Poll: Are You Concerned About the Increasing Numbers of Gun Sales in California?

Experts say gun sales typically jump after major tragedies like the Colorado movie theatre shooting.


One week after 12 people were shot and killed at a showing of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, the California Department of Justice announced it expects state residents will buy over 700,000 pistols, rifles and shotguns in 2012.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, that means firearm sales this year will nearly double from five years ago, when 370,628 weapons were sold.

Gun sales in Colorado jumped significantly in the days after the shooting. The Huffington Post quotes sources as saying that in addition to a surge in California sales, Florida, Washington, Oregon, and Georgia also reported increases in gun purchases.

Our state "doesn't record the personal history of those who purchase guns, nor their reasons for buying them, so it's hard to pinpoint a reason for the increase," the Chronicle article said.

Sales typically increase in large numbers after incidents like 9/11 and the Colorado shooting. One gun store owner quoted by the Chronicle spoke about new customers drawn to arming themselves after personally feeling the effects of crime.

"The police aren't there to save you," argued the owner. "They're there to clean up the mess and make a report after the fact. There aren't enough police to protect civilians - there just isn't."

Meanwhile, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is asking President Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney to move beyond rhetoric and provide some concrete solutions for gun control. Their website urges you to sign a petition drive now underway.

What do you think? Do the increasing numbers of gun sales concern you? Are heavily-publicized incidents of gun violence the result of too many firearms in circulation? Or was Aurora an isolated incident, and the majority of gun owners responsible citizens simply exercising their constitutional right to bear arms?

Tell us in your comments. Then take the poll below.

Hudy July 30, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Also, gun sales in California dropped steadily for 3 or 4 years following 9/11. I don't know where they got their info from.
Watzon McWats July 30, 2012 at 09:46 PM
In California, concealed weapons permits require training, testing, and a police interview, not to mention a written essay, fingerprinting, background check, etc, etc. So in that case, it's hard to argue that those legally concealing firearms in California aren't properly trained to do so. The classes in Watsonville are even taught by retired police officers. Not attempting to start an argument, just point out some facts. :-)
Watzon McWats July 30, 2012 at 09:58 PM
No, the increase in (legal) gun sales does not bother me one bit. Criminals don't buy their guns from Markleys or Big 5, they buy them illegally off the street from other criminals. I have no problem with people owning firearms for self defense, recreation, hunting, collecting, etc. Judging by some of the targets I see at the range though, more folks should be taking classes. It's a great responsibility, just like driving a car, and proper education is really a must. Your buddy taking you to the range a few times and giving you pointers just doesn't cut it. Not only will you learn how to stay safe, but you will learn to hit your target, which may come in handy when it comes time to bag that duck, defend your home, or ward off a horde of zombies. Locally, Markleys has GREAT classes, both for experienced gun owners and newbie non-owners. They provide everything you need, and the cost is dirt cheap. Even if you never plan to own a firearm of your own, their beginners class is a great way to get the "gun experience".
Watzon McWats July 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Correct. The scary looking AR15's and AK47 replicas are not "assault weapons" regardless of what CA state law says. They are in fact much less powerful that your average deer rifle. It was easy to sneek the ban past the general public though because they LOOK like big scary machine guns, even though they are actually relatively small caliber one-shot-per-trigger-pull replicas and look a likes. (real machine guns are covered by a much much older set of laws) There's a completely logical reason why this (assault weapons) ban was repealed on the federal level. CA is just late to the game, and our largely uninformed public (as compared to states where firearms are more popular) make it easy to keep on the books.
Watzon McWats July 30, 2012 at 10:29 PM
In California, all sales are required to go through a federally licenses firearms dealer (in person) and include a background check, waiting period, fingerprinting, legal record of sale, registration (handguns only) and safe handling test (handguns only). Even if you buy a gun "online", you still have to go through all of this. What they do is ship it to the local federally licensed dealer of your choice, and then that local dealer handles all of the legal paperwork, fingerprints you, runs the background check, administers the safe handling test, etc, before transferring the firearm to you. So while you can shop and pay for firearms online, there is really no such thing as an "online" firearms purchase in California.


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