Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 29, 2013
Audit slams California for not identifying mentally ill with guns

gun_petitions.JPGA new state audit faults the California Department of Justice and the court system for failing to communicate about enforcing rules meant to restrict gun ownership by the mentally ill.

The Bureau of State Audits report found that 34 of the state's superior courts did not file required firearm prohibition reports to the justice department's mental health unit from 2010 through 2012. Most of the courts didn't know about the reporting requirement, according to the audit.

Auditors also found cases where justice department employees made the wrong decision about whether a mentally ill person was "an armed prohibited person" who is not entitled to a gun. Auditors raised concerns that department supervisors do not review the decisions.

In a response to the audit, Stephen J. Lindley, chief of the justice department's bureau of firearms, said it will improve outreach to the courts, mental-health facilities and state hospitals about the prohibited person reporting requirements. The office also agreed with the audit's recommendation that supervisors review decisions on armed prohibited persons, although it may need to hire more staff.

The audit follows several bills this year meant to tighten the rules on gun ownership by the mentally ill. Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1131 that increases from six months to five years the amount of time a person is prohibited from having a gun after threatening violence to a licensed psychotherapist.

But Brown vetoed a measure, Senate Bill 755, that would have added substance-abuse convictions and court orders to undergo outpatient mental-health treatment to the criteria that makes a person ineligible to have a gun for 10 years.

PHOTO: Brandon Combs, left, managing director with the Firearms Policy Coalition, and Craig DeLuz, legislative advocate with the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, prepare to deliver 67,000 petitions urging the veto of 14 gun bills to Gov. Jerry Brown's office at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Oct. 3, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

October 29, 2013
AM Alert: Gov. Jerry Brown continues his traveling ways


Back when he was still inundated with the end-of-session bill crush, Gov. Jerry Brown waxed poetic about escaping the weight of "all these damn bills" and getting out more.

Over the last week or so, the governor seems to be living up to that -- if not by exploring the on-the-ground nuances of California's prisons and schools and water infrastructure, then at least by logging some miles.

Brown has been in Bell Gardens to christen a new hotel casino, in San Francisco to ink a new climate pact and in Washington, D.C. to continue touting California's come-back story. This morning he arrives in San Bernardino to tour a newly opening Amazon distribution center. It will be the first Amazon distribution warehouse in California out of around 40 nationally.

ONLINE EDUCATION: California's public universities continue to grapple with diminishing access and students taking too long to graduate. This year's budget allocated a cumulative $36.9 million to address high-demand "bottleneck" classes, including via the increasingly popular but still controversial with faculty notion of online classes, and today representatives of the California State University system will discuss where CSU is spending the $10 million it received. From 10:30 a.m. in room 437 of the State Capitol.

HOMEKEEPING: More than three years after California got approval to help struggling homeowners fend off foreclosure with the Keep Your Home California program, lawmakers will examine how effective the initiative has been with a joint hearing of the Assembly committees on Housing and Community Development and on Banking and Finance. From 10 a.m. to noon at Alhambra City Hall, featuring speakers from the California Housing Finance Agency and a handful of banks and mortgage servicers, along with Assembly members Ed Chau and Roger Dickinson.

AEROSPACIN' OUT: As south state lawmakers continue their push to revive California's aerospace industry, a Select Committee On Defense And Aerospace hearing at Mojave Air & Space Port will take a look at topics like space tourism and drone test sites. Featuring Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and representatives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, NASA and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

GUNS BLAZING: The Second Amendment backlash continues. A few days after gun advocates and gubernatorial longshot Tim Donnelly announced a plan to try and recall vulnerable Democrats who voted for gun bills, firearms fans sponsoring a gun-rights-fortifying amendment to the California Constitution will be touting their initiative on the west steps. Starting at 10:30 a.m.

PHOTO: Then-gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown gets in his old 1974 Plymouth Satellite car parked in front of his old apartment on N Street in Sacramento where Rusty Areias had a fundraiser for him on March 24, 2010. The Sacramento Bee/Renee C. Byer.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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