California law enforcement agents have seized 1,200 firearms from people legally barred from owning them because of mental illness or restraining orders.
The six-week sweep resulted in three times as many firearms seized in 2007 during the last sweep, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced at a regional zone meeting with law enforcement.
"Seizing guns from felons, gang members and other prohibited persons is the kind of smart, proactive law enforcement that makes a difference in the everyday lives of Californians," according to Harris. "We are all safer thanks to the sworn officers who carried out this sweep and I am committed to strengthening this program."
In the sweep, 99 agents from the state's Department of Justice seized 1,209 firearms. Agents also seized 155,731 rounds of ammunition and two grenades.
Harris announced the seizures at a news conference at the California Highway Patrol's Sacramento headquarters, and also promoted SB819, a bill that would expand the state's use of a $25 registration fee collected by gun dealers to pay for the department's Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS). The system now has a backlog of approximately 34,000 handguns.
The bill would also allow the state's DOJ to hire new agents, and offer training to local law enforcement agencies in support of the APPS program.
"In today's economic reality, it is more important than ever to work together to find new solutions to common problems," according to Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. "We need to share ideas, manpower, intelligence and energy to continue to make headway in the fight against crime."
The meeting was attended by law enforcement from Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Yolo counties.