‘Outrageous’: California Lawmakers Slam Police for Failing to Use Gun Database

‘Outrageous’: California Lawmakers Slam Police for Failing to Use Gun Database

Cottie Petrie-Norris, a Democrat who represents parts of Orange County in the California state assembly, is one of several lawmakers pledging to improve usage of a state gun database. AP /Rich Pedroncelli Several California lawmakers have vowed to act after an investigation by The Trace and NBC Bay Area found widespread problems with how police and sheriff’s departments were logging firearms into a crime gun database. “It is outrageous and upsetting when agencies don’t do their job, period. In this case, it is a matter of life and death,” said Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, the chair of the Assembly’s Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. “Since the departments are not fulfilling their legal responsibilities, it merits immediate and thorough oversight.” State law requires law enforcement agencies to log any recovered gun they suspect of being involved in a crime as a “crime” gun in the California Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System database. The “crime” tag ensures that information about the firearm is routed to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing, a process that reveals the first legal owner of the gun and the store from which it was purchased. Policing experts consider gun tracing integral to solving crimes and preventing gun trafficking. The Trace and NBC Bay Area found that nearly 150 departments have violated the requirement. Between 2010 and 2020, officers improperly logged nearly one out of four guns they recovered — more than 90,000 firearms in all. As a result, agencies may have deprived […]

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