An Eyewitness News Investigates report shows that California’s 2007 gun confiscation law has resulted in guns being taken from the wrong people and, in some cases, laid out on the front porch “for neighbors to see.”
Firearm confiscation is an outgrowth of the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS), created in 2001. APPS lists prohibited gun owners as “felons, individuals with history of violence (domestic violence/restraining order) or severe mental illness, wanted persons.” Under the auspices of APPS, databases are cross-referenced to locate persons barred from gun possession. Then the guns of those people are confiscated in law enforcement sweeps.
But according to Your Central Valley, some of the guns that have been confiscated were taken from people who should not have lost them. It cites the example of retired nurse Lynette Phillips in Upland, California.
Phillips said she answered a knock on her door in 2013, only to be greeted by police who were there to take all the guns out of her home. She had been added to the APPS list because she voluntarily checked herself into a mental health facility after having “an adverse reaction while switching anti-depressant medications.” Phillips alleges that the nurse who interviewed her at the facility falsely documented that she was “suicidal,” thus landing her name on the prohibited gun owner roster.
As a result, Phillips said, “All of her husband’s guns were confiscated, but not before being laid out on the front porch for neighbors to see.”
In addition to Phillips’ experience, Eyewitness News also found that Bakerfield’s Michael Merritt had 18 guns confiscated from him over “a felony charge from the 1970’s that no longer exists.” Merritt said, “I almost fainted and passed out when they said they wanted all of my guns.”
Phillips and her husband got their guns back, as did Merritt, but the California Department of Justice would not provide Eyewitness News with any list of how many mistakes have been made or how many guns have been confiscated and not returned under questionable circumstances.
On the other side of the coin are those who wonder why it takes the California Department of Justice so long to react to people who are on the list of prohibited gun owners. How can people the state considers dangerous be allowed to own guns for months before receiving a knock at their door while Lynette Phillips and others have their guns taken away, if only temporarily?
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.