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Terry Collins at ktvu writes that California is on pace to set records in gun sales. Yet his first statement is…nobody knows why. Being that I live on the Golden left coast, let me add some insight from someone who hasn’t been a gun loving nut all his life. Ok maybe I have been but I never really felt a need, or want to own much of anything firearm related. I think we can relate the rise in firearm sales to more than one specific cause. Needless to say, Californians are starting to think seriously about protection and safety for their families and realize that putting their trust in our LEO’s alone isn’t going to cut it . . .

First and foremost California has pretty restrictive gun laws. This of course goes without saying, but the writer seems to think that this should deter us law abiding citizens from wanting guns. Not true I say. In the wake of the Aurora shooting I think it drives home the point that no police officer can protect you all the time. Sure we respect our LEO’s, it isn’t an easy job. But as seen in Aurora, even 90 seconds is too dang long to wait for any help.

That being said, we have a few interesting things going on in the golden state which I feel are contributing to the rise in gun sales, and each affects it’s own group.

Stockton, as you may have heard, filed chapter 9 bankruptcy not terribly long ago. Just prior to that they reduced their police force by over 25%. Other cities are following suit with Mammoth, and San Bernardino also filing. When cities fall into this state, reducing emergency services is usually part and parcel of the process. In Stockton specifically, we have seen a serious spike in crime and gang activity.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that if you take cops off the street criminals will run rampant. Personally I know what kind of financial straights Oakland is in and the federal government has already threatened to take over their police department. If they file bankruptcy and reduce their police force, I shudder to think what will happen.

Next is economics. Sure cities are having to cut services, and tighten their belts, but what about us? I know it is a struggle for me, and many others. The cost of living is high, taxes are high and Governor Brown is pushing for more.

Oakland as an example has an unemployment rate of 14%. Other cities as well are suffering, and when people are unemployed or struggling, they may turn to crime in order to stay afloat. Obviously this isn’t and excuse for breaking the law but it certainly needs to be taken into account.

We also have SB 249 sitting in Sacramento which is designed to close the loophole on the bullet button and essentially stop AR or AK style sport rifles in California. Local shops can’t keep sporting rifles and lowers assemblies on the shelf, selling them as quickly as they get them in.

When I saw a lower I liked, plunked down the cash on the spot. I wanted one anyways, but having this law looming in the background sealed the deal.

Our current political situation is driving sales as well. The looming ATT, while now on hiatus has not gone away, and the current POTUS has done nothing to assuage fears of loosing our 2nd amendment rights. As hard as all of us are fighting, writing letters and joining campaigns to gain back what is ours, we continue to be faced with opposition. So some of us might be stock piling, and some are making first time purchases.

Regardless of the reason, citizens are starting to ask why they are allowing themselves to be victims. They are looking at their own rights, and probably left scratching their collective heads. It is also important to note that this is not just a California trend this it’s nationwide.

It is a good time to be in the gun business as more and more people are electing to exercise their right to own and or bare firearms. On a good note, this benefits everyone from the manufacturers, local shops, to ranges and instructors. Getting into training classes here requires a bit of patience, but isn’t impossible.

Given national trends, this also gives the gun lobby a lot more weight, as the number of people owning firearms is growing rapidly.

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  1. Ice-T was pretty succinct when he said it isn’t for hunting but protection from Tyranny. As shocked as the interviewer was being from the UK, it is exactly what it was designed for.

  2. yes, bottom line is whether you’re in a theater or at home you are the one that has to deal with any threats to you or your loved ones until the police arrive. and they may be too late.

  3. Those increases are interesting especially when you consider how many people who are either conservative or independent have moved away from California the past twelve years.

  4. I’m from California and I’ve bought three rifles this year. I’m currently saving up for a M&P 15 sport bullet button to get hopefully before the end of the year. Need a shotgun too.

    • check the new Mossber shorty, short barrell, recoil stock, handgrip and top rail// designed for close encounters// hope you never have to use it.

  5. As the interest and the perceived need rises, will the people of California then demand more liberal gun laws? I lived in LA, and I was always amazed at the way people felt helpless to improve crime, schools and general government. It was so beyond most voters’ thinking to demand responsiveness in elected officials. It’s like it was ingrained in the culture to vote for the squishy liberal. Barbara Lee (Oakland’s congresswoman) is so out there it isn’t even funny. It’s a beautiful state, but California is like a bad political experiment that won’t end. (Please don’t take that personally.)

