California Governor Jerry Brown may boast about his efforts to keep California solvent, but the budget problems of the state are severe enough that there is no money to track down roughly 20,000 convicts and mentally ill citizens to confiscate their 39,000 firearms.
Stephen Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms for the state Department of Justice, said that the names in the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons database won’t do any good because there simply isn’t enough money to hire forces to find them; it would cost $25 million and take three years. The felons and mentally ill people who own the guns usually buy the guns before they are on record with the database.
Democratic Sens. Mark Leno of San Francisco and President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento have a way past the problem; they are sponsoring a bill that would take the funds collected from gun buyers’ background checks, $20 million, and apply it to tracking down the felons’ and mentally ill people’s guns.