Last Thursday, June 30th, the California Department of Justice admitted that the personal information of all those who had been rejected or accepted for concealed carry permits from 2011 to 2021 was exposed.
The California Department of Justice confirmed that among the affected departments were the state’s Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Certificate Safety, and Gun Violence Restraining Order.
The information made public included names, birthdates, gender, race, driver’s license numbers, addresses and criminal histories of concealed carry applicants. Social security numbers and financial information were not disclosed.
The release of this information has dangerous potential. The California Rifle and Pistol Association said it exposed law enforcement officials as well as vulnerable groups who had sought permits such as “rape and domestic violence victims”.
In 2021 California issued 40,000 conceal and carry permits. This number peaked in 2016 with over 100,000 permits issues. As of yet the number and extent of the breach is not known
The California Department of Justice was unable to say how many individuals were affected or how much data was downloaded. The California State Sheriffs’ Association said that “information was copied and at least some portion of it was posted on the internet”.
“It is infuriating that people who have been complying with the law have been put at risk by this breach,” said the Butte county sheriff, Kory Honea, the president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association.