CA touts gun seizures from a fraction of prohibited persons

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The state of California thinks of itself as taking guns seriously. By that, I mean that they create all kinds of laws dictating who can have what kind of firearms.

They even have a program designed to take weapons away from people who can no longer possess them legally under state or federal law.

And, to be sure, they’re quite happy with the 1,400 or so guns they just seized.

A surge in gun purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic, including those bought by people who are prohibited from having firearms, prompted state law enforcement last year to mount an aggressive push to seize more than 1,400 weapons through a unique California program, authorities said Wednesday.

Agents investigated more than 6,600 people in 2021 through the Armed and Prohibited Persons System, known as APPS, according to a report released Wednesday. Of the 1,428 firearms seized last year, 826 were listed in the database but 602 — including 39 so-called ghost guns — were not.

The only-in-California registry cross-matches databases to find people who legally purchased weapons but are now banned from ownership because they have been convicted of felonies or a violent misdemeanor, or have a history of domestic violence or mental illness. State and local authorities then can move to seize the weapons under the program, which began in 2006.

Oh, wow. That’s impressive, right?

No, it’s really not. First, let’s think about the fact that the population of California is nearly 40 million. It would seem that these people represent a fraction of a percent of the population as a whole. A total of 1,428 firearms sounds like a drop in the bucket.

But, in fairness, this isn’t about the population as a whole. It’s about people who are prohibited by law from owning a firearm. Surely these 1,428 firearms represent a sizeable portion of those guns, right?

Right?

Probably not.

As Cam noted last year, the database used for APPS, contained more than 24,000 names when he wrote about it in July last year. Those numbers have only increased since then.

But 1,428 is a percentage of that number at least…except that’s the total number of guns seized. Those don’t represent the total number of people who were raided. At least some of those had multiple firearms, after all.

So despite a system meant to disarm certain people in a state that really loves disarming people, the police can’t actually use APPS to actually disarm a sizeable number of the people who could be disarmed under state law.

And yet, there’s little reason to doubt that soaring crime will be used to justify still more gun control measures at the state level, this despite the absolute trainwreck that is enforcement of previous laws. They’ll say they need to restrict gun rights even more without ever acknowledging that they can’t even deal with the laws they’ve already passed.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is yet another reason why gun rights advocates aren’t willing to negotiate. The same governments that require you to give up your rights due to the actions of others will never admit to their own failures. You’re just supposed to roll over and accept it.

And government failures are the norm, not the exception.