(REASON) Last month, California's attorney general publicly patted himself on the back over raids and arrests resulting from failed background checks for people attempting to purchase ammunition. The multiple police operations and inevitable press release were likely a slap at a federal judge who ruled against such background checks in April. The raids were also dangerous, given the unreliability of state records and the resulting frequency with which innocent Californians are wrongly tagged as prohibited persons. Political posturing and bureaucratic incompetence put people at risk of potentially deadly police raids just as law enforcement once again comes under national scrutiny.
On May 19, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office breathlessly announced "12 operations throughout the state where special agents with the California Department of Justice seized dozens of firearms, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, ghost guns, assault weapons, and drugs over the last month. In all of the operations, investigators obtained critical information as a result of ammunition background checks. Ammunition background checks are the result of Proposition 63, which was passed by an overwhelming majority of Californians in 2016 in order to keep ammunition out of the hands of violent criminals and other prohibited persons. As a result of the law, more than 750 prohibited individuals were stopped from illegally purchasing ammunition largely over the second half of last year alone."