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View Full Version : DOJ AND THE AUTOMATED WEAPONS COMPUTER


RobK
12-21-2009, 1:26 PM
I would like to remind everyone of the need to verify and get a copy of there DOJ registration paperwork for any REGISTERED AW'S.
I went through a legal battle in Calaveras County back in 2004, where I came into contact with law enforcement on my own property as a victim of a somewhat (5150) neighbor shooting at myself and grandson. We called 911, they came and since I had a REGISTERED AR15 in plain view they ran the serial. I allowed it since I was certain there would be no problem, I had done everything right, I thought.
BIG PROBLEM- My AR15's did not show up in the computer. I went to the safe with the deputy and retrieved my registration papers from DOJ.
The paper work I had was my photo copy of the original application with 2-AR15's, one Valmet M76 and a SWD M11, along with the original registration response letter AND a second letter stating the SWD and Valmet did not require registration. IT GETS BETTER!
After the LEO was done checking every firearm I owned, the only weapon's in the computer was my Valmet M76 and my CCW registered handguns.
MY PAPERWORK DIDN'T MATTER AT THIS POINT ONLY THE COMPUTER.
He promptly confiscated my AR15's, my bug bag with loaded magazines, the SWD and magazines, my face paint, body armor and anything else he could think of.
I went through a lot of legal money and hassle to resolve my problem.
After being charged and a 7 month legal battle, I did get everything back except 2000 rounds of .223 and some 9mm at a huge cost.
In the end this is what I found out.

READ IT AND REMEMBER IT LEARN FROM IT

THIS WAS ALL LEARNED FROM A PRO 2nd AMENDMENT FIREARMS UNIT EMPLOYEE WHO WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS TO PROTECT THEIR JOB.

IN 2003 DOJ MADE SOME CHANGES TO THE AUTOMATED WEAPONS COMPUTER PROGRAM, THOSE CHANGES CAUSED MANY REGISTERED WEAPONS TO BE DELETED DUE TO SOME TYPE OF IDENTIFICATION FIELD GLITCH, A MISSING A COMMA OR HYPHEN, ETC.,,DONT REALLY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT, ONLY A BRIEF EXPLANATION FROM THE DOJ EMPLOYEE.
THEN AT SOME POINT TO SAVE MONEY AND FREE UP STORAGE SPACE THE DOJ DECIDED TO DESTROY THE ORIGINAL CARD STOCK APPLICATIONS THEY HAD REQUIRED EVERYONE TO SUBMIT.
WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION OR EXPLANATION, 3 OF MY REGISTERED WEAPONS HAD MYSTERIOUSLY BEEN PURGED, COMPUTER GLITCH OR INTENTIONAL DOJ ADMITS NO FAULT ABOUT THE WHOLE THING.

HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR SAVING EVERY SCRAP OF PAPERWORK TO PROVE THAT I DID SUBMIT ON TIME REGISTRATIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS AND THEIR OWN LETTER STATING THAT THE VALMET AND SWD DID NOT NEED TO BE REGISTERED I WOULD HAVE LOST MY LEGAL CASE.
ONCE DOJ HAD A COPY OF THE CANCELED CHECK THE ORIGINAL REGISTRATION APPLICATION AND THEIR RESPONSE LETTER REGARDING THE VALMET AND SWD THEY KNEW THEY HAD A PROBLEM.
THEY SUBSEQUENTLY RE ENTERED ALL MY WEAPONS BACK INTO THE COMPUTER, INCLUDING THE ONES THEY ORIGINALLY CLAIMED DID NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION, AND ISSUED A NEW AND COMPLETE LIST OF REGISTERED WEAPONS.

IF YOU HAVE YOUR ORIGINAL PAPERWORK COPY IT AND THEN CONFIRM WITH DOJ THAT ALL YOUR WEAPONS ARE STILL IN THE COMPUTER.
MAKE SEVERAL COPIES OF YOUR REGISTRATION'S AND KEEP THEM EASY TO ACCESS.

Bill Wiese may recall this as he was a huge boost of moral support during my ordeal, Thank You again Bill.

bigcalidave
12-21-2009, 1:27 PM
Glad it worked out, why did they steal your ammo?

Dirk Tungsten
12-21-2009, 1:48 PM
This is one of the most frightening things I've read in this forum in a while. I'm glad you had this (somewhat) resolved. Nothing like a beauracratic snafu to making a person a felon.

Hw can the DOJ maintain the AW registration regime if it's own records are not complete (whether this was intentional or not)? How many more people are in the exact same boat, I wonder?

ke6guj
12-21-2009, 2:11 PM
sounds similar to BATF's issues with the NFA registry being incomplete. ATF would have no record of a registration, with only the owner's orignal copy protecting him. IIRC, it was even documented that ATF employees were shredding registration records because it was quick to shred than to properly fill the documents:eek:

stormy_clothing
12-21-2009, 4:06 PM
hmm a glitch that made legal ownership of property illegal - BS and with AW's no less Mt BS

Gio
12-21-2009, 4:12 PM
That is crazy, glad everything was somewhat worked out. I do not understand LEA's not being able to return ammo especially when it was such a high round count. I swear another member received their ammo but only after they made a second trip and proving their vehicle had no firearms in it.

