California is delivering its yearly report on a program designed to track firearm owners who fall into a prohibited category. The Armed and Prohibited Persons database keeps track of people who are not legally allowed to have guns. The newest data from the APPS database shows a decrease in the amount of people on the prohibited list. Of the 9,917 prohibited people removed from the APPS database this year, 3,598 removals were the result of enforcement efforts – 377 more removals compared to 2021, an increase of almost 12%. The database also helped the DOJ sieze a number of prohibited firearms in 2022: 1,437 total including 712 handguns, 360 rifles, 194 shotguns, 80 assault weapons, 54 ghost guns, 43 recievers or frames, 3 short-barreled shotguns, and 1 machine gun. The 54 ghost guns shows an alarming increase in the number of them being siezed by law enforcement - a 38% increase from 2021 and a 575% increase since 2018, when DOJ only seized 8 ghost guns. Agents also seized 308 large-capacity magazines, 2,123 standard capacity magazines, and 281,299 rounds of ammunition.
AG Rob Bonta says the Department of Justice is using a database to knock on doors and confiscate firearms from people who he says have no business possessing them and don't necessarily want to give them up. In response to the overall increase in ghost gun seizures across the state, DOJ is expanding efforts in that area. Ghost guns are firearms constructed by private citizens that do not have a serial number, which means they are not registered. Attorney General Bonta: “As California’s chief law enforcement officer, protecting public safety and our communities from the threat of gun violence is my top priority. I’m proud of the work our Special Agents do on behalf of the people of California. These brave agents are rarely in the spotlight, but they are working every day to prevent gun violence from ever happening by removing dangerous weapons from communities. When guns are in dangerous hands, it puts the public at risk. We will continue working with the Governor’s Office, Legislature, and our local partners to address gun violence.”
Califorina became the first state to create a database like this back in 2006. So far, the Golden State is the only state in the nation to establish a system for tracking prohibited firearm owners.