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California OKs bill to take guns from ‘dangerous’ owners

Patrick McGreevy
L.A. Times [1]
May 1, 2013

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation aimed at taking handguns and assault rifles away from 20,000 Californians who acquired them legally but have since been disqualified from ownership because of a criminal conviction or serious mental illness.

The measure, the first of several gun-related bills to reach the governor, allocates $24 million in surplus funds to hire dozens of additional special agents to tackle a backlog of 40,000 weapons in the hands of people not allowed to possess firearms.

“This bipartisan bill makes our communities safer by giving law enforcement the resources they need to get guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

The state operates a database that cross-references a list of gun owners with those disqualified later from owning guns. But, budget cuts have prevented the state Department of Justice from keeping up with the growing number of people on the list.

Full story here. [1]