A quiet residential area was disrupted Tuesday morning, March 15, when raid gear clad agents from the California Department of Justice served a search warrant at a residence on Cabernet Drive.
DOJ Spokeswoman Michelle Gregory said a team that conducts enforcement for the department’s Armed Prohibited Persons System received information that the resident of a home on the 300 block of Cabernet Drive had a mental health commitment late last year and that the individual owned firearms.
Under state law, a legally registered gun owner loses the right to own a firearm when he or she is convicted of a felony or specified misdemeanor crime or is deemed mentally ill. Beginning in 2007, California officials, as part of the Armed Prohibited Persons System, began accumulating names from court records, medical facilities and lists of known or wanted criminals, and then cross-referenced them against the federal background check system for gun-buyers.
Gregory said Oakdale Police Officers assisted with the operation and made a car stop on the individual as he was on his way to work around 7:30 in the morning. After the stop, officers took the individual back to the residence to recover a handgun, described as a Taurus .40 caliber pistol.
Agents were told that the person had given it to another individual to hold after the mental health commitment and later recovered the gun with the disclosed individual.
Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins said the incident was heightened because that during the search warrant service, several neighbors were watching what was occurring and two individuals from the neighborhood got into a fight.
After officers separated the combatants, none of the involved parties wanted to press charges.
California is the only state to use a program like APPS, which cross references five databases to find people who have legally purchased handguns, shotguns, and rifles with people banned from owning or possessing firearms.
In 2011 and 2012, DOJ agents investigated nearly 4,000 people and seized roughly 4,000 weapons, including nearly 2,000 handguns and more than 300 assault weapons. In 2013, the unit did 3,885 investigations and took 2,714 firearms.
In May 2013, California enacted a law authorizing DOJ to utilize funds for the enforcement of APPS for hiring 36 additional agents from fees firearms purchasers must pay to the DOJ during the purchase of any firearm, known as Dealer Record of Sale, or DROS.