Sonoma County Gun Confiscation/Testing


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Shane
September 3, 2004, 10:01 PM
http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040903/NEWS/409030350/1033/NEWS01

Its started, a murder in the county and now the officials are asking some citizens to voluntarily give up their firearms for testing. How much do you bet these folks never get their guns back even if the guns test negative?

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madkiwi
September 3, 2004, 10:36 PM
I personally would tell them to sod off and return with a warrant.

I think it's high time I left this cesspit of a state.

madkiwi

Old Dog
September 3, 2004, 10:43 PM
And that's what happens when you pay the $14 DOJ fee to register your firearms in the PRC. Very happy that I escaped that evil state when I did and got up here to gunny heaven.
---Here's the article so no one has to chase the link ...

Detectives testing residents' guns
2 Bodega Bay men voluntarily help investigators in Jenner killings, say rights violated
Friday, September 3, 2004

By DEREK J. MOORE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Detectives investigating the slayings of two young campers on a Jenner beach have visited the homes of at least two Sonoma County residents this week, seeking permission to test their handguns.

Sheriff's officials wouldn't discuss why the people were contacted, but a Bodega Bay man said he voluntarily handed over two guns.

Bruce, who asked that only his first name be used, wouldn't divulge the make or caliber of the weapons, saying detectives asked him not to reveal that information.

He said he cooperated with investigators because he wants the killings of Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall to be solved. But he also believes that he was unfairly questioned simply for being listed in government records on gun owners.

He said other than a drunken driving conviction in 1990 he has no criminal record.

"If this is going to help them, great," he said. "But while they're in here, they're asking, 'Hey, you got anything illegal we need to know about? No, except for the meth lab in my bathroom.' C'mon guys. This is a fishing expedition."

Sheriff's investigators have said they're chasing hundreds of leads but haven't identified a suspect or a motive in the slayings. They also have said they haven't found the firearm used to kill Allen and Cutshall, youth camp counselors whose bodies were found Aug. 18 by sheriff's deputies.

Bruce is one of two men from Bodega Bay who said two detectives showed up at their homes unannounced this week to inquire about guns the men own. They said the detectives asked if they could come inside to make sure the weapons were "safe and accounted for."

Both men said they were then interviewed about the Jenner case for more than an hour. Bruce said he was asked if he had been in Jenner recently and was asked for personal details about his family and friends.

He said detectives told him they wanted the guns for ballistic testing.

He said he fears his neighbors will learn that he has the firearms, which he said were obtained legally and stored in a secure place.

"I'm not the kind of person to advertise I have guns," he said.

The other man whose guns were taken said he, too, feels like his rights were violated.

"This is the kind of stuff that makes gun owners jump up and down," said the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's like having the Wehrmacht knock on your door."

Investigators have acknowledged contacting at least one other gun owner.

Sheriff's officials confirmed at a news conference last week that they had checked on another man's weapons, but they didn't identify him or say whether that information proved useful.

Sheriff's Lt. Roger Rude wouldn't say how detectives identified the men or why they were interviewed, saying investigators want to protect the "sanctity of the investigation."

But he said detectives acted properly and that not all Sonoma County gun owners are suddenly under suspicion, though he acknowledged that more people would be contacted.

"I do not believe that we have been exploiting a database in order to check everybody in the world that has a gun," he said. "I think folks are barking up the wrong tree there."

It's a long-standing law enforcement technique to knock on doors to try to find weapons used in a crime when other evidence, such as recovered bullet fragments, points to a certain kind of gun.

That's particularly true in cases such as the Jenner homicides when other evidence apparently is lacking.

Bullets or bullet fragments found at the crime scene could help detectives determine the type of weapon used or in some cases even identify its owner.

"All guns have a different ballistic signature," said Hugh Wilson, a former Marin County sheriff's detective and an associate professor in the criminal justice department at California State University, Sacramento. "The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has a large database to check recovered rounds from a crime scene to ultimately narrow the gun (used)."

