California is the only state that tracks and disarms people with legally registered guns who have lost the right to own them, reports Bloomberg. About 20,000 gun owners in the state are prohibited from possessing firearms, including convicted felons, those under a domestic violence restraining order or deemed mentally unstable. “What do we do about the guns that are already in the hands of persons who, by law, are considered too dangerous to possess them?” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden after the Dec. 14 school massacre in Connecticut. She recommended that Biden, heading a White House review of gun policy, consider California as a national model.
As many as 200,000 people nationwide may no longer be qualified to own firearms, according to Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. Other states may lack confiscation programs because they don't track purchases as closely as California, which requires most weapons sales go through a licensed dealer and be reported. “Very, very few states have an archive of firearm owners like we have,” said Wintemute, who helped set up the program. Harris has asked California lawmakers to increase the number of Justice Department agents from the current 33. They seized about 2,000 weapons, 117,000 rounds of ammunition and 11,000 high-capacity magazines last year.