal classification as a prohibited person (apparently without your day in court), and sending to police to registered owners to take their guns.

As far as I know, all the other routes onto the prohibited person list require action by a court, with you/your representatives present (criminal cases and mental commitment hearing). Is there another way?

Is the CA constitution (which I'm not familiar with) the source of the authority for CA doing what the report says it is? (assuming it is true). I can't reconcile what I know of the US Constitution as providing the authority to do this, but I am in no way legally trained.

Could someone enlighten me about this?
Thanks
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Old January 7, 2014, 08:18 PM   #9
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SB 140

I think this is what it's based off of, and if I recall the articles that came out at the time, the issue wasn't expanding the list of prohibited persons then going out and confiscating per se, but that they already have a huge backlog of prohibited persons suspected(or known by last record) of having firearms.
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Old January 7, 2014, 09:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
SB 140
That program cost $24 million? Yeesh.

I'm still not finding anything that expands the list of factors that make one a prohibited person, nor anything related to debts.

If such a regulation existed, I can't imagine it would pass any sort of scrutiny. It's one thing to pull the public-safety card and say "a law prohibiting ____ from owning firearms protects the common good because those people are a threat," but because someone owes a debt? I can't see it passing muster.
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Old January 7, 2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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http://downtrend.com/travis/californ...urchased-guns/

The Armed Prohibited Persons program. DOJ propaganda here: http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attac...fact_sheet.pdf. See also NRA-ILA's page, http://www.nraila.org/search.aspx?s=...0%28APPS%29%22 SB 140 was a bill to raid the DROS fund to finance enforcement.

SB 755, had it become law, would have added a lot of people to the ineligible list. Jerry Brown did not agree that was a good idea.

But the basic idea is legal; some crimes and other proceedings make one an ineligible person; those persons are by law forbidden from access to firearms, and supposedly they are told so when classified.

Why CA feels that kind of enforcement is a good use of government money, well, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the political leanings and ambitions of our current Attorney General.
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Old January 7, 2014, 11:43 PM   #12
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CA law enforcement, back-logs....

In 2013, I read a online source(San Francisco, Modesto area) that said the state government was way, way behind in going after weapons & ammunition registered to CA residents who were convicted felons or deemed "unfit" or adjudicated not to be allowed to own/use firearms.
1000s of residents meet the requirements in CA & it's a strain on the public resources.
To my knowledge, CA law enforcement & state officials want to go after the bad guys first. They need the $$$ for training, overtime, logistics, etc.
In my view the 2013 LAPD/Dormer incident should show that law-abiding CA residents who legally own or use firearms shouldn't be hassled or harassed by the state agents. Gun owners & hunters shouldn't be lumped in the same category as felons or citizens with mental health problems.
It's not fair but that's what it is in some places, even in the USA.
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Old January 8, 2014, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
But the basic idea is legal; some crimes and other proceedings make one an ineligible person; those persons are by law forbidden from access to firearms, and supposedly they are told so when classified.
That is true. Convicted felons, and mentally impaired, after a court ruling. We've been doing that for a long time (since 1968 at least).

What I'm asking about is the idea, as put in that article (which is unconfirmed) that one could be placed on the prohibited persons list by bureaucratic fiat, (in this case, for debt to the state), no trial, no conviction, no hearing in front of a judge about your sanity, etc.

Just some office worker putting your name on that list because another list shows you owe back taxes or traffic tolls. And, (again, the idea from the article) you not being notified about it until the police show up to seize your registered firearms.

And, after that happens, then what?
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Old January 8, 2014, 07:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
...What I'm asking about is the idea, as put in that article (which is unconfirmed) that one could be placed on the prohibited persons list by bureaucratic fiat, (in this case, for debt to the state), no trial, no conviction, no hearing in front of a judge about your sanity, etc....
As far as I know the article is, at best, mistaken. And personally, I don't believe that the article is correct.

Authorities in California are confiscating guns in possession of prohibited persons, and under California law a somewhat wider range of persons convicted of misdemeanors are prohibited from possessing guns.

So considering the sources and the fact that those sources didn't bother to reference the law, I'm inclined to dismiss the whole thing.
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Old January 8, 2014, 11:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
What I'm asking about is the idea, as put in that article (which is unconfirmed) that one could be placed on the prohibited persons list by bureaucratic fiat, (in this case, for debt to the state), no trial, no conviction, no hearing in front of a judge about your sanity, etc.
The other part of the post from which you quoted addresses that - Senator Lois Wolk proposed Senate Bill 755 which would have done such things; that is, the article and related fears along those lines are not without foundation.

I posted a link to the bill; it passed all the committees and floor votes in both houses and went to the Governor, who vetoed it.

IMVHO he should have vetoed all the anti-gun bills and told the Legislature to stop wasting everyone's time, and I did write and tell him so, but I'm not the elected Governor so my preferences did not prevail.
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