California “snafu” releases personal information of nearly 4,000 gun safety instructors


From Fox News: The private information of thousands of California firearms instructors was accidentally released by the state late last year in response to a journalist’s Freedom of Information request.

The data request was made in August, when a reporter for Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), an NPR affiliate, sought all information on Firearms Safety Certifications available from the California Department of Justice.

The information was released in October, and a clerical error gave the reporter wide access to the personal information of 3,424 firearms instructors — whose dates of birth, driver’s license numbers and California identification numbers were handed over, according to NRA-ILA, the legislative arm of the National Rifle Association.

The error was caught two months later, and the California DOJ sent out a letter to all of the Golden State’s instructors letting them know their personal information had been compromised.

“The Department discovered the data breach on October 17, 2016, and notified the requestor of the error and asked that the information be destroyed and that no further dissemination of it occur,” said the letter, sent by the Office of the Attorney General Kamala Harris. Harris is now a U.S. senator.

The letter also recommended the firearm instructors place a fraud alert on their credit. Since driver’s license numbers are appealing to identity thieves, a fraud alert could prevent criminals from misusing someone’s personal data.

NRA officials blasted the California DOJ for its data breach and questioned why it took the department so long to alert the thousands who were affected. “This privacy breach is just another example of the California Department of Justice’s disregard for the rights of gun owners,” Jennifer Baker, director of public affairs for the NRA, said to  “There’s no reason why the private information of firearms instructors should have been released – the DOJ redacts information all the time.”

Baker also questioned the length of time it took the state to inform victims of the breach.  “It’s time the California government start awarding gun owners the same respect as it does non-gun owners.”

Some security experts said that while it wasn’t a significant data breach, there is still cause for concern. “The main concern, if any, would be identity theft, simply because it is so prevalent,” police consultant and retired Los Angeles Police Lt. Raymond Foster said to “I don’t think anyone would threaten these instructors, but one concern is that many of them are retired police officers and that could put them at an additional risk. Most of them when they are off-duty like to lie low and blend in. But I’d imagine that NPR would never publish this info and would likely just rip it up.”

The reporter, who the NRA-ILA identifies as Aaron Mendelson, acknowledged in his FOIA request that part of his request would be redacted. “…Please inform me of the redaction and the legal justification for it,” said the request, which was obtained by

Since receiving the data, it appears that none of the information has been published in any recent stories. In its letter to firearm instructors, the California DOJ said that it had asked the reporter to destroy the information he received and if he did not do so he would face legal action.

Neither Mendelson nor officials for Southern California Public Radio immediately returned calls for comment.

Gun instructors in California took the news of their information being released in stride. Dennis Santiago, an independent gun safety instructor in the Los Angeles area, who received the DOJ letter, told he at first thought it was a hacking incident. “I was speaking with other instructors at a gun shop about it and they didn’t seem too concerned,” Santiago said. “They took it as being the cost of being in America.”


11 responses to “California “snafu” releases personal information of nearly 4,000 gun safety instructors

  1. Sure, it was a total accident.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yeah, right…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. So now after 0bama releases 60,000 felons into the California population , seems the state wants law abiding citizens to be defenseless against them ! Of course this will all change when a California liberals family member gets murdered or raped !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “They took it as being the cost of being in Obama’s America.”

    There, I fixed it for you, FoxNews!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Liberal/Progressives have become wanton law-breakers. These are “Domestic Terrorists” that willfully, knowingly, and intentionally expose honest citizens to criminal attacks by other Lib/Progs.
    We must start treating these Marxist/Alinskyite “Activists” and “Social Justice Warriors” like what they are: Criminals, Domestic Terrorists, Violent Revolutionaries, and Criminal Invaders that are bent on destroying our Constitutional Republic to get what they want. Or think they want.
    Their “Progress” is to an Internationalist Totalitarian Centralized Socialistic Govt that will execute “protesters” once they have enslaved the Citizens into wards & servants of the State.
    “Protest” is one thing, Criminal acts or Terrorizing honest citizens, or even the THREAT of violence or criminal acts against citizens is another. Citizens have the right to protest, non-citizens have the right to go back where they came from.
    8 years of Obama has destroyed respect for the law, property, human rights, civilization, religion, and common sense. Violence and crime must be stopped. Political discord is not an excuse to commit crimes. Riot and looting is criminal lawlessness and must be met with force. Overwhelming force. Political difference or alleged “victimhood” is not an excuse to victimize others and destroy the social and political fabric of the Nation.
    This is what the “Alinskyite” Lib/Progs have become, a MOB, seeking to loot and destroy, undermining every facet of civilization and the protections of the rights of “normal citizens”.
    It can NOT be tolerated.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. What happened to the State employee who did this boo boo? I should think that termination of employment would be appropriate. State employees should take their jobs and the security of the information they have access to as serious as any job in Washington, DC.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sure, I always brush it off when my information is tossed out there in the wind. No worries, right?
    What other BS do they want to feed us with this “accident?”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Speaking of California “snafus” – here is another one for dog (cat too) lovers out there. A story about so-called authorities “just doing their job”.

