This week, the California Attorney General announced new and updated firearms data available through the California Department of Justice (DOJ)’s 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal — in a move they claim will “improve transparency.” In reality, however, the AG simply doxed thousands of the state’s law-abiding gun owners and concealed carry permit holders.
On Monday, the California Department of Justice launched its 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal. The portal features a robust collection of data on the state’s gun purchases as well as concealed carry license holders.
“Transparency is key to increasing public trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve,” said Attorney General Bonta. “As news of tragic mass shootings continue to dominate the news cycle, leaving many with feelings of fear and uncertainty, we must do everything we can to prevent gun violence. One of my continued priorities is to better provide information needed to help advance efforts that strengthen California’s commonsense gun laws. Today’s announcement puts power and information into the hands of our communities by helping them better understand the role and potential dangers of firearms within our state.”
After the portal went live, users quickly learned that publicly-accessible files – including identifying information of concealed carry permit owners – could be downloaded from the graphics, according to a report from The Reload.
This is really bad. https://t.co/GNnqrSaTbv
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) June 28, 2022
As The Reload reports:
The leak comes just over a year after California moved to provide detailed personal information of all gun owners in the state to educational institutions across the country despite objections over concerns about data security and individual privacy. It also comes as a similar policy to California’s restrictive gun carry law was invalidated by the Supreme Court, which will likely result in many more Californians being added to the same database the state just leaked.
In a press release announcing the leaky dashboard, Bonta said the goal was “increasing public trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve.” He said the dashboard was about ensuring transparency to “better understand the role and potential dangers of firearms.”
Instead, the leaked private information of gun owners is likely to increase the risk criminals will target their homes for burglaries–something the state’s dashboard reports happened 145,377 times in 2020 alone.
On Tuesday, after this was exposed, the portal was pulled from the website but criminals and anti-gun activists who accessed it prior, could’ve already downloaded all of the data.
The leaked info included people’s full names, home addresses, dates of birth, and permit issue dates, as confirmed by a lawyer for the California Rifle and Pistol Association that obtained a copy of the data.
“We are investigating an exposure of individuals’ personal information connected to the DOJ Firearms Dashboard,” Attorney General Bonta’s Press Office told the Daily Caller. “Any unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable.”
“We are working swiftly to address this situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible.”
According to The Reload, the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) slammed the leak and said it was looking into potential legal action against the state.
“Vindictive sore loser bureaucrats have endangered people’s lives and invited conflict by illegally releasing confidential private information,” Chuck Michel, CRPA President, told The Reload. “CRPA is working with several legislators and sheriffs to determine the extent of the damage caused by DOJ’s doxing of law abiding gun owners. Litigation is likely.”