Upland sexual harassment attorney Brian Hannemann filed a federal case against Attorney General Rob Bonta July 14, alleging violation of Constitutional rights tied to a database of names, address and birth dates of concealed carry weapons permit holders Bonta published.
The Department of Justice and Hannemann have not responded to requests for comment. In a press release, Bonta called the data publishing unauthorized, and said it falls short of his expectations for the Department of Justice.
The department disclosed the identifying information June 27, in a firearms dashboard portal. The database was up for 24 hours before the department removed it, according to the department and the lawsuit.
The suit claims the disclosure allows for targeting.
“This unlawful disclosure of law-abiding Californians’ sensitive private information to the public in violation of California and federal law provides anyone, including anti-Second Amendment persons, political operatives, and criminals with an easy means to among other things, dox, harass, intimidate and commit criminal acts upon anyone whose information was on the Registry, including gun owners. The unlawful disclosure also pinpointed precisely by individual address the make, model, serial number and physical location of where hundreds of thousands of firearms are located,” the suit says.
The database was intended to provide data on dealer records of sales, gun-violence restraining orders, carry-concealed-weapons permits, firearms-safety certificates, assault weapons and a roster of certified handguns.
Bonta said the personal information should not have been included in the database.
“I immediately launched an investigation into how this occurred at the California Department of Justice and will take strong corrective measures where necessary. The California Department of Justice is entrusted to protect Californians and their data. We acknowledge the stress this may cause those individuals whose information was exposed. I am deeply disturbed and angered,” Bonta said, according to a press release.
Bonta confirmed the database provided full names, birth dates, addresses, gender, race, concealed weapons license number and government-issued identifiers. In some cases, the database also provided a person’s driver’s license number. Social Security numbers and financial information were not disclosed, according to Bonta.
Hannemann’s complaint claims that dealer records of sale contain individual Social Security numbers. It called the release inept at best or criminal at worst.
The complaint brings four claims: violating the Second Amendment, violating the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, violating California’s constitutional right to privacy and violating the California Information Practices Act of 1977.
The plaintiffs request compensatory damages, an injunction against the Department of Justice for collecting the plaintiff’s personal information and declaratory relief.
Hannemann, with two sole practitioners, represents himself and five other concealed-carry-weapons permit holders. Marc Mabile of San Diego is co-counsel. Kathleen Doherty of Upland is additional counsel.
Bonta’s representation has not been announced.
California Central District Judge Sunshine Sykes presides.
Case number 5:22-cv-01229.
Read the complaint here.[/wlm_private]