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 (BFS) provides evaluation and analysis of physical evidence, including crime scene investigation and expert court testimony to federal, 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. BFS maintains the state DNA laboratory database which compiles DNA profiles of sex and violent offenders and felony arrestees.

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. This is accomplished 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. Furthermore, the Bureau conducts criminal investigations in, on or about Tribal casinos and California cardrooms. The Bureau also regulates Tribal gaming to ensure that each Tribe is in compliance with all aspects of the negotiated gaming compact.

The Bureau of Investigation is the premiere investigative arm that is responsible for exploiting and dismantling criminal organizations, as well as assisting with the prosecution of serious criminal offenses which present a significant and multi-jurisdictional threat to California. The Bureau prioritizes investigations related to transnational criminal organizations involved in gangs and human trafficking, as well as cases involving environmental crimes, public corruption, major fraud, underground economy, and high-technology crimes. In addition, the Bureau serves a principal role in providing leadership, coordination, and support to law enforcement through multi-agency drug, gang and major crimes task forces statewide.

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.