On Monday, the state government of California rolled out a new website that ended up leaking personal information about gun owners across the state, exposing their names, addresses, and race, among other information.
The Daily Wire reports that the website, the 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal, has since gone offline once the data exposure was called out. Initially made available through the state’s OpenJustice Data Platform, Attorney General Rob Bonta (D-Calif.) had previously announced the website as a measure to “improve transparency and information sharing” about gun-related information in the state of California. Bonta claimed that such a resource would improve public access to data on firearms in California, as well as information about concealed-carry permits and gun violence-related restraining orders.
Following the data breach, the California Department of Justice put out a statement declaring that it would be “investigating an exposure of individuals’ personal information connected to the DOJ Firearms Dashboard.”
“Any unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable,” the statement continued. “We are working swiftly to address this situation and will provide additional information as soon as possible.”
Included in the data breach was the personal information of 244 judge permits, seven custodial officers, 63 people with place of employment permits, and 420 reserved officers, all within Los Angeles County. The leak also revealed the personal information of 2,891 citizens with standard concealed-carry permits in Los Angeles.
Chuck Michel, President of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, reacted by blaming the leak on “vindictive sore loser bureaucrats,” who “have endangered people’s lives and invited conflict by illegally releasing confidential private information.” Michel added that “litigation is likely,” and that his group would be working closely with several state legislators and sheriffs to determine the full extent of the data breach before proceeding legally.
Prior to the leak, Bonta had promoted the website as representing “transparency,” which he said “is key to increasing public trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve.” Bonta also claimed that the new website would be putting “power and information into the hands of our communities by helping them better understand the role and potential dangers of firearms within our state.”