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After a lengthy court fight, a Clovis family forced the return of 500 firearms seized by the California Department of Justice in 2015.

The weapons were confiscated by state DOJ agents acting on information that Albert Sheakalee was barred from owning guns because he was in the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons (APPS) database.

However, his attorney, Mark Coleman of Fresno, argued that Sheakalee did not know that he was in the database. Coleman said the justice department broke a promise to Sheakalee to keep the raid confidential until a court hearing determined whether he was mentally fit to own guns.

The arrest of Sheakalee and the gun seizure were highly publicized by the DOJ in a 2015 news release that received widespread media coverage. At the time of the arrest, the DOJ stated Sheakalee was barred from firearms ownership “as a result of being taken into custody under Welfare and Institutions Code 5150,” under which officers can take someone in for evaluation if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

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