In a state facing over $34 billion in debt, Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill spending $24 million on literally going after guns bought legally by people who later entered a status that the government thinks should bar them from a key tool for the basic human right of self-defense.
The state will send dozens of new agents into California neighborhoods this summer to confiscate nearly 40,000 handguns and assault rifles from people barred by law from owning firearms, officials said Wednesday.
The plan received the green light Wednesday, when Gov.Jerry Brown signed legislation providing $24 million to clear the backlog of weapons known to be in the hands of about 20,000 people who acquired them legally. They were later disqualified because of criminal convictions, restraining orders or serious mental illness…..
"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," said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.
"Potentially dangerous." We are now confiscating property and denying core constitutional rights based on potential.
And why is it that gun owners shouldn't care about gun registries, again?
California is the only state in the nation to operate a database that cross-references gun owners with those who are subsequently disqualified from owning firearms. But budget cuts have prevented the state Department of Justice from keeping up with the list, which grows by 15 to 20 names every day, officials said.
The new funds will allow the department to hire 36 additional special agents and support staff, with the first officers expected to hit the streets in July….
The new agents will work primarily in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and Riverside, which have requested additional help, Gledhill said. The effort is expected to take three years.
"Our reinvestment in this tracking program gives us the opportunity to confiscate" guns from those who should not have them, said state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), author of the legislation.
Never let the "opportunity to confiscate" fade, Senator! Already existing programs for this purpose "investigated nearly 4,000 people and seized about that same number of weapons, including 300 assault weapons, during the last two years, officials said."
It needs to be said often: even these "common sense" measures overwhelmingly violate the rights of those who would never, ever use their weapons to harm anyone far more than they contribute to public safety.