Cal Gun Register – Seizures Underway on ‘Ineligible’

Editor’s Note – “California is the only state that tracks and disarms people with legally registered guns who have lost the right to own them…,” and seizing them they are! This is what gun registration means – you fall into one or two categories, deserved or not, and they come and seize your weapons.

Not only do they seize yours, but if you reside with someone or are married to a gun owner, they lose theirs too, why? Because you are not allowed to have access to guns, forever, even if they are registered to someone else but are kept in the house you live in!

Imagine a national data base, and like one of those mentioned in the story below, you are hospitalized and some nurse writes erroneous or incorrect notes about your mental health; you are deemed ineligible – forever, that is, until you prove your innocence or mental stability. How American is that?

California Seizes Guns as Owners Lose Right to Keep Arms

By Michael B. Marois & James Nash – Bloomberg

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.

California is the only state that tracks and disarms people with legally registered guns who have lost the right to own them, according to Attorney General Kamala Harris. Almost 20,000 gun owners in the state are prohibited from possessing firearms, including convicted felons, those under a domestic violence restraining order or deemed mentally unstable.

“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?” Harris said in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden after a Connecticut school shooting in December left 26 dead. She recommended that Biden, heading a White House review of gun policy, consider California as a national model.

As many as 200,000 people nationwide may no longer be qualified to own firearms, according to Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at theUniversity of California, Davis. Other states may lack confiscation programs because they don’t track purchases as closely as California, which requires most weapons sales go through a licensed dealer and be reported.

“Very, very few states have an archive of firearm owners like we have,” said Wintemute, who helped set up the program.

Funding Increase

Harris, a 48-year-old Democrat, has asked California lawmakers to more than double the number of agents from the current 33. They seized about 2,000 weapons last year. Agents also took 117,000 rounds of ammunition and 11,000 high-capacity magazines, according to state data.

“We’re not contacting anybody who can legally own a gun,” said John Marsh, a supervising agent who coordinates the sometimes-contentious seizures. “I got called the Antichrist the other day. Every conspiracy theory you’ve heard of, take that times 10.”

The no-gun list is compiled by cross-referencing files on almost 1 million handgun and assault-weapon owners with databases of new criminal records and involuntary mental-health commitments. About 15 to 20 names are added each day, according to the attorney general’s office.

Probable Cause

Merely being in a database of registered gun owners and having a “disqualifying event,” such as a felony conviction or restraining order, isn’t sufficient evidence for a search warrant, Marsh said March 5 during raids in San Bernardino County. So the agents often must talk their way into a residence to look for weapons, he said.

At a house in Fontana, agents were looking for a gun owner with a criminal history of a sex offense, pimping, according to the attorney general’s office. Marsh said that while the woman appeared to be home, they got no answer at the door. Without a warrant, the agents couldn’t enter and had to leave empty- handed.

They had better luck in nearby Upland, where they seized three guns from the home of Lynette Phillips, 48, who’d been hospitalized for mental illness, and her husband, David. One gun was registered to her, two to him.

“The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm,” regardless of who the registered owner is, said Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

Involuntarily Held

In an interview as agents inventoried the guns, Lynette Phillips said that while she’d been held involuntarily in a mental hospital in December, the nurse who admitted her had exaggerated the magnitude of her condition.

Todd Smith, chief executive officer of Aurora Charter Oak Hospital in Covina, where documents provided by Phillips show she was treated, didn’t respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment on the circumstances of the treatment.

Phillips said her husband used the guns for recreation. She didn’t blame the attorney general’s agents for taking the guns based on the information they had, she said.

“I do feel I have every right to purchase a gun,” Phillips said. “I’m not a threat. We’re law-abiding citizens.”

No one was arrested.

“It’s not unusual to not arrest a mental-health person because every county in the state handles those particular cases differently,” Gregory said by e-mail. “Unless there’s an extenuating need to arrest them on the spot, we refer the case” to the local district attorney’s office, she said.

Convicted Felons

Agents more often arrest convicted felons who are prohibited from buying, receiving, owning or possessing a firearm, Gregory said. Violation of the ban is itself a felony.

The state Senate agreed March 7 to expand the seizure program using $24 million in surplus funds from fees that gun dealers charge buyers for background checks.

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, a gun lobby that says it has more than 4 million individuals as members, didn’t respond to a request for comment on the program.

Sam Paredes, executive director of the Folsom-based advocacy group Gun Owners of California, praised the program, though not how it is funded.

“We think that crime control instead of gun control is absolutely the way to go,” he said. “The issue we have is funding this program only from resources from law-abiding gun purchasers. This program has a benefit to the entire public and therefore the entire public should be paying through general- fund expenditures, and not just legal gun owners.”

Hedgecock – California, the Obama Example of the Future

Editor’s Note– It had to be said. Those of us who live in California see it daily, read it in the Op/Ed pages of the paper, and talk among ourselves, yet we are out-numbered by the mega-left cities and their know-it-all opinions. They know very little, yet their arrogant ignorance trumps our votes every time. It really is so sad…but cry we shall not! Fight on Inland Empire and all our conservative lands full of right-minded folks that make up the Red Zones.

