SACRAMENTO -- Superior courts across the state routinely fail to report the names of mentally ill Californians to the law enforcement officials responsible for keeping guns out of their hands, according to a report released Tuesday by State Auditor Elaine Howle.

State law requires courts and mental health treatment facilities to tell the California Department of Justice when it determines that an individual can no longer possess or purchase firearms. But that doesn't always happen, the report found.

From 2010 to 2012, 34 courts failed to make those required notifications at least 2,300 times, the report said. Courts in Santa Clara, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties were flagged for not reporting specific classes of mentally ill people to justice officials, the report found.

"The Santa Clara Superior Court did not notify Justice about any of its determinations that an individual was to be committed to a mental health facility for an extended period or that an individual's conservatorship was to be terminated early," the report said.

Superior Court officials in Santa Clara County did not dispute the report.

In a letter, David Yamasaki, the court's CEO, wrote to the auditor that he agrees with the findings and pledged to improve the court's reporting of names of the mentally ill.

Republican lawmakers who have opposed new gun-control measures in California had called for the audit, arguing that the state is doing a poor job of enforcing the gun laws already in place. Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said the audit's findings confirmed "our worst fears."

"The safety of our communities relies upon government at every level doing a better job reporting this information," Achadjian said.

The need to keep firearms away from the mentally ill is one issue in an otherwise bitterly divisive debate on gun control in California that all sides seem to agree on.

The reason for consensus is obvious: Mentally ill gunmen have been responsible for an increasing number of horrific mass shootings in recent years, including massacres last year at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a set of bills aimed at strengthening California's already tough gun laws, including one piece of legislation that would have banned all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines.

In May, Brown signed a bill to provide $24 million to help fund the Department of Justice's effort to confiscate guns from individuals it has identified as "armed prohibited persons." But as of July, more than 20,800 mentally ill people, felons and other people who don't have a right to own a weapon were still armed, according to department estimates.

The state auditor's report recommends that justice officials correspond more frequently with courts it believes are under-reporting information about the mentally ill.

Contact Jessica Calefati at 916-441-2101. Follow her at Twitter.com/calefati. Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics.