CA GOP: Why is State AG Allowing Prohibited Persons to Retain Firearms?

AP Photo/Al Behrman
AP Photo/Al Behrman

California Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-29th) sent a letter on Tuesday to Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-24th) asking why persons prohibited from gun ownership due to mental illness or criminal records continue to retain their firearms.

In the letter, Huff pointed out that a 2013 audit of the California Attorney General’s Armed Prohibited Person System (APPS) found “a backlog of 20,000 armed prohibited persons in California.” These 20,000 “were believed to believed to be in possession of over 39,000 handguns and 1,670 assault weapons.”

Huff points out that by January 1, 2014, the figures from the 2013 audit actually increased to 21,249 prohibited persons still in possession of their firearms.  And the number of guns believed to be possessed by these prohibited persons jumped from 39,000 to 41,842.

Huff then retraces CA Attorney General’s Kamala Harris’s explanation that her office lacked sufficient funds to address the prohibited persons list, and how she argued in early 2013 that the list could be handled with “roughly $8 million per year.” Going beyond that request, the legislature allotted the CA DOJ “$24 million in special funds” to get it done.

Yet, as of December 31, 2014, the list of 21,249 prohibited persons still in possession of firearms had only be whittled down to 17,479.

It is interesting to note that when Santa Barbara gunman Elliot Rodger shot and killed three people on May 23, 2014, Democrat office holders argued for — and subsequently got — the ability to seize guns via “Gun Violence Restraining Orders.” These are intended to be used to take guns from persons believed to be prone to use firearms to harm others or themselves.

Now, if persons prohibited from owning guns under the Democrats’ own plans are allowed to keep their guns, what guarantee do law-abiding citizens have that crimes committed by such persons won’t be used to justify even more gun control?

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