The list is known as the Armed Prohibited Persons System, and while it has failed to prevent mass shootings in San Bernardino, Isla Vista and other cities in the state, it has taken tens of thousands of guns out of the hands of people prohibited from having them.
State officials say the kind of restraining order that a family or law enforcement official is allowed to seek here against someone of concern might have landed Nikolas Cruz, the alleged school shooter in Parkland, on the list if one existed in Florida. The work of Richardson's agents is overwhelming, with the number of guns and "prohibiteds" growing faster than the underresourced teams can take them off the street.
"But it's important for us to go after those who really matter." The house where Barreto is supposed to be living appears empty.
But it is monitored by video technology, which has made the agents' job harder, serving as an early warning for those inside or who are about to return home.
A dozen years ago, the state set up a database that flags law enforcement officials when a registered gun owner is convicted of a felony, deemed mentally ill, has received a restraining order or committed one of about 37 qualifying misdemeanors. - By the time Senior Special Agent Sam Richardson's team rolled up to the small house on Lark Ellen Avenue in a cool twilight, it had little to show for several hours of work. At the gray house on a corner in Pomona, yes, Nohemi Page was home with her infant.But the four pistols registered in her name - guns that felony convictions in California now rendered illegal for her to possess - were long gone.When Page went to drug rehab, her aunt placed her belongings in a storage unit, then stopped paying the monthly fee.The guns, as elusive as quicksilver in a country awash in weapons, now belonged to whoever bought the contents in a blind auction.At least, for some members of the team, which regularly puts in 20 hours of overtime a week."I wish I had the Popeye's fried chicken right now, but the Panda will do," said Special Agent Coseglia, a native of Flint, Michigan, while looking down at a plastic tray full of stir-fried noodles.The case will be sent to Richardson's counterparts there. A half-hour later, along Lark Ellen Avenue in Azusa, the team's luck begins to turn.The house where Brenda Rivera is believed to be living has a hammock strung between a pair of trees in the front yard. The girl is his daughter Kristin - Rivera's granddaughter - who has just returned home from winning the district basketball championship at Las Palmas Middle School."It plays into the mind-set of some of these people." Around 2 p.m., the team heads out in a trio of black cars, no license plates, and a minivan with a lockbox in back to hold evidence.On a breezy Wednesday afternoon, the Los Angeles sky is clear of haze. The state agents do not share their operations with local law enforcement officials.