The California Department of Justice broke its silence Wednesday after the names, drivers license numbers, addresses and other private information of thousands of gun owners in the state was leaked from a gun database.
The state Department of Justice is providing credit monitoring services for gun owners whose private information was exposed by the leak.
“DOJ will directly contact individuals who have been impacted by this incident and will provide instructions to sign up for this service,” the DOJ said in the statement. (RELATED: ‘Extremely Subjective’: Lawyer Sounds Off On California’s Plan to Defy SCOTUS On Carry Permits)
The leak exposed the private information of all gun owners who applied for a concealed carry permit between the years 2011 and 2021. The information exposed included the names, date of birth, gender, race, driver’s license number, addresses and criminal history of the gun owners.
Thousands of civilians, including 244 judges and 420 reserve officers were exposed in the leak.
The California Attorney General’s Office leaked the named and addresses of thousands of gun owners across the state yesterday.
— Sarah Weaver 🇺🇸 (@SarahHopeWeaver) June 29, 2022
Information was compromised from the contents of five other gun registries, including the Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Certificate Safety and Gun Violence Restraining Order.
“DOJ is investigating the extent to which any personally identifiable information could have been exposed from those dashboards and will report additional information as soon as confirmed,” the statement said.
The social security numbers of those on the list were not leaked, according to the DOJ.
“This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “I immediately launched an investigation into how this occurred at the California Department of Justice and will take strong corrective measures where necessary.
“I am deeply disturbed and angered,” Bonta said.
Those in possession of or using the private information leaked from the registry are guilty of a crime, the DOJ said, referring to California penal code 530.5. The code stipulates that “Every person who willfully obtains personal identifying information … shall be punished by a fine, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both a fine and imprisonment.”
Aidan Johnson, director of Federal Affairs at Gun Owners of America, told the Daily Caller the leak represented a serious lack of regard for the privacy of California gun owners.
“This ‘mistake’ by anti-gun Californian bureaucrats demonstrates either serious negligence or blatant disregard for the privacy of citizens who wish to defend themselves with a firearm in public,” Johnson said. “Gun owner registries, especially of those licensed to carry firearms in public, are a dangerous infringement on the Second Amendment.”