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Confiscating Guns, More Costly and Difficult than Legislators Think

California's door-to-door gun confiscation program on the "prohibited" runs into funding problems.

Back in 2013, as I reported then, California launched a program to literally go door to door and confiscate guns owned by people whose legal right to own them had been superseded by some later action or declaration, such as criminal convictions, restraining orders, or being adjudicated mentally ill.

|||Templar1307 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND|||Templar1307 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Turns out that kind of pretty arbitrary, in the overwhelming majority of times utterly unhelpful for public safety, action can cost big bucks.

In May, the last $24 million allocated for the program will run out, leaving nearly 12,000 Californians still owning their guns even though the state would rather take them, as Associated Press reports. The state's gun bureaucrats want to get that number down to 8,300 by next year.

Which means, again, nearly four thousand citizens getting that ol' knock on the door by the state coming to take their weapons away. And gun controllers wonder why some people are suspicious of any form of firearm ownership registration?

Attorney General of California Kamala Harris crowed about the law and the practice in a press release last month, in which she made some overblown claims:

During the past 30 months, the Bureau of Firearms has conducted over 18,608 APPS [Armed Prohibited Persons System] cases, and has taken 335 assault weapons, 4,549 handguns, 4,848 long-guns, and 43,246 rounds of ammunition off the streets from those who illegally possessed them....

“Removing firearms from dangerous and violent individuals makes our communities safer,” said Attorney General Harris.....

"Removing weapons from those on the Armed and Prohibited Persons list targets law breakers and makes our community a safer place," said Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown. 

The two above statements are very largely unproven, and it would be interesting for them to discuss how many of the people they took the weapons from had ever harmed or threatened anyone with them.

Unsurprisingly, regarding the funding issues discussed above, Attorney General Harris is proud that she:

sponsored SB 819 (Leno) to allow the Department of Justice to use existing regulatory fees collected by gun dealers (“DROS fees”) for purposes of regulatory and enforcement activities related to firearms, including management of APPS.  This went into effect January 2012.  In 2013, Attorney General Harris sponsored SB 140 (Leno) to appropriate $24 million in funding from the DROS Account to help support the APPS program; this urgency legislation went into effect immediately in May 2013. In 2015, Attorney General Harris submitted a letter urging the legislature to make funding to the APPS program permanent.

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  • commodious spittoon||

    See, anonbot gets it.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Turns out that kind of pretty arbitrary, in the overwhelming majority of times utterly unhelpful for public safety, action can cost big bucks.

    The hyphen is a tried-and-true device for making multiple-word-long nouns into single, comprehensible ideas.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe they have a character limit too.

  • commodious spittoon||

    I offer again and again to be Reason's barely-paid editor, and they never take me up. I'm a student with a part-time job making $12k a year! Throw me a bone and I'll work-ish from home correcting the many mistakes and oversights while enjoying a couple steak dinners a month.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    It's a trap!

  • Pan Zagloba||

    If they do it, it'll be a sea of ASCII dicks on every alt-text.

    So I say, GO FOR IT!

  • commodious spittoon||

    Bloody fucking rare, too, because if it isn't mostly warm from the previous owner's soul still grasping desperately at the flanks, it's hardly worth the effort of chewing the gristle.

  • Los Doyers||

    I'm gonna say spittoon is on his second Guinness and already trashed. Kids these days. (also, order the steak black and blue)

  • commodious spittoon||

    Christ, I wish. I'm pushing thirty. St. Patty's at the moment means drinking tequila and hanging out with my baby nephew.

  • Los Doyers||

    Give him a nip or two.

  • Trshmnstr, terror of the trash||

  • commodious spittoon||

    Pretty sure I'm going to have to register for watching that. Dunno where, though.

  • Rhywun||

    Better than pushing 50, drinking alone and watching Project Runway.

  • Vapourwear||

    Today's my thirtieth.

    I have never drank on my birthday.

    That is all.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Today is my 51st. And I'm not either.

  • fish||

    Hey we had a bet....for the life of me I can't remember what the hell it was?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I owe you 1 American dollar. Where would you like me to send it?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    A d'Anconia always pays his debts.

