(S.F. Examiner file photo)

Proposed bill would demand higher accountability of firearms by law enforcement agencies

State Senator Jerry Hill took the oath of office for his second four-year Senate term Monday, and simultaneously introduced a number of bills related to health and safety.

The six bills range in topic from seatbelts on buses to tracking antibiotic-resistant diseases.

Of these, one would require that law enforcement agencies be held to a higher standard regarding the tracking of their firearms. Senate Bill 42 asks that agencies account for all of their guns, and update a database when firearms are stolen, lost or replaced. Any changes to gun inventory would have to be reported to the Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System.

In addition, a formal process would be developed that officers would be mandated to use if a gun was misplaced or stolen. If officers fail to adhere to this protocol, disciplinary action would be taken.

“These bills are aimed at improving public health and safety – and the accountability of agencies and systems that are intended to protect Californians,” said Hill.

The San Jose Mercury News conducted a survey of at least 240 California law enforcement agencies, and found that between 2010 and the middle of 2016, 944 guns were unaccounted for. The San Jose Police Department alone had lost track of 324 guns during the six year time period.

 

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