LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that special agents from the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms (BOF) removed 25 firearms from an individual who is legally barred from owning weapons and who is listed in the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) database.
The subject of the seizure, Mark Morman, is named in the APPS database due to a prior domestic violence criminal protective order issued against him in September 2017. The order required Mr. Morman to sell or surrender all firearms and ammunition in his possession within 24 hours.
On January 10, 2018, BOF special agents conducted an operation at Mr. Morman's residence in North Hollywood to search for two firearms registered in California that had not been relinquished. At the conclusion of the search, agents had seized 25 firearms, 44 ammunition magazines and approximately 2,085 rounds of miscellaneous caliber ammunition.
“Public safety is our number one priority, and we are committed to cracking down on illegal possession of firearms,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The California Department of Justice and our special agents make every effort to ensure that guns stay out of the wrong hands. Mark Morman is now the subject of prosecution involving his alleged criminal possession of firearms. In partnership with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, we now hand this case over to them for prosecution. It is thanks to the bravery of our agents that our communities and neighborhoods are safer.”
“There is a powerful link between domestic abuse and gun violence,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “In this case, we allege the defendant—prohibited from possessing even a single gun due to a pending domestic violence case—had a massive stockpile of more than two dozen unsecured weapons and 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Imagine this arsenal next door to you and your family, in the hands of someone under a criminal protective order. My office will continue working closely with law enforcement partners to keep guns away from people who are prohibited from owning them.”
Mr. Morman was booked into the Los Angeles Sherriff's Department Inmate Reception Center on two charges: possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. Additional charges were filed by the City Attorney's Office on the counts of importation of a large capacity magazine, unlawful storage of a firearm, and resisting and delaying an investigation. The defendant pled not guilty on January 31, 2018. The next court date is set for February 27, 2018.
This operation, as well as ongoing and day-to-day investigations, has reduced the number of individuals in the APPS database – those who own illegal firearms – to a historic low. APPS works to identify individuals who previously procured firearms, but later became barred from legally owning them because they were convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, placed under a domestic violence restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness. The State of California is the first and only state in the nation to establish an automated system for tracking firearm owners who might fall into a prohibited status.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra / Tuesday, February 6, 2018