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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

A look at Obama's immigration plan. Plus, how long Takata knew of problems with its airbags.

April 3rd, 2013
10:50 AM ET

Enforcing gun laws on the books is easier said than done

By Jake Tapper

President Obama heads to Denver, Colorado, today to make a push for improved background checks for handgun purchases, legislation that the National Rifle Association opposes.

The one priority that everyone in the gun debate seems to agree on is that the laws on the books should be enforced to keep guns out of the hands of those whom, society has ruled, should not have them – felons, or those with adjudicated emotional and mental problems, or those with domestic violence restraining orders.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

We recently spent a night with special law enforcement agents from the California attorney general’s office, trying to enforce the laws on the books.

California requires all handguns to be registered, so law enforcement agents compare a list of registered gun owners with a separate list of those not allowed to have guns, and they come up with a third list – people referred to as “armed and prohibited.”

There are about 20,000 people on the list, and it is growing every year. And to confiscate these guns, California has just over 30 agents.

Here are some scenes from our night with these law enforcement agents.

For more, watch The Lead with Jake Tapper at 4pm ET on CNN today.

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