California alerts CCW applicants whose names were leaked
The personal information of every Californian who was granted or denied a concealed and carry weapons (CCW) permit between 2011 and 2021 was exposed on a new state dashboard. California Attorney General Bob Bonta said he was “deeply disturbed and angered” by the blunder.
July 2, 2022 10:51am
Updated: July 2, 2022 11:53am
The personal information of every Californian who was granted or denied a concealed and carry weapons (CCW) permit between 2011 and 2021 was exposed on a new state dashboard meant to increase transparency on firearms-related data, authorities acknowledged on Wednesday.
California Attorney General Bob Bonta, whose office runs and operates the 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal, said in a statement he was “deeply disturbed and angered” by the blunder.
“This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” said Bonta.
“I immediately launched an investigation into how this occurred at the California Department of Justice and will take strong corrective measures where necessary. The California Department of Justice is entrusted to protect Californians and their data.”
Information exposed included names, date of birth, gender, race, driver’s license number, addresses, and criminal history, according to the statement.
Bonta said his department will begin notifying everyone whose data was exposed, which is required by California privacy laws. The online dashboard was taken offline.
Gun owners, advocates and law enforcement expressed horror at the massive breach of privacy.
"We believe that AG Rob Bonta is either massively incompetent, incredibly negligent, or willing to criminally leak information that he does not have the authority to leak," Gun Owners of California executive director Sam Paredes told Fox News.
"This is so egregious that he should resign. He has placed tens of thousands of abiding citizens in California in harms way. That is not excusable with an 'I'm sorry.'"
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department called for a “detailed and thorough investigation of the California Department of Justice, which affected anyone who applied for a CCW permit in Riverside County between 2011-2022.
"This public portal was supposed to only allow access to limited information; however, names, address, birthdates, and other personal information of CCW applicants and permit holders were somehow also released," the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement, reports Fox News.
"The information was available on the portal for less than 24 hours before DOJ was notified of the data breach, but enough time for the information to be copied and posted on the internet for others to see," it added.
Some on social media suggested that the leak was intentional, given Democratic state lawmakers push for more gun restrictions.
“Oh cute. CA atty Gen “accidentally” leaked 10s of thousands of gun owners’ info. Appointed by [Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom],” tweeted user @MadLew.
Oh cute. CA atty Gen “accidentally” leaked 10s of thousands of gun owners’ info. Appointed by @GavinNewsom. Just a heads up… this is EXACTLY why some people don’t register guns or go get a ccw.— JennXer💙 (@MadLew) June 30, 2022
They just put many lives in danger. https://t.co/XRlgeQCl9C
“Just a heads up… this is EXACTLY why some people don’t register guns or go get a ccw. They just put many lives in danger.”