The head of a state gun rights organization is calling on California’s attorney general to step down after his office leaked the personal information on thousands of gun owners and concealed carry permit holders to the public, a major breach of privacy.
In an interview with Fox News Wednesday evening, Gun Owners of California Executive Director Sam Parades opined that the leak of personal information was negligent or possibly even criminal.
“We believe that AG Rob Bonta is either massively incompetent, incredibly negligent, or willing to criminally leak information that he does not have the authority to leak,” Paredes said.
The leak comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that a New York concealed carry law was so restrictive as to violate the Second Amendment’s right for Americans to have a gun beyond their own household. Some believe Bonta’s office leaked the personal data of California concealed carry holders in response to the ruling, though that motive has not been established.
“This is so egregious that he should resign. He has placed tens of thousands of abiding citizens in California in harm’s way. That is not excusable with an ‘I’m sorry,'” Paredes — who believes the leak puts gun owners in the sights of criminals — added.
Bonta, appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last year, said in a press release Monday that the new portal was created to “improve transparency and information sharing for firearms-related data.”
In the Monday release, the California Department of Justice claimed it was moving to protect “the personal identifying information in the data the Department collects and maintains,” but in fact, a significant amount of personal information on gun owners was released.
Fox News adds:
The leak was first reported by gun news outlet The Reload Tuesday, just days after the Supreme Court’s consequential Second Amendment ruling.
The information, taken from the state’s database of concealed carry permit holders, included the thousands of gun owners full name, date of birth, home address, race, when their concealed carry permit was issued, and what type of permit it was. The Reload reportedly found in the LA County database that around 420 reserve officers and 244 judges were also among those who had their information leaked Monday.
The information was posted in the California Department of Justice’s 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal, a website that is now “temporarily unavailable.”
“We are investigating an exposure of individuals’ personal information connected to the DOJ Firearms Dashboard,” a spokesperson for the office told The Reload. “Any unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable. We are working swiftly to address this situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible.”
The California Rifle & Pistol Association also blasted the leak, with one official suggesting the leak was “vindictive” and that the organization is considering a legal option.
“Vindictive sore loser bureaucrats have endangered people’s lives and invited conflict by illegally releasing confidential private information,” CRPA President Chuck Michel told The Reload. “CRPA is working with several legislators and sheriffs to determine the extent of the damage caused by DOJ’s doxing of law-abiding gun owners. Litigation is likely.”