Aided by a new database that matches criminal histories with gun owners, state and local law enforcement agents have begun rounding up California’s most violent gun-toting felons, says the Los Angeles Daily News. Authorities have identified 110 fugitives, ex-convicts, and other offenders who legally purchased guns then later were convicted of violent crimes. Some 890 others have been identified across the state. Today, Attorney General Jerry Brown is expected to announce the results of recent statewide sweeps on suspected gun-owning felons.
The sweeps were made possible by the Armed Prohibited Persons System program, a statewide database with some 9,000 names. Under the program, state agents team up with local law enforcement agencies to crack down on convicted felons, including domestic violence suspects, those with misdemeanor assault convictions and those deemed mentally unstable. It has been in use since June. The program is the first of its kind in the country that tracks gun ownership among high-risk individuals. “California by far leads the way,” said Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign, the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization. The system works by maintaining information about people who have been – or will become – prohibited from possessing a firearm. From their stations, law enforcement agencies across the state can access the database, updated monthly.