California’s new gun confiscation program is a total disaster. The new law, which went into effect In January, aims to keep firearms out of the hands of potentially dangerous people, like domestic abusers and those afflicted with mental illness. No one wants wife beaters (and the unstable) to own guns, but the way the new law is being implemented sure feeds into the narrative that liberals, especially rabid anti-gunners, want to take away people’s firearms. A local Eyewitness News outfit looked into the matter and found serious problems:
In the quiet Southern California neighborhood of Upland, Lynette Phillips lives a quiet, ordinary life. But in the spring of 2013, it was interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Phillips was greeted by police officers.
Phillips didn't know yet, but her name was listed in California's Armed and Prohibited Persons Systems. She was now considered someone who wasn't allowed to own, or be around, firearms. So, all of her husband's guns were confiscated, but not before being laid out on the front porch for neighbors to see.
Rewind to a night three months earlier. Phillips, who tells us she suffers from depression and anxiety, had an adverse reaction while switching anti-depressant medications. So, she checked herself into a local mental health hospital for some quick relief.
Phillips says, "The first thing I said to her is I just want you to know that I am not a threat to myself or to anyone, I just can't stop crying. Then she started asking me some really bizarre questions."
Like what she would do if she got into a car accident, which Phillips later found out the nurse used to deem her suicidal, writing this in her notes, "You stated that if you got into a car accident you wouldn't care and you drive yourself off a cliff."
Phillips says, "That was never said. That was false documentation."
Eyewitness News took a deeper look into the program, and found several cases where mistakes were made. Michael Merritt of Bakersfield had 18 of his guns seized for a felony charge from the 1970's that no longer exists.
Merritt says, "I almost fainted and passed out when they said they wanted all of my guns."
His guns were later returned.
In November, Clovis business owner Albert Sheakalee had his names and 541 of his seized guns put on a big display by state agents. The licensed gun dealer had previously been put on a mental health hold. The state says Sheakalee had been committed involuntarily, but his attorney argues
Sheakalee sought help on his own for a temporary crisis.
Sheakalee's attorney Mark Coleman says, "He's never bee adjudicated by the court as being dangerous, he's never been adjudicated by a mental health professional as being dangerous."
According to reports and audits dug up by Eyewitness News, problems with the APPS program run deep, especially in regards to mental health tracking.
For starters, Eyewitness News noted that it’s state law for mental health facilities to report involuntarily committed persons to the Department of Justice; 22 facilities were left off the DOJ’s list.
Again, it’s well intentioned, but let’s also not kid ourselves that this isn't exactly what liberals want to do on a mass scale. They’re on the record saying so. This law was meant to somewhat accommodate what’s already federal law, but it’s being used to harass and deny law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights. This is a liberal policy, drafted by liberal lawmakers, from a deep-blue state–the detrimental consequences of which were bound to happen. After all, would you trust a lawmaker crafting gun policy who believes there are "multi-automatic weapons"? I don't.