-Gio

M1A Rifleman
12-21-2009, 4:45 PM
Err, sorry for your troubles. BUT, it seems that if you had/have the DOJ Registration Confirmation Notice - (not the application you submitted to them) - but their confirmation of your registration then your good.

Lesson #2 is not to leave weapons in plain view of LEO's when they come a calling, as nothing good can come of this. Fact is most don't want you to have guns.

Lesson #3 is it is not wise to respond or give up rights without being served with a warrant.

B Strong
12-21-2009, 5:33 PM
sounds similar to BATF's issues with the NFA registry being incomplete. ATF would have no record of a registration, with only the owner's orignal copy protecting him. IIRC, it was even documented that ATF employees were shredding registration records because it was quick to shred than to properly fill the documents:eek:

You're 100% correct.

The first smoking gun is the ATF internal video that has a director level honcho admitting that the NFTR isn't 100% accurate, but that all agents are advised to testify that the NFTR is in fact 100% accurate.

Somewhere on the 'net there's a very interesting set of documents from some noted NFA dealers, along with some NFA owners documenting their experiences with ATF agents - nothing like having an agent in for an inspection and the guy tries to put the bracelets on when you have the registration papers on the table in front of him.

The other smoking gun in the NFTR deal is the registrations done to correct deficiencies revealed during inspections - ATF was still processing Amnesty registration forms well into the 1970's...

GuyW
12-21-2009, 5:38 PM
Sounds like a lawsuit against DOJ to me...
.

SunriseF150
12-21-2009, 6:14 PM
Thats BS that they won't give you the ammo back. Well the whole thing is BS. Glad you got the AW's figured out and all charges dropped. Sucks that their mistakes ending up costing you a lot of money.

hnoppenberger
12-21-2009, 6:25 PM
what did we all learn here boys and girls DONT call the COPS for ANYTHING.
S S and S.

and certainly dont show them any guns.
big brother is not your friend.

Sniper3142
12-21-2009, 7:06 PM
Personally, I wouldn't call the police to pick up my trash!

:mad:

And I don't believe it was an accidental computer "glitch" at all. They (CADOJ) will use any underhanded method to steal,confiscate, or destroy any and every firearm in civilian hands. They have enlisted LE agencies in this plot, which is why it is so hard to get firearms back from the police, even after you prove you legally own them.

I've always expected some JBT to say his computer is down and since he can't verify the status of my registered AWs, he'll have to confiscate them!

FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS.

Of course... my tinfoil hat might be on too tight....

But I don't think so.

trashman
12-21-2009, 7:20 PM
IN 2003 DOJ MADE SOME CHANGES TO THE AUTOMATED WEAPONS COMPUTER PROGRAM, THOSE CHANGES CAUSED MANY REGISTERED WEAPONS TO BE DELETED DUE TO SOME TYPE OF IDENTIFICATION FIELD GLITCH, A MISSING A COMMA OR HYPHEN, ETC.,,DONT REALLY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT, ONLY A BRIEF EXPLANATION FROM THE DOJ EMPLOYEE.
THEN AT SOME POINT TO SAVE MONEY AND FREE UP STORAGE SPACE THE DOJ DECIDED TO DESTROY THE ORIGINAL CARD STOCK APPLICATIONS THEY HAD REQUIRED EVERYONE TO SUBMIT.
WITHOUT ANY NOTIFICATION OR EXPLANATION, 3 OF MY REGISTERED WEAPONS HAD MYSTERIOUSLY BEEN PURGED, COMPUTER GLITCH OR INTENTIONAL DOJ ADMITS NO FAULT ABOUT THE WHOLE THING.

That is pretty horrifying. It is infuriating as a taxpayer -- and fellow gunny - to hear how the State's inability to keep a freaking database (it's probably not even that large...) of registrations leads to felony criminal charges.

--Neill

Gnzrme
12-21-2009, 7:34 PM
just another example of the Man keeping Us down....but with CGF, we WILL NOT let these injustices go unnoticed...There should be a law to cover personal damages against the state agent (cop, DOJ, DA, Govenor, whomever) that confiscates your weapons/personal property in error....If I F up in my job, the county will not cover me for my error and my *** is on the line personally....plus they will report me to the State Board as making a mistake which could affect my ability to remain a Nurse....So if I am SOL, then why isnt a cop that common sense would tell you that there is somekind of mistake??? Oh, I get it...Common Sense and Policeman do not go together....I do not like people that cannot think outside of a box, form or law...

Glad you are not in prison....at a minimum, the State should cover your attorney fee's and return ALL of your property.....

Werewolf1021
12-21-2009, 7:39 PM
This is the second story I've heard of where the person did not get the ammo back. Is there some sort of law or the police dragging their feet?

