SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Amidst the protests Wednesday, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra touted a series of arrests, and weapons seizures he says will proactively prevent gun violence.
The State Department of Justice tracks firearm owners prohibited from having the weapons through a database called the Armed Prohibited Persons System.
Photos show some of the high powered weapons taken from California homes in a recent operation. Now the firearms are stored as evidence by the California Department of Justice.
Grenade launchers, AR-15 style assault weapons, and so called-ghost guns were all rounded up from seven law enforcement operations across California.
“California is the first and only state in the United States of America to establish an automatic system for tracking firearm owners who might fall into prohibited status,” Becerra said.
Becerra credits the operation that led to the seizures to the APPS database that cross-references firearms owners against criminal records, mental health records, and restraining orders.
In 2017 alone, the APPS database has led to the seizure of more than 3,600 firearms, and 800,000 rounds of ammunition that had been in the hands of those no longer legally allowed to possess weapons.
“We believe its a system that needs to be improved,” Firearms Policy Coalition director Craig DeLuz said. “What we see happening is resources go into the Department of Justice, in order to implement APPS, and those resources go to other things.”
DeLuz became critical of the APPS program following a 2013 state audit showing a need for more quality control. The audit found errors in the database, not always properly identifying people prohibited from owning guns.
The legislature gave the Department of Justice $24 million a year to manage the operation.