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What Is California Doing About Illegal Guns?

Garen J. Wintemute, M.D., Director of the Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis

David Bejarano, Chief, Chula Vista Police Department

Steve Lindley, Chief, Bureau of Firearms, California Department of Justice


Today, President Obama said he will submit broad legislation to Congress on firearms policy no later than January, and he has committed his office to overcoming political opposition to more gun legislation.

California already has some of the strictest gun-control laws on the books, including the Armed Prohibited Persons System database, which tracks people prohibited from having firearms because of mental instability, restraining orders, or other issues.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced this week that agents in her department had seized 2,033 firearms, 117,000 rounds of ammunition, and 11,072 illegal high capacity magazines from people not allowed to have guns.

The majority of the guns were seized during two six-week sweeps, conducted during the period from January 1 to November 30, 2012.

The first sweep targeted people with a history of mental instability. The second went after those with legally registered assault weapons who were later prohibited from owning them.

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