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California’s Doxxing of Gun Owners Was No ‘Accident’

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The anti-gunner lobby is getting rather desperate after the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Now that “may issue” states are essentially a thing of the past, progressives are looking for other ways to curtail gun ownership in America. It wasn’t hard to predict that they would respond by passing laws and instituting rules designed to make it harder to carry a firearm, but most would not have guessed they would resort to targeting those who already own guns. Yet, this is precisely the action the People’s Republic of California decided to take to intimidate those exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Earlier this week, the California Department of Justice admitted that it “accidentally” exposed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of legal gun owners residing in the state. RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar reported that the state’s government “spent tax dollars to get information on CCW permit issuance, Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs), ‘assault’ weapon registrations, and Dealer Record of Sales (DROS) out to the public.”

The CADOJ admitted:

The California Department of Justice has announced that personal information was disclosed in connection with the June 27, 2022 update of its Firearms Dashboard Portal. Based on the Department’s current investigation, the incident exposed the personal information of individuals who were granted or denied a concealed and carry weapons (CCW) permit between 2011-2021. Information exposed included names, date of birth, gender, race, driver’s license number, addresses, and criminal history.

In effect, the State of California doxxed gun owners.

The state’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, condemned the action. “This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” he said in a written statement. The supposed error came to light on Wednesday when the Fresno County sheriff’s office explained that it had been informed about the leak.

The state’s justice department said the revealing of this information occurred after it updated its Firearms Dashboard Portal on Monday afternoon. “The information was available on a publicly accessible spreadsheet for less than 24 hours until the agency shut down the website on Tuesday morning,” The Guardian reported.

It is unclear how many people’s personal information was displayed on the site or whether anyone had downloaded it. The California State Sheriffs’ Association admitted that it “appears” that “information was copied and at least some portion of it was posted on the internet” before the authorities discovered the breach. A Reddit user indicated that the data could have been downloaded multiple times. The attorney general vowed to “take strong corrective measures where necessary” and said the agency will notify those impacted.

“DOJ seeks to balance its duties to provide gun violence and firearms data to support research efforts while protecting the personal identifying information in the data the Department collects,” Bonta claimed in his statement.

This is not the first time California’s DOJ has engaged in questionable activity when it comes to people’s personal information. When Vice President Kamala Harris was attorney general, the state attempted to impose a policy requiring charities to report the identities of their major donors. Naturally, this elicited concern, especially from conservatives who were concerned that the state would use the policy to target those donating to right-leaning organizations. The Supreme Court struck down the policy last year, but the fact that the Golden State even attempted to implement such a rule is telling. It also creates doubt about this current fiasco.

Is it possible that California’s attorney general’s office could have made a huge mistake in exposing the personal information of the state’s gun owners? Of course. But it is equally as likely that someone in Bonta’s office deliberately revealed this data in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Bruen. After all, the leak occurred only days after the decision was handed down. Moreover, we are well aware of how leftists in the Golden State, and elsewhere, feel about gun ownership – especially among law-abiding citizens.

California’s government is poised to enact even more restrictive gun laws in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling. “Our office has been watching this issue closely. We are working with the governor and the legislature to advance legislation that is both constitutional and will maintain safety for Californians,” Bonta said after the ruling was issued. “In the wake of mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and with gun deaths at an all-time high, ensuring that dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry concealed firearms is more important than ever.”

New York is also looking at other ways to make it harder for Americans to bear arms. New York City Mayor Eric Adams criticized the court’s decision and vowed to look at ways to restrict the carrying of firearms in certain locations.

To put it simply, the anti-gunner left will pull out all of the stops to subvert the court’s ruling. But many of their efforts will likely be challenged in court, especially if they contradict the opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas who said states cannot impose measures that prevent people from bearing arms in public. Nevertheless, the ruling remains a critical victory for the pro-gun crowd despite progressive attempts to undermine it.

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