Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, 83 firearms and 6,326 round of ammo were confiscated by Santa Barbara Sheriff’s and California Department of Justice officers from individuals targeted on the Armed Prohibited Persons System. Intended to remove guns from people determined to be mentally unstable or under restraining orders, stated the Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office today, the action took weapons out of the hands of 79 individuals in the county who are not allowed to have them. In addition, 10 individuals were arrested, and the initiative swept up three assault weapons and 52 ammunition magazines.
“I thank the Attorney General’s Office for providing the resources to help confiscate illegally-possessed firearms in Santa Barbara County,” Sheriff Bill Brown is quoted in the AG’s press release. “Good people can and do differ in their viewpoints on how guns should be controlled, but I think we can all agree that firearms should not be in the hands of felons, violent offenders or persons suffering from severe mental illness. Removing weapons from those on the Armed and Prohibited Persons list targets law breakers and makes our community a safer place.”
The Armed Prohibited Persons System, created in November 2006, matches people who’ve purchased firearms with subsequent court orders prohibiting them from possessing them legally because of a felony or violent misdemeanor, domestic violence restraining order, or because they suffer from serious mental illness. The AG’s Bureau of Firearms has looked into more than 18,000 of these cases in the past 30 months and has taken a total of 335 assault weapons, 4,549 handguns, 4,848 long-guns, and 43,426 rounds of ammo.
At the end of the Santa Barbara sweep, the number of persons on the prohibited list was down to 12,334, the lowest number since August 2008. California is the only state with an automated system that tracks gun purchasers who are later barred from ownership, a system funded by regulatory fees collected by gun dealers pursuant to legislation sponsored by Attorney General Harris.