A California family has finally had their illegally seized firearms and ammunition returned after over a year in the courts. The collection has an estimated value of over 1 million dollars. It consisted of 541 rifles, pistols, and shotguns, and over 100,000 rounds of ammunition. 10 of the rifles were registered "assault weapons" under California law. One was a bolt action .50 caliber. Albert Sheakalee has had a federal firearms license since the early 1990's.
Sheakalee was mistakenly included on the California Armed & Prohibited Persons System (APPS) because of seeking treatment for high stress during the summer of 2015. He is 60 years old. Sheakalee is a Christian refugee who fled Iran in the 1970's after the Ayatollah took over the country. He has never had problems with the police and has no criminal record. He prospered in America, earned a degree in accounting, and worked his way up to become budget director of the local hospital's health care department.
Sheakalee says that he had no idea that he was on the APPS list until the raid occurred. Postal records show him receiving notification of his inclusion on the list on November 25th, 13 days after the raid happened on November 12th. From the sacbee.com:
However, Coleman said, postal records indicate the letter was not delivered until Nov. 25, 2015, 13 days after Sheakalee was arrested for possessing the weapons. No charges were filed against Sheakalee by the Fresno County District Attorney.On 12 July, 2016, Sheakalee was notified that all charges against him were resolved. No charges were ever actually filed against him. Sheakalee had to go to court to have the million plus dollars worth of firearms and ammunition returned.
All of Sheakalee's firearms were legal. Sheakalee had gone to considerable effort to insure that he met the byzantine requirements of California firearms law. The firearms were locked in safes, in a locked room that had an alarm system. The firearms could have been transferred to another dealer or somewhere else for safekeeping while the legal issues were resolved.
So why didn't the California DOJ call Albert Sheakalee to determine what was going on? Sheakalee was a well respected member of the community who had lived there for many years. He had become prosperous through hard work and frugality. He had a federal firearms license for decades.
Sheakalee's lawyer, Mark Coleman, says that the reason is politics. Kamala Harris was running for Senator in California at the time. From fresnobee.com:
And it’s because Harris wants to promote her image among anti-gun supporters at Sheakalee’s expense, the lawyer said.A case of what magnitude? No criminals were involved. A federal firearms dealer had his inventory and collection confiscated because of a mistake in the very database Kamala Harris was touting as a great crime fighting tool.
“It’s politics. She wants to be senator,” he said.
But Harris’ press secretary, Kristin Ford, said, “A case of this magnitude requires the public be notified, as a matter of transparency and trust.”
If the case had been investigated and reported on truthfully, it would have been a black eye for Kamala Harris, an embarrassment. Instead, it was touted as a great success and may have contributed to her winning the Senate seat.
The Sheakalee family eventually had their property returned, at great expense in time, treasure, and trauma. Kamala Harris is a Senator.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.