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Public Safety

Program To Determine If Felons Own Guns Faces Backlog

A gun and bullets.
Courtesy of FRONTLINE
A gun and bullets.

California's auditor says a program to determine whether potentially dangerous people own guns is facing a serious backlog.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Auditor Elaine Howler reported Thursday that the Department of Justice failed over 18 months to implement seven of eight recommendations auditors made in 2013 to reduce delays.

The audit shows that in the first quarter of 2015 the department had about 3,600 reports in a daily queue of people potentially prohibited from owning guns. The department's goal was to keep that number below 600.


About two-thirds of those barred from firearm ownership are felons or have a violent history. Another third are in the system because of mental illness.

A Justice Department spokeswoman says the Bureau of Firearms has increased the number of investigations each month by nearly 300 percent.

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