‘We are absolutely horrified’: Gun owners, advocates react to California DOJ data breach

There are growing concerns Wednesday night after a major data breach exposed information of thousands of gun owners – and now, investigators are trying to determine how that information got out.The California Department of Justice said that an update made to its Firearms Dashboard Portal Monday leaked the personal information of Californians who were granted or denied a concealed and carry weapons permit between 2011 and 2021. That included their names, birth dates, gender, race, driver’s license numbers, addresses and criminal history. The DOJ said the dashboard was online for less than 24 hours – and the website is currently unavailable.| READ MORE | California gun data breach exposes personal info linked to 10 years of concealed carry permitsThe DOJ is investigating how this could have happened. In a statement, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said, in part, “This unauthorized release or personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department… I am deeply disturbed and angered.”But Sam Paredes, executive director of the Gun Owners of California, told KCRA 3 he blames Bonta for allowing the breach to occur in the first place.”We are calling for Attorney General Rob Bonta’s resignation because he has clearly been unable to control his agency,” Paredes said. “There are actually lawsuits already making their way through the process, challenging privacy issues against the Attorney General.”Now, Paredes – and other gun owners and gun advocacy groups – want whoever was responsible for the data breach to be held accountable. Parades said that’s especially because of the safety implications.”We are absolutely horrified,” Paredes said. “The biggest concern is, now you have given a roadmap to anybody with evil intent.”Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, told KCRA 3 he and other law enforcement officials are working with the DOJ to alert the people whose data was leaked.”This is an alarming situation,” Honea said.Honea added that one of his main worries is the possibility of criminals stealing guns.”At the end of the day, I think that there’s been a real loss of peace of mind on the part of many law-abiding citizens,” Honea said. “Now, they have to be concerned about falling into the wrong hands and being used in a way that causes them harm.”Although it is unclear how many people were affected, some gun advocates said it could be in the hundreds of thousands. That is why the California Rifle and Pistol Association said it is getting state lawmakers involved.”We’re getting them to write letters to the AG, demanding a full investigation demanding that someone’s held accountable, or somebodies are held accountable, and that we get to the bottom of this, and we make sure this never, ever happens again,” California Rifle and Pistol Association legislative director Rick Travis said.The DOJ said it will provide credit monitoring services for those whose data was exposed. You can also place a fraud alert on your credit report, which could help protect you against someone trying to open new accounts in your name. For more tips, click here.The DOJ said data from other dashboards were also leaked. That information includes the Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Safety Certification, and Gun Violence Restraining Order.

There are growing concerns Wednesday night after a major data breach exposed information of thousands of gun owners – and now, investigators are trying to determine how that information got out.

The California Department of Justice said that an update made to its Firearms Dashboard Portal Monday leaked the personal information of Californians who were granted or denied a concealed and carry weapons permit between 2011 and 2021. That included their names, birth dates, gender, race, driver’s license numbers, addresses and criminal history.

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The DOJ said the dashboard was online for less than 24 hours – and the website is currently unavailable.

| READ MORE | California gun data breach exposes personal info linked to 10 years of concealed carry permits

The DOJ is investigating how this could have happened. In a statement, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said, in part, “This unauthorized release or personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department… I am deeply disturbed and angered.”

But Sam Paredes, executive director of the Gun Owners of California, told KCRA 3 he blames Bonta for allowing the breach to occur in the first place.

“We are calling for Attorney General Rob Bonta’s resignation because he has clearly been unable to control his agency,” Paredes said. “There are actually lawsuits already making their way through the process, challenging privacy issues against the Attorney General.”

Now, Paredes – and other gun owners and gun advocacy groups – want whoever was responsible for the data breach to be held accountable. Parades said that’s especially because of the safety implications.

“We are absolutely horrified,” Paredes said. “The biggest concern is, now you have given a roadmap to anybody with evil intent.”

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, told KCRA 3 he and other law enforcement officials are working with the DOJ to alert the people whose data was leaked.

“This is an alarming situation,” Honea said.

Honea added that one of his main worries is the possibility of criminals stealing guns.

“At the end of the day, I think that there’s been a real loss of peace of mind on the part of many law-abiding citizens,” Honea said. “Now, they have to be concerned about falling into the wrong hands and being used in a way that causes them harm.”

Although it is unclear how many people were affected, some gun advocates said it could be in the hundreds of thousands. That is why the California Rifle and Pistol Association said it is getting state lawmakers involved.

“We’re getting them to write letters to the AG, demanding a full investigation demanding that someone’s held accountable, or somebodies are held accountable, and that we get to the bottom of this, and we make sure this never, ever happens again,” California Rifle and Pistol Association legislative director Rick Travis said.

The DOJ said it will provide credit monitoring services for those whose data was exposed. You can also place a fraud alert on your credit report, which could help protect you against someone trying to open new accounts in your name. For more tips, click here.

The DOJ said data from other dashboards were also leaked. That information includes the Assault Weapon Registry, Handguns Certified for Sale, Dealer Record of Sale, Firearm Safety Certification, and Gun Violence Restraining Order.

Contributed by local news sources

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