He said the fact that sheriff's detectives are contacting Sonoma County gun owners likely means they have recovered enough evidence to determine the type of weapon used to kill Allen and Cutshall.

"They're checking everyone who owns a gun like this in Sonoma County," he said. "They're going to assign detectives in the morning to follow up the leads. It's a very exhaustive process, but when you don't have a lot of other good things to go on, you've got to eliminate that."

Wilson said he and his colleagues banged on a lot of Bay Area doors in the late 1970s and early '80s while searching for the gun used by the infamous Trailside Killer.

The gun was eventually recovered - in the possession of David Carpenter, who was convicted of the killings.

"This is very labor intensive, but in a case like (Jenner) they're going to pull out all the stops," he said. "You can bet that type of thing is going on if they've got ballistics evidence, and it sounds like they do. That's lead No. 1."

He said there is nothing illegal about using gun registry information in a criminal investigation, and that detectives don't need a search warrant unless they are denied entry or a person refuses to answer questions.

The information used in such cases can be obtained through the state Department of Justice, which keeps a record of all gun purchases made through licensed dealers in California. The information can be cross-checked with criminal records and other data from background checks that must be conducted when anyone buys a firearm, said Hallye Jordan, a Justice Department spokeswoman.

She said law enforcement agencies can access this information through a variety of state and federal databases, including the Automated Firearm System, which includes records of guns that are purchased as well as those that are booked as evidence or reported lost or stolen.

The databases aren't available to the general public, she said.

Shane
September 3, 2004, 10:57 PM
For the record, I live in this county and actually work for the newspaper company that wrote this article. When I read this article at work, I almost had a stroke. I certainly will be ticked off if the police ask me to voluntarily surrender any firearm--I don't think they will, but you never know with Socialism running rampant in the state. I've never had ANY criminal record, not even an infraction (no tickets), so I expect to be left alone. Having said that, its scary when the law can randomly target folks just because they own gun(s).


I feel terrible for the kids killed (I was devastated when the story first broke), and I hope the butthole(s) who did the killing is caught, but I feel its not right to take this out on legal and responsible gun owners.

I guess I'm in the minority, being a pro-freedom loving libertarian.

Old Dog
September 3, 2004, 11:12 PM
Hey Shane, no state registration up here in this state! And y'all PAY for that privilege down there? No state income tax up here either ... and concealed carry is shall-issue.

Shane
September 3, 2004, 11:29 PM
^Sounds like a nice state. The only reason I haven't moved yet is all my family is here and my job is here. With the job market a little down, I'd be worried about finding jobs in other states. Maybe someday though, if it gets much worst I'll have to leave this liberal cesspool state.

MeekandMild
September 4, 2004, 12:17 AM
Anybody want tolay odds on the supposition that when the killer is finally found his gun will be found to have been stolen and not on the books?

Pilgrim
September 4, 2004, 12:19 AM
I seem to remember a few years ago the Sonoma County Sheriff and perhaps the Santa Rosa Police got their noses in a snit when they took offense at some pictures that were developed at a Wal-Mart. It seems a couple of fellows took some pictures of themselves posing with their legal SKS rifles while dressed in camo. The clerk at Wal-Mart who developed the pictures thought the same law applied to gun pictures that applied to child pornography and turned them over to the police.

I can't remember which department's detective worked the case, but he got a search warrant claiming the SKS rifles were banned by Roberti-Roos and said he had probable cause terrorist activity was being planned in the house. The police did the SWAT number, putting the family down on the floor and handcuffed them all. Ooops, no illegal weapons and no terrorist activity. The targets of the search warrant supposedly were suing Sonoma County, the police, and Wal-Mart.

Do you recall any of this?

