CA's Gun Seizure Program Hits Major Snag

The state of California doesn’t like guns and is probably gun control Utopia for anti-gun activists throughout the country. You know the kind of people I’m talking about, the ones who generally dream of the day they can round up all the guns and melt them down, rendering average, ordinary, law-abiding Americans defenseless.

Gun confiscation is problematic, though.

In fact, the gun control Utopia of California is having trouble with gun confiscating guns from criminals.

Authorities in California are struggling to enforce a state law that permits officials to seize firearms from people with previous criminal convictions or mental health issues – running into staffing and budgetary issues that have contributed to a massive backlog of guns marked for confiscation.

The law, which was passed in 2013 following the shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook elementary school and set aside $24 million for seizure programs, had a goal of confiscating around 20,000 guns over three years. But six years later, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report, there are still roughly 9,000 of those guns out there, with more being added to the list yearly.

While the state’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, has made gun control a priority of his new administration and has proposed a multi-million-dollar increase to hire more agents, the program reportedly has been hit by retention issues and a lack of experience among new agents.

When the law was first introduced in 2013, funding was available for about four-dozen temporary positions to supplement 42 Justice Department special agents. But retirements and transfers kept the total number to around 57 and the department was forced to return $6 million of its $24 million increase. An additional $5 million was made available in 2016, but officials in the state say they’ve still had problems with hiring.

The state’s having trouble with a program designed to take guns from people that aren’t supposed to have firearms due to their legal status.

The retention issue isn’t surprising, though. At least, I wouldn’t think so.

For one thing, your job includes going to people’s homes who you pretty much know have guns and who have a history which gives you plenty of reason to suspect their violent. That’s pretty high risk…and this is what your job is about. While law enforcement has a lot of high-risk situations, much of the time the greatest risk is the unknown. While there are a lot of violent traffic stops, for example, most go down without a hitch. That helps settle things down.

But going after the guns of supposedly violent people? Yeah, that’s taking it to another level, I suspect.

Then there’s the question of how many of these agents think they’re going after bad guys only to learn that some of these are good, decent folks who have been railroaded for various reasons. California bars certain people convicted of misdemeanors from owning guns, after all, including assault. While I’m not going to justify hitting someone, anyone can lose their cool.

How does that play on someone’s mind? They’re taking away someone’s constitutional right over a one-time mistake. I can’t imagine that’s easy either.

Of course, those are my guesses. I haven’t done the job, and I don’t know anyone who has, so all I can do is guess.

What I know for sure, though, is that if Newsom and those like him are having this kind of trouble in California while trying to disarm criminals and the mentally ill, imagine what kind of a nightmare if they tried to confiscate anyone else’s guns.