If you do sue, include the ammo. That's alot of money for THEIR mistake.

Shotgun Man
12-21-2009, 8:01 PM
This is the second story I've heard of where the person did not get the ammo back. Is there some sort of law or the police dragging their feet?

If you do sue, include the ammo. That's alot of money for THEIR mistake.

Have the judge sign an order at the conclusion of the case specifying the items of property to be returned. Attach the police property report. Of course, to pick up firearms you're gonna need the DOJ clearance form.

If the police fail to comply, contempt hearing.

There's no way the cops can justify keeping ammo. A reasonably intelligent pro per could pull this off.

KaTooM
12-21-2009, 8:01 PM
I am glad you got your rifles back.

I must say in my opinion the police were not at fault in this case. We have limited info on what really happened. but the info provided by the op is the police were called for a firearm discharge incident possible assault. While investigating they spot what appeared to be an AW(and it was) They followed protocol and called it in(no record of registration) even though the owner possessor showed paperwork they confiscated all weapons and ammo assuming an AW violation(this part sucks but what are they suppose to do with a piece of paper that does not match the DOJ database)

I have to assume that this was clearly the fault of the DOJ not properly maintaining there records based on the outcome. lessons learned in my case:

When police arrive to investigate, put weapons in safe and answer door. Talk to them outside...then let them do there job.

If I get charged with a crime, or possible contraband is confiscated. keep my mouth shut and call a lawyer.

And this... http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=251901

CGF to the rescue again good job!

CCWFacts
12-21-2009, 9:12 PM
When police arrive to investigate, put weapons in safe and answer door. Talk to them outside...then let them do there job.

Yes. Inviting them in invites them to see all kinds of things. The OP found out the hard way that even something which is 100% legal can lead to a work of trouble.

Talk to the police outside. The proper method is to go out the door and lock it behind you and then talk to them.

This isn't an anti-police rant. When some individual police officer is under investigation, they also zip lips. It's just common sense to do that in any interaction like that.

McCrown
12-21-2009, 9:21 PM
Wait, Cal DOJ has lost some of the records... how do they know that I didn't have an AW registered then lost the paperwork? This sounds like it is a good resource to fight the AW ban...

Ding126
12-21-2009, 9:41 PM
Wait, Cal DOJ has lost some of the records... how do they know that I didn't have an AW registered then lost the paperwork? This sounds like it is a good resource to fight the AW ban...

They should allow for re-registration of AW...........could you imagine 20k more being registered thank original data showed..lol

bodger
12-21-2009, 9:59 PM
I can imagine the DOJ not caring about preservation of records when if they lose them, hundreds or even thousands of AWs can be confiscated.
I love the fact that CGF would be up their butts in a heartbeat though.

I wouldn't let an LEO into my house without a warrant on my worst day. This is exactly the kind of crap that can happen.

RobK
12-21-2009, 10:07 PM
I didn't want to start a rant, just remind everyone of this story.

The whole thing was posted way back when it originally happened and after reading some of the recent confiscations on the site I thought it a good reminder to bring it up again.
It's over and settled now, I learned the lessons everyone is posting in response.
I just want everyone to keep things like this in the back of your mind.
And yes I have talked to LEO's since the incident and many of them are now aware of the computer thing, at least in my county.

Shiloh13
12-22-2009, 12:46 AM
This is the first I have heard of this.

I have an AR registered 10 years ago. I have the letter sent to me by the DOJ.

What is the best procedure for verifying before this becomes a problem and, am I opening myself to problems by contacting them if they have lost my records... i.e. possessing an AW that they now say is unregistered?

ke6guj
12-22-2009, 1:24 AM
I've been told that if you submit an AFS request, http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/AFSPrivateCitizen.pdf , that it'll show any AWs that you have registered.

SteveH
12-22-2009, 4:10 PM
Scary stuff.

Wild Squid
12-22-2009, 5:35 PM
I didn't want to start a rant, just remind everyone of this story.

The whole thing was posted way back when it originally happened and after reading some of the recent confiscations on the site I thought it a good reminder to bring it up again.
It's over and settled now, I learned the lessons everyone is posting in response.
I just want everyone to keep things like this in the back of your mind.
And yes I have talked to LEO's since the incident and many of them are now aware of the computer thing, at least in my county.


I think what I and everyone else wants to know is, how much money did you lose in the whole ordeal? Value of property, ammo, court costs, defense attorney fees? You say you got your guns back, but did you ever get your ammo back? Or was that considered as your contribution for the state's ammo reserves? Did you get reimbursed for the direct costs of having to defend yourself noting again said court costs and defense attorney fees? Did you sue the DOJ for? How did you end up in terms of financial restitution? I really want to know because I have not heard anyone speak of such things yet on this boad.

guntntteacher
12-23-2009, 3:08 PM
So has anyone successfully checked to see if their records are accurate? If so how?

If the records are inaccurate, how do you go about fixing them?