California gun laws allow agents to seize weapons with neither probable cause nor due process, and illustrate a sobering, even chilling assessment Ann Coulter made on The Sean Hannity Show in early February.
“Universal background checks means universal registration,” she said. “Universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination. That’s how it goes in history.” She was right.
Any owner in California of a registered firearm who is later convicted of a felony, has a mental health issue or is subject to a domestic violence restraining order, will have his Second Amendment rights revoked.
This sounds pretty reasonable on its face. I probably join most people in saying I don’t want felons, mental incompetents or those who beat their spouses to possess a firearm.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris urged Vice President Joe Biden to adopt a similar provision nationally.
“What do we do about the guns that are already in the hands of persons who, by law, are considered too dangerous to possess them?” she wrote to Biden, according to Bloomberg.com.
As reported by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, any disqualified gun owner:
must immediately designate a third party who is not prohibited from possessing firearms by completing a Power of Attorney Declaration. The third party then has 30 days to properly transfer or dispose of any firearms possessed by the prohibited person. The third party may relinquish the firearms to a local law enforcement agency, sell or transfer them to a third party through a licensed firearms dealer, or sell them to a dealer.”
If the disqualified owner wasn’t properly notified, ignores or doesn’t understand the notice, the firearm is confiscated. The Bloomberg article described a typical gun confiscation:
Wearing bulletproof vests and carrying 40-caliber Glock pistols, nine California Justice Department agents assembled outside a ranch-style house in a suburb east of Los Angeles. They were looking for a gun owner who’d recently spent two days in a mental hospital.
They knocked on the door and asked to come in. About 45 minutes later, they came away peacefully with three firearms.
Let’s take a look at the criteria California uses to confiscate a firearm:
Felony Conviction: What if the person is convicted of a white-collar crime like embezzlement? What about other non-violent crimes? Such a person isn’t so much showing a propensity toward violence as he is a desire to get something that doesn’t belong to him without the messiness of physically harming others.
Mental Disease or Defect: What if the gun owner is suffering a bout of depression due to the loss of a loved one or a career or a financial setback? Do we remove his firearm on that basis? The California law makes no provision for voluntary treatment.
Domestic Restraining Order: I know this will surprise a lot of readers, but people going through a divorce will sometimes lie — in fact, they’ll often lie, to their lawyer, to the judge, even to themselves.
The Justice Department agents lack probable cause for a search warrant to enter a residence and confiscate a weapon — they have to talk their way in, according to the Bloomberg article. When a homeowner is confronted with nine armed agents wearing bulletproof vests, I’ll wager it doesn’t take a lot of talking.
Coulter was right in her assessment — and if this insanity were to spread across the nation, we have every right to be afraid.
Read more at Bloomberg.com.
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