Five years ago, California lawmakers launched a crackdown that has seized 18,000 firearms, including assault rifles, from thousands of people convicted of felonies, subject to domestic violence restraining orders or judged by the courts to be severely mentally ill.
A surge in gun sales and a reduction in funding for the program has stymied efforts by the state Department of Justice to eliminate a backlog of people in California who have firearms and shouldn’t. Approximately 10,226 people remain on a list of Californians who legally purchased guns but were later disqualified from possessing them.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a new law is giving law enforcement officials more power to disarm Californians.
The backlog problem has been made worse by a 2014 law change that added owners of long guns to the Armed and Prohibited Persons System list, which had previously comprised only handgun owners.
At the peak of funding, the DOJ had 82 agents and managers assigned to the program, but with extra funding gone, the force is down to 67.