CA Department of Justice: Too Much on Their Plate

Does anybody really think the California Department of Justice needs more stuff to do?

They employ 4,500 plus lawyers, investigators, and sworn peace officers who seek to “enforce and apply all of our laws fairly and impartially…and ensure justice, safety and liberty for everyone.”

Sounds good, right?

And their Bureau of Firearms promotes the “legitimate and responsible firearms possession and use by California residents.”

Still sounds good, right?

Not so fast.  The Department of Justice is no friend to the gun owning citizens of California, and with each day that passes, their authority seems to multiply – kind of like a bad weed.  The Legislature, being the willing participant that they are act like fertilizer on steroids.  Every time Sacramento politicians pass some hare-brained anti-gun bill, they add to DOJ’s power – and to the bureaucracy, red tape and confusion.  This is never good news for the law-biding gun owner.

And just this week, two bills moved further through the legislative process that will strengthen and expand the Department’s responsibilities even more.

AB 2382 by Democrat Assemblyman Mike Gipson requires firearm “precursor” parts to be treated in the same manner as if they were actual firearms.  You read that right:  PARTS.  This means any metal or plastic parts that could be used to repair an existing firearm or used to assemble one.  Parts include barrels, any type of ammo feeding device, or things as benign as pins, springs, triggers, hammers or sears.  In and of themselves, each one of these “parts” are just that:  parts.  And the bill – although vague – stipulates that they must only be sold through a dealer and with a mandated background check.  This means every time someone wants to buy a single trigger – even if it’s just to repair an existing registered firearm, a background check will be necessary.

The Department of Justice must have a lot of free time on their hands to take this on.

AB 2382 is illogical on its face and fails to consider the practicality and the enormity of the task required. DOJ’s current responsibilities include the tracking of all firearm purchases, the registration of all purchases and purchasers, background checks and waiting periods, plus similar procedures now for ammunition purchases and purchasers.  Should this bill pass, the Department would be tasked with recording a staggering number of transactions as firearms are made of literally dozens of parts.

If that’s not enough, Democrat Senator Anthony Portantino’s SB 746 would require the Department of Justice to conduct inspections of firearm dealers at least every three years.  During testimony before the Assembly Public Safety Committee, the author mentioned that DOJ specifically requested this language.

Are you kidding me?  Given that the Department currently has the authority to inspect dealers as often as they deem appropriate, why would DOJ handcuff themselves to such unnecessary, time-consuming requirements?

DOJ has been under fire for the past five years for the embarrassing backlog of identifying APPS subjects (Armed Prohibited Person System), many of whom are violent felons.  Even with millions of new dollars having been added to the Department’s budget to fix this problem, the backlog remains above 10,000.  Given this unacceptable statistic, why would anyone want to add one more teeny responsibility – let alone a gigantic one to the Department’s plate?

The Attorney General’s key responsibilities include “safeguarding the public from violent criminals.” In reality, though – it seems as if his Department of Justice is also dedicated to safeguarding violent criminals from us – the armed law-abiding citizen.

California’s gun owners have been hamstrung for years by DOJ – whether it’s through a cumbersome DROS process, simple lack of transparency or the consistent overstepping of legislative authority in defining rules and regulations.  Neither SB 746 and AB 2362 will alleviate the situation – nor will they have any impact on the safety and security of Golden State residents.  They will only add to the stranglehold of bureaucratic red tape that’s around the necks of California gun owners.


  1. Steve Corral on June 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Never does our benevolent government do any self evaluation to determine if existing legislation is having the desired result. Instead the answer must always be we didn’t have enough regulation. Think of it as a house with 20 coats of paint and it’s peeling from a bad third coat. All of the new paint in the world will not fix the problem.

    Thank God there are a few organizations like yours that can see through the BS.