Except in California, which operates an expensive and unique program to track down illegally-owned guns. The state checks its records to find registered gun owners who have been convicted of felonies or domestic violence crimes, or who have been flagged as being mentally unstable. Roving teams of armed agents in bulletproof vests visit the homes of such people to make sure they have surrendered their guns.
This is a slow, painstaking process, and it has fallen behind in recent years. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, lawmakers gave the gun seizure program a $24 million infusion to fund more agents to knock on more doors. The goal was to investigate every one of the 20,000-some people who remained on the illegal gun owner list.
Two years later, the state has barely made a dent in the backlog.
How can a state be so intent on taking guns from law abiding citizens when it is so evident that it can't keep them out of the hands of known criminals?