These are the counties, but its even smaller islands if you look by the cities. California is Red, the urban areas are blue, oh, and broke are we all! This is a 2004 map, its even starker now. Look below at the version of 2010, "just a little off the side", please, literally, the SIDE!

By the way, if you look at the map of California by red and blue zones – its only the islands of blue that make us ill.

California’s Not Dreamin’: This Is the Nightmare of an Obama Second Term

by Roger Hedgecock

Human Events

I live in California.  If you were wondering what living in Obama’s second term would be like, wonder no longer.  We in California are living there now.

California is a one-party state dominated by a virulent Democratic Left enabled by a complicit media where every agency of local, county, and state government is run by and for the public employee unions.  The unemployment rate is 12%.

California has more folks on food stamps than any other state, has added so many benefits and higher rates to Medicaid that we call it “Medi-Cal.”  Our K-12 schools have more administrators than teachers, and smaller classes but lower test scores and higher dropout rates with twice the per-student budget of 15 years ago.  Good job, Brownie.

This week, the once and current Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown had to confess that the “balanced” state budget adopted five months ago was billions in the red because actual tax revenues were billions lower than the airy-fairy revenue estimates on which the balance was predicated.

After trimming legislators’ perks and reducing the number of cell phones provided to state civil servants, the governor intoned that drastic budget reductions had already hollowed out state programs for the needy, law enforcement and our schoolchildren. California government needed more money.

Echoing the Occupy movement, the governor proclaimed the rich must pay their fair share.  Fair share?  The top 1% of California income earners currently pays 50% of the state’s income tax.

California has seven income tax brackets.  The top income tax rate is 9.3%, which is slapped on the greedy rich earning at least $47,056 a year.  Income of more than $1 million pays the “millionaires’ and billionaires'” surcharge tax rate of 10.3%.

Brown’s proposal would add 2% for income over $250,000.  A million-dollar income would then be taxed at 12.3%.  And that’s just for the state.

Brown also proposed a one-half-cent sales tax increase, which would bring sales taxes (which vary by county) to 7.75% to 10%.  Both tax increases would be on the ballot in 2012.

The sales tax increase proposal immediately brought howls of protest from the Left (of Brown!).  Charlie Eaton, a sociology grad student at UC Berkeley and leader of the UC Student-Workers Union, said, “We’ve paid enough.  It’s time for millionaires to pay.”

At least five other ballot measures to raise taxes are circulating for signatures to get on the 2012 ballot in California.  The governor’s proposals are the most conservative.

The Obama way doesn’t end with taxes.

The governor and the state legislature continue to applaud the efforts of the California High Speed Rail Authority to build a train connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Even though the budget is three times the voter-approved amount, and the first segment will only connect two small towns in the agricultural Central Valley.  But hey, if we build it, they will ride.

And we don’t want to turn down the Obama bullet-train bucks Florida and other states rejected because the operating costs would bankrupt them.  Can’t happen here—we’re already insolvent.

If we get into real trouble with the train, we’ll just bring in the Chinese.  It worked with the Bay Bridge reconstruction.  After the 1989 earthquake, the bridge connecting Oakland and San Francisco was rebuilt with steel made in China.  Workers from China too.  Paid for with money borrowed from China.  Makes perfect sense.

In California, we hate the evil, greedy rich (except the rich in Hollywood and in sports, and in drug dealing).  But we love people who have broken into California to eat the bounty created by the productive rich.

Illegals get benefits from various generous welfare programs, free medical care, free schools for their kids, including meals, and of course, instate tuition rates and scholarships too.  Governor Perry, California has a heart.  Nothing’s too good for our guests.

To erase even a hint of criticism of illegal immigration, the California Legislature is considering a unilateral state amnesty.  Democrat State Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes has proposed an initiative that would bar deportation of illegals from California.

Interesting dilemma for Obama there.  If immigration is exclusively a federal matter, and Obama has sued four states for trying to enforce federal immigration laws he won’t enforce, what will the President do to a California law that exempts California from federal immigration law?

California is also near fulfilling the environmentalist dream of deindustrialization.

After driving out the old industrial base (auto and airplane assembly, for example), air and water regulators and tax policies are now driving out the high-tech, biotech and even Internet-based companies that were supposed to be California’s future.

The California cap-and-trade tax on business in the name of reducing CO2 makes our state the leader in wacky environmentalism and guarantees a further job exodus from the state.

Even green energy companies can’t do business in California.  Solyndra went under, taking its taxpayer loan guarantee with it.

No job is too small to escape the regulators.  The state has even banned weekend amateur gold miners from the historic gold mining streams in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In fact, more and more of California’s public land is off-limits to recreation by the people who paid for that land.  Unless you’re illegal.  Then you can clear the land, set up marijuana plantations at will, bring in fertilizers that legal farmers can no longer use, exploit illegal farm workers who live in hovels with no running water or sanitation, and protect your investment with armed illegals carrying guns no California citizen is allowed to own.

The rest of us only found out about these plantations when the workers’ open campfire started one of those devastating fires that have killed hundreds of people and burned out thousands of homes in California over the last decade.

It was said after California’s Proposition 13 in 1978 cut property tax rates and was copied in other states, that whatever happened in California would soon happen in your state.

You’d better hope that’s wrong.