On Tuesday, June 21, 2011, two critical bills to help law enforcement disarm convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill advanced in the California Legislature. Currently, Californians who lawfully purchased handguns before they became prohibited from possessing firearms are identified in the state’s Armed and Prohibited Persons (APPS) database. As ABC7 News recently reported, the APPS database is a crucial tool to get guns out of the wrong hands. APPS sweeps conducted this month alone recovered 1,209 guns from 1,011 prohibited persons.

AB 809 (Feuer), which passed the Senate Public Safety Committee, would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to retain copies of sales records for rifles and shotguns, as DOJ currently does for handguns. Co-sponsored by the Law Center, AB 809 would significantly expand the APPS database, enabling law enforcement to identify prohibited owners of long guns, as well as handguns.

The Law Center also strongly supports SB 819 (Leno), which passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. SB 819 would enable DOJ to use funds acquired from firearm sales fees for APPS enforcement efforts. The APPS database presently contains the names of approximately 18,000 Californians illegally in possession of over 34,000 handguns, making APPS funding a critical public safety priority.

The Law Center testified in support of both bills in Tuesday’s committee hearings and will continue to advocate for their passage as they proceed forward. For more information about all of the important firearms bills advancing in the California Legislature, see our Summary of 2011 California Firearms Legislation.