AP

Personal info on California gun owners wrongly made public

Jun 29, 2022, 6:20 PM

Guns of many varieties are organized by type and caliber for use in training, and to fix malfunctio...

Guns of many varieties are organized by type and caliber for use in training, and to fix malfunctioning guns that are evidence in investigations, in the gun vault at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms National Laboratory Center on June 18, 2013 in Beltsville, Maryland. The laboratory celebrated its 10-year anniversary with an open house for media and bureau interns to highlight the types of studies that ATF investigators from across the country perform at the center. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

(Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Department of Justice on Wednesday acknowledged the agency wrongly made public the personal information of perhaps hundreds of thousands of gun owners in up to six state-operated databases, a broader exposure than the agency initially disclosed a day earlier.

Rob Bonta, the Democrat who heads the agency and is running for reelection in November, said he was “deeply disturbed and angered” by the failure to protect the information his department is entrusted to keep. He ordered an investigation and promised to fix any problems.

“This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” he said.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association noted that the release came days after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out New York’s requirement that those seeking to carry concealed weapons provide a reason. That also derailed California’s similar requirement, though state lawmakers and Bonta are working to impose new requirements.

The association said the “unconscionable” release included information on law enforcement officials including judges, as well as others who had sought permits “like rape and domestic violence victims.”

Names, dates of birth, gender, race, driver’s license numbers, addresses and criminal histories were exposed for people who were granted or denied permits to carry concealed weapons between 2011 and 2021, the department said. Social Security numbers and financial information were not disclosed.

In addition, the state’s Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Certificate Safety and Gun Violence Restraining Order dashboards were affected, the department said. Officials said were investigating the extent to which personal information was exposed in those databases.

The information on concealed carry permits was publicly available on a spreadsheet for less than 24 hours, officials said, from the time the department updated its Firearms Dashboard Portal on Monday afternoon until it shut down the website Tuesday morning.

“It is infuriating that people who have been complying with the law have been put at risk by this breach,” said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association. He said sheriffs are concerned about the risk it poses to permit holders.

Bonta’s office could not immediately say how many individuals are in each database, whether the data was downloaded and how often, and when the public website would be restored. California officials issued about 40,000 conceal and carry permits last year, down from more than 100,000 during the peak year of 2016, according to information on the state Department of Justice’s website.

Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle, who is running for governor against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, said many of the women who seek to carry concealed weapons “do so because they fear for their lives and safety. Consequently, those women will now have to worry that the person they least wanted to see again may have just been given their address by this careless act of bureaucratic idiocy.”

Bonta said he immediately began an investigation into how the release occurred “and will take strong corrective measures where necessary.”

He said he is aware of the stress the release may cause, and the department will notify people whose information was exposed. It will also provide credit monitoring services for those individuals.

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

In this still image taken from video of the Office of the New York Governor, Gov. Kathy Hochul sign...

Anthony Izaguirre

New York moves to limit ‘addictive’ social media feeds for kids

New York's governor has signed a bill that would allow parents to block their children from getting social media posts suggested by a platform’s algorithm.

2 hours ago

FILE:  Actor Donald Sutherland attends the premiere of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - ...

Jake Coyle, AP Film Writer

Donald Sutherland, the towering actor whose career spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ to ‘Hunger Games,’ dies at 88

Donald Sutherland, the film and TV actor whose career stretched from “M.A.S.H” to “JFK” to “The Hunger Games,” has died at 88.

3 hours ago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 19: People cool off in the fountain at Polk Brothers Park at Navy Pier as ...

Nick Perry and Holley Ramer

Millions sweating it out as heat wave nears peak from Midwest to Maine

A heat wave is moving closer to the breaking point from the Midwest to New England as millions of people sweat it out for another day.

4 hours ago

In this handout photo, Just Stop Oil protesters sit after spraying an orange substance on Stoneheng...

Brian Melley

Climate protesters arrested over spraying orange paint on Stonehenge monument

Two climate protesters who sprayed orange paint on the ancient Stonehenge monument in southern England were arrested Wednesday.

7 hours ago

FILE: The sun rises behind The Heel Stone at Stonehenge on June 21, 2023 in Wiltshire, England. In ...

Adithi Ramakrishnan, AP Science Writer

It’s summer solstice time. What does that mean?

Summer kicks off in the Northern Hemisphere with the summer solstice on Thursday.

9 hours ago

Tuesday February 9, 2006. Photo by Scott G. Winterton / Deseret Morning News.The Ten Commandments m...

Sara Cline, Associated Press

New Louisiana law requires that The Ten Commandments must be displayed classrooms

Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Personal info on California gun owners wrongly made public