  • DenverJ||

    Pushing 30? OMGs, u r like old! Gross!
    Lol, buddy, you're young, NTTAWWT

  • DenverJ||

    Full disclosure, DenverJ is 47 (I think, it's gets fuzzy after 42)

  • Rhywun||

    On any given day I'm not sure if I'm 46 or 47.

    WDATPDIM.

  • Will4Freedom||

    I've got razors older than you kids. 64 in May. Seen a lot. Hope to see a lot more once I can finally retire.

    And don't worry, Lads. I'll have a drink in your honor.

  • commodious spittoon||

    And you know what my part-time job involves? Half an hour's work and three and a half hours mostly refreshing H&R. Hey, Reason, you're missing out on a great tax write-off for a dedicated charity case.

  • Los Doyers||

    I'm a student with a part-time job making $12k a year!

    Anonbot has absorbed commodious!

  • Zeb||

    They should really take you up on that. Just another set of eyes on the blog posts would do a lot. I think the real articles are usually OK.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Real what?

  • Zeb||

    They keep sending me this paper thing because I give in when they beg for money, and it's full of actual proper writing about many things.

  • DenverJ||

    If you go to reason,com and leave out /blog, you'll find some of the same articles, and they like, keep them up for days.

  • Rhywun||

    leave out /blog

    Who does that?

  • Rhywun||

    Remove the 2nd comma and it might be a German sentence.

  • Los Doyers||

    If guns can fire by themselves then they can confiscate themselves.

  • regularidiot||

    Out of curiosity and by way of me being lazy, in total how much has been allocated to this program?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    “Removing firearms from dangerous and violent individuals makes our communities safer,” said Attorney General Harris.....
    "Removing weapons from those on the Armed and Prohibited Persons list targets law breakers and makes our community a safer place," said Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown.

    The fact that the people in group 1 are only a subset of the people in group 2 is of no concern to these people.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And gun controllers wonder why some people are suspicious of any form of firearm ownership registration?

    Well, I certainly hope failing to register one's firearms is grounds for suspension of Second Amendment rights and confiscation.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    OT - The Lavender and Green Alliance marches in the NY St. Patrick's Day Parade.

    ""Today, everyone is celebrating together," [Mayor] de Blasio said. "Today, the city is at peace, and the city is unified, and we all feel tremendous pride in all of the people who brought us together.""

    Well, "everyone" of course means "everyone who counts." Prolife groups allowed in the march, and the Catholic League dropped out.

    "New York's Saint Patrick's Day Parade has a tradition of not allowing signage for advocacy groups, with the exception of the "England out of Ireland" campaign, [a parade spokesman] said."

    From the Web site of the Lavender and Green Alliance, which totally isn't an advocacy group:

    "We offer cultural and educational programs that include researching and recording stories of LGBT persons within the New York Irish community. We have sponsored classes in Irish language, music and dance, Irish LGBT history and Oiche Aerach (Gay Nights) dinner celebrations honoring Irish LGBT leaders. Lavender & Green Alliance has participated in community parades in all the boroughs. Our sponsored documentary series “From Silence to Speech” narrates personal stories and histories of Irish LGBT individuals."

  • Notorious UGCC||

    prolife groups are *not* allowed in the march

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Sound like nice folks.

    Too bad about those Catholic bigots.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Today, everyone is celebrating together"

    "Today, the city is at peace, and the city is unified"

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The bigots dropped out of their own accord.

    One group, the Catholic League, dropped out of the parade after the announcement to include the Lavender and Green Alliance.

    Fuck them.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Let the unified, celebratory spirit shine forth!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Yeah, I guess it's only inclusive when you ban the faggots, so the bigots won't voluntarily excuse themselves, right Eddie?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I suppose we're hung up on the definition of the word "everyone."

  • Notorious UGCC||

    A private parade committee can have any standards it wants, even the perennial favorite - double standards.

    It's the elected official - deBlasio - whom I am criticizing for using the term "everyone" to mean "everyone except prolifers and filthy papists."

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The filthy papists were not banned. They are throwing a tantrum. They excluded themselves.

