SACRAMENTO - When California Department of Justice special agents teamed with Sacramento Sheriff's deputies in a three-day operation to removed firearms from people who are not legally allowed to possess them, the results were huge. Agents and deputies seized 82 firearms and arrested 10 people.
"To seize 82 firearms, in one community, in three days, from individuals who are legally barred from possessing them due to mental conditions or domestic violence is nothing short of a win for public safety," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Seizing firearms from those who, by law, should not posses them, is an extremely dangerous job. I am thankful the agents and deputies remained safe and thank them for their brave actions."
Together, the agents and deputies targeted individuals on the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) list. In addition, according to the Attorney General's office, this operation helped to reduce the number of individuals in APPS to a historic low. As of November 4, 2015, the number of individuals on the APPS list is 13,918, the lowest it’s been since January 2009.
“Removing firearms from dangerous and violent individuals who pose a threat to themselves and the public is a top priority for the California Department of Justice,” said Attorney General Harris. “I thank our Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms Special Agents and the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department for their bravery in carrying out these dangerous investigations and their commitment to keeping our communities safe.”
The three-day operation, conducted the week of October 26, included 27 California Department of Justice special agents and 20 Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies.
Over the last two years, the California Department of Justice has doubled the average number of guns seized per year and increased the number of investigations per month by nearly 300%, enabling special agents to conduct 17,465 investigations as of October 30, 2015.
In May, California Department of Justice special agents and Los Angeles County local law enforcement partners conducted an APPS operation that resulted in the seizure of 254 firearms, 48,000 rounds of ammunition, and 18 illegal high capacity magazines. The L.A. County operation also resulted in the arrest of 26 individuals.
APPS works to identify individuals who previously purchased firearms, but later became prohibited from legally owning them because they were convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, placed under a domestic violence restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness. The database was completed in November 2006, and instantly created a queue of thousands of investigations.
California is the first and only state in the nation to establish an automated system for tracking handgun and assault weapon owners who might fall into a prohibited status.