Following the closure of the “assault weapon” registration period, NRA and CRPA received complaints from hundreds of individuals who were unable to register their firearms as required because CA DOJ’s online application system was unable to handle the amount of traffic it received. Constant crashes and errors plagued DOJ’s online registration system for weeks leading up to the registration deadline. Because DOJ only provided an electronic means of registration, it was impossible for those who faced these issues to register their firearms.
Another DOJ Data Breach
Possibly even more concerning with DOJ’s online registration system were the reports of the system’s improper disclosure of personal information to other users. There have been confirmed reports of individuals attempting to register their firearms who were improperly given access to the account information associated with another individual, due to a complete breakdown of CA DOJ’s registration application system. In some cases, the system allowed users to see all the personal information (including home address, telephone number, email, and Driver’s License number) for another user and all the information that user had submitted for registering their firearms as “assault weapons”—including the firearms make/model/serial number and all of the photos and attachments to the user’s registration application.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time CA DOJ has improperly disclosed the personal information of California gun owners. In 2016, CA DOJ admitted to releasing the name, date of birth, and California Driver’s License and/or Identification Card numbers of FSC instructors to a reporter for Southern California Public Radio. In response to that disclosure, CA DOJ offered a one-year membership of Experian’s® ProtectMyID® Alert. Whether CA DOJ will do the same for this blatantly improper disclosure remains to be seen.