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California lawmakers demand accountability after personal info of concealed weapons holders leaked

By Laura Haefeli

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    SACRAMENTO (KOVR) — State Republican lawmakers are demanding accountability from the attorney general after personal information of every Californian with concealed carry weapons permits was leaked.

California Republican Caucus citing “grave concerns,” over the data breach in a letter addressed to AG Rob Bonta, and physical danger for people whose personal information was released.”

“I got it because my spouse was being stalked by a violent abuser,” said one permit holder who was a victim of the leak.

After California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office leaked tens of thousands of columns with names, birthdays and home addresses of every concealed carry weapons holder in the state, some fear for their lives.

“The guy who was violent and a predator and stalker. He is out there still today,” said the permit holder we spoke to who did not want to be identified over safety concerns.

He noticed the Department of Justice link on a public website.

“It was downloadable in an Excel spreadsheet,” he said. “It’s very important that anyone who’s a [concealed weapons permit] holder lock down their information and look for a verity of problems. One of the things that could happen easily is identity theft issues.”

Bonta’s office has launched an investigation and promised help for victims including credit checks and financial resources.

“[Potential victims] have to show damages of some kind. They’d have to show something bad happened as a result. It’s very difficult to sue the state,” said Sacramento attorney Mark Reichel.

Reichel said concealed weapons permits are mostly public record but there are exceptions.

“There’s a long list of individuals that sheriffs and [police] in each city have said this personal information of these individuals should not be released,” he said.

That list includes judges, police officers, celebrities and domestic violence victims, who are now all vulnerable.

Bonta’s office could not say how many people were able to download this data before it was removed from the website.

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