In newspaper headlines, reported on the radio, featured in television newscasts - congratulations to our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are special agents in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Firearms Bureau for showing the nation how taking guns from the hands of convicted felons and the mentally ill can help to save lives.
"A lot of media attention has been focused on our special agents, and what can only be viewed as the lifesaving work they perform, since the mass murders in Colorado and most recently Connecticut," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "The special agents spend their days and nights going face to face with people who have chosen to arm themselves when the law says they can't have firearms because they are convicted felons or mentally ill. You don't want these types of individuals to have firepower and DOJ special agents see that they don't."
But special agents have reported, they are overwhelmed. Currently there are 33 special agents working to take away firearms from those who, by law, should not have them. Compare that to the more than 19,700 armed prohibited people in California believed to be in possession of more than 34,000 handguns and 1,590 assault weapons.
Reporters up and down the state have gone on ride-alongs with special agents, showing the nation what it takes to keep guns from the hands of those, the law deems, most likely to misuse them.
"We thank Special Agent John Marsh who is quoted in the newspapers and seen in the television news reports, but we also thank all of the special agents who's names and faces aren't being used given the nature of their work," said Barcelona. "These agents are in danger and risk their lives every time they knock on a door and we thank them for their dedication in helping to keep Californians safe from harm, safe from bloodshed. The work they do is deserving of the recent media coverage and always has been."
To view recent media coverage highlighting the work of DOJ special agents:
CNN Tonight on AC360: California goes after illegal guns
CBS Tense moments as California agents confiscate illegal guns