California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today released the 2018 Armed and Prohibited Persons (APPS) program annual report. The State of California is the first and only state in the nation to have established an automated system for tracking firearm owners who fall into a prohibited status. The APPS database works to identify individuals who previously procured firearms but later became prohibited from legally owning them because they were convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, placed under a domestic violence or other restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness.
Mandated by Senate Bill 140 in 2013, the annual report provides a comprehensive analysis of the APPS database. In order to capture and better display the number of individuals coming into the system, leaving the system, and the current case load, this year’s report also provides a comprehensive assessment of the APPS system, data, and the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms (CA DOJ) enforcement activities.
“California will continue to set an example for the rest of the nation when it comes removing illegal firearms from our neighborhoods,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This is smart and efficient law enforcement. I am proud of our agents, who put themselves in dangerous situations on a daily basis in order to protect our families. My office remains committed to our mission: taking firearms away from dangerous and violent individuals. We look forward to working with our Governor and legislature and our local partners to fulfill this mission.”
This report for 2018 analyzes historical information such as APPS caseload and workflow since July 2013, including an examination of the total number of persons in APPS over time, paired with examinations of the removal of individuals. Some of the key highlights from the report include:
The task of addressing the original backlog of 20,721 cases neared completion. The remaining 538 active cases are under investigation.
In 2018, we set an annual record of 10,681 individuals were removed from the APPS list.
Agents seized a total of 2,290 firearms in APPS enforcement actions.
We averaged 50 filled agent positions working in six teams dedicated to the search and seizure of firearms from prohibited persons spanning California’s 58 counties.
In just over 10 years, the number of known firearm owners in California has more than doubled, going from 927,686 in 2008 to 2,516,836 as of January 1, 2019. Since 2013, over 56,000 armed and prohibited persons have been added to APPS, while over 53,000 armed and prohibited persons have been removed.
Everyday, CA DOJ agents face numerous APPS challenges, such as a growing caseload, seizing firearms from uncooperative individuals, locating current addresses, obtaining search warrants, and locating the particular firearm registered in the database. In 2018, CA DOJ agents made approximately 22,119 contacts with individuals in their efforts to remove firearms from the hands of prohibited persons.
A copy of the report can be found here (pdf).