Police refuse to return guns despite dropping all charges nearly four months ago
After falsely arresting a concealed carry permit holder nearly four months ago, Bakersfield, Calif., police confiscated all the guns from his home and never returned them, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
The permit holder, former vice principal Kent Williams, was arrested at Tevis Junior High School on Aug. 28 for carrying on campus despite state law exempting concealed carry permit holders.
Police then went to Williams’ home and confiscated his entire collection of firearms.
“If it was you or I, we would call it theft,” Williams’ attorney, Daniel Rodriguez, said after filing the civil lawsuit.
Williams was released without charges a few hours after his arrest but police have not returned his guns nearly 15 weeks after the incident.
“My client was arrested illegally,” Rodriguez told The Bakersfield Californian. “To arrest someone you have to have probable cause; once they saw the concealed weapons permit, there was no probable cause.”
Subsection (l) of the California Penal Code Section 626.9 prohibits the possession of firearms in designated school zones but makes it clear the gun ban does not apply to “a person holding a valid license to carry the firearm.”
Even though the officers confirmed Williams’ permit was valid with their supervisors, Rodriguez pointed out, they were told to arrest him anyway.
In addition, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office suspended Williams’ permit a month after the arrest without any explanation.
The lawsuit, which names the City of Bakersfield, two police officers and others as defendants, alleges the arrest and gun confiscation violated Williams’ Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights.
“Defendants… under color of law detained, seized, arrested and used unreasonable and excessive force against Plaintiff without probably cause, reasonable suspicion or justification,” the suit states.
Gun confiscations are becoming epidemic in California.
Over the past few years, cops have been raiding the homes of gun owners for their firearms after the State of California placed the owners on an “Armed Prohibited Persons” list, which keeps growing every year.
All of the targeted APPs had purchased their firearms legally but the government later declared they were prohibited from gun ownership due to minor misdemeanor convictions or mental health “concerns.”
In one notable incident, 14 officers showed up at Joe Mendez’s home and shoved two M16s in his face while carrying off his entire gun collection.
Police even showed up later to lie to his wife about the raid, claiming they were only taking a report after her car was involved in a “hit and run.”