    • People call that the indoctrination of our children in liberal education. Just sayin…

  6. So, although I’ve heard all the horror stories, it seems that as long as you follow the rules, (some) guns are obtainable. Do the citizens of California keep electing the same politicians who enact and support the restrictive gun laws simply because they don’t know any better? What I mean is, if you grew up there, and navigating those laws is what you’re used to, do most of them just not know how much better it can (and imo, should) be? The laws in California are thoroughly abhorrent to me, but I grew up in one of the most permissive states around. Is their situation just the reverse of mine?

    • I grew up in California, lived out of state for a while. Now I’m back here for work. I did not grow up with guns and it seems like few people here have them. Even the topic of guns here with most people almost seems taboo. I honestly think that most people around here don’t care about their gun laws because they don’t think those laws will matter to them. On top of the apathy I have often heard strangers say nobody needs an assault rifle (their words not, mine) and the like. It feels like an uphill battle to convince anyone that guns have a valid purpose as a purely defensive tool. Most people are only comfortable with sporting arms and even that’s a stretch for most that I’ve spoken with.

  7. While many people are rather ignorant, there are also many people who are not ignorant. The people who are not ignorant know what is looming and what it means.

    We cannot continue to import almost everything we use from China while exporting almost nothing, outsource jobs to foreign countries, add one trillion+ dollars to our national debt year in and year out, and provide “free” food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education to something like 25% of the population. And then of course we have crazy rising costs of many goods and services year in and year out.

    The U.S. house of cards is going to fall over. And when it does, there are going to be a lot of desperate people. When that happens, citizens who are not armed are going to wish they were.

  8. as i am not from ca but live there i think i can shed a little light on that. a friend of mine was born and raised here. he had spent his entire life here except for a brief trip to italy as a teenager. i kept telling him that he did not know what it was to live in america since he had never been there. he could not understand my point until he went to some law enforcement seminar back east. when he returned he was shocked and told me how right i was. people who have lived here, especially the bay area or la for their whole lives really don”t understand just how out of touch with reality ca is. sad but true.

  9. While there were/are a lot more tech jobs in CA, and salaries are higher, I’m still glad I picked TX instead. I think the moocher/looter states are lost, and should be abandoned until they eat themselves.

    • I will need to send you my resume offline.. CA isn’t all that and a bag of chips…

  10. Here’s the thinking of recently first-time gun owners:

    As long as I know I may have a gun, I don’t really feel I need a gun. But as soon as I’m told I may not have a gun, that’s when I had better get a gun. But then, it may be too late. I have a feeling, that time may be coming. I had better get a gun now.

  11. I disagree that the ATT is having any effect whatsoever on California’s gun buying spree. Most people don’t know anything about, most don’t care, and some like me are not too worried, since it is the US pushing the rest of the world to come up to our international gun trading standards.
    But what is pushing the buying is a new California law that went into effect January 1, 2012 called “Prison Realignment.” California has a huge problem with overcrowding in the prisons, and is under a Federal Court order to release prisoners until the overcrowding is relieved (an order affirmed by SCOTUS). To meet this order, ther State decided to start releasing (paroling) “nonviolent” offenders and to send felons with shorter sentences (3 years or less) to serve their time in County jails. The results have varied county by county, with at least one reporting a 75% re-arrest rate for parolees. (With no jobs, many of these (drug) offenders have reverted to petty theft to maintain their habit.) Further, these state prisoners who cannot be released have forced counties into a “catch and release” syustem with “petty” offenders. In my northern county, you will be on the street within 24 hours or less on OR release if your bail is $50,000 or less. So we see the same people, day after day, stealing cars, burglarizing houses, and even strong armed and armed robbery. Many felons have been arrested with firearms in their vehicles, and many have been busted for meth. But they are on the street. Now it is true that this a republican part of the state, but I bet that gun sales are going whole hog up here too.

    Oh, by the way, our bizare gun laws predominantly affect handguns and evil black rifles. There are no restrictions on rifles and shotguns of which I am aware.

    • Thanks for the input Mark. You are correct, they are letting bad guys out because, well we are simply over crowded and underfunded. We could adopt a tent city type of deal like in Arizona, but then we would have civil rights groups up in arms.
      As far as rifles and shotguns there isn’t much in the ways governing them, except some of the standard length, and the fact the manufacturers need to pay to to have them on the safe approved list.

    • You are essentially correct on CA gun legislation, with the exception of the universal 10 – round magazine capacity limit for autoloading handguns and rifles. California Penal Code sections in the 12020 area define gun and weapons restrictions, as well as penalties. It’s bad here, but it could be worse. Let’s hope the trend in gun purchasing continues, and helps to reverse the trend.

  12. I was born and raised in Southern California. I’ve lived within a mile of the beach almost all of my life.

    I love my state, or at least what it used to be.

