Assemblymember Quirk Introduces Bill to Improve How Law Enforcement Traces the Origins of Firearms Used in Crimes
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) introduced a bill today that would allow for law enforcement to more efficiently pinpoint the origins of recovered firearms used in crimes.
The Automated Firearms System (AFS), managed by the California Department of Justice (DOJ), provides a comprehensive tracing of every gun recovered by law enforcement. The AFS details the initial distribution of a firearm to the point of retail purchase. Information is entered into the database on firearms that are used in crimes and are recovered by law enforcement. This can be critical in helping identify patterns in illegal firearms sales. However, due to variation in reporting requirements, the data is incomplete.
“Currently in California, only Police Chiefs and Sherriff’s Departments are required to log information on recovered firearms in the Automated Firearms System. By expanding this requirement to all law enforcement agencies, we ensure that the DOJ is getting a more comprehensive history on recovered firearms and use that information to prevent future gun violence,” explained Assemblymember Quirk.
AB 2222 will require all law enforcement agencies log information on recovered guns into the DOJ’s Automated Firearms System within 3 days of possession. This bill would additionally require the DOJ to submit a report to the Legislature detailing law enforcement’s compliance.
“AB 2222 will improve the California Department of Justice's database and system by ensuring that information on recovered guns is entered by law enforcement within a reasonable time to maximize actionable and investigative value. The tracing of all crime guns will help identify sources and gun trafficking channels. We know that Assemblymember Quirk values data and we applaud him for introducing this measure” stated Amanda Wilcox, Legislation and Policy Chair for the 28 California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“The lack of comprehensive data entry regarding firearm recovery leaves dangerous gaps in public safety. Adequate gun tracing policies allow for law enforcement to recognize patterns and take appropriate action in the interest of public safety. AB 2222 will help law enforcement keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals or identify irresponsible sellers,” said Assemblymember Quirk.
AB 2222 will be eligible to be heard in Committee in March.