What do you do when you have a system that is known to be riddled with errors and flaws?
California’s solution is to add another program to the already flawed system and hope that it works better.
Now you may be wondering what this has to do with gun confiscation. The error riddled system I’m referring to is the one that California has in place called the Armed Prohibited Persons System. When a resident of the state becomes ineligible to own firearms due to criminal convictions or involuntarily being committed to an institution for mental issues, the APPS is supposed to identify them so that law enforcement can confiscate any firearms they are known to possess.
An audit of the system last year revealed that courts and mental health officials were never properly informed of their responsibilities in reporting individuals that were no longer allowed to legally own firearms. Subsequently, the audit revealed 21,000 California residents should have had their firearms confiscated but hadn’t due to the failures of the system.
Just how flawed is the APPS? Gun Owners of California says the system is in error 40% to 60% of the time. Others say the degree of errors is lower, but still quite high when compared to what it’s designed to do.
One of the major flaws with the system is misidentification of the gun owner. According to the audit of the system:
“We found that some key staff decisions, such as determining that a specific individual is not an armed prohibited person, are not subject to supervisory review once staff complete[s] training. In fact, three of eight such decisions we reviewed were incorrect.”
In the majority of cases where a legal gun owner was mistakenly identified as being ineligible to own firearms and that person’s guns are confiscated, the gun owner’s rights to own firearms is not re-instated. If John Smith owns several guns for home protection and hunting and the system confuses him with another John Smith, causing him to be blacklisted and his guns confiscated, his chances of getting his gun rights and his guns back are very slim.
“Oops, the state system screwed up and well, Mr. Smith, you’re just going to have to live with our mistake and never own a firearm again. Sorry.”
But wait, there’s more!
A new California state law, AB 809 just went into effect on January 1 that requires the state to keep records and background checks for all long-gun purchases. The tracking of AB 809 will be added to the already flawed Armed Prohibited Persons System, which means that more legal owners will be misidentified by the error filled system and lose their constitutional rights to own and bear firearms.
The bill was passed because its supporters said it wasn’t registration in the exact sense as it focuses more on keeping records of all background checks done for gun purchases. Opponents to the bill claim that the supporters are just using semantics and that the state will actually be keeping records that will allow them track legal gun owners.
In the 1990s, California state officials used a similar tracking system of legal gun owners to confiscate assault weapons when they were banned in the state. Chuck Michel, a civil rights attorney commented about the new law, stating:
“Registration has led to confiscation in California. Registration is leading to confiscation in New York right now.”
Another argument used to push for the long-gun registration (AB 809) is for the safety of law enforcement officers. They claim that knowing if there are guns in a house they are about to raid that they can be more alert and ready for trouble. However, that knowledge has led to an increase in no-knock raids which are a violation of the Fourth Amendment for an illegal search and seizure. It has also led to an increase in the number of home residents who have been shot by law enforcement officers because of their heightened status.
Joseph McNamara, the former San Jose Police Chief and a Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution said:
“My research into more than a dozen raids that turned out badly is that … the presence of a firearm wires officers into a much higher tendency to shoot. The presence of a legally possessed firearm bought to protect the home may get totally innocent people killed by the police who casually use SWAT for drug search warrants especially if they register.”
From the state auditor’s report on the current system being more flawed than HealthCare.gov, the knowledge that such lists have and are being used to confiscate guns and that it will lead to more no-knock raids, AB 809 is only adding to the problem, not helping it. More legal gun owners will mistakenly lose their rights to own their guns. The likelihood of the new law being used to confiscate banned guns in the future is great. And more legal gun owners are going to be shot by police who conduct no-knock raids.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Democrats’ subversive way of registering guns and gun owners so that they can eventually disarm Americans.