    Most people who live here came from somewhere else. The people who live in California now are not “Californians”.

    Why did they come here? What kind of people does this place attract?

    The culture has changed. The demographics have changed. The politics and social attitudes have changed.

    We’ve recently bought a house in Arizona. We’re in the process of moving. Everyone we meet in Arizona came from California.

    Arizona is the new California.

    • Maybe they could split California into North and South California. Allow people who value their rights to live in one half and those who don’t can take the other half. Then we’d also make it so that Democrats wouldn’t have such an overwhelming lead in electoral votes at the beginning of every election (seriously, am I the only one who thinks it’s absurd that one party is allowed to always have more than 1/3 of the electoral votes needed to win before the election even starts? I’m thinking maybe it’s time to ditch the electoral college and move to just districts in each state or popular vote).

  13. I’m sure the recent riots in Anaheim are going to spur even more gun sales, just like the LA riots did.

    There is a large underclass of people in California(and in America in general) who actively hate society and are just waiting for an excuse to blow.

    I live in Florida, and I’m waiting for the explosion when George Zimmerman walks.

    • The race war that’s going to happen because of our media is going to be tragic and interesting to watch.

  14. To what has been said by other Californians, I would add a few points:

    The State of California has made itself extremely unfriendly to Business in many ways and there is little or no incentive to start new businesses here and others have left the State. This has caused high unemployment and State Revenues have fallen.

    Today’ Californians are paying the price for the Socialist excesses of the past 30-40 years and Conservative excesses of 50 years back. There is a large population of “working people” that are hurt by unemployment, and\or below the poverty level, who keep the pressure on the State to provide services and money the State cannot afford. Coupled with a more apathetic voting history for the middle class the needs of the poorer classes keep the same Leftist-Socialist Politicians in Office and nothing changes. The State and Local Governments get poorer and poorer, Services and Public Education get cut further and further, the Socialists in power tell the unemployed and poor “We will fix this…” at election time, get voted back into Office….and the vicious circle just gets worse. It might be “unfixable” by now.

    As a gun owner for more than forty years, the real obstacles are the Assault Rifle Ban of 1989, the subsequent so-called “High Capacity Magazine” ban, the Hand Gun Buyer’s Card requirement, and the ban on “open Carry” most recently. It IS very difficult to get a CCW permit here, and that is a major obstacle. Some major municipalities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, have passed more restrictive local laws that get National attention and people conclude these are applied Statewide.
    Where I live there are Pistol and Rifle Ranges within 5 to 20 minutes drive, and the State Bureau of Land Management retains a Public Shooting area of large size near Bartow, Ca. (about 2.5 hours drive). There are things you cannot buy Out of State (exploding targets, tracer ammo, etc), but nothing you can’t shoot without. We can buy ammo at Wal-Mart, lots of Sporting Goods Stores and over the Internet and I can go shoot any day of the week. So, yeah there are better States, but it’s not impossible here.
    The surge in Gun Purchases, I agree, is directly related to the deteriorating sense of how safe people feel what with the cuts in LEO Services and the early release of Prison inmates looming. I definitely meet more people who have wakened to the fact that they are FIRST and foremost responsible for their personal safety and that of their Families and recognize the Police do not protect you in the vast majority of crimes.

    • you can’t buy ammo at the walmarts in alameda county. i have to go to milpitas to get ammo at a walmart. and i don,t believe you can mail order ammo if you live in oakland. i can where i live but the companies always check my zip code to confirm they can mail it. the walmart near my dad in ky had a rack of ar15 complete with 30 round mags and no bullet button when i was there in june.

  15. I’m surprised at the people asking me personally about getting a gun and/or ccw permit. People have realized it’s Us against Them in the bad guy battle and cops are only there for crime scene control afterwards. Oh, and they also whisk away the criminal in body armor and protect him in jail.
    I’ve got people asking me what kind of shotgun to buy, wanting to go to the range and try out my different handguns, even going as far as to show me their new purchase and then ask me to teach them how to use it.

    This is not an anti gun movement, it’s a rearmament movement.

  16. I’m part of that statistic…I bought a bunch in the last 2 years. I have enough black rifles and lowers and am telling my friends/family to get theirs while they can. This state is ridiculous. How many crimes/robberies/killings are there with ar15’s involved?? Few to none that I have heard of in CA.

  17. California cannot continue indefinitely down its current path. Rampant government expenditure, an influx of illegal / non- tax paying immigrants, and increasingly generous social policies can not and will not cause the budget to be balanced. Reasonable people, of whom there are still a few left, look at California with a critical eye. If I was a large – scale lender, I would not loan California money.

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