On February 22nd, 2023

California DOJ Special Agents Seize Dozens of Guns from Azusa Man Legally Barred from Possessing them

LOS ANGELES — On February 21, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the arrest of and felony charges against a suspect with a large cache of illegal firearms, including assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition. The suspect is alleged to be legally barred from owning weapons due to a mental-health based prohibition and was listed in the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) database as owning one firearm.

Special agents from the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Firearms (BOF) contacted the individual at the suspect’s residence in Azusa to retrieve his outstanding firearm. After being denied entry to the residence and obtaining a search warrant, agents entered the home and found:

  • four machine guns,
  • seven assault weapons,
  • a short-barreled rifle,
  • four suppressors/silencers,
  • six handguns,
  • one shotgun,
  • four rifles,
  • 54 lower receivers/frames,
  • 41 standard capacity magazines,
  • 87 large-capacity magazines,
  • and approximately 35,000 rounds of miscellaneous ammunition.

“This is precisely why California DOJ special agents are assigned to investigate gun possession by those listed in the APPS database,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “These special agents have a dangerous job, entering the homes of those suspected of illegally possessing firearms, possession being illegal because  of a felony or a violent misdemeanor conviction, domestic violence or other restraining order, or the person suffers from serious mental illness.  This law enforcement work is necessary to protect public safety.”

The suspect was arrested on January 25th and charged by DOJ’s Criminal Law Division with multiple felonies, including unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of an assault weapon, intentional conversion of a firearm into a machine gun, possession of a machine gun, unlawful assault weapon activity, unlawful manufacture or possession of a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, unlawful possession of ammunition, and possession of a silencer.

In 2006, California became the first and only state in the nation to establish a system for tracking firearm owners who fall into a prohibited status. The APPS database works to identify individuals who lawfully procured firearms and later became prohibited from owning or possessing them. In general, prohibited persons in APPS include individuals who were convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, were placed under a domestic violence or other restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness.

“This arrest demonstrates exactly why the Armed and Prohibited Persons system is vital for the safety of our communities,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In our efforts to retrieve just one gun from a prohibited individual, we found dozens of illegal weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. I am grateful for our Bureau of Firearms agents’ work in getting these illegal weapons out of the hands of this prohibited individual.”


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