SACRAMENTO (AP) — State lawmakers have sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would provide more money for a state program that confiscates guns from felons, those deemed mentally unstable and others who are prohibited from owning them.

The $24 million would be used over the next three years to hire more state Department of Justice agents. The money is designed to erase a backlog in the program.

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The Armed and Prohibited Persons program is unique to California. Under the program, agents cross-check databases to find people who bought weapons they are no longer legally allowed to own.

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The department says nearly 20,000 people illegally own more than 39,000 handguns and 1,670 assault weapons.

SB140 passed the Senate on a 37-0 vote Monday.

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