0820 Department of Justice
Program Descriptions


The Division of Law Enforcement is organized into five elements: (1) Bureau of Firearms, (2) Bureau of Forensic Services, (3) Bureau of Gambling Control, (4) Bureau of Investigation, and (5) the Office of the Director.

The Bureau of Firearms provides oversight, enforcement, education, and regulation of California's firearms/dangerous weapon laws by conducting firearms eligibility background checks and administering over thirty different state-mandated firearms-related programs. The Bureau conducts firearms dealer and manufacturer inspections and provides training as needed. Special Agents conduct investigations on armed and prohibited persons and other investigations resulting in the seizure of weapons. Agents also conduct firearms investigations to prevent illegal gun trafficking at in-state and out-of-state gun shows in accordance with state and federal law.

The Bureau of Forensic Services provides evaluation and analysis of physical evidence, including crime scene investigation and expert court testimony to state and local law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and courts, by operating 11 specialized laboratories that serve 46 counties as well as a forensic training facility and a DNA laboratory that is compiling and maintaining a database of sex and violent offenders.

The Bureau of Gambling Control regulates legal gambling activities in California to ensure gambling is conducted honestly and is free from criminal and corruptive elements by investigating the qualifications of individuals and business entities who apply for state gambling licenses and monitoring the conduct of these licensees to ensure compliance with the Gambling Control Act. Further, it conducts criminal investigations in, on or about Tribal casinos and cardrooms. Its role also includes regulating Tribal gaming by ensuring that each Tribe is in compliance with all aspects of the gaming compact.

The Bureau of Investigation leads the investigations of crimes that present serious multi-jurisdictional threats to California. The Bureau prioritizes cases involving human trafficking, environmental crimes, public corruption, mortgage and other major frauds, underground economy cases, and digital or high-technology crimes. In addition, the Bureau provides leadership, coordination, and support to law enforcement through multi-agency drug, gang and major crimes task forces, and special operations units.

The Office of the Director enhances public safety through training, technical, intelligence and administrative support to the investigative, regulatory and forensic components of the Division of Law Enforcement and other criminal justice agencies. The Office serves as the policy-making and oversight body for its four operational bureaus.