44 years ago, Michael Merritt was convicted for marijuana possession. It was a misdemeanor crime, and Merritt recalls spending several weekends in jail and paying a $100 find for his transgression. In any sane world, this would have been ancient history. Unfortunately, Merritt doesn’t in live in a sane world, but the out-of-control confiscatory socialist Hell the rest of us know as California.
Merritt recently had agents of the state’s Armed and Prohibited Persons System show up on his doorstep, and seized 18 guns from his home after bluffing their way inside.
Merritt said that was the night of Nov. 5. Several agents arrived at his door and started asking questions about which guns he owned.
“I thought, he’s here to get my guns for some reason,” Merritt described. “He says, ‘You have a felony here from 1970.’ I said, ‘A felony? A pot possession charge from 1970.'”
The gun owner said the officers showed him a print-out of the charge. It lists the offense under a code of 11910, from a Los Angeles community. Merritt said he remembers the incident from more than 40 years ago, and he doesn’t think the charge is on the books now.
“Doesn’t exist anymore,” Merritt argued. “I mean, it’s a ticket now days.”
Eyewitness News checked the penal code, and 11910 doesn’t show up.
Merritt also disputed whether the charge was ever a felony.
“I truly, honestly don’t remember pleading guilty to any felony,” he said. “The jail time was like five weekends.”
He remembered getting probation and a fine of about $100.
Merritt said the agents still took the guns. They seized five registered handguns, plus some weapons his wife owns and some he’d inherited.
The couple protested, but didn’t get far.
“We told them to leave the house and go get a warrant, and they said that’s fine,” wife Karla Merritt said.
“But, when we get the warrant and we come back, you’re going to jail,” agents reportedly told the couple.
Michael Merritt said he had to get to work, so they let the agents take the guns.
The agents were with a special state unit tasked with checking the lists of registered gun owners against databases showing people who are not allowed to have weapons. It was set up under a 2001 law, Senate Bill 950, which created the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS).
“APPS cross-references five databases to find people who legally purchased handguns and registered assault weapons since 1996 with those prohibited from owning or possessing firearms,” reads a fact sheet from the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Did you catch all that?