In an unfortunate mishap by the California Attorney General’s office Wednesday, the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Golden State gun owners — including names and addresses — was made available to the public through an AG web site. It’s almost as if governments can’t be trusted with sensitive personal information, particularly the information of those with whom it disagrees.
data dump accidental disclosure surely had nothing at all to do with the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision that was handed down just a few days prior and nuked California’s “may issue” concealed carry licensing process that gave the state the power to decide whether or not citizens are sufficiently worthy of fully exercising their constitutional rights.
For his part, the Attorney General is awfully distraught about the whole thing. According to the AP, Bonta . . .
…said he was “deeply disturbed and angered” by the failure to protect the information his department is entrusted to keep. He ordered an investigation and promised to fix any problems.
“This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” he said.
Don’t hold your breath on the results of an internal investigation in which a law-breaking law enforcement agency investigates its own wrongdoing.
In the mean time, the National Association for Gun Rights has filed a class action lawsuit against Bonta, so maybe the discovery process will prove more enlightening than the AG’s kabuki investigation.
As the NAGR lawsuit makes clear, Bonta’s
ruthless, vindictive doxxing regrettable leak was not only illegal, but it put Californians — both those who own firearms and those who don’t — in actual danger, making them targets of criminals and harassers.
As the lawsuit makes clear for the court . . .
This unlawful release of Californians’ sensitive private information to the public in violation of California and federal law provides criminals with a road map of who owns a firearm and where those firearms may be located, and information from which those same criminals can infer which homes are not likely defended by armed homeowners. Considering the contentious issue of gun ownership, it also needlessly subjects lawful gun owners to harassment and discrimination.
California’s wrongful disclosure of this sensitive private information has caused great harm and placed the safety of hundreds of thousands of Californians at risk and is precisely why the state should not keep such information on law abiding gun owners. Further, the possession of this information is an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and is unconstitutional under New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen . . .
Oh, and . . .
California’s wrongful collection, maintenance, and release of that data has a chilling effect on Californians’ exercise of their right to keep and bear arms. The wrongful release of this sensitive personal information, which is protected from unauthorized public release or publication by both California and federal law, has and will have a chilling effect on Californians and their right to keep and bear arms. Californians will be less likely to submit such information to the state in order to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, thus they will face the Hobson’s choice of providing such information to California, or not exercising their right to keep and bear arms.
As a direct and proximate result of California’s wrongful collection, maintenance, and disclosure of this sensitive personal data in order to comply with its onerous and unconstitutional restrictions on the right of Californians to keep and bear arms, the Plaintiffs have been harmed and now legitimately fear for their privacy and physical safety.
Yes, well that was the whole point, wasn’t it? The lawsuit seeks un-specified monetary damages as well as . . .
An injunction enjoining Defendants from collecting, maintaining, or disclosing Plaintiffs’ sensitive personal information in connection with the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution…
We look forward to watching this play out.