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8 Arrested, Dozens of Guns Seized in Bay Area Multi-Agency Sweep Targeting Illegal Possession

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A multi-agency law enforcement sweep in the Bay Area targeting people illegally possessing firearms resulted in the seizure of dozens of guns and eight arrests, authorities said Monday.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a press release the three-day sweep, which began on January 11, sought out individual listed as prohibited from possessing guns in the state Department of Justice's Armed and Prohibited Persons Systems (APPS). The database was established in 2006 to identify individuals who lawfully owned firearms and later became prohibited from owning them.

Law enforcement teams analyzed leads in 338 cases in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma and Solano counties and seized 30 guns over during the sweep, Bonta said. None of the eight people arrested were identified.

"Removing firearms from those who are no longer legally allowed to possess them is a critical part of our work to reduce and prevent gun violence," said Bonta in a prepared statment. "Throughout the pandemic, our APPS agents have had to develop new strategies that allowed them to continue the work of protecting the public while respecting travel restrictions, self-isolation, and social distancing requirements. Sweeps like this one allow our agents to get back into the community and get firearms and ammunition out of potentially dangerous hands."

People in the APPS database include individuals convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor, who were placed under a domestic violence or other restraining order, or who suffer from serious mental illness.

In 2006, the State of California became the first and only state in the nation to establish a system for tracking firearm owners who fall into a prohibited status.

Aside from January's sweep other, there were four other similar APPS sweeps in mid to late 2021, Bonta said.

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