California Judge Refuses To Confiscate Defendant's Guns

MikeGunner / Pixabay

California and guns. We know how that story tends to play out. The powers that be in California aren’t fans of the Second Amendment and, as a result, everyone who owns guns in the state tends to be a little concerned about, well, everything.

After all, if the state can figure out a way to justify taking your guns, they will. Even if you leave the state.

Or will they?

It seems at least one judge is willing to respect a defendant’s Second Amendment rights.

Any of Trent Stonerock’s concerns about having his legally-owned firearms confiscated were alleviated here this week as Yolo County Superior Court Judge David W. Reed refused to confiscate them, despite Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian’s strenuous request.

Stonerock, who now resides in Ohio, was charged with a misdemeanor for resisting/obstructing a police officer for an August 2018 incident in which he had a physical altercation with his son.

The presence of Stonerock’s firearms, which were loaded, allegedly made the officers “concerned for their safety” as they dealt with the situation.

Kian proposed that Stonerock “surrender his firearms for a period of a year.” Kian wanted to make sure that Stonerock knows he’s “getting off with a diversion [of the misdemeanor charge],” and stressed that there must therefore be “some consequences as an incentive to comply.”

Kian suggested Stonerock “surrender [his firearms] to a licensed gun dealer in his state [Ohio].”

Further stressing public safety concerns, Kian asked that “drug terms be imposed,” which included frequent drug testing. He also added that “there’s claims of mental health issues and what not,” which increase public safety concerns.

Hendrick Crowell, Stonerock’s defense attorney, suggested vastly different conditions for his client than Kian did.

However, Judge Reed also included conditions that Stonerock must follow. Most notably, Judge Reed declined to confiscate Stonerock’s firearms; he didn’t believe that the court could “have anything to do with the guns” even if Stonerock were convicted of the offense of which he was charged.

In addition, Stonerock must perform 40 hours of community service for “some non-profit other than his church,” said the judge, explaining he usually does “not allow people to do community service in their own church.”

Now, I’m not going to lie. I was a little surprised by this. I really figured the judge would be like most elected officials we hear about in California and go after the guns. Especially considering Yolo County’s proximity to Sacramento.

Instead, Judge Reed made what sounds like a reasonable determination, especially since Stonerock wasn’t facing losing his guns anyway. It’s not like he was charged with a felony.

This was a misdemeanor, and it’s ridiculous that a prosecutor would go after the man’s guns, even if only for a year. After all, you don’t just give your guns to a local gun store to hold onto for 12 months. He’d have essentially been forced to divest himself of all of his firearms and then have to repurchase them at a later date.

Nope. No way, no how is that right.

Luckily, in this case, the judge made a good call with regard to the guns. I’d love to see more of this out of California, too.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET