Courts, cops and state hospitals are supposed to inform the state Justice Department when a mentally ill person gets barred from owning a gun. For example, whenever a court commits a person to an institution because they pose a threat to others, or when a patient makes threats against others during a private session with a therapist.
Once someone is prohibited from owning a gun, the Justice Department adds their name to a list that is used to confiscate thousands of firearms each year from people who pose a threat.
It’s the law, but Republican Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) worries it’s not being followed.
“No one who is prohibited should be able to slip through the cracks and obtain a firearm because government officials failed to report this vital information,” he says.
In a letter to the chair of the Legislative Joint Audit Committee, Mansoor asked that the state scrutinize the Department of Justice’s handling of reports and the track record of a sampling of state Superior Courts.
A state Justice official recently reported that almost 20,000 Californians own guns who aren’t supposed to, including some who are mentally ill.