    Fuck them.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Today, everyone is celebrating together"

    "Today, the city is at peace, and the city is unified"

  • Los Doyers||

    "New York's Saint Patrick's Day Parade has a tradition of not allowing signage for advocacy groups, with the exception of the "England out of Ireland" campaign, [a parade spokesman] said."

    Too fucking right. Send those black and tans packing.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Next up - a gay contingent at the July 12 march in Belfast.

    Maybe they can hold a nice, tasteful sign reading William III Was Totally Gay!

  • GILMORE™||

    Confiscating Guns, More Costly and Difficult than Legislators Think

    I think this headline-argument misunderstands the nature of political "problems".

    'very expensive, and zero tangible benefit' are in fact POSITIVE aspects of the legislation.

    When the goal is to hand large sums of money over long periods of time to politically-connected interest groups...

    ...then gun-confiscation can't be costly or difficult *enough*.

    Because they can't ever possibly keep up with the 'new' people being added to the confiscation-lists, it is the perfect Government Program = one side (pols) keeps expanding laws that bar people from gun ownership... and the other side (cops) keeps getting new homes to visit and weapons to confiscate.

    Its the perfect jobs program! Just as tobacco taxes were for so long the perfect government scheme for revenue generation, until those darn kids actually stopped smoking.

  • Zeb||

    The question remains as to whether it is possible at all. I'm sure plenty of the people in CA who are forbidden to own guns know about this program now and will hide their guns well if they want to keep them. And if any broader gun confiscation ever happened, I'm sure there would be huge amounts of non-compliance. Not that that will disuade them from spending huge amounts of money. But it's a big difficulty.

  • NYC2AZ||

    Have you read AB 2459 that is currently moving through California's State legislature?

  • 0x90||

    "Clearly, the situation is far worse than we had thought -- we've spent 40 gazillion so far, and haven't even made a dent. Yet."

  • ||

    Personally, I blame homosexuals and the blacks.

  • ||

    Huh, I put this in the wrong thread.

    Please ignore. I actually do not blame those groups for gun confiscation.

    Look for this comment to reappear in the Third Party thread.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Is it ever the wrong thread?

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    So Gojira is Irish's sockpuppet?

  • Zeb||

    It kind of works anywhere.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    335 assault weapons, 4,549 handguns, 4,848 long-guns, and 43,246 rounds of ammunition

    These nefarious monsters averaged fewer than 4.5 rounds per firearm?
    Were they planning to use them as improvised clubs?

  • ||

    I wonder if any of the 335 were actually select fire weapons. Doubt it

  • DenverJ||

    One of the reasons (drink) I recommend a 12 ga for home defense. Even if it's not loaded, it's intimidating as all hell, and as last resort it does make a pretty good club.

  • Don'tTreadOnMeChipper||

    I had the same thought. So they only put 5 rounds in their revolver? WTF?! Doesn't anyone know what an ammo stockpile should look like? Or perhaps the State got it's number wrong. No, unpossible.

  • Tejicano||

    What? A weapon that can assault? Those need to be banned. Weapons that cannot be used to assault, well, maybe those might be OK.

  • Agammamon||

    Removing weapons from those on the Armed and Prohibited Persons list targets law breakers . . ." said Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown.

    The . . . above statements are very largely unproven,

    Yeah - that statement *is* proven.

    See, anyone on the APP list who owns a firearm is a criminal. Taking guns away from people on the APP list is, by definition, taking them from criminals.

    Deference to the legislature and all that.

  • Will4Freedom||

    But in their eyes, anyone who does not get their paycheck from the state should not have a gun, so they are, by default, bad people for owning them.

    Excuse me if I don't act surprised as they "nudge" the requirements for getting on the APP list. Speeding ticket? You're on. Jay walking... you're on. Walking and texting... you're on.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    During the past 30 months, the Bureau of Firearms has conducted over 18,608 APPS [Armed Prohibited Persons System] cases, and has taken 335 assault weapons, 4,549 handguns, 4,848 long-guns, and 43,246 rounds of ammunition off the streets from those who illegally possessed them....

    She can quote right down to the cartridge how much was confiscated. Can she quote some statistics that are actually useful, like the reduction in murders, assaults, etc.? I mean, the murder rate did go down, didn't it? Isn't that what she means by "making our communities safer"?

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