    A pilot, on his almost daily commute to and from his work in southern California by small private plane, crashed in the Los Angeles Forest and died as a result. This happened last week. The wreckage was spotted by another plane after a few days and subsequently reached by rescue workers. See article in link.

    At home in a remote area of Kern County was the pilot’s dog, an Akita named Argos. No one else live at house. Friends became concerned after learning about the crash and contacted animal control and police to get access to the home. When these public servants came to the remote house, instead of getting inside to rescue the abandoned dog they posted a 48 hour notice on the door, meaning they would be back in 48 hours. The dog and been without food and water for a week at this point. Anyone attempting to get in would be arrested. Public servants just doing their job.

    While authorities have confirmed Espiau’s death, a controversy continues to brew at the pilot’s home over his dog, Hetge said.
    Abandoned Akita
    The pilot left his dog – a large Akita – inside his home, now left vacant for a week. Bear Valley authorities have told residents concerned about the dog’s well-being that they have no authority to enter the house.
    “It’s ridiculous,” Hetge said, reading a letter sent to authorities by a friend of the deceased pilot.

    Vanessa Paola Gonsenheim gave Hetge – and to The Signal – this note:
    “The Pilot in the recent plane crash near Lake Hughes was the owner of a dog who has been without food or water for a week now. The dog is locked in the pilots house at 29381 Surrey Wy in Tehachapi. “While animal control has gone out to visit the premises, they posted a 48hr notice of intent to remove the animal, rather than rescue him immediately.

    “Kern county animal control and bear valley police department warned that any attempt to enter the house to provide food and water is unlawful entry and I would be arrested if caught. This is ridiculous, especially in light of recent legislation that permits breaking into a hot car to save an animal.”

    Update today from a friend of the pilot:
    GREAT NEWS!!! Argos, the dog of the late Mooney Matt, has been rescued!!!

    Quite a few people played a significant role in the effort, and I just want to say, Thank you! Calls and calls and visits to police and animal control frustratingly ended with no action on their part to help Argos, despite knowing he had been locked in his house since before his owner passed away a week ago in a plane crash and that Matt’s family lives out of state.
    Coordination efforts by the amazing citizens of Tehachapi (and one from Valencia) resulted in a spare key being tracked down and friends of Matt gaining legal access to Argos.

    When called, Argos came to the front door, saw his rescuers, and immediately started wagging his tail 🙂 He gobbled up the water and food that was provided, and was given ample time to adjust before walking him to the car. He was clearly traumatized, but seemed in great spirits, all things considered, even pranced his way to the car, and was very friendly to all his rescuers.

    Argos will stay with a friend of Matt, possibly permanently, if he gets along with her other dogs, otherwise will need a new forever home. (Stay tuned for placement effort updates). The legislation requiring 48hrs before animal control would enter the premise is ridiculous and needs updating. And while police were made aware of rescue efforts, they did nothing to help the situation. It’s time for a change!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. How stupid can you be? should not be taken as a challenge.


  10. The gun safety certificate holders should SUE Kamala Harris (former head of CA DOJ) as an INDIVIDUAL and PERSONALLY in CIVIL court for damages.

    Kamala Harris’ sister, Maya Harris, was hired by Hillary Clinton in 2015 as a policy advisor. (This shtuff runs in families, folks.) See “Essence” magazine article from April 17, 2014 for info. (“Hillary Clinton Hires Kamala Harris’ Sister as Top Policy Adviser”)

    Oh, by the way, the above article states that Maya Harris worked as a ‘senior fellow’ for the Center for American Progress—which is the group JOHN PODESTA’S founded and was its first CEO. In addition, John Podesta’s cousin (conveniently) owns/runs a child ‘adoption’ agency, according to wikileaks.

    Like I said, this shtuff runs in families. I suggest further research beyond what wiki allows everyone to know about. It’s truly, All in the Family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ulsterman let it be known that Harris and her brother in law helped BO launder 300 million into the country for his first run. That is why BO offered her a big position later, but she refused, she stated she had more to get done in CA.

      Liked by 1 person

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