California Department of Justice's Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) is a state program that confiscates guns from people who are banned from owning the weapons, such as ex-felons and mentally unstable people.
The APPS cross references five databases to find people who purchased guns since 1996 with people who are banned from owning or possessing guns.
Last Thursday night in Fresno, an APPS team arrived at an unidentified woman's house to seize her Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol, reports the Fresno Bee.
The woman had been psychologically analyzed and classified to be a danger to herself and others. She had been ordered to turn over her gun to the state, but had not done so.
Even though the handgun was not in her home, but was with her father-in-law in Bakersfield, the APPS agents must still seize it.
"There's no such thing as safe-keeping [by another family member]," said APPS special agent Kisu Yo. "It really is a dangerous job. Every time we make a contact, it's a very dangerous situation."
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APPS agents normally ask the person in question if they can search the home or see paperwork that proves the gun was sold.
If APPS agents are denied a search or believe they are being lied to, then they will get a warrant from a court
Michelle Gregory, of the Department of Justice, says that legal process "can make for a long night."
According to The Huffington Post, California passed the confiscation law back in April and approved a $24 million budget to fund the APPS teams, who are supposed to remove about 40,000 handguns and assault weapons illegally owned by Californians.
“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” said Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who wrote the law. “However, due to a lack of resources, only a few of these illegally possessed weapons have been confiscated, and the mountain of firearms continues to grow each day."