Santa Barbara SWAT team searches Far West Gun

Paul Wellman

Santa Barbara SWAT team searches Far West Gun

SWAT Team Searching State Street Gun Shop

UPDATE: Police Find Hole in Roof but No Suspects; No Guns Appear Missing

Originally published 9:08 a.m., March 28, 2013
Updated 5:00 p.m., March 28, 2013
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[UPDATE, 5:00 p.m.]: When the Santa Barbara SWAT team entered Far West Gun & Supply this morning they found no suspects but discovered a large hole had been cut in the business’s roof. It’s not clear if the burglars actually dropped into the gun shop or were scared off by its robust security system, explained Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Harwood said an alarm sounded at the store at 4:03 a.m. and first responders were on the scene by 4:05 a.m. There were indications the suspect or suspects may have still been inside, so the SWAT unit and crisis negotiation team were called in at around 6 a.m. They established a perimeter, closed off area streets, and eventually made entry but — after searching the store, its crawl space, the crawl space it shares with nearby businesses, and those businesses themselves — found no one. The response was swift and large because of the merchandise Far West sells, said Harwood.

The gun store has been burglarized in the past, so its owners had installed a FlashFog Security System which, when activated, fills a room with light smoke within 20-30 seconds and triggers strobe lights. The effect is highly disorienting, confusing suspects and giving workers time to escape in a robbery situation.

Harwood said it doesn’t appear any guns were taken from Far West, and that its owner is conducting an extensive stock check to confirm nothing is missing. Detectives continue to investigate the incident.

[ORIGINAL REPORT]: A Santa Barbara police SWAT team and K-9 unit are currently searching a gun store at Mission and State Street.

Sgt. Riley Harwood, a spokesman for the police department, said officers who responded to an audible burglar alarm just after 4 a.m. found “some indication that someone may be inside” Far West Gun & Supply at 2009 State Street.

Given the heightened concern that the business was a gun shop, authorities called in the SWAT team and also blocked off streets in a one block radius of the store.

Harwood said there was a possibility, but he could not be certain, that someone was inside.

Because Far West is adjacent to several businesses, there is a likelihood it shares a common crawl space, Harwood said, so it may take some time to search.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

This was faked to justify running around SB in full military gear with machine guns. It's a training exercise and not a real call.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 12:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree, and it's the third non-incident like this that will be used to justify an increased budget.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 1:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Absolutely fake.

They spent all day training with their new military equipment and then needed to make up drill to run around town with it.
The choice of targets reflects the current political debate on gun control.

The SBPD is way over funded, thanks to Homeland Security. Now they are looking to justify militarism. Beware SB.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Extraordinary claims require proof in equal measure.

(Hint: your comments -- "native2sb" and "14noscams" -- to reach a level of walking-around credibility, should exceed the sulphurous, fever-dream belches you typically provide.)

binky (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

.....and that is why we have to ban AR's and those evil .410's.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 3:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Where I live, it is dark at 4:00 AM. So why are the pictures in full daylight?

shortrees (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The pictures don't purport to be 4am but as you can see it is very early am. I'm sure they sent Wellman as soon as they could. Let's not attack the messenger.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 4:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The SBPD spent all day training with the "SWAT" gear (assault rifles and flak jackets) and their urban assault vehicle in a remote location in Goleta on Wednesday. I can tell you that.

They sure were well prepared. What serendipity that there was an alarm at the gun shop that night.

Wake up sleepy heads.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 6:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It might help to have a lesson in reading between the lines:

"there was a possibility, but he could not be certain, that someone was inside."

it's a drill.

"is adjacent to several businesses"

like a head shop.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 6:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think native2sb nailed it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 6:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

did I miss something? the first responders got there at 4:05 a.m. but the SWAT team only got here "around 6 a.m." -- if this was an emergency what happened for 1 hour and 55 minutes after the first cops got there?? This tends to support native2sb's suspicions...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 7:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well there goes our conspiracy theory fun.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 7:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Of course, how do you approach a break in at a gun shop? The police officers face tough problems, and life threatening scenarios. SBPD deserve respect.
But the hardware is funded by Homeland Security, and Dick Cheney just moved to town. So maybe the fun is just beginning.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 8:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 8:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I heard Old Dick was scouting out a Home in IV..

Byrd (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 8:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know several I'd recommend.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 9:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If a hole was cut in the roof, where are the tools? They sure didn't take them if the ran from an alarm!!!!

oldtimer (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 9:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bear in mind, when something is made illegal, it becomes a Black Market commodity which increases the incentive to steal it.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 10:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

He could go hunting at the bird refuge.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 11:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe if he's looking for Michelle Bachman's husband.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2013 at 11:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I might believe the whole thing was Bull but where is the fall guy? Why would the police department pull a stupid azz stunt like this without a fall guy? There are plenty of losers around they could pick from that they could use and trade charges with. Look at all these idoits with tattos on their faces?

Byrd (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 6:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

According to a website for Gun Store locations;
'Far West Gun & Supply', serves many Firearm facets from pistols to black powder shooters, this and the fear of the President signing a Firearms ban in the US, would give credence that a Gun Store burglary would benefit the crime or as Bill put it the Black Market; let alone the folks who load their own rounds use black powder and Gun Powder with a few other chemical's both wet and dry can produce explosives though crude but none the less effective enough. 'Far West Gun & Supply', is also a Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) holder which means weapons that are Fully-Automatic (sub-machine guns) can be sent to their store for those who can afford or are cleared to buy and own machine guns; which means they probably have on hand but in a safe, military grade machine guns or even silencers which are illegal to own in California unless your Government or are cleared to own such devices.
So a response to a possible occupation of criminals in a gun store which may have Military grade firepower and explosive capability would be adventurous to respond as if it were an actual barricaded suspect with access to above average firepower and explosives. I think the response was warranted and appropriate.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 6:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)


"'Far West Gun & Supply', is also a Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) holder which means weapons that are Fully-Automatic (sub-machine guns) can be sent to their store for those who can afford or are cleared to buy and own machine guns"

Utter and complete BUNK and IGNORANCE. California does not allow "Fully-Automatic Weapons for Citizens". There are many Classes or Levels of the FFL, Federal Firearms License.

Just a few hoops one would have to jump through in being able to sell "Automatic Weapons to Government Entities in California", its is commonly known as a (Class III FFL). I highly doubt Far West is a Class 3 Dealer.

Begin Paste

You need to have a retail or residential location. You need to have a vault room or safe. You need to have an alarm system with direct police notification. You need to have a complete layout of your business address, with location of where such weapons will be kept for both the DOJ and ATF. You will be open to inspection whenever either DOJ or ATF chooses.

You will need a city business license and state resale permit. You will need a COE. You will need an IRS EIN, and you will probably need very expensive insurance.

You will need an 01 FFL. Police approval for your 01 with proper licensing.

You will need a 03 SOT Tax Stamp.

You will need a State Machine Gun and possibly some of the following.... Destructive Device, Short Barreled Weapon, possibly an Assault Weapon permit... You will need to show LEO interest in demoing these weapons to get these permits. They do not issue these state permits without a great deal of scrutiny.

At that point, unless you incorporate, For pre-May86 firearms, you will need a CLEO in your county to sign off on your 03 transfers. For post-May86 weapons, you will need a LEO letter of demonstration and a LEO to sign off on the transfer.

All in all, expect to spend $50,000+ in California to become 03 SOT dealer. And if the local police or county sheriff don't want you to be a SOT dealer, you may not have much choice.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

hgwmv, thanks for this info...and still, why wait TWO hours? To have daylight for good Indie photos and convince the public how vital SWAT and SBPD are, as they approach wage negotiations??

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"It's not coincidence, it's been too many studied incidents It coulda been the Klan who put that bomb at the Olympics But it probably was the FBI, deep at the call 'Cause if they make us all panic then they can start martial law"

My vote is obviously for training exercise.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 10:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, someone should tell Dick that having a bunch of machine guns and armored vehicles around the university is a bad idea.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)


This would be my guess and only a guess. The alarm went off at 0400 hours, it was dark. The alarm system described in the media filled the store with smoke and had strobe lights designed to disorient. The building was surrounded from the outside and they had no idea if anyone was inside or escaped in the two minutes it took Police to arrive. The alarm went back to standby mode as no additional motion was being detected.

The TV footage showed the alarm sounding when the Police opened the front door at 0600 hours, I assume the strobe lights activated as well, the alarm system was still armed.

So if you had the building surrounded and the possible bad guys contained, would you risk entering the store in the dark with smoke and disorienting strobe lights or wait until daylight and enter when the smoke and strobes would cause less disorientation and possible chance of a mistake being made?

The shop owner stated on TV tonight that probably the bad guys only struck their legs in from the ceiling, the alarm went off and they left the scene before the Police got there, this is all after action and just a guess.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2013 at 8:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But on KEYT last night, it was reported as a "one hour standoff" - Sanchez and his crew are shameless in their quest to convince us how dangerous their jobs are and why we should pay them ever more. We need a new chief, a new code of conduct, and a citizen oversight committee with subpeona power.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 10:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

gosh JL, we seem to agree on something here.... Sanchez has to go

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 10:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Finally. :-) Actually, more than you might think.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 6:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

sure thing... & we both agree with Daniel Patrick Moynihan's statement, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." We just cite different sets, and some of the contention is over "factoids" masquerading as facts.
(But admit it, you ain't no center-leftie now, as you once posted,are you? Sincerely.)

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 30, 2013 at 8:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually, I am. Sincerely.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To my own surprise, every political positioning survey I've taken puts me even further left than center-left. Sincerely. Center-left includes many views on many issues.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 31, 2013 at 9:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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