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OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has completed a three-day sweep in the Bay Area to remove firearms from individuals legally barred from possessing them. The operation was a joint effort with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Contra Costa County Probation Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - Division of Adult Parole Operations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The sweep targeted individuals listed as prohibited from possessing firearms in DOJ’s Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS), and resulted in the seizure of 30 firearms and eight arrests.
“I’m thankful to the dedicated DOJ special agents and local law enforcement who partnered on our latest APPS sweep in the Bay Area,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Removing firearms from those who are no longer legally allowed to possess them is a critical part of our work to reduce and prevent gun violence. Throughout the pandemic, our APPS agents have had to develop new strategies that allowed them to continue the work of protecting the public while respecting travel restrictions, self-isolation, and social distancing requirements. Sweeps like this one allow our agents to get back into the community and get firearms and ammunition out of potentially dangerous hands.”
In 2006, the State of California became the first and only state in the nation to establish a system for tracking firearm owners who fall into a prohibited status.
The APPS database works to identify individuals who lawfully procured firearms and later became prohibited from owning them. In general, prohibited persons in APPS include individuals who were convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor, were placed under a domestic violence or other restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness.
On January 11, 2022, APPS agents from throughout the state consolidated their investigative efforts in the Bay Area and worked with local and federal law enforcement to engage in a three-day sweep. The goal of the operation was to disarm individuals in APPS who are now prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. The teams thoroughly analyzed and exhausted their leads in 338 cases in the counties of Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, and Solano.
This month’s sweep as well as four others conducted in mid to late 2021, have allowed DOJ’s Bureau of Firearms to maximize the number of cases worked and prohibited persons disarmed.
DOJ’s Bureau of Firearms’ (BOF) serves the people of California through education, regulation, and enforcement actions regarding the manufacture, sale, ownership, safety training, and transfer of firearms and ammunition. BOF staff are leaders in providing firearms expertise and information to law enforcement, legislators, and the general public in a comprehensive program to promote legitimate and responsible firearms possession and use by California residents. The Bureau of Firearms is looking to hire additional Special Agents and more information on assessments for relevant job openings can be found on the California Department of Justice website here: https://oag.ca.gov/careers/exams.