Sales of firearms in California continue to grow year after year, and experts point to the state's relatively tough gun control laws as evidence that gun ownership can still flourish even with government restrictions on gun sales in place. A 2014 gun control law that is set to take effect on the first of the new year is not expected to slow the growth in gun sales.
Between 2010 and 2014, the number of guns sold in California has nearly doubled, reports the Chronicle. As to what is behind the increase, the paper notes that instead of the number of gun owners increasing, the number of guns owned by guns owners has increased.
In other words, people who already own guns have been buying more of them.
Tom Frenkel, vice president of the Richmond Rod and Gun Club, told the paper that his membership has remained largely static over the past few years.
"I don’t believe the shooting sports are growing at all,” said Frenkel. “I think people that want to shoot are paranoid they’re going to get shut out and they’re stocking up on firearms.”
Between January and November of this year alone 376,600 handguns had been purchased in California.
The law that is set to take effect January 1 makes it illegal to openly carry unloaded guns in public, among other common-sense controls.
As far as the liberal Bay Area is concerned, all nine counties saw increased gun sales during the last year, reports the Chronicle.
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has spoken about a 2016 gun control ballot initiative with the stated goal of requiring background checks on the purchase of ammunition, in addition to a new law requiring citizens to report stolen or lost firearms to police.
If the last few years are any indicator, don't expect these future (potential) laws to dampen the appetite of gun owners for more weaponry.