"Sovereign citizens" arrested in CA with guns, explosives

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“Sovereign citizens” are something of a hoot, at least when you’re not having to worry about whether or not they’re going to commit some kind of crime.

And, to be fair, these people tend to break the law with at least semi-regularity. Then again, when you think the law doesn’t apply to you, why would you worry about obeying it?

From time to time, these guys pop up in the news as having done something illegal. I usually don’t pay much attention to them, but this time it caught my eye.

Two men and a woman, who claimed to be “sovereign citizens,” were arrested Saturday morning after explosives and live ammunition were found in both a vehicle the men were driving and at their isolated compound, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

A deputy conducting a traffic stop near Joshua Tree National Park stopped a Ford Taurus for unspecified suspected vehicle code violations, the department stated in a news release.

The driver, identified as 46-year-old David Russell, and his passenger, 50-year-old Jeffrey Russell, informed the deputy that they were sovereign citizens, The Mercury News reported.

Which, I should tell you, every police officer just loves to hear. </sarcasm>

Moving on, officers learned that both men were apparently prohibited from owning a firearm. That wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that a search of the vehicle found live ammo, black powder, and an “improvised, military-grade explosive device.”

That led to a search of the compound they called home, where more explosives were found, as well as firearms. A woman found at the compound was also arrested.

Now, sovereign citizens are one of those plagues that we’re kind of stuck with. These people really don’t think the laws apply to them and that just announcing they’re sovereign citizens will make it impossible for them to be arrested and convicted. The fact that so many of them have been making this even more hilarious.

But the truth is that many of these people are dangerous. They believe they’re not bound by the law, and will likely look at any kind of attempted enforcement of the law as a personal attack. They’re likely to get violent and feel perfectly justified doing so.

Of course, their legal “theories” have never gotten them out of trouble so far as I’m aware and these three individuals likely won’t get out of trouble here.

Yet despite all of this, they were still able to get guns, ammunition, and even explosives in California, the state with the most gun control, with actual ammo control, and no law that makes explosives easy to obtain for the average citizen, but less for apparently prohibited persons such as these two.

That raises all kinds of concerns about just how effective California’s extensive gun control laws actually are. Of course, we know that they’re not, but this might start to raise some questions among the usual gun-control-loving crowd.

After all, if sovereign citizens are still getting guns and even explosives, maybe all those regulations aren’t really accomplishing all that much.