California Too Broke to Disarm Felons, Mentally Ill

State has backlog of 19K gun owners to disarm

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2013 1:15 AM CST | Updated Jan 30, 2013 3:45 AM CST

(Newser) – People afraid the government will take their guns away might want to consider a move to California, where the state is too broke to take guns away from felons and other people it is supposed to disarm. Law enforcement officials say budget cuts have left authorities with a backlog of 19,700 convicted felons and mentally ill people to disarm, the Los Angeles Times reports. These gun owners claim a total of around 39,000 firearms.

The states seized the firearms of around 2,000 people on the Armed Prohibited Persons list every year, but around 3,000 names are added to the list yearly, the chief of the state's Bureau of Firearms says, estimating that it will cost $25 million to hire enough staff to clear the backlog within three years. State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow California's Department of Justice to dip into funds collected when gun buyers pay for background checks.

Some of the firearms California has managed to seize.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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