Grantee Robert Lewis of CalMatters examines how California’s gun laws have fallen short of their promise after years of bipartisan support in the state. Lewis obtained hundreds of court filings and public records and interviewed dozens of sources, and his three-part series shows that California is struggling to recover illegally owned firearms. At the start of this year, 24,000 individuals were identified in the state’s database of people who should be flagged as ineligible to own firearms based on past offenses – more than double the number in 2008. CalMatters found that local police departments – many frustrated at flaws in the database – are leaving enforcement up to a chronically understaffed unit of state agents. The reporting also digs into the state courts and their failure to enforce their own orders, particularly in domestic violence cases. Judges often don’t ensure abusers surrender their weapons, leaving survivors living in fear – or worse.
Investigation Uncovers Major Gaps in California Gun Laws – The Fund for Investigative Journalism