Pilgrim

Shane
September 4, 2004, 12:27 AM
^I don't recall that specific event, although I have read of many similar cases. Sonoma County as a whole is very anti-gun. The only pro-gun counties in this state tend to be small, rural counties. Even with the progun counties, most of those living in those counties don't belond to the NRA or vote pro-gun because they mistakingly believe that there "simple hunting" firearms will be banned. Arrogant and selfish attitude, IMO.

carp killer
September 4, 2004, 12:56 AM
It will take a couple of years but it is starting.....................in kali.

entropy
September 4, 2004, 01:34 AM
...Um, doesn't the Fourth Amendment cover such things?:uhoh: Last I checked, it did. And if they volunteered, that just shows their ignorance of the Fourth Amendment. Can you say, "warrant"? How about "subpeona"?
I knew you could.;)

Pilgrim
September 4, 2004, 11:16 AM
Isn't it a shame that ignorant gangbangers know to ask, "Ya gotta warrant?", but not educated Mr. and Mrs America. Such was my experience when working for the Sheriff.

Pilgrim

Werewolf
September 4, 2004, 11:45 AM
Isn't it a shame that ignorant gangbangers know to ask, "Ya gotta warrant?", but not educated Mr. and Mrs America. Such was my experience when working for the Sheriff.

They know they're just too afraid to assert their rights or they have the very common attitude "I've got nothing to hide - why shouldn't I let them in?"

Very sad IMO and is indicative of just where our nation is heading.

magsnubby
September 4, 2004, 09:08 PM
"I have nothing to hide. Come back with a warrant describing the specific weapon you are intrested in and i will coperate."

HABU
September 4, 2004, 10:26 PM
I wonder if voluntarily turning over your piece for testing is like volunteering to take off your shoes at the airport. Its not mandatory to take your shoes off, but if you don't they will wand you and swab your shoes and run the patch through a sensor.

Barbara
September 4, 2004, 10:31 PM
They'll come back with one because they know who owns what..but I'll be the gun used to kill those kids wasn't legally owned by or registered to the person who did the killing.

Even if they *did* find the gun by this method..they still weren't able to prevent the killing with registration.

Guntalk
September 5, 2004, 09:47 AM
During the D.C. "sniper" events, police got the 4473 forms and went to the homes of anyone who had bought a rifle in .223 caliber, asking the owners to volunteer the guns for testing.

The smart ones said no. Once the gun is gone, you don't know what will happen to it, how it will be tested, when/if you will get it back, etc.

Offer to cooperate if they have a warrant or court order, and tell them that if they want to talk with you again, you will set up an appointment at your attorney's office.

Note: Don't allow them into your hope. Step outside and have the conversation OUTSIDE the home.

It is not to your advantage to volunteer to allow a search of your car (traffic stops), your home, or to have your firearm "tested."

Just say no. Then close the door.

whm1974
September 5, 2004, 02:27 PM
I seem to remember a few years ago the Sonoma County Sheriff and perhaps the Santa Rosa Police got their noses in a snit when they took offense at some pictures that were developed at a Wal-Mart. It seems a couple of fellows took some pictures of themselves posing with their legal SKS rifles while dressed in camo. The clerk at Wal-Mart who developed the pictures thought the same law applied to gun pictures that applied to child pornography and turned them over to the police.

I can't remember which department's detective worked the case, but he got a search warrant claiming the SKS rifles were banned by Roberti-Roos and said he had probable cause terrorist activity was being planned in the house. The police did the SWAT number, putting the family down on the floor and handcuffed them all. Ooops, no illegal weapons and no terrorist activity. The targets of the search warrant supposedly were suing Sonoma County, the police, and Wal-Mart.

I don't live anywhere near the PRK, but I took pictures of my gun for legal reasons. And I'm planning doing the same for any gun I buy. Maybe next time I won't go to Wal-Mart to get my digital pics printed out.

-Bill

Pilgrim
September 5, 2004, 03:26 PM
I don't live anywhere near the PRK, but I took pictures of my gun for legal reasons. And I'm planning doing the same for any gun I buy. Maybe next time I won't go to Wal-Mart to get my digital pics printed out.

Most printers today have a photo paper setting that does a credible job in printing your pictures. Why don't you just print your own pictures?

Pilgrim

proletariat
September 5, 2004, 06:57 PM
The incident you're Referring to “Pilgrim” happened in Sonoma County in the town of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. It was a multi-agency task force headed by Sonoma County Sheriffs dept. The Sheriffs dept. are the ones who conducted the Raid. Why do I know you ask??? I know the guys personally. I'll Refer to them as RB (who was the photographer), R (the picture perfect guy), and mike (the lawful gun owner).

In April 1997 when url’s and personal web pages were taking off, RB had an idea for a web page article for a website he and his cousin created. In that article he was going to create a fake movie poster that copied movies made by "john woo". If your not familiar with the director "john woo" he's famous for making shoot em up movies in Hong Kong. In order to do the photo shoot RB would need guns so he called his friend Mike in Sacramento who is the legal owner of two pre-ban Rifles (sks and ak47) and several legal owned pistols. RB needed another person for the photo shoot so he called on a buddy of his named R that he hadn’t spoke to in a long time. R was perfect picture material because he is a mean looking guy but in actuality he’s a teddy bear. RB took oveR 80 pictures which is common for a photo shoot and got them developed at the Santa Rosa Costco. One of the Costco employees decided (as if they are experts) that something was wrong and contacted the Sheriffs Dept. I know that as film employees that you have to Report something if it looks like child porno but in this circumstance you don’t have to say anything. IMO as investigations go you cant tell what’s going on in pictures. Pictures are not substantial to telling a story. Pictures might explain things but depending on the pictures and who is interpreting them anything can be said or any story made up. Like they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

The Sheriffs dept Raided RB’s home with his family there and R’s home. RB’s poor 80yR old grandfather was handcuffed and shoved around as with the Rest of his family. The Sheriffs dept probable cause was they thought they had illegal weapons because RB didn’t have any weapons Registered to him at the time and because of R’s previous Record which was over 5 years old. R had been staying out of trouble and had been helping his father Run his business. IMO it was bad investigation & bad preparation. All the sheriffs dept had to do was confront RB and ask him about the photos. If RB was a bad guy he would of said “f*ck off” and the sheriffs dept could come back with a warrant. That would of saved tax payer money and embarrassment from every local media outlet. I know RB personally and he would have shown the officers the web page and explained everything. Also if I was a bad guy why would I get my pictures developed at Costco??? Well bad guys aren’t to smart anyway.

The Sheriffs dept found nothing except RB’s grandfathers .30-6 hunting Rifle. You see RB’s grandfather is a lifetime member of the NRA and loved to hunt when he was younger. In fact, RB’s grandfather is the guy who took me out shooting and introduced me to firearms when I was a kid. That whole family grew up Responsible gun owners. RB explained everything and even gave them mikes phone number in Sacramento. After the Raid RB with the urging of his family decided to sue Sonoma county Sheriffs dept. but he then later dropped the case because he entered the police academy.

The guy who wrote the statement of probable cause was Eric Gelhaus.

“ERic Gelhaus has been a Deputy Sheriff with Sonoma County, CA. since 1989. He is currently assigned to the Patrol Division, along with being both a Senior Firearms Instructor and ARmoReR. Previously, he was assigned to the Gang Enforcement Team and Narcotics Investigations. Eric is an avid hunter both in North America and Africa. Eric teaches Pistol, Carbine, Shotgun and Rifle.” That was quoted from the gun site webpage.

This is not to harp on law enforcement because they have a tough job. This is also not to Monday night quarterback but IMO this would of all been Resolved by just asking RB direct questions and if Resistance was shown then let the party begin.

twency
September 5, 2004, 09:25 PM
...Um, doesn't the Fourth Amendment cover such things? Last I checked, it did. And if they volunteered, that just shows their ignorance of the Fourth Amendment. Can you say, "warrant"? How about "subpeona"?
I knew you could.

Don't forget, however, that a broadly (or poorly) written warrant may allow LEO's essentially unfettered access to completely trash your home and belongings. The Man may tear open your couch cushions, open up your walls, cut open your safe, or whatever else is deemed necessary to find the evil weapons they "know" you have, if the search warrant is properly (or improperly) written. Sometimes it just seems easier to take the meek and humble route.

Not that I'm condoning rolling over to every ill-conceived or rights-infringing search, but I can understand why someone might. Besides, the genuinely civic-minded person who doesn't understand the dangerous implications of easily giving up the right of privacy probably simply feels good that they he or she is "helping the good guys."


-twency
____________

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Pilgrim
September 5, 2004, 10:24 PM
The guy who wrote the statement of probable cause was Eric Gelhaus.

Hmmm. I know him from another e-mail list. Frankly, I am surprised he was a party to this.

Pilgrim

Derek Zeanah
September 5, 2004, 10:40 PM
I think Erick Gelhouse is a mod on TFL.

Surefire
September 15, 2004, 07:05 PM
according to this article, the sonoma county sherrifs office is asking many ("dozens" of) owners of this firearm in sonoma county to voluntarily submit them for testing.


http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040915/NEWS/409150303/1033/NEWS01

Gunrunner
September 15, 2004, 08:05 PM
In todays paper there was a small article on the weapons search. It stated that the weapon in question is a 45 caliber Marlin rifle. Article also states the Marlin rifle comes in either lever action or semi-automatic. Now I'm familiar with Marlin 22 autos, but a 45??? Oh yeah, the camp carbine. It's not made anymore is it?

Standing Wolf
September 15, 2004, 08:15 PM
Um, doesn't the Fourth Amendment cover such things?

It used to.

Bad Words
September 15, 2004, 08:20 PM
If you're guilty, would you send your gun in for testing? If you're innocent, why do they want your gun?

Cosmoline
September 15, 2004, 08:32 PM
NEVER VOLUNTEER ANYTHING TO COPS OUT FISHING

Got that, monkey boys?

They are not there to do you favors, they are there to see if they can pin some charges on you. If they figure out a way to do it, they will. Truth has nothing to with it. You slumber on your rights at your peril.

For example, if a cop asks you if he can search your trunk or search your car, you say "no, I do not want you to." If he has a legitimate reason, he can get a court order or he can just do it. If you give him the all clear, it's open season and you're on the menu.

artherd
September 15, 2004, 09:57 PM
I guess I'm in the minority, being a pro-freedom loving libertarian.

You've got another one living in Sonoma County as well!

ElToro
September 16, 2004, 03:45 AM
Press Democrat... well at least they're up front about it

Highpower1
September 16, 2004, 04:29 AM
I hope they Confiscate my ex. God, i'm so glad i'm outta that state and away from her to boot. Shakes my head

cracked butt
September 16, 2004, 06:55 AM
At least the cops in Kookifornia are asking the owners to voluntarily submit the guns and aren't evacuating the neighborhood and doing forced entries/confiscations as seen in Oshkosh, Wisconsin a month ago.

dustind
September 16, 2004, 08:08 AM
One more reason to not register firearms. I bet many people are afraid to refuse the search, and or get pushed into it.

Shanghai McCoy
September 16, 2004, 09:17 PM
Sigh...I was born in Sonoma County and I remember when it was "rural".So VERY glad I never returned after I left in 73 except for short visits and my mom's funeral...what a shame,it used to be a nice place.Still miss the sourdough bread sometimes...

aguyindallas
September 16, 2004, 10:34 PM
Texas=

No State Income Tax
CCW is Shall Issue
We have enough of everything to leave the U.S. Behind and feel no pain.

Why NOT move?

Surefire
September 17, 2004, 02:30 AM
According to the latest article on the subject, one of the gun owners that surrendered his gun for testing has ALREADY been given his guns back.


I thought once the police took your gun you can't get it back even if proven innocent?

http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040916/NEWS/409160329/1033/NEWS01


One Bodega Bay man whose Marlin semiautomatic rifle and .45-caliber Model 1911 pistol were tested by detectives said he was asked if he owned a hand-loading device. He doesn't, and the weapons eventually were returned to him after they were cleaned, the man said.

entropy
September 17, 2004, 09:16 AM
"the weapons eventually were returned to him after they were cleaned, the man said."

After having been extensively fired for 'ballistic testing', no doubt.:rolleyes:

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