Updated 2019-07-26 for clarity, new details have been added to the original story at the bottom of the article.
The Lodi, California Police Department reported an arrest on their Facebook page, I’ve embedded their post below (and have saved a screenshot of the status should it be removed).
The long and short of it is that Joshua Barrington, 43 of Lodi, California was caught owning firearms and firearms accessories which he was prohibited from owning as a "prohibited person" according to the police, and he is presumed by the police to have been selling firearms. He was caught after the Lodi Police Department raided his home based upon an anonymous tip.
What police took from Mr. Barrington as evidence, following the raid, is a modest cache by many collectors’ and hobbyists’ standards (though it may not sound it to the layman):
- A completely legal rifle
- Several 80% AR-15 lower receivers (illegal in California without serial numbers)
- A jig and the tools required to finish those receivers
- AR-15 drop in triggers and other lower receiver parts
- Other AR-15 parts
- One completed AR-15 (illegal in California)
- Several 80% pistol frames (illegal in California without serial numbers)
- A jig and the tools required to finish those frames
- Parts to finish those firearms
- Assorted ammunition
- A silencer (or suppressor if we choose to use more accurate terms, illegal federally without a tax stamp)
- Body armor
Many enthusiasts own much more. My collection is similar in some senses, it differs in some key ways: I know for certain that I have no intentions of selling firearms nor firearms accessories to anyone, and I do not own what my home state has branded as illegal (as California has arbitrarily done with much of what Mr. Barrington owns). The police would be misguided if they believe this volume of firearms is indicative of sales, much less a frequent firearms dealer.
Seemingly (based on the reporting of the PD), an anonymous tip was enough to convince a judge to issue a warrant; I sincerely hope they had more evidence than that. A tip from a source who is unwilling to face the accused in court should not be considered probable cause by any self-respecting judge.
Mr. Barrington is a convicted violent felon; at least according to the Lodi Police department. Here many a conservative will stop reading, most progressives stopped reading some time ago: having possible prior convictions is enough for most to validate government infringing upon this man’s fourth and second amendment rights and property rights; regardless of the fact that he paid for those crimes and has served his time for them.
I urge you to keep reading.
I urge you to keep reading; my audience is not “most people” I trust you can come to your own conclusions. Rights are not granted by governments, rights are granted by God. Governments are instituted to preserve rights, not to restrict rights. Yes, it is a valid purpose of government to impose punishments and rehabilitation for criminals who, beyond a reasonable doubt, have violated the rights of others. The police department has reported that Mr. Barrington is one of these people, they claim he is a violent felon who violated someone’s rights, has served his time, and since been freed. When does the punishment end if not when he has been released? Once he is free, why is he not completely free? Who granted government the authority to restrict the rights of free men, after their debts have been paid?
God hasn’t granted government the authority to restrict the rights of any free man (nor any man imprisoned for “crimes” without victims), only to protect the rights of people within that government’s borders.
The majority has no authority to grant such an authority to governments. Oppression by a vote is no better than oppression by a monarch.
Joshua Barrington, if he even was a felon, must have had served his time and is a free man who has even been given custody of his young son; he therefore has a right to property, he has a right to self-defense, he has a right to bear the arms he chooses in pursuit of that self-defense, and he has a right to privacy. California’s laws (and Federal laws requiring tax stamps for firearms and accessories such as silencers) are oppressively restrictive against property rights, self-defense rights, and the right to bear arms. Furthermore if this man’s warrant was signed only based upon an anonymous tip, then at least one California judge is acting to oppress this man’s fourth amendment rights; his right to privacy.
Some may say this is the wrong hill to die on, let the man with priors be walked on. I can’t do that, so I have helped this man to pay for his lawyer so that hopefully he is represented as well as is possible and so that he may not be punished for what appears to amount to a hobby, a hobby that many others enjoy in their spare time. I’m asking you to do the same if you feel so moved. He is a father with custody of his son; the emotional appeal that invokes should be unnecessary, logically we should simply be able to recognize if his rights may be trampled by a government then anyone’s may be.
A link to his GoFundMe page is below; if you can, I encourage you to help this man through this troubling time to pay his lawyer.
Please, God let justice be done.
UPDATE: I believe that even freed felons must have the same protected rights we all enjoy. Since this story broke I have been searching for Joshua Barrington's, 43 (Lodi, California) felony record as is claimed by the Lodi Police Department and have been unable to find a violent record. I was however able find a violent record for one Joshua Barrington, 24 (Mariposa, California); this is Mr. Barrington's adult son (not the son in Mr. Barrington's custody), there is a chance that the anonymous tip was enough for a warrant because of the priors of another person in a case of mistaken identity.
If anyone has the ability to perform more complete background checks than I am capable, of I would appreciate if you could do additional research on this. The warrant for Joshua Barrington, 43 could have been wrongfully issued, if it was based on mistaken identity and this may help drop the charges against Mr. Barrington who claims he has no violent criminal record.
Mr. Barrington says the anonymous tip that led to his arrest is an attempt by his ex's family to defame him, so that his ex